This Agency Creative’s Incredible Book Trailer Beat Stranger Things and Westworld at SXSW

Jared Young and Chris Moberg take jury prize for Into the Current

Headshot of Tim Nudd

The nominees for Excellence in Title Design at the SXSW Film Festival this year included lots of stunning trailers for well-known television shows—Stranger Things, Jessica Jones, The Crown, Westworld and Doctor Strange.

But an pair of advertising creatives beat them all—with a book trailer, of all things—to take the jury prize.

The trailer for Jared Young’s debut novel, Into the Current, was the first book trailer to ever screen at SXSW, and the first book trailer to be awarded a jury prize by a major festival. The festival even broke from tradition at the ceremony to screen the two-minute sequence.

Jurors Dan Brown, Kimberly Cooper and Marc Ferrino gushed in the winner’s notes that the trailer was “an emotional storytelling experience that caught our attention from the very first five seconds.”

See it here:

The trailer re-creates the premise of the novel, which is about a young man who watches his life flash before his eyes as the plane he’s traveling on explodes in the upper atmosphere. That is Young himself in a cameo toward the end.

Young, a creative director at Canadian agency McMillan, worked on the trailer with his colleague Chris Moberg, a senior motion designer. Young tells Adweek that he was shocked to win.

“It was a strange experience to sit through the screening earlier in the week and see all these sequences that represent the best visual design from some of the most prestigious design studios in the world, and right in the middle of it is our trailer, which we built on evenings and weekends,” he says.

“We showed up to the awards ceremony just wanting to have a good time. The energy was great. Very casual, celebratory. When they announced our category and the lights went down, I was totally expecting the Stranger Things theme to start playing. Instead it was the roar of the jet engines that opens our clip. At that point we turned to each other, stunned, and started laughing.”

Read more about the making of the trailer here.

Publisher: Goose Lane
Created by – Chris Moberg
Creative Director – Jared Young
Art Director – Chris Moberg
VFX / 3D / Animation – Chris Moberg
Title Animation / VFX – Jamie Muntean
Logo Animation / Design – Brendan Wilson
Sound Design / Final Mix – Jeff Moberg
Music – Silkken
Special Thanks
Jamie Muntean, Brendan Wilson, Gaëlle Seguillon, Casey Tourangeau
Melani Hartley, Craig Lobban, Alex Roberts, William Tong

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.