Filmworkers director Matt Egan creates a trailer worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster for Derek Haas’ new novel “The Right Hand”
Derek Haas has seen a lot of slickly-produced trailers full of pyrotechnics, special effects, and sexy women. They are often part of the marketing campaigns for the films whose screenplays he’s written, films that include 3:10 to Yuma and Wanted. But it’s unusual for one of his spy novels to get the Hollywood treatment.
Yet, a trailer for The Right Hand, Haas’ new book due out in November, looks very much like a preview for a summer blockbuster. A silhouetted figure in a perfectly tailored suit appears in an ominous, nighttime setting. There are guns, bomb blasts, roaring motorcycles and a naked woman with a Medusa’s crown of snakes. Dynamic images flood the screen at heart-pounding speed. A sonorous voice-over refers to “covert operations outside the boundaries of reality.”
This dazzling trailer was produced by Chicago-based Filmworkers. Matt Egan, director of the company’s in-house production unit, concepted, directed and edited the trailer. Additional post-production support (color grading, editorial finishing and other services) was completed by Filmworkers and 3-D animation was supplied by its affiliate, the production studio Vitamin. Egan shot the live action elements on a special effects stage at Resolution Digital Studios.
“The book is very cinematic—it reads like a James Bond or Bourne novel—and we felt it could benefit from a trailer with the emotional intensity of trailers for that type of movie,” Egan explains. “I use a lot of visual metaphors to represent the complexity and suspense of the novel, such as graphical mazes for the plot twists and turns, and the Medusa character who represents a sense of foreboding and parallels the book’s female lead, who is both attractive and dangerous.”
Haas, for one, is impressed with the results. “It’s the best book trailer I’ve ever seen,” he said. “And the response is overwhelming. Entertainment Weekly launched it on their website and everyone is ecstatic. It’s certainly going to drive sales.”
Cost is one reason that trailers are a relative rarity in book publishing, but Filmworkers is hoping to change that. As a boutique option with a huge pool of talent and resources at its disposal, Filmworkers provides soup-to-nuts creative and production services and does so far more efficiently than is possible through traditional production channels.
“Filmworkers can develop, write, design and execute media using in-house resources alone,” explains Bill Ryan, co-founder (with Filmworkers president Reid Brody) of the independent film production company 2DS. Ryan introduced Haas to Filmworkers. “In today’s media landscape, it is possible to promote a book the same way that you promote a movie, so I think there is a lot of potential for the new model Filmworkers has created.”
Filmworkers is located at 232 E. Ohio St. Penthouse, Chicago, IL 60611. For more information, call (312) 664-9333 or visit www.filmworkers.com.
Matt Egan, director, editor
Lisa Long, executive producer
Frank Donnangelo, director of photography
Michael Siegel, 3D animation (Vitamin)
Linas Jodwalis, 3D animation (Vitamin)
Justin Winkler, VFX/Flame artist
Matt Darnell, AfterEffcts Composting
Nathaniel Costa, AfterEffcts Composting
Derek de Board, Line Producer
Fred Keller, Colorist
Kristin LeClair, Make-Up
Clark Lichty, Actor
Erin Timm, Actress