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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Video Sunday: Dragons and Dragon Teeth

We begin this week with something extraordinary.  A book trailer that looks like a movie trailer (no real surprises there) but that includes so many specific details to its book that you’re half inclined to think that the movie version already exists.  Super 8‘s actor Joel Courtney stars in trailer for The Dragon’s Tooth by ND Wilson.  What’s funny about it is that its locations are eerily perfect, the scenes amazing, and yet it has one aspect that makes me sad.  You see, the hero of this book and his sister are dark skinned.  Yet here you can see that they’re pretty darn white.  To be fair this is entirely due to the fact that Mr. Courtney is friends with Mr. Wilson’s kids and that’s how he got the part.  Still . . . sigh.  Ditto the fact that an elderly woman from the book now appears to be 45.  Perhaps elderly actresses are difficult to find sometimes?  But aside from all that this is a remarkable piece of work.  Maybe the best movie-like book trailer I’ve ever seen.  Little wonder since it was directed by the author himself!  If that whole writing books thing doesn’t work out, I can see a second career ready and waiting. Thanks to Heather Wilson for the link.

Along similar lines is this trailer for Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  When you’ve been following an author since day one, there’s an instinct to claim them.  I loved Ms. Taylor when she wrote her Faeries of Dreamdark books back in the day.  Now she’s hugely popular and I feel very possessive of her.  With a whopping 50,000+ views (holy moses!) this next video is not as sophisticated as Wilson’s, but it has its own ineffable charm, no?

A very different kind of book trailer involves the recent winner of The Society of Illustrator’s Original Art gold medal.  I daresay that this is the first time in my own recollection that a nonfiction title has won the award (and from National Geographic at that!).  And I can think of no better way to see the art than this little video right here:

Gorgeous. Thanks to Jules Danielson for the link!

If I hadn’t begun with all those book trailers I probably would have begun with this glimpse of the staged production of How to Train Your Dragon in Australia.  Because when it comes to stage puppetry, you ain’t never NEVER seen nuthin’ like this:

That dragon?  One of twenty-four in the show.

This next picture book video comes out of Fablevision, the Peter H. Reynolds studio, for his book I’m Here. In his latest book Reynolds features a child on the autism spectrum.  An incredibly difficult subject for any author to tackle, here is the result:

Thanks to Watch. Connect. Read. for the link.

And over in England The Guardian is the paper that pays a wonderful amount of attention to children’s literature.  At the moment they’ve been convincing authors to record videos encouraging kids to partake of their Young Critics competition.  And to my infinite surprise and delight they got Frances Hardinge to talk about her book Fly Trap (called Twilight Robbery over there).  Ms. Hardinge isn’t a hermit but she doesn’t pop up online all that often.  And since she is one of my heroes (I adore everything she does) I am just thrilled to pieces to display this video of her talking about that magnificent book.

Okay.  That’s enough delights for one day, I think.  Let’s end it all with an off-topic bit of stop animation.  Somebody took the old 1,2,3,4,5 pinball short from Sesame Street and made it three-dimensional.  Did you know that the original was sung by The Pointer Sisters?  Truth is stranger than fiction it seems.  Enjoy.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. JMyersbook says

    My word! That is one FANTASTIC dragon! The eyes, the size, the little gulpy grunts he makes after spewing fire — top drawer, all the way!

  2. Thx for the plug! I’m really grateful to Random House for gambling on me to do the trailer, and I had a great deal of (obsessive about details) fun making it. But you’ve touched upon my one point of sadness…I lost my ‘old lady’ actress at the last minute, and failed not only to come up with a young ethnic cast, but had little hope of landing a workable young cast at all. Joel Courtney was a hero (doing me a real soild as Cyrus), but in the end I just forced a dark wig on my very blond cousin (and next-door neighbor) and made her play his sis, Antigone. They were both terrific–especially since they were only paid in advance copies). But still…what might have been, eh?

    The real upside of all of this: now I have a groovy neon sign in my office and a dragon’s tooth on my keyring. Cheers!

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Aww. See now I feel bad. You lost your old lady? That’s no good. I love that you take the attention to detail to heart, though. Compared to the slapdash trailers I’ve seen (especially the ones with a movie-like flair) this is exceptional. I’m sure the film rights have long since been sold, but in case they haven’t this would go a long way in persuading a savvy producer, no?

  3. Jeanne Birdsall says

    Yo Nate — thanks for pushing the book trailer ante way up into the stratosphere. I’d be really annoyed if I didn’t love the book so much.

  4. Ha! Jeanne, I gotta work hard if I’m gonna get any Penderwicks to crush on Cyrus…
    (Hope we get to rally soon!)

    As for producers (savvy and otherwise), quite a number are circling the life-raft. But here’s hoping one brings along that elusive talisman, the studio greenlight.

  5. Jeanne Birdsall says

    Nate — You forget how slowly I write. Plenty of time for Penderwicks to crush on Cyrus and all sorts of other Wilson characters. (Hi Betsy — apologies for hijacking your blog. Hugs to Baby Bird)

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Jeanne, you can take any post I write ever and run with it. Free of charge.

      Nate, a studio would be foolish to the extreme not to snap this book up. May the most likely to produce it win!

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