World of Trouble Blog Tour: Ben Winters Interviews Book Trailer Maker Opie Cooper

World of Trouble Blog Tour: Ben Winters Interviews Book Trailer Maker Opie Cooper

Welcome, fellow fiction readers, I am really happy to have Ben Winters and Opie Cooper here on my blog today. You can check out my reviews for Ben Winters’ The Last Policeman books here. It’s an awesome pre-apocalyptic mystery series, which I really enjoy.

Ben and Opie will be discussing the process of making the book trailer, so you might want to check that out before you get started. Also, I know everyone says this in promotional stuff (though I usually don’t) but this book trailer is really cool. I mean it; I’m usually not impressed by them, but I liked this one.

BW: How hard was it to find someone to play Palace? I kind of purposefully made him a bit unusual of a physical specimen — mustache, very tall and thin, etc. How much did that existing description weigh on you, in making a trailer?

OC: Finding a real-world Hank was the most interesting challenge, really.

As a reader, you get two convergent images when imagining a character’s appearance. The first is the mental picture from the author’s physical description. His hair & eyes, etc. But then you take in their backstory and their personality and those really weigh in and mold your perception.

Hank’s a very young guy who has been through genuinely tragic personal loss and now has thrown himself into a grueling job he’s simply not qualified for in a world that really doesn’t care. Oh, and, by the way… that world is coming to an end. So the task was to find an actor who not only fit the physical description you created but could also instantly make viewers think, even before knowing the plot of the book: “I know this guy’s gotta be young… but he looks like he could be 80! What the hell could age a man like that?”

We’d worked with Atlanta actor Jason Vail before, and knew he could fit the bill. He’s one of those actors who can convey so much emotion with just a look. So we really put a lot on him to telegraph to the viewers “This guy? He’s got a story. He’s got baggage and you’ll want to know why.” Oh, and, luckily, he was thin, tall, and able to grow a mustache very quickly. So… bonus.

BW: I really loved the visual and aural conceit of the thing, having a lot of people taking turns delivering the message, piece by piece. Where did that idea come from?

OC: The “many faces, one message” motif has been done successfully quote a bit in advertising, which is my background. But often it’s done to show a prideful unity regarding helping a cause or sharing in a victory over something… and they feature a very specific group of people: Teens or parents or celebrities, perhaps.

Maia, however, is an imminent threat that literally everyone in the world will be thinking about. It’s an inescapable reality that will have the same effect on everyone, and so the only differences would be how each individual copes. Quirk and our team thought it would be interesting juxtaposition to have every cross-section of the world stating the same cold, scientific facts about Maia’s impact while seeing and feeling each person’s individual emotional responses. That was one of the first take-aways I personally had from your book… how the world chooses to deal with this unifying certainty. It wasn’t a matter of perspective or of opinion. The comet was coming. So… what are you going to do about it?

Then, to show how all this emotion was building in Hank’s mind, we thought it would be cool to show how he tries to break away from the panic and focus on his job, but as the reality drew closer, it became harder for him to separate the two.

Sure, that all sounds pretty deep… but the hardboiled, pulp-noir feeling was what all of us involved in the trailer loved about the book and made us want to help draw others in. So… I guess the short answer is, what inspired the visual? You did, man.

BW: You’ve done a lot of different things in film. How are the imperatives of a book trailer different than those of, say, a short film? Or an advertisement? It’s a pretty new medium, I guess, “book trailer” — what do you think makes for a good one?

OC: Well, “a lot” may be kinda generous, but I have happily played in the production world for some time now and been luckily enough to be mentored by some talented people. In fact, true story, a gentleman by the name of Stratton Leopold consulted on the production of your trailer, helping us get so much done under the time and budget restraints we faced.


The Blog Tour page with links galore

Ben H. Winters’ website

Learn about the Preorder Campaign

Goodreads: The Last Policeman/Countdown City/World of Trouble

Thanks to the wonderful people at Quirk Books (seriously, they’re awesome), I can offer copies of the first two books to one of my readers. I like to make giveaways simple, so why not enter?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

One response to “World of Trouble Blog Tour: Ben Winters Interviews Book Trailer Maker Opie Cooper”

  1. Bonnie says:

    That is an extremely neat book trailer. I’ve always wondered about the process/time put into these so that’s super interesting. Love this book series though. I feel it’s seriously underrated especially given all the love for apocalyptic fiction these days.
    Bonnie recently posted…Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – All Four Stars by Tara DairmanMy Profile

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