“On December 21, 2012, Baloga fulfilled his lifelong dream of writing, designing, and publishing his first book, “Wake the Wicked: Thirteen Twisted Tales,” edited by Michael Garrett, editor for the most successful writers of our time: Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Matheson…” from http://www.cbaloga.com/
While hunting for great book trailers, this one really caught my eye. The title alone sparked instant adoration. Thirteen is my favorite number. I love twisted things, and tales even more so. Perhaps it is a no-brainier title for a single author collection, but the hammer ‘Wake the Wicked’ I liked even more. So, of course I checked out the trailer and was impressed.
I made it through of course, then watched it again. That is a litmus test to me right there. Too many trailers I turn off at fifteen seconds. If I liked the title I might scan through a terrible trailer to the last frames for the newsy information.
Wanting to share a bit of the process with horror fans, I contacted author Christian Baloga who was happy to discuss why he made it, and how it came about. Shot by Baloga himself at nearby locations, the trailer speaks to his passions and diverse résumé .
“I filmed, edited the video, did the special effects makeup, and wrote the script/storyboard,” he said when asked about the nuts and bolts of the project.
A man walks alone in the forest, and encounters a strange looking vagrant. Confusion ensues: is he being threatened? Is this imagination? Are they one in the same? The music swells with a swirling cut to a darkened room where the vagrant now leers toward the camera. Filthy, menacing… yet curiously familiar. See why I like it? Simple. Odd. Lovely.
“From concept to publication it took about two months to complete… I began writing a script for the trailer while my editor corrected my manuscript. Wake the Wicked includes thirteen stories, but I decided against trying to capture each of them. Instead, I took one of my favorite characters from one story and went crazy with ideas.”
Filming took place in rural Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania—in the backyard of the house he grew up in—and on-set in an ordinary bedroom.”
He used tools available to many, filming on a Nikon D3100 and edited using Adobe products. It seems this is a popular combination for feature filmmakers and bloggers alike.
Talent and skill are needed but then there is talent… “There was one actor, Harley Kupstas, who played both roles in the film: the creepy bald guy we call the vagrant, and the running man,” he said, though I had no clue the actors were one in the same.
Why a trailer? He wanted to reach a broader audience. “I think most people who are interested in books are also interested in film and music, and Wake the Wicked was influenced by a compilation of these very things. It was also the perfect opportunity to give the viewer a taste of the freakish nature portrayed within the thirteen stories without use of the written word, which, in this case, would only rob the intended mood—not enhance it.”
Though, like many horror readers and writers, he has watched many book trailers he was mainly influenced “by the dark and decadent imagery of Marilyn Manson’s music videos.”
“As for the current state of fiction trailers,” Baloga said, “if the trailer is true to the book, it’s golden! Just like not every book is for every reader, neither is every book trailer. Stay true to your book. Gut it, play around with its insides, and create something that speaks to your intended audience.”
One bit of advice he imparts to others planning to make a trailer of their own (or for someone else) may be that he, “experimented with various concepts and shot much more than I needed to, on purpose. It gave me a lot to work with and during the editing phase things fell into place much better than I’d expected.”
I asked if the trailer was available anywhere else, and at this time it remains exclusive to YouTube. Authors, filmmakers and publishers note that well done book trailers are spreading and popping up as horror trailers and at film festivals.
Will I buy the book? Yes. I had not heard of this title before viewing the trailer and it piqued my interest enough to research the author. Wake the Wicked: Thirteen Twisted Tales is available on Kindle. Baloga said we can expect a paperback of Wake the Wicked: Thirteen Twisted Tales sometime near Halloween 2013.
This trailer works for me because it is short, has fine sound quality and production. It gives nothing away yet is eye catching without being absurdly abstract. While not scary, it has unsettling moments so I look forward to being unsettled when I read the book ~