SPOILER ALERT: Parts 2 & 3 include the same spoilers the trailer does.
The Wheel of Time is my favorite fantasy series ever. I’ve dreamed about being part of the world Robert Jordan began back in 1984, whether it was being immersed in one of the enormous novels, making a fun costume or getting to meet Jordan himself to attest my love for his incredible work of political, epic fantasy.
Sadly, I never did get to meet Robert before he passed away in 2007; however, back in June (thanks to Twitter), I became pals with some of his most devoted followers. One of those fans was Jason Denzel, who created Dragonmount.com (@Dragonmount). After a lengthy phone call (or what I like to refer to as a total WOT geek out session!), Jason informed me that Tor, The Wheel of Time publishing company, had asked him to create something special to promote the release of book 13 Towers of Midnight: a book trailer. So, I jumped in the car and drove to Sacramento to capture this epic moment in Wheel of Time history.
Below are three Making of the Book Trailer features that I’ve created to showcase the story of this production, featuring clips from the trailer, behind the scenes photos and interviews with the cast and crew. Be sure to visit Dragonmount for the full feature write-up by Jason: A featured look at the making of the Towers of Midnight book trailer. And come find me on Twitter @Nedopak!
Part 1: The Making of the Book Trailer (no spoilers)
Part 2: Characters & Costumes (spoilers)
Part 3: Creating the Set, FX & The Tower of Genji (spoilers)
Sound Designer & Sound Mixer
Wheel of Time fan since 2002
I was particularly excited about creating a rumbling world of thunder for the trailer. Being a kid from the Northeast trapped in sunny Los Angeles has deprived me of years of thunder storms, and this was like therapy for me. Jason Denzel kept emailing me after each pass, “More thunder!” Building a world of sound from scratch around Kate Reading’s rich voice and the striking imagery on the screen was invigorating. My greatest challenge was creating the sound of Saidar. Tess and Jason both wanted it to be a holy sound. My first try sounded too much like thunder and was more fitting for Saidin; luckily Jason was very demanding and whipped me furiously until I got it right. A swirly sound of smooth glory made up of twenty tracks (one of which is me singing with my voice pitched up)!
I’m a huge fan of epic fantasy. I started reading The Wheel of Time while studying Tolkien at Oxford University in England in 2002. I finished Knife of Dreams just in time to shoot an interview and book signing video with Brandon in Pasadena during the release of The Gathering Storm.
Final Film: Towers of Midnight Book Trailer
Be sure to visit the official book trailer page on Dragonmount, where you can discuss it with fans!
Towers of Midnight: The Novel
Towers of Midnight will release in early November and is written by Brandon Sanderson (@BrandonSandrson), another incredible fantasy author who took over the WOT series after Jordan passed away (and is kicking some serious butt at it).
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I’ve been long obsessed with fantasy art, drooling over the level of creative detail artists were able to depict in creatures and characters that didn’t exist, crafted by each artists’ imagination. So when I started the “Artist Spotlight” feature, I already had a list of people I’d want to showcase right off the bat. On the top of that list was a guy whose work I’ve been following for years. Some of you know him as the famous Wheel of Time character artist. That’s right, I’m talking about the oh-so-talented Seamas Gallagher. But… who is he really? Outta This World interviewed him to find out.
When did you realize you were an artist?
I’ve always enjoyed drawing ever since I was a little kid, and so far I have been fortunate enough to continue doing it as a bigger kid!
Describe your style and the materials you use
I would like to think that I try and strive for a more stylized approach to my own personal work. At least that’s what I enjoy doing the most. These days I’m almost exclusively working digitally on a Wacom tablet, but occasionally I pick up an actual pencil and paper and do some “old school” sketching.
What artists have inspired you throughout your career, and how?
There are so many talented people out there, it’s hard to name all of them! However, to name a few: Frank Frazetta, because his iconic fantasy images were always a favorite of mine as a kid; J.C. Leyendecker, his style and design is phenomenal; Claire Wendling, whose style I really enjoy; Iain McCaig, an all-around bad ass; and Eric Canete, whose stylization blows me away.
You’re obviously a Wheel of Time fan. How long have you been a fan and how has WoT inspired you?
A good friend of mine turned me on to The Wheel of Time when I was in art school, sometime around 2001. I’ve been hooked on the series ever since I finished The Eye of the World. Being one of my favorite fantasy series, I was inspired to visually portray some of the characters from the series. I think I’ve gotten to a fair amount of the main characters, although there are still a lot more I’d like to sketch out!
Who was your favorite Wheel of Time character to create?
This is a bit cliché, but each one so far has been a lot of fun; however, there have been specific characters that I had a strong gut reaction as to how I envisioned them in my own mind. For example, for whatever reason, Sammael was one such character. He was pretty fun to draw, but I also very much enjoy drawing the “bad guys.”
View Seamas’s vignette tutorial for creating characters like the one seen below.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received on your work?
Any compliment is nice to receive!
If you could have any other profession in life, what would it be?
Truly, I can’t imagine doing anything other than what I do. I feel very fortunate that my livelihood is something that I really enjoy. Except for maybe a professional beer taster. That’s a job, right?
What do you do for fun, besides art?
I haven’t had much free time as of late, but when I do get a chance, I like to play video games, read and enjoy an occasional tasty beer.
What advice would you give an artist that’s just starting out?
Draw stuff. A lot. For myself, I found figure drawing to be invaluable knowledge to possess. I also find it helpful to constantly check out cool art by talented artists, not only to get inspired, but to challenge yourself to be a better artist.
Where you can find more artwork by Seamas Gallagher
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Faerieworlds deserves a huge thank you for it’s kindness to Mother Earth. This unique festival focuses on the environment and social organizations that work towards creating a better future for mankind. All of their materials are printed on recycled paper, foodware is compostable, and the food caters to organic and vegetarian foodies (like myself).
Faerieworlds is hosting another incredible event: FaerieCon Nov 12-14, 2010 in Maryland.
Mythic Journeys (DVD)
Mythic Journeys, a film about the power of myth and the essence of being human, was featured at Faerieworlds this year. This animated documentary won Best Animation at Dragon*Con and uses puppets designed by Brian & Wendy Froud. Find out more on the Mythic Journeys website.
Watch the trailer here!
How to Make Faerie Wings – step-by-step (episode)