All, right, the title was in mock Latin, but it still relates to the subject I’m about to appeal to you all for help with;
Late last year I mentioned – no, I don’t expect anyone will remember – that I was working on making a live-action video trailer for ‘A Construct of Angels’ with the help of a local drama college. Well, despite their initial excitement at the idea, they’ve since decided that they had plenty of other things to get on with and eight months later, they still haven’t made any real commitment to the project. I have also contacted two drama groups in York, where my novel is set, but to date, I’ve received no replies to my queries.
So, I am now spreading my appeal web-wide and announcing my Wondrous World-Wide Web Wideo Competition, or WWWWWC for…um…short?
What I am seeking, dear reader, are short snippets of live action video, each between five and ten seconds in length that I will be able to use in my promotional trailer. I already have three and a half minutes of dramatic music and the same duration of stormy background clouds that will be used as a frame. I also have video of flying swords, racing ambulances, figures shrouded in mist and various other stuff.
What I don’t have is any video featuring real people (with the exception of me waving a sword around in some mist).
I would like to appeal to you – to anyone with a camera or camera-phone – to video one of the items listed below and send it to me. Low angles, panning or high shots…all would work for me.
On July 31st, I will close the competition and choose the most suitable (for my project) video material. On offer is a copy of my eBook ‘A Construct of Angels’ plus I will include your name in the closing credits of the video as a contributor. You will also receive a link to the completed video and if you wish, a copy of your own to download.
The base video (music and storm-cloud background) can be found on YouTube;
This might help to give you an idea of the level of drama that I need. The cloudscape is intended to be used as a frame around the finished shots, so imagine your scenes taking up the centre 7/8 of the frame.
To give you a better idea of the characters in my book and steer you towards getting your snippets as relevant as possible;
Main character MC1 (male) is tall, mid 20′s with untidy brown hair. He normally wears dark clothes or shades of blue.Summary; Disoriented angel who finally finds his confidence.
Main character MC2 (female) is a petite brunette, mid 20′s with shoulder length hair and invariably wears paramedic green. Summary; reluctant, caring heroine.
The antagonist Ant1 is a blonde man, clean-shaven in his 30′s with shoulder length blonde hair – he wears white, but when he’s being malevolent he dons a cloak with hood and bathes in red light. Summary; Dapper Bad Guy determined to ruin it for everyone.
Ant2 is a lean, fair-haired (short hair) man, mid 20′s who wields a sword. Dark clothing (but no cape!). Summary; Dangerous sidekick.
Mag1 is a four-year old girl with dark hair – clothes various. Her role is to gaze at everything in wonder and trust whomever she meets.
The mood of the video will be dark, so whilst bright, sunlit shots may still work, they might ‘jar’ the continuity. If you can, darker shots will work better. And don’t worry about speed of movement – I can change the timebase of any shots.
As I will need continuity with a character’s appearance, I would be able to work better with one person performing as many of a chosen character’s actions as possible. Three markedly different people being one character would look confusing.
Ten shots I really, really need (please);
1) MC1 and / or MC2 extending forefinger towards camera.
2) MC1 (front) and a MC2 (behind) riding a small bike through a quiet street. They can be weaving, or riding straight. The POV can be from street or car or through a window. Helmets are optional, but would help to ‘neutralise’ anyone who does not look like MC1 or MC2.
3) Miscellaneous shots of MC1 and / or MC2 turning to look around or behind them. Expressions of shock, fear, anger or wonder would be best. Not too hammy, please. ~If in doubt, under act.
4) Ant1 looking smug, angry, throwing his hands up towards the sky, shaking his head, sighing, sweeping his cloak, snapping hood up or down.
5) MC1 or MC2 falling to the ground / climbing to their feet / spinning round.
6) Mag1 looking about her in wonder. Can have her thumb in her mouth, but not always.
7) Mag1 running or getting out of a car, gazing around her or nodding solemnly to someone off-camera.
8) Crowd scene – think slow zombies. They will have the expressions and posture, but not the makeup of The Walking Dead. Shoulder to shoulder would be best. Panning or long shots would be useful.
8a) same as above, but running headlong past camera.
9) MC2 being grabbed by the arm (assailant unseen) and spun around.
10) A woman’s (MC2) hand trailing along an old stone wall. If she’s wearing green sleeves, even better. Also her hand running along a rack of clothes in a store or wardrobe.
Ten shots that would be useful to me;
1) MC2 tucking into a chicken leg (don’t ask) and/or bowl of ice cream.
2) MC1 fumbling ineptly with a cereal box.
3) Ant2 demonstrating various moves with a broadsword or a tensioning a garotte.
4) Male hand patting stainless steel door.
5) MC2 having trouble with mobile (cell) phone connection. Jabbing buttons or holding it up for a signal would be good.
6) MC2 staring up at the sky. Shielding eyes with her hand would be good.
7) Close up of MC2 struggling against unseen assailiant.
8) Seated MC1 lifting his head to look off-camera.
9) MC2 in drivers seat of car dropping out of sight / rising slowly into view.
10) Upper body shot of MC1 spinning on the spot. arms by side would be best.
The icing on the bun (optional footage);
Other minor characters that might feature briefly are as follows;
mC1 Willowy Fem. paramedic, 20-30, long blonde hair. Need; Smiling, looking concerned, laughing.
mC2 Asian Male paramedic 30-40, smiling, laughing, shrugging.
mC3 Male Morbidly obese, 40′s sneering, looming, shaking head.
mC4 Male Doctor character, 30′s dark spiky hair, looking concerned, cocking head (curiosity), narrowing eyes.
mC5 Other male Doctor character 40′s peering over reading spectacles or lowering clipboard to reveal disbelieving face.
mC6 Male manager type, 40′s benevolent, understanding, looking up from behind desk / sitting on edge of desk.
mC7 Man in trilby hat (and coat) 30′s pulling out a handgun or turning slowly to stare past camera.
mc8 Fifty-something woman (as hospital receptionist, casual dress) raising eyebrows at something off-camera.
Plus; Various (seated) hospice patients (all ages 8 to 80) turning to follow another (unseen) character. These can all be submitted as separate entries.
* * If you need clarification on any of the above, please ask in a comment and I will answer asap. * *
The Rules (sorry, but there have to be some);
The submitted video should be between five and ten seconds long, although it is likely I will edit or compress it down to between two and five seconds. If you can’t cut it down, don’t worry – it will still be admitted, but please let me know which time segments you wish to have considered.
To prevent any plagarism or trawling of existing material, please include a ‘clapperboard’ shot at the beginning or the end of the video that says ‘Angels’ in it. This can be as simple as a piece of paper with handwriting on it, but it must be continuous with the video – not a different scene or I will consider it to be an edited attachment to a plagarised video. Any ‘clapperboard’ material will not be counted in the five to ten seconds guideline times.
Please include a short note that states ‘This video is my own property and has been created for unrestricted use by Andrew Toynbee.’ I will be legally unable to use your submission if you forget to do this and it will not be counted as a valid entry.
Please send submitted material to me at Andybee64 (at) hotmail (dot) com. To avoid it being lost in my spam folder, please entitle it ‘Video submission for A Construct of Angels.’
Alternatively, post it on YouTube and forward me the link (I can capture it from there) either by email using the details above, or in the comments section of this page.
You may enter as many times as you like, although I can only send out the prizes once.
I will announce the details of the winning contributors in mid-August.
If you have already bought my ‘A Construct of Angels’ and you’re inspired to shoot a scene that I haven’t already mentioned, feel free to do so. I will have to discuss an alternative winner’s prize with you as you will already have a copy of the book.
Thanks for reading this far!