You know those books that are just so much fun, you smile through the whole thing and never want it to end? The kind you want to reread as soon as you’re done? The kind with a fun, adventurous main character, a completely adorable love interest, and great friends who actually have really strong secondary roles instead of merely being window dressing? Well, either you don’t—in which case, I am so sorry for you, but you are going to love The Night We Said Yes, by Lauren Gibaldi, because it’s all of those things—or you do, which is great, because you are going to love The Night We Said Yes, by Lauren Gibaldi, because it’s all of those things! And when you buy it on June 16 and think, “Man, this would make a great movie,” you’re gonna wanna come back and check out this trailer for the twentieth time. But for now, here’s a little taste of one of the books you’ll be loving next month. To talk about the making of the trailer for her debut, here’s author Lauren Gibaldi.
From early on, I knew I wanted to make a book trailer for The Night We Said Yes. I knew it would be hard (mostly because I had a vision that wasn’t exactly easy), but I was willing to work on it, despite having little to no film experience.
But that’s not a problem, right?
Enter: one of my best friends from high school, Joe. He’s a filmmaker by profession, and by chance he was in town around the time I wanted to film. By chance he was free. And because he’s really cool, he offered to film/edit/score the entire thing. See? Awesome.
Then came the cast. I was very specific and wanted actual high school students to play my characters. I didn’t want it to look like Grease (though I love the movie). So I took to the best place to find a cast…my Facebook page. I picked my Ella first, as she’s a family friend who’s extremely talented and has this wonderful glow about her. My Jake was a friend’s younger brother. My Meg was a friend of a friend. And then Matt came from a local high school’s drama department after I exhausted my resources. He was cast on the spot.
As for location, the scene they’re portraying is on the roof of a high school. We couldn’t exactly do that, but I was thankfully given permission to use the roof of the Orange County Public Library, which was amazing.
So with everything set, we went for it.
My directions were simple—act natural, have fun, simply bond. And the four actors, who had never met before, did just that. They made up jokes, they embodied their characters. They faked flirtation extremely well (i’m pretty sure the Ella and Matt actors were talking about construction paper during one part). We filmed for a little over an hour, and had more than enough footage.
The next day, Joe sent me the trailer, and I almost cried. Because it was exactly what I wanted. It was my book. Four friends having fun, being silly and in the moment, and themselves.
It was a surreal process, seeing my little book come alive, but I learned something pretty cool. Like Ella sees in the book, I learned that anything is possible if you just take a chance, trust your friends, and believe.