Quirk Books Film Festival
Summer blockbuster season is in full swing with great movies like Avengers: Infinity War, Incredibles 2 and Ocean's 8. But, maybe you are looking for something that isn’t so sequel heavy. Perhaps you are looking for something a little more bookish and shorter in length.
Welcome to the Quirk Books Film Festival, where we highlight five of our favorite book trailers from the past ten years. Quirk pioneered the Hollywood-style book trailer, pushing them beyond a simple ad for the book by making them compelling standalone pieces that tell a story. And, these trailers are sure to delight and surprise with their CGI effects, intense action sequences, suspenseful build-ups and pop-culture touch points.
Break out your popcorn and happy viewing!
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
Author: Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters
Director: Ransom Riggs
Following the phenomenal success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the Quirk team was looking for a fun and innovative way to announce the next Quirk Classic literary monster mash-up. We were working on The Sherlock Holmes Handbook with Ransom Riggs—who we also knew to be a filmmaker. Years before he wrote Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs gathered his friends and spent a few days near the lake filming this visual masterpiece that far exceeded our expectations. This spectacular trailer debuted on Entertainment Weekly’s website and would go on to win Amazon’s Best Book Video of 2009. In the process, this "book video" redefined the genre by utilizing Hollywood-style filmmaking and special effects to promote a book.
Fan Reaction: “What a wonderful sendup of Jane Austen and the horror movie genre. The quaint old-fashioned look and slightly stilted acting reminded me of old 50s movies. I especially like Marianne's shrill denunciation of Willoughby's seduction techniques…” @QueenBoadicea
Binge More: The Meowmorphosis
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars
Author: Ian Doescher
Director: Zach Prichard
In 2012, we were approached by Ian Doescher with a simple yet brilliant premise: What if Star Wars: A New Hope was written by William Shakespeare? We loved it. LucasFilm loved it. And, so we returned once more to a galaxy far, far away with this retelling. Written in iambic pentameter, the book reads like a play—making it a natural fit for a book trailer. It’s the saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age—all portrayed in Elizabethan costumes and with just the right amount of lens flare.
Fan Reaction: "This is the book I've been looking for – BRILLIANT!!! :)” @LucasKussowski
Binge More: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: The Empire Striketh Back
Author: Ashley Poston
Director: Kathryn Lahr
Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale. This book trailer shows the parallels between Geekerella and Cinderella while laying the pop-culture foundation that the book is built on. Amongst the Starfield merch around Elle’s bedroom, you’ll see a Magic Pumpkin hat, glass slippers, a lengthy list of chores and anonymous texts between our two main characters. And, don’t miss the cameo by Christine of polandbananasBooks.
Fan Reaction: "One of the cutest book trailers I've ever seen. Love it!” @RhiannaWalker
Binge More: The Geek Girl’s Litany
Author: Kevin David Anderson & Sam Stall
Director: Justin Lutsky
The book follows a rag-tag group of Trekkies attending the fifth annual GulfCon dressed in homemade uniforms and armed with prop phasers. They soon find themselves defending their hotel and the convention against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Naturally, this book trailer aims to boldly go where no science-fiction mash-up had gone before. While the plot isn't completely true to the book, the trailer is packed with gags referencing Star Trek, Star Wars, comic books and fan conventions. Set your prop phaser to stun and stick around through the end-credits.
Fan Reaction: "Just bought this book 2 days ago. LOVIN' IT so far! Trailer does it total justice.” @PaulDKeiser
Binge More: Horrorstor
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Director: Ransom Riggs
Before Tim Burton had even heard of Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children, Ransom Riggs was traveling the world to create the book trailer for his debut novel. He flew to Belgium to shoot in several creepy old houses and worked with partners to shoot scenes in Los Angeles. It’s an interesting thing when the author creates the book trailer because you get to see how he visualized the details when crafting the narrative. It’s also fun to see the vintage photos from the book included in the trailer. Ransom also created a behind-the-scenes video detailing the creation of this book trailer—which may be the first documentary about making a book trailer.
Fan Reaction: "Wow, an incredible book with an incredible book trailer…I'm seriously impressed.” @MioieKwok
Binge More: Hollow City
To see all of our book trailers, author interviews and other fun videos, subscribe to the Quirk Books YouTube channel.