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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Behind the Scenes at a Book Trailer Shoot


A still shot of Marc Hunter (Chris) taking Sophie Alton (Libby) hostage. That ain't no toy gun. (Photos by Mike Hupfer of Millennium Media, www.mlln.net.)

Want to know how to find out who your real friends are?

Say, "I need to make a book trailer to promote my next novel, but I have no idea how to do it. I don't have a camera, or models or a location. I don't have the computer programs or stock photos or a sound studio. Can you all help me with this? Oh, by the way, I can't pay anyone."

Then you see who steps forward.

So here's a huge shout out for: LibBAY and Chris and Gary Lennox of Dog House Music, and Olivia and the County Sheriff and the Boulder County jail captain and especially to Mike Hupfer of Millennium Media, who's a professional Hollywood sound guy who is handling the techno end of things. Thanks, too, to Dede and Wayne of The Rosary Project for conneting me with Mike.

For months, I've been wanting to get this together, and it hasn't been easy, largely because I have no clue what I'm doing and have no equipment to work with and no spare cash to pay a company to do it for me. Did I let this stop me? No! Because I know how to beg.

I begged my friends Dede and Wayne, who have a video production company with Mike, to help me get this shot. They couldn't be there personally, but they did connect me with Mike.

I begged Gary Lennox, who owns The Dog House, a rehearsal hall for rock bands, to let us use one of his studios to shoot.

But at the last minute I was still hunkless. Who was going to play Marc? That's where Olivia stepped in, offering up Chris, a decorated veteran from Iraq. He earned a Bronze Star as a platoon leader working in an area north of Baghdad for a year. The moment I heard he'd earned a Bronze Star, I felt it was a Good Omen, because, as a few of you FOPs know, Marc Hunter earned a Bronze Star, as well. (He earned his sniping in Afghanistan.)

Chris didn't know me from a hole in the ground, but called up and said he'd heard I needed help. "Um, yes," said I. "I need a sexy guy who will let me put him in handcuffs and display his biceps. Also, I need him to hold a gun to my friend's head."

It's a very strange request to make of someone, no?

Chris said he'd be happy to do it and he said he'd bring his real 9 mm semi-auto for the shoot so that we wouldn't have to use this toy Glock my son owns.

And then there was just the matter of finding Sophie...

I called LibBAY and said, "Do you think you'd have time to be in the video shoot for my book trailer tomorrow? We're not shooting faces, just torsos. [Libby has a very nice torso.] And then you can just stand there while a total stranger holds a gun to your throat."

All Libby wanted to know was: Will the gun be loaded? She felt that getting her head shot off was further than she wanted to go for the sake of friendship. She was willing to iron and dress up, but getting shot was just too much.

Friday morning comes, and I get a call from Libby saying she'll be late because she set her shirt on fire with the iron. I will leave it to Libby to tell that story on her blog. She showed up pretty much right on time with a new shirt she'd bought off the racks at K-Mart down the street from my house. Then we set off for The Dog House.

Gary arrives, lets us in, gives us his big concert hall, Studio A. Chris drives up, and I immediately think, "Yum." You know how some guys just exude sex appeal? That's Chris. Chris and Libby get acquainted, while Gary and I talk about things we might need. I've brought a bag of props: a jail uniform that was loaned to me by the County Sheriff and the County jail captain, my own police-issue handcuffs and several shims.


Here, Chris demonstrates how stylish a jail uniform is if accessorized properly. Notice the designer bracelets.

Olivia arrives with her daughter Molly to watch the fun, while I show Chris kinda how to use the shim to break out of the cuffs. Then Mike arrives, sets up a zillion lights, chats with Gary about using studio lighting, and we're off. Chris changes into his jailbird outfit (not in front of us, sadly) and we start with standing shots.

The last sequence of shots Mike shoots standing are the ones with Libby as Sophie with a gun to her throat. Libs kicks off her heels, goes up onstage, lets "Marc Hunter" grab her in a vicious hold and press a real 9 mm against her throat. Now is that friendship or what?

The most hysterical moment came when Chris said, "Is this uncomfortable? Oh, by the way, nice to meet you." We all laughed our butts off. Then, later, we agreed that that's what it must be like on the set of porn film. People must say exactly that.

The last sequences Mike shot involved Chris sitting and picking his way out of the cuffs. Because the shim that was most photogenic actually didn't work for picking cuffs, I stood nearby with the key and unlocked each wrist as the shoot progressed.

And that was that. Mike packed up, took a zillion hi-res photos back to his studio, and Libby, Chris and I went to lunch.

Mike and I are going to be getting together soon to edit the images, add sound and other fun stuff. Well, actually, he'll be doing the editing. I'll be watching and helping to shape it into what I want it to be. And, yes, when it's done it will be posted here for you to see. But these photos are a couple of the still shot taken that morning.

I'm so grateful to everyone who helped out. And I can't wait to see the finished product.

In the end it was a great day. I got to say, "I spent the day cuffing and uncuffing a sexy man."

Oh, the things we do for art!

9 comments:

Ronlyn said...

COOL!!!
I was wondering what you've been up too this weekend. Very fun.

*pause*

Sammy says hi Aunty Pammy & wonders if she'll come visit and take him so he can ride rides at the mall again...while he asks for a drink. *G*

I can't wait to see more. YAY!

I'm giggling my rear off about Libby setting her shirt on fire with the iron. I thought i was the only one who does stuff like that with the laundry. *G*

Cheryle said...

Wow that is so cool! Libby is great to do that to, that is definately friendship! I so can not wait to see the finished product. The stills are wonderful!

JennJ said...

The shoot looks awesome and can't wait to see the finished trailer how exciting.

Aimee said...

You couldn't have waited one more month till I was there?! Don't you know I would have loved to be held in a choke-hold with a gun to my head by a sexy military man?!
Hmph.

I love that first pic, and I can't wait to see the finished product :)

Hi, Ronlyn,

Yep, this is what I've been up to. Well, today I've been writing, sort of...

Tell Sammy dear hi! I hope to see him one of these days again, and I will personally by him the beverage of his choice. ;-)

Hi, Cheryle. Thanks! Yes, doesn't Libby rock?

Hi, Jenn, I can't wait to see it either. I want to have it up as soon as possible, but I don't know what Mike's schedule is like.

Sorry, Aims! I needed to get it done. I didn't even get to experience the joy of the choke-hold myself. Alas! And, you know, the last guy to hold a gun on me was a one-man freak show, so if anyone deserves to be held at gunpoint by a hunk, it's me, don't you think?

I think we can all agree that there's nothing like an alpha male with a big gun. ;-)

Ana said...

That was the most fun post I've read on any blog in a while. I could just picture it and can't wait to see the trailer. Sounds like you all had a very good day together. I'm glad everything came together so well.

Debbie H said...

I can't wait to see the finished product! Sexy man in handcuffs, a dream come true! LOL

What a great story and what great friends you have!! I can hardly wait myself to see the finished product. You will let us know when it's done I hope.

Hey, Ana! It rocks to see you here! I'm glad you enjoyed the behind-the-scenes reportage. It was lots of fun to shoot the trailer, and I can't wait to see the final product.

Debbie, I agree! A strong man in cuffs. And poor Chris — barefoot like inmates often are, cuffed, dressed in a prison outfit and in a room with four women who are staring at him. It takes a strong man to get through that for sure. Then again, he survived Iraq. (And has some tales to tell.)

Kristie — Absolutely, you'll know when it's done. I'll post it here first and on YouTube, which I don't seem to be able to use these days. I need to update my browser and my hard drive, I think. Hope all is well with you!

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