After years of avoiding videography and motion graphics other than the most basic animated .gifs, I’ve finally plunged into multi-media because of a program called Hitfilm that has an awesome help forum and great developer support. The program and its UI (user interface) actually made sense to me, and so did the documentation. Hitfilm allows me to do what I want, how I want, and so, this year, finally, I’ve taken the plunge. My first attempt was animating our logo:

zentao animated logo and trademark

Next came a book trailer.

As many of you know, I’m not ‘normal’, so my idea of a good book trailer doesn’t quite match what’s most common. Instead, I wanted to evoke a feeling …maybe a concept, but understated and subtle. I didn’t want to make a ‘teaser’, but rather an ‘evocative expression’ — video as artistic conceptualization — of the novel’s story, and I wanted these videos to be short — no more than a minute or so.

I started with To Inherit a Murderer, then went on to Old Hickory Lane. For the two volume science fiction novel, A Gathering of Rebels, I followed the same, basic theme, using symbolism, and evocative sound and imagery, but moved it in a more linear presentation based on the novel’s proem (a prose poem).

Country James novels book trailer
Slightly Disturbing Stories book trailer

So, now, yes, I make my own videos and sometimes even shoot my own footage. Sometimes I make them for others, too, when asked.

Excited by possibilities never before open to us, my husband, F. W. Lineberry, a composer, arranger, and musician in his own right, stepped in to help, offering to compose original music, and to suggest other possibilities, specifically performance videos of us playing together and zentao lifeway presentations. We are yet developing the zentao presentations, which take a great deal of coordinated artistic expression from both of us simultaneously, but we have completed two performance videos of a couple of covers we play.



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