Friday, June 19, 2009

I made a video!

WOW! This is really exciting! I made a video and it has Michael Jackson moonwalking, Madonna being slutty, Peter Gabriel as Sledgehammer, and Natalie Cole singing with her dead Father!

Well, not really. The reality is that it's just another book trailer, like hundreds of others out there, and the only exciting thing about it is that I did it myself. When you're as computer-illiterate as I am, just getting the damned thing to start up on any given day is an accomplishment. When you don't know a 'gigabyte' from a cheeseburger, the idea of creating an official U-Tube style video is more than a couple feet off of the radar screen. I found a program called "Windows Movie Maker" on my machine; apparently it's a standard part of Windows XP. I had never noticed it before, but then there are a dozen other programs just like it that I never noticed either. When I opened it, I found that, if you actually follow the instructions, it's a really nifty little program that is NOT all that hard to use, and you don't have to be a seventeen year-old C++code writer from New Dehli to actually get some results. It took the biggest part of a day to manipulate pictures and text into a timeline, and then to adjust them so that there is enough time for a reader to actually read the text before the picture changes.

I spent hours looking for sound effects to match screen actions and finally selected and downloaded just the right ones. What I didn't know was that, without more sophisticated softwear (and a more sophisticated user), I couldn't blend music with sound effects to get that 'REALLY COMPLETE' feeling. In the end, I had to lose the sound effects and go only with the music, which is not bad. The only annoying feature of the resulting 'movie' is that the ending screen remains blue instead of going to black as the program was CLEARLY instructed to do. Oh well, it still came out kinda' cool.

Magnificent Man is a story that takes place in the American southwest against a backdrop of extraordinary scenery and Native American and Mexican peoples. I wanted to share as much of that feeling as I could with anyone who cares to watch my 'Cecil B. De-Mini' epic. Comments are appreciated, even the ones that say, "It really sucks." For now, I'll just sit back quietly and wait for the reviews in Variety, and start drafting my acceptance speech. "I want to thank the members of the Academy, and my parents, and all the little people who made all of this possible." Ciao Baby!


  1. Hi Randall,
    GREAT JOB on the video! I fear I will never be that brave. LOL I'd be sitting here messing with that for the next decade. You did a great job, and I love the music. I write western romances (historical) and contemporary romances with a lot of action in them that take place in either Texas or Oklahoma. All my historicals so far have taken place in Indian Territory (Oklahoma.)Your story sounds really interesting!

  2. That's a truly amazing video. The music fits the book, completely.


  3. A wonderful job Randall! I cannot wait to see what comes next! VON

  4. Those are some gorgeous desert landscapes you've got there. I also loved the music too.

    Good luck with the book.


  5. The music is just right. Great choice. The cover also looks great. Good job.

    Morgan Mandel

  6. Hi Cheryl, Morgan#1, Von, Jacqui, and Morgan#2,

    Thank you all for stopping by and for your kind comments. The choice of music was very difficult. The setting for Magnificent Man is the desert of the American southwest so I wanted something with a Native American flavor, but also with a pulse. I went through hours of flute chant music and hours of 'pulse' music, then I found a performer who combined the two in varying degrees. "In the Time of Helios" seemed the perfect combination and has received many positive comments.


  7. Hi Randall,
    Excellent trailer! I'm going to be starting on my own soon, but I'm finding that picking a place to find the pics is tough. Mind sharing where you fouund yours?
    Thanks Serena

  8. Way to go, Randall. Good job. I totally understand about not being so tech-savvy. Tried my hand once and haven't tried again. GRIN