Secret Diary Of PorterGirl – The Making Of The Book Trailer
Many thanks to Lucy of Secret Diary Of Porter Girl for her wonderful guest post. Please do check out Lucy’s blog and her book.
Since when did book trailers become a thing? I had not come across them until the release date of my book, Secret Diary Of PorterGirl, loomed ever nearer and people started making mutterings about one. I had previously dipped my toe into the world of moving pictures by making short sketches for the blog with my friend, actor Paul Butterworth. It wasn’t a process I particularly enjoyed, if I’m honest – especially if I was required to be on camera at any time.
But needs must and I gathered together my most trusted and experienced colleagues to scratch our heads about coming up with something suitable. We have previously made numerous music videos and the like, but this was unfamiliar territory. I would be surprised if some of the team had even read a book, you know. However, surrounding myself with the geniuses behind the shadowy and enigmatic Cambridge Underground Orchestra surely had to produce some kind of result. At the very least, the music would be epic.
I am no actress and in truth I would be more comfortable amidst a pit of rancid vipers than I am in front of a camera. But there seemed no avoiding it. The solution? To ensure I had as little screen time as I could get away with and leave all the heavy lifting to the man we know and love as Head Porter, Paul Butterworth. The added bonus was that his son Josh is a film student at Manchester Met Film School and could easily be bullied and bribed into helping us out. Add to the mix an attention-seeking musician or two, a nine year old lighting director and a bit of cross-dressing and all of a sudden we had a cast and crew.
Finding a set was thankfully no problem at all, thanks to the fabulous Templar Antiquities who are happily situated right across the road from our studio. Stuffed to the rafters with period furniture and fittings (not to mention some cool weapons and armour!) we had no problem recreating scenes from Old College past and present. The only down side to this location (if you can indeed call it a downside) is that the dashing American proprietor has an endless supply of very fine wine on site and this did eventually hamper proceedings somewhat. Particularly towards the end of the shoot, when a break-away group of renegade technical assistants (and maybe the Producer. Ahem) set up a small rave back in the studio. Still, there is a lot to be said for drinking fine wine from pewter goblets.
Paul was, as ever, the consummate professional throughout and lived and breathed the part of Head Porter from the moment he put on his bowler hat. In fact, the scene where he is giving our heroine a stern talking to was actually so very uncomfortable for me – such was the realism – that I vowed there and then to only write ‘nice’ scenes between them in future!
There was no avoiding me taking up the role of Deputy Head Porter, but you can also see me acting my socks off as a monk, along with the beautiful lady-friend of the Antiques Shop Owner. We had to be shot from behind, of course, as we look far too feminine from the front to be mediaeval monks. At least I would hope so. Nevertheless, I still see this as my defining moment on screen.
The now-iconic PorterGirl Theme was performed by the aforementioned Cambridge Underground Orchestra and is soon to be available on iTunes. It adds a certain gravitas to the whole production and I rather fear we would be quite lost without it.
I feel that the trailer is very much in keeping with the PorterGirl genre – a combination of expertise, raw talent and wine resulting in something that is just a little bit different to anything else, yet somehow comfortingly familiar. Now, as it is certain that there will be another book, it is also safe to assume that another book trailer will need to be tackled at some point.
So what have we learned from this endeavour?
Musicians are fun yet woefully inefficient crew members. Keep them away from the wine until the final scene.
Professional acting skills are worth their weight in gold.
We really need to find another Deputy Head Porter…
Book Trailer https://videos.files.wordpress.com/OXtxuKON/pg-trailor-1280x720_dvd.mp4