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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Outta This World captured Brandon Sanderson reading the first few pages of “Distinctions,” the Towers of Midnight prologue, off his laptop during the TOM panel at Dragon*Con (2010). Towers of Midnight is book 13 in The Wheel of Time series. My apologies for the slightly shaky camera. This was completely impromptu!
This is only part of the prologue too! You can purchase the entire piece at Tor.com. Brandon Sanderson has also posted the the first Mat chapter from Towers of Midnight, “The Seven-Striped Lass,” on his website.
Videos: Towers of Midnight: The Making of the Book Trailer (3 parts)
Seamas designed the Tower of Genji in the Towers of Midnight book trailer and is famous for his Wheel of Time character renditions.
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Be sure to check out our other post with a VIDEO: Towers of Midnight Prologue read by Brandon Sanderson (Dragon*Con)
Ages come and go, but one thing is for certain: with the premiere of the incredible Towers of Midnight (ToM) book trailer that gave its audience chills; a reading of not one, but two scenes from the new novel by Brandon Sanderson himself; the unveiling of Todd Lockwood‘s epic eBook cover for The Gathering Storm; and the first official Dragon*Con sponsorship by Tor; this was one of the most exciting years for The Wheel of Time (WoT) fans in Atlanta.
Here are some of the highlights… so far!
Towers of Midnight book trailer premiere
Warning: Some spoilers!
The book trailer premiered during the Towers of Midnight panel on Saturday afternoon. Aside from many excited fans, panel speakers and attendees included Brandon Sanderson (Co-Author), Jason Denzel (Director of ToM book trailer, Dragonmount.com), Jennifer Liang (Director of WoT Programing, Dragonmount.com), Jake Ro (Dragon*Con staff) and Sarah Bernard (ToM actress, Moraine).
Visit Dragonmount.com for a complete list of credits.
Watch Outta This World’s non-spoiler cast and crew interviews discussing the making of the book trailer (two more episodes coming about characters/costumes and location/set).
Photos: Panels, book signing & fans
eBook cover discussions & unveiling of new art
The Gathering Storm cover art was unveiled at Dragon*Con and created by Todd Lockwood (below).
Tor Art Director Irene Gallo and Dragonmount’s Jason Denzel (below) led the discussion on eBook cover artwork, including how each cover was created, choosing the perfect scene, working with each artist and fan reactions. Tor often consulted with Denzel, who Gallo referred to as her Associate Art Director, on each book cover’s scene choice. “Jason has helped me understand the emotional impact of each scene,” comments Gallo.
Each book cover goes through several rounds of reviews and changes to get it “just right.” For example, The Path of Daggers cover shows only three Aes Sedai instead of the thirteen that appear around the Bowl of the Winds in the book. “We’re always trying to split the balance between the storyline vs. a very visual scene,” Gallo adds. She felt the cover would appear crowded with all thirteen women.
Fan responses range dramatically from good to bad. Some absolutely loved Mélanie Delon’s A Crown of Swords cover with Lan rescuing Nyneve, while others disliked it. With The Path of Daggers cover, Gallo says fans went crazy over the womens’ appearance. “There was a lot of hair debate,” she says. Denzel responded, “There was a lot of boob debate!” It goes to show WoT fans care.
Denzel wasn’t the only one who helped during the process. Harriet McDougal, Editor, described exactly what some of the characters should look like. “It’s really tight curls, like a poodle, ” she once said about Perrin’s hair.
Gallo has provided several write-ups describing the process of creating each cover with a purpose of engaging The Wheel of Time community. “It’s not a magical process,” she says. You can find links to the entire collection of eBook covers, along with Gallo’s write-ups as to how each was created, on Dragonmount.com.
Be sure to check out our other Dragon*Con post here: Dragon*Con 2010 Photos: Parade, Costume Contest & Hallway Mania
- Towers of Midnight Prologue read by Brandon Sanderson (Dragon*Con)
- Towers of Midnight: The Making of the Book Trailer (part 1)
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Author: Kristen Nedopak
Kristen is a producer, director, actress and host... and lover of anything fantasy or sci-fi. The goal of this blog is to share the art and creativity involved in capturing the otherworlds that inspire us daily. Enjoy! * * * Kristen's official site: KristenNedopak.com