Friday May 21st, 2010

Book Trailers Walk the Red Carpet

Last night, I attended the first annual Moby Awards, which honor the best and worst of the nascent art of book trailers. The night was charmingly hosted by Megan Halpern and Dennis Johnson of Melville House Publishing. Johnson kicked things off by saying, “This is an idea that got out of hand.”

For a first flight, things went pretty smoothly. There were some audio-video glitches and obscenely overpriced drinks, but nothing disastrous. The awards themselves proved that book trailers are currently, with a few exceptions, mostly potential. Best Cameo went to comedian Zach Galifianakis for his appearance in the clip for John Wray’s Lowboy, the appearance itself coming off as something Galifianakis could do in his sleep.

The Best Indie/Low Budget award went to poet Kathryn Regina and illustrator Greg Lytle for the sometimes precious but also effective “I Am Up in the Air Right Now.” I’ve embedded two of my favorite winners below — Dennis Cass’ funny (but painfully true) dissection of current trends in book marketing, and a big-budget stunner from New Zealand in which the pages of a book come to life. For the rest of the winners (and losers, like Jonathan Safran Foer for Most Annoying Performance by an Author), go here. And to see some of the other finalists who didn’t win the prize, go here.