Paul Genesse, fantasy author and South Jordan resident, recently had the opportunity to turn one of his novels, “The Golden Cord,” into a book trailer. However, this book trailer isn’t like most, which are composed of just still images and blank text. With the help of the company Cinema Book Trailers, Genesse turned his novel into a live action, cinematic experience.
Genesse has been writing since 1999. He has published three novels in his Iron Dragon Series and plans to publish two more before the end of the year. He also writes short stories and articles, edits fantasy anthologies, teaches at writing conventions and interviews celebrities at events.
“When I was a little kid, my mom used to read to me a lot. Apparently, I was 4 years old when I told her that I was going to be a writer, and I’m sure she shuddered a little bit in horror there—but she encouraged me,” Genesse said.
“The Golden Cord” is the first novel in the Iron Dragon Series. A few years ago, director Brandon Wade Ho, producer Spencer Scanlon and special effects artist Corey Roberson approached Genesse at a writing convention. They showed him the trailer they made for James Dashner’s novel “The Maze Runner,” and Genesse was impressed.
“They made this amazing trailer for him . . . They made it just for fun, and it’s incredible. It has like 185,000 views on YouTube,” Genesse said. “They decided that they wanted to make a book trailer for me at no cost because they wanted to build up their film reel.”
However, Genesse was a little wary at first because of the negative stigma surrounding book trailers.
“Most of the time book trailers just mix still images, text on the screen and canned music from a website. They’re usually very kind of boring and not very well done. So, overall, book trailers have this really bad rap in the publishing industry because there’s just so many bad ones,” Genesse said.
Luckily, Ho, Scanlon and Roberson were persistent. They continued to meet with Genesse for about six months before he agreed to the project. It took about a year to write the screenplay and figure out other details of production, like costumes and casting.
They filmed the trailer over about 29 hours this past May. After filming, it took about four months to finish the visual effects and sound. It has 13 scenes, which is unique for a book trailer.
“It’s really an ambitious project . . . The idea is to get attention for the book and increase sales, and that has happened. I haven’t done a detailed study of the numbers, but there was a big spike in sales after the book trailer,” Genesse said.
The trailer was officially released in mid-January and can be viewed on YouTube. Genesse’s book trailer has been shown to movie producers, and he believes that there is a possibility that it could be made into a movie.
“Seeing a live action, cinematic portrayal of my series on screen was just an awesome experience. I got to be involved in the creative process the whole way. I just loved it. I’m excited that people get to see this,” he said. “If it gets made into a movie, I’ll just be amazed.”