Scene @ The Book Standard Teen Book Video Awards


By Carmen Comment

Tribeca Cinemas was the place to be last night as The Book Standard hosted its latest iteration of their Book Video Awards – this time for young adult novels by Meg Rosoff, Markus Zusak and Libba Bray. A lengthy cocktail hour (which also included an impressive snack display) saw folks from The Book Standard – including Book Trailerpark editrix Kimberly Maul (pictured with the New Yorker‘s Ron Toam), who bears an uncanny resemblance to Olympic gold medal winning figure skater Jamie Sale, and bon vivant Chuck Shelton, who was snapping away with his digital camera – Kirkus Reviews, and parent company VNU (for another week, when the ownership change results in a new name) mingling with those from Random House Children’s Group, Inkwell Management literary agent Richard Pine, Bray (the only author in attendance) and the three filmmakers – Katie Koskenmaki, Jon Haller and Susan Muirhead. All three videos are now available online, and Maul’s written up last night’s proceedings as well.

I chatted with Haller about the making of his trailer version of THE BOOK THIEF (the best of the three, to my mind, perhaps aided by going over the agreed-upon length of 45 seconds) and was surprised to learn that the entire process took four weeks from storyboard to finished editing, with a two-day shoot and three days of editing included. It was a smart choice to focus the short film’s attention on a scene in a bomb shelter, which gave it a claustrophobic, eerie quality (aided by shooting the scene, depicting the main protagonist telling a story, in a black box.) Interestingly, the trailer for Bray’s A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY also featured a storytelling scene, while the one for Rosoff’s HOW I LIVE NOW relied on action with voice-over. Whether the trailers will prove successful in promoting the books – all of which have been out for quite some time – remains to be seen, but TBS Managing Editor Jerome Kramer was impressed with both reaction and prospects. “Most teens spend the bulk of their time online, and the book industry needs to find ways to reach out to them,” he said in the preamble to the trailer showings. “These videos are a great way to bring books to life in a way that they can understand.”