Many picturebook trailers are little masterpieces. I’ve noticed that what often distinguishes the professional picturebook trailer from the amateur one is sound, including great music and professionally recorded narration by real performers. I find it remarkable that the animation technique can be very naive or simple and the trailer can still be a very beautiful and professional work of art if the sound is to a professional standard. Clean, beautiful, imaginative sound is much more important than the sophistication of the animation technique. The trailer for 13 Words by Lemony Snicket and Maira Kalman is the best demonstration of this that I can think of. The animation is minimal but the sound is incredible and the thing that truly animates this piece of trailer heaven.
Another example of superb sound paired with a beautiful but technically simple animation is Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton.
I was thrilled to discover that I could buy and download the amazing music that Matt Wand created for this trailer.
Here’s my Rascal Media youtube playlist of favourite children’s book trailers. Included are a couple of amateur ones that I thought deserved honorable mention. And here is my vimeo album that includes some trailers of Portuguese publisher Orpheu Negro. I love them all!
When you make a trailer, remember that you must get permission to use music and sounds and credit your sources, unless these come with the animation or video software. This is a matter of respect for the artist, as well as a requirement of copyright law. The term Royalty Free music means you pay an upfront, one-time cost for the use of the music on a specific project.
IF you are looking for music and sound effects for your book trailer, here are some useful websites for free and low-cost downloads.