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The Pickford BrothersJohn and Ste


Making A Trailer

Blog posted by JPickford on Fri, 04 Mar 2011
Subject: Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint


A couple of weeks ago I came up with an idea for trailer to promote our upcoming iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) game Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint. Originally inspired by the wildly successful Dead Island trailer; I thought it would be fun to make a spoof version where our game character (a hand drawn billiard ball) was brought back from the dead in reverse-o-vision. A fake paper iPad would be torn to pieces in reverse revealing culminating in a paper representation of the actual game.

Ste built all the materials (including several spare iPads) and we borrowed a camera from a friend. The whole paper idea worked well as it matches the visual theme we use in-game. The entire game is built to look like a Blueprint in motion and all the user interface elements are made to look like torn strips of paper.

As we put the various elements together we decided to drop (or a least play down) the spoof element. The concept seemed strong enough to stand on its own rather than jumping on someone else's bandwagon. We also ditched the original idea of cutting to a real iPad playing the real game at the end. It seemed more striking having the game played in it's paper version with real hands moving all the elements around. This game the trailer the feel of a teaser although it's actually very authentic.

We filmed all the scenes on Saturday morning in a fairly quick session. I held the camera while Ste and my daughter Melissa did the 'acting'. It was my first time using the camera and it shows with quite a lot of out of focus sequences. Thankfully the 'hand made' theme sort of suited my amateurish camera work.

I edited the trailer using iMovie on the Mac. Again, this was a first attempt and I'm sure it shows. Lacking confidence, I told myself this was just a trial run but it actually came together quite well in just a couple of hours. I transferred a first cut (I know all the lingo) to Ste's PC via dropbox and nervously awaited the verdict. A little while later "brilliant" appeared in my MSN window along with a few suggested tweaks which were quickly implemented. I uploaded the finished video to Youtube and posted the link on Facebook and Twitter.

The reaction to the video has been fantastic so far with dozens of friends and strangers sharing the link on Twitter & Facebook. It hasn't quite gone 'viral' yet but the response has been really encouraging.

If you like the trailer please post it, share it wherever you can. Our marketing budget is basically zero so every link helps.

Click the image or the link below to see the trailer.


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