Books, movies, videos, oh my!

March 21, 2012, by

In the age of YouTube and other video hosting sites, it’s easier than ever to watch movie previews. These previews give you a feel for the film, its cinematography, its characters, and its plot. This idea of video based previews is now seeping into the literary world.

Gary Shteyngart, who is appearing as part of the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series on March 26th with Orange Prize winner Téa Obreht, has some of the funniest book promo videos around for his novel Super Sad True Love Story. We had to share them.

This video has James Franco in it, who was a student of Gary’s at Columbia.  Other literary notables featured are Mary Gaitskill, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Jay McInerney. It doesn’t tell you what the book is about, but definitely gives you a glimpse into Shteyngart’s wacky sense of humor. Click here to watch the Super Sad True Love Story promo video. Another memorable video, entitled Super Sad True Book Club, features Paul Giamatti and Gary Shteyngart. It promotes the paperback release of the book and has the two crazy roommates going to Brooklyn Heights for a book club meeting. Click here to watch the Super Sad True Book Club video.

Speaking of actor/writer/(I could go on about all the possible ways to define him) James Franco, he had been admitted to the doctoral program at the UH Creative Writing Program for Fall 2011 and had deferred for a year. But earlier this week stories came out confirming that he will not attend. See the full story on Houston Chronicle Book Editor Maggie Galehouse’s Bookish blog.

But don’t fret Houston, the UH Creative Writing Program students and faculty are still creating hot news to make us proud.  Faculty member Nick Flynn’s memoir Another Bullsh*t Night in Suck City has been made into a film starring Robert DeNiro, Paul Dano, Julianne Moore, and others. The memoir is poignant, captivating, honest, gritty, and exceptionally written. The film Being Flynn is an adaptation of the memoir, taking viewers into Nick’s experience of meeting his homeless father while he is working at a homeless shelter.  Read CultureMap.com’s interviewith Nick Flynn. The film is playing at Sundance Cinemas Houston, click here for showtimes. Congratulations Nick!

7 thoughts on “Books, movies, videos, oh my!

  1. I believe that using other sorts of media to promote books in general is a very interesting concept. It does not seem as if there are many bookstores that people tend to frequent anymore and this seems to be a way to help with authors self-promotion. Also, I believe this is a way that can help to get younger people more interested in actually picking up a book and reading it, instead of never reading a book and simply going and watching the movie i.e. Twilight, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter… etc. People tend to spend so much time using media that maybe this can get us back to what is really important, literature. Also, the concept of turning peoples personal books into movies is also very neat to me and I do appreciate the fact that often times media does turn peoples works into film which helps to reach a more broad audience.

  2. I think using videos to promote books is a great idea. We live in a generation where the internet,media,and TV are used more than paper books. It’s a good way to keep readers interested while using a tool they use on a daily basis which is the internet. Reading books is great but its also time consuming depending on how long the book is. By using video the reader can enjoy the book they are interested in while watching it on TV.

  3. The idea of video book previews is a great way to take advantage of where the future of information sharing is going. How many more people’s attention can be caputured by a video preview than from the written version? Video previews give the author more flexibility in how they want their stories sold to the audience as oppose to writing up a preview that they HOPE the audience will connect with and understand. This also lets the writer take advantage of previously untapped platforms such as Youtube which is crucial to attracting younger readers.This is a great idea that I’m sure will catch on fast.

  4. I would have to agree as well; using videos to promote books is an excellent idea! I can remember how exciting it was a a child to read something and have all of the characters wardrobes and how they looked all planned out in my head. I can also remember even now as a college student how a title of a book can seem so boring. Immediately you have already made up your mind that you probably won’t enjoy the book. This is such an awesome way to introduce books, especially to to kids! I am all on board for this!!

  5. When it comes to the media it can be a bit over rated at times. However, when using the media to promte areas that are slowly dying such as literature, I must agree with this catalyst for change. The age of reading has become a dinosuar of our time and its remains, evidenced in scholastic scores across the world not limited to the illiteracy rate, are increasingly disappearing by the generations. I believe that this form of media puts the focus back on literature where it belongs. There was a time when all we had was reading material and no films. Now that we have become so technologically advannce in more ways than others it allows our youth to take the easier riute and view rather than read.

  6. With the growing use of technology, the media is the fastest form to get the word out about your project. The perfect example would be Justin Beiber, he used YouTube to launch and entire music career. That action grabbed the attention of music executives and the rest is history. In the case of books, mass media seems to be the only way to get the book noticed. With Amazon taking over and with internet sites that allow you to publish an entire book online, we must go with the times and adapt. I agree this form of media brings the focus back to what is important which is the importance of reading.

  7. Book promotion through unusually explored technological advances is a great idea. In a world where the state of media is slowly evolving, this style of promotion is extremely creative. It has the potential to attract a large audience, who would otherwise never think about reading a particular book just based off of reviews or the summary included on the back of the cover.

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