Here’s the Letters to Leonardo Movie Book Preview for you to enjoy. Just click on this link.


 Here’s how we made it:

Making the Letters to Leonardo Movie Book Preview was literally ‘fun for the whole family’. My eldest son, Sam is the voice of Matt Hudson, and 10yo Nicholas is the musician – who arranged and played all the music.

We learned a lot along the way. These were the steps we followed:

  1. Look at what your story is about. We also thought about who we were making the movie preview for – who was going to watch our preview – who was going to read the book?
  2. Decide how much of the story you are going to tell in your Movie Book Preview. It needs to be just enough to intrigue viewers, but not too much – or people won’t bother reading the book. From an interest point of view, and after viewing previews at http://blazingtrailers.com we decided we didn’t want our Movie Book preview to be any longer than 2 minutes.
  3. Next step was to write the script. You need a script so that your preview works like a story with high points and low points and things to interest people. Having started out my writing life as a playwright, I found that writing the script was lots of fun.
  4. One of the hardest parts was executing the script – bringing it to life – making it happen.
  5. Clip Art and Walker Books provided most of the pics so the visual part wasn’t too hard. We just had to work out the order of things, when to fade in and out – and how to use special effects like sepia tones.
  6. Making the writing ‘crawl’ across the pictures was time consuming but not difficult. It just involved having the same pic and having different slides and on each slide, we added more words. Each slide was saved as a JPEG file and when we put them all together it worked like an animation.
  7. The hardest part of making the movie book preview was doing the sound. Sam was happy to be Matt Hudson and Nicholas was happy to arrange and play all the music. The hard part was getting the recorded sound to a reasonable quality. If you want to avoid using sound engineers or recording studios, it’s best to keep the sound part simple and just use free downloaded music – but we didn’t discover this till too late.
  8. Having chosen to use voiceovers and our own music, we were forced to employ a sound engineer to get reasonable quality sound. (Finding someone with the same last name was pure coincidence.)
  9. Now that we had our script, our pics and our sound recordings, all that remained was to put it all together. We did this using Windows Movie Maker which was very straight forward and involved slotting the right bits into the right places on the timeline.
  10. Next we saved our movie, uploaded it to www.blazingtrailers.com and our work was done.