Of making the Insufficient Mating Material book video.
Happy Superbowl Sunday, by the way. Have you seen my 50 second advertisement? Not on TV, naturally, but on MySpace and You-Tube and anywhere else that will put it up (including my home-run website... which isn't run by me!)
For the record, Edward Traxler --Myra Nour's brother-- did my video. However, I put in a lot more time and did a lot more work than I expected, so I really hope that it is as effective as a marketing tool as everyone who has them, seems to think.
I don't know. Seeing a cover cut up and moved around on a screen has never sent me to a bookstore with the speed and purpose of a heat-seeking missile.
When we started, I thought I knew what I wanted. For about $75 (not my end cost!) I wanted a Me-Too product, just to hedge my bets in case Susan Kearney, Linnea Sinclair, Mel Schroeder, Myra Nour, Ruth Kerce, Mandy Roth and Michelle Pillow (I watch Mandy and Michelle, because they must be the most savvy self-promoters I've ever seen, and I mean that in the nicest possible way) are right.
Music: I wanted the Pilgrim's Chorus from Wagner's Tannhauser. I'd once seen a feeble --but choral-- version on a Royalty Free site. Failing that, yeah, Billy Idol's White Wedding or Jethro Tull's Locomotive Breath would do nicely, but that idea was quickly squashed. One cannot buy Royalty Free 30 second clips of Rock Star's music. Alas!
And, to get anything except the orchestral Overture from Tannhauser, the sites I visited required Membership and a commitment to buy more than 30 seconds of good stuff.
Ed gave me links to six sites that sell legal-to-use music, and told me to find what I wanted. Imagine... well, I am picky and I have expensive tastes. If I couldn't have someone famous, I wanted a lot of people, so I hunted for a good, bombastic choir. I'd hoped for massed, warrior-like men in extasy, but settled for kick-butt females going Aaaaaaaahhhhh.
I'd seen Lightboxes in an earlier reconnoitre, but hadn't figured out how to use the site. I learned. I thought I wanted beach and sea and an aurora borealis to play up the cover art, which I assumed we'd be cutting up.
Unfortunately, my From-Here-To-Eternity cover models are in an isoceles triangle configuration, so there was no way to make them roll over (and over again) in the surf.
Using the index and search functions, I wasted a lot of time looking at seascapes, hoping to find ejaculating clams.... or something that could suggest that.
Also, I went through a lot of little campfires (most had unsuitable men in
baseball caps silhouetted against the flames). My romantic aliens do not wear baseball caps or Chicago Bears helmets. Eventually, I decided that it was witty, funny, and appropriate to show a really big fire. If you've read Insufficient Mating Material, you'll understand why.
Then Ed sent me to a NASA site, and I spent a day or two looking at
starfields and comets and planets.
Next, he sent me to the airforce to check out jetfighters, and then to....look at fonts and colors.
And meanwhile I was trawling MySpace trying to find a cheap, naked man.
I found one enjoying a shower (which would have been really good, given one of the archetypically dirty tricks Tarrant-Arragon plays on his sister) but .... it wasn't to be.
Thank Evan I remembered what a good sport Evan Scott is! He said I could use one of his photographs. Oh, but the trouble we had removing Evan's hair, and putting a piratical headsquare on his head. The early efforts looked like a hard, orange hat. No one wears a construction site helmet and nothing else in the sea.
There was another shot we considered... Evan was waist deep in the sea, proudly holding up a manly bathing-costume. We turned the swim suit into a big fish, as if he'd just tickled a sea-going trout and caught it.
However, the fish was a distraction, and would take too many words to explain, even if there IS a school of thought that says you can use fish skin as a condom. SURVIVORMAN (who was my survival techniques consultant for the book) opines that you can't, but that rabbit guts are an option.
Back to Evan's inconvenient hair. You can imagine me googling Pirates of the Caribbean for good-looking headwear. Unfortunately, most of that looked good because of the explosion of dreadlocks and beaded beard underneath the scarf.
And, Djetth should have had a goatee, but Ed draws goatees like a subway grafitti artist putting facial hair on the Mona Lisa (it must be his only weakness), so I googled Men In Goatees. (That was an interesting search!) I also found Max Von Sydow's Ming from Flash Gordon, and Andre Agussi and Brad Pit and chin curtains. Chin Curtains!!
In the end, I decided that Djetth did not need a goatee for the purposes of this trailer.
Then, finally, the video is done, and Ed puts up a really good resolution, and I discover that the hero in the sea has what looks like monster love bites around his visible nipple.
No one seems to mind, though.
"Insufficient Mating Material is a strong, intelligently written book..."
~Marcy Arbitman, JERR
PS. Don't forget to check out the covers of INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL. Find the Hidden Image, enter the contest (at www.rowenacherry.com/hiddenimage/) and you might win a bookstore shopping spree.
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