Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl
The trailer for Carolita Blythe’s young adult novel Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl feels a bit different than the book trailers we usually see. It’s almost like the preview to a movie. It turns out this is exactly what the author was going for, as she tells us in her own words (including a reference to Aliens 3!).
The trailer for Revenge of A Not-So-Pretty Girl only takes into account the first couple of chapters of the novel. I did this in part because I didn’t want to get too much in the way of the reader’s imagination of how people and places looked. This meant keeping location to a minimum. It also meant casting actors who closely fit the physical description of the characters in the book.
Also, I am a movie junkie. If I get to the theater too late and miss the trailers, I’m out of sorts. A well made, suspenseful trailer that teases me just enough will make me want to see that movie. On the other hand, I’ve seen trailers that were so long and gave away so much of the movie’s plot, I didn’t think I needed to see the actual movie. Taking that into account, I thought of some of my favorite trailers and the one that really stood out for me was the one for Aliens 3 several years ago. There was a very abbreviated version with Sigourney Weaver’s character Ripley breathing heavily and cowering in fear in the right corner of the screen. The entire left side of the screen was empty. A few seconds later, the giant head of the alien pops in, filling that left side. Suddenly, it’s mouth opens and a second set of nasty gory teeth shoots out, stopping a centimeter from Ripley’s face. Then came the tagline, “The Bitch is Back.” I nearly wet my pants because it was so good. Though my novel deals with a young girl’s attempt at turning her life around despite all the cards stacked against her, and not at all with trying to annihilate gory space beasts, I kept that Aliens 3 trailer in mind because I wanted this to look like a movie trailer and I wanted it to end with an air of suspense—with the audience going along on that emotional ride with Faye and wondering, Will that doorknob turn and that door open, and if it does, what will Faye find on the other side?
The novel starts off very gritty, with seemingly innocent young girls doing bad things. I wanted to make sure that came across, and Random House gave me leeway on whatever I wanted to shoot.
We had a small six-person crew that consisted of professional film people and friends, who came out and did anything we asked of them. And I have to acknowledge three people who put a lot of time and energy into the project, and who were a great help creatively. Johnny Simmons, an Emmy-nominated cinematographer shot the piece, Edgar Davis, who is a fabulous editor, cut it together, and producer Kingsley Gardner supplied the original music.
The novel received a starred Kirkus review, calling it “A compelling and believable journey,” and was just published this week by Random House’s Delacorte.
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