Monday, August 31, 2009

GIFSL* 42: : Trailer Time

So if you happen to have a screen, projector and computer available in the library....
...and your office won't fit all the kids who want to see the trailers you're talking about... (as in, you have an office that ends up looking like a sixties-style-how-many-people-fit-in-my-Mini? plus multiple noses pressed to the glass...) when you're showing a trailer...(as I often do)...
...why not have a trailerfest one lunchtime?

Here's the list of trailers I showed on Friday, in the second half of lunch (most of which I've mentioned previously on this blog) (and how curious that so many are related to books!):

Sherlock Holmes (books by Arthur Conan Doyle)
Fantastic Mr Fox (book by Roald Dahl)
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (books by Rick Riordan)
Where the Wild Things Are (book by Maurice Sendak)
Alice in Wonderland (book by Lewis Carroll)
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (books by Darren Shan)
Twilight: New Moon (second trailer) (books by Stephenie Meyer)
and a mashup: When Buffy [the vampire slayer] met Edward Cullen

  • Have a list with links like this, so you're not hunting for them. 
  • Open each link in a new browser tab, wait for each one to load/do its initial buffering, then press the Play arrow and then Pause.  Some won't start loading unless you press Play; you want them started so you don't have to wait while a trailer is buffering.
  • Do this setup before lunch or lunch 1 (if you're showing them lunch 2, as I did) so you're ready to roll.
  • I thought about popcorn - but wasn't sure if that would end happily for me or the cleaner, and then forgot to buy any in the morning, so this time it didn't happen (microwave popcorn).  (Of course, she says with a mean grin, I could always just zap some microwave popcorn for its sensory/olfactory impact, without actually offering any around...)
  • Ratings: the list above generally reflects that I'm in a high school - primary schools may want to pick and choose to suit.  Generally, trailers are PG/suitable for all audiences (even if the final film has a tougher rating) so they can reach as wide an audience as possible.
  • There are other teaser trailers and earlier trailers/other trailers for some of these films - I picked the ones I wanted to show.
  • Next time I might take requests in advance and show a couple of those (vetting...).
  • I did mention to the assembled crowd, while switching from one trailer to the next, the book connections of the trailers.  What cinema doesn't have advertising??
  • The sound was up, of necessity: as of course you realise, one MUST comment throughout any trailer to one's friends.
  • I'm not aware of any students whose work was disadvantaged by this; if any had needed a quieter section, we would have pointed them in the direction of the senior study upstairs (which has closing doors).  Mostly, our library lunchtimes are busy and not silent (keeping up to 150 kids silent for 50 minutes?  You need more than a credit card for that one - priceless!), but since this was an extra-loud treat, I figured, what the heck!
  • Cost?  Nothing, as long as you have the equipment (as an increasing number of libraries do, or to which they have access) and take the time to set it up (and lookee, I had to invent my list and I've given it to you free!).
If you have any other book-related trailers to suggest, suggest away!  These are almost all on Trailerspy, as this site doesn't usually have fanmade trailers (which are like rabbits to the power of ten on YouTube, even if you try to search to exclude them), and it may be unblocked where YouTube is blocked on some school systems.
There are a lot of upcoming literary adaptations, though - I was surprised how many. This was another way to show the library as being a 'happening' place where good stuff goes on and it's fun to be.  It would have been impossible before the days of direct projectors or the internet etc - but now, there is fun to be had!  Certainly this also encourages reading of the books - kids will often ask for the book after seeing a trailer.
Here's how it looked:

As you can see, the layout of our library (and configuration of the light switches) lets this one area become dark (often useful in class time to focus attention on the big screen).  Before you think, well, MY library doesn't do that...we have a screen/tablet, not an interactive whiteboard, so the screen (electric, an idea I was so grateful to be able to borrow from Rooty Hill HS) is only down when in use (otherwise the back area is out of sight).  Now if I had an interactive whiteboard...hey, isn't that a great billboard opportunity?  We make what we can of what we have.
The rather recognisable face on the screen is from the Buffy v. Edward mashup.  It was really fun for me to listen to the kids' assorted reactions to the various trailers (and you will see I neatly accommodated both Twilight lovers and Twilight haters!).
I didn't advertise this madly, as it was a test run.  Numbers grew by word of mouth over a couple of days as I mentioned it to regulars, and grew through the lunchtime.  Next time I'll use the library door noticeboard and maybe email to kids about it (ie. rewarding those who either visit the library or read their school email).  If we have student Sharepoint up by then (it's in the works), I will have a Library section there which I could use too.
As the kids were leaving the library, my school assistant tells me that lots were talking very happily about this, as being cool and fun and great and good.  Hurrah!  Think I'll keep it as a treat a couple of times a term, though, so it doesn't lose novelty value (and there are enough new trailers to show).  Since many films nowadays have more than one trailer (eg. Twilight had a teaser and two subsequent official trailers) you can use the same film/different trailer to fill out your list.
What do you think? - do leave a comment!  Could you try this in your library?  (Ask around the school for a a direct projector and a screen you could borrow, if you don't have these or an interactive whiteboard in your library).
PS.  Since 42 is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything**...I'm not sure that this GIFSL (am I really up to 42 of them???) is that answer.  But by golly it was fun to do, for the library staff as well as the kids.  Everybody happy!

*GIFSL = Good Ideas For School Libraries
** as is known to readers of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


Fiona said...

Soooo coooool, Ruth! Your students must love you, and rightly so! I'm going to post about this on my blog.

Fiona :)

Anonymous said...

Ruth, what a great idea! I'm now looking at our library to see what we can do.


Kerrie said...

Hi Ruth,
Who needs an interactive whiteboard.
Could you connect your data projector and screen with a wii remote and laser pen like some do (check net)

Tehani Wessely said...

Great idea Ruth! Last year (about this time I think), for a full month, we ran a loop of a compilation of trailers that I put together, projected onto the top of the back wall of our library. We were lucky enough to be able to remove data projector and laptop from circulation for the period of time, and while we hardly ever had the sound running, the kids really enjoyed it! I'm definitely going to try this version!

Ruth Buchanan said...

Thank you for your lovely comments!

@Kerrie: while we have a tablet as well as the screen etc, the problem with having a daylong billboard is that the screen can't stay down all day, for supervision etc reasons: whereas an IWB on a wall maybe could, since it's on a wall.

Libby said...

Thank you, Ruth, for sharing such a fanatstic brainwave!

I'm already distracted from my impending uni assignment as I try and work out how and when I could give it a go with our student book club, for starters.

Can't wait to try it!

Joanna said...

Ruth, I like this idea a lot. Thanks for sharing about it on OZTL. (I notice that I prefer to print your post out, read it on paper and make notes there, rather than reading it on the screen. Just a tangential thought that relates to a whole other issue.)

Joanna said...

I've just been hunting up some trailers, looking for professional productions of books that I actually hold in my collection. the site bokkscreening has a few that I can use and maybe someone else can too. I looked in the "Youth" sub-topic for titles I have.

Joanna said...

Of course, I didn't check my earlier Comment - I meant bookscreening (not bokkscreening).