Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Beautiful Arctic Book Trailer

Illustrator Alice Priestley put together this gorgeous trailer in honor of Out on the Ice in the Middle of the Bay, which we recently reprinted.

Here's what Alice has to say about the process of both illustrating the book and creating the trailer:

One of the most amazing things about creating the illustrations for Out on the Ice in the Middle of the Bay is how colorful they turned out to be. The landscape is made up of ice and snow and two of the main characters are polar bears, so you’d expect to see a lot of white in the images, but the story takes place at the end of the day (“the sun was shining red on the snow...”) and all that white reflects the colors of the sunset.
The changing colors help to convey the moods of the story, too, I think. When the story begins and the mother bear is nursing her cub, the sky is all gold and pink and mauve, but as the suspense builds, the sky deepens to a glowing red, and then finally to cold blues and purples as father and daughter are left alone on the ice.
But despite the drama that unfolds, the story has a gentle tone (it’s a great story for reading aloud—it has the reassuring rhythms of a folk tale), so I wanted the illustrations to reflect that as well. Working in colored pencils with layered colors, I avoided outlines, concentrating on areas of light and shadow to convey the forms of the figures and landscapes in a softer way. And I added an Inuit art inspired frieze across the bottom of each page to give the book a timeless folk tale feel.
It was that frieze that became a jumping off point for creating the book trailer. Giving it movement so it scrolls across the page was an obvious first step, and then that suggested the gentle drift of other elements as well, and a series of “what if” ideas: what if some of the scrolling text goes behind the iceberg; what if the polar bears are actually running?
Music brings a whole other dimension to the trailer, and I chose it carefully. It couldn’t be too bright and sunny or too dark: like the art, it had to work with both the drama of the plot and the gentle tone of the narration. I actually chose the music before I began editing, so the timing of the edits could match the phrasing of the melodies. It was so interesting to see how adding music and movement to the artwork in the trailer helped to convey the atmosphere of the book.

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