Monday, May 17, 2010

Behind The Scenes - Passing Whispers

The past few months have been so exciting. In December I signed my first book contract with Devine Destinies. 'Passing Whispers' is a paranormal romance depicting the love between the two main characters, Kate and Endel Sorra. When Detective Sorra is killed in a convenience store robbery, the lives of his loved ones are shattered. One year later, his wife Kate is still consumed with bitterness and grief. Deciding to give away all the precious Christmas decorations they have collected over the years, Kate comes across the Snow Globe her husband had given to her the first year they were married. Endel stops her from smashing it against the wall and finds a way to come back to her. Over a two week period, he helps her to discover the truth about his death and other misconceptions that are ruining her life. Although it's breaking his heart, Endel nudges Kate into the loving arms of another man. He knows he can't stay and he wants to make sure Kate will be able to go on with her life without him.

There are a few tear-jerking moments, but there are also many light-hearted and humorous ones, as well. The Readers get to know Brian Morris, the co-worker Endel believes will make Kate a good husband someday. The Morris Family are wealthy socialites keeping many secrets.

In an attempt to publicize the novel, I decided to produce my own Book Trailer. Having absolutely no experience has never stopped me from doing anything before. I have always been detailed oriented and spent months preparing for the photo shoot. I wanted the trailer to bring my novel to life and give the viewer a glimpse of what was waiting for them if they purchased the book.

I was on a tight budget. I knew my daughter Christina would be perfect to play the part of Kate Sorra. She had an ex-boyfriend who was willing to play the part of Endel. An old friend of mine had a son who is an aspiring model. He enthusiastically agreed to play the part of Brian Morris. Another friend suggested a photographer who was willing to do the shoot for a simple credit at the end of the trailer. After quite a bit of scrambling, we put a wardrobe together and gathered all the needed props. I was able to talk a few local businesses into letting us use their properties as locations. To my delight, my son Joe, and daughter Lisa, offered to help as well.

We were forced to post-pone the original shooting day due to heavy snow. The new date was yesterday. It was a perfect day and it went off without a hitch. Well, maybe a few hitches, but not many. Although I had never met Len Romano (the photographer) and Walt Kohn (the man playing Brian Morris) before long, it felt as though I had known them forever.
Throughout the story, Endel Sorra is wearing the same outfit he was killed in. Black slacks, shoes, white dress shirt and leather coat. He was wearing the red tie Kate had given to him as a gift, loosely tied around his neck (she always though he looked so handsome that way).When Mike Eckman walked out of the bedroom dressed in the outfit I had described in the novel, I couldn't believe it. It was as though Endel Sorra had just walked out of the book itself. He was perfect!

My daughter Christina is beautiful, but I never realized what a wonderful and talented actress she was as well. Mike told me that he had no acting experience except for a small part in his fifth grade play at school. Maybe it was left-over chemistry from their prior romantic relationship... whatever it was... it was powerful. Their chemistry was more than I could have hoped for.

The first location was in the basement of my own condo. These shots would depict Kate as she sorted through her old Christmas decorations. She comes across the Snow Globe and is overcome, once again, with the agony of losing her husband. Before she can smash the globe against the wall, Endel finds a way to come back to her. They are over-joyed to be in each other's arms once again. The lighting in the basement was minimal, at best. We had to take many different shots using different timing speeds and degrees of flash to capture just the right one. We hid a flashlight at the bottom of the box where the snow globe was stored, so that it would look... magical... when she opened it. Hopefully, Len was able to get it. He worked so hard. He'll send me the pics this week and we'll choose our favorites. Once Len edits them, they'll go to the videographer (Mike Lizzio) who will put them altogether into a book trailer.

In the novel, the music box inside the snow globe plays 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' when the key is turned, and that song was also playing when Endel was shot. I decided to use that melody as the back ground music on the book trailer. I was able to locate the owner and lease the right to use it for three years. I found a gifted fifteen-year-old sax player and his mother Stacey, who is a talented pianist to record the music. Incredibly, Dustyn DeBernardo had been practicing that song for years. He had written his own rendition for his grandmother, who recently passed away. When I told them what song I wanted them to record, they were speechless. That melody meant more to them than anyone I could have hired. It was fate and luck that I found them.
Next, we drove to a vacant house to take shots of Kate and Endel decorating their house in Christmas's past. A local park was used to depict the couple enjoying time together. Very romantic.
After lunch, we headed to the sample condos of a near-by contractor. I wanted to use a sample home as they are typically vacant, clean, beautifully decorated, well-lighted, and spacious. There we shot pics of the couple on previous anniversaries and the last day of Endel's life. Many pics were taken of Kate to show how devastated she was after her husband's death. It was so sad!

Next, we visited Costantino's Funeral Home. Vic allowed us to film Kate grieving over Endel's flag-draped casket, holding a rose. She had laid her head on it, and was grabbing onto as much of the casket as she could. Very moving scene.

My daughter Lisa and I had found a tombstone in a local cemetery which, cropped just the right way, would appear to be Endel's. There were shots of Kate visiting him numerous times. The final, and most dramatic shot was of Brian Morris as he held Kate at Endel's grave. Unbenownst to them, Endel is standing in the back ground watching them. He wants Kate to go on... but it's breaking his heart to see her with another man. WOW.

While we were at the park and the sample home, we also took some shots depicting Kate as she begins a new relationship with Brian Morris. 

The kids really did bring my novel to life. The shoot was great fun. I'll never forget it. I can't wait until the trailer is finished so I can post it.

Just a peek... Shhh! I'm not supposed to post these yet!


Angela Kay Austin said...

Many years ago I actually went to school to learn how to do this. I ca't believe the amount of effort you put into it. I have yet to tackle making a trailer of my own, one reason being that I did't want to use the same stock photos I see in everybody else's trailers.

I can't wait to see this one. It sounds like it will be beautiful!


ιŸ‹δΊŽε€«ζˆ said...

keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice and relax day! ..................................................