Sunday, September 27, 2009


Don't think outside the box. Think INSIDE the box.

This spoof of movie trailers brings Video Week to a close. I hope you enjoyed these little commercials. Tomorrow we return to regular programming.


SVSART said...

And so it ends........... Yes very much enjoyed video week! I now have a greater appreciation for how Nutty you must really be, which only makes me want to buy more books! Thanks for sharing with us all on your blog, I've loved your work forever and I think it is really great how helpful and open you are with your creative process. Please don't stop and do publish another 50 books I'll buy them!

Mariusz Kornatka said...

So great!

Unknown said...

That was great! Perhaps another commercial week? Or maybe (far into the future) you could reveal the title of the next dinotopian book through a series of videos...
Even better, reveal it word by word, using the dinotopian alphabet!

I love the scroll box! How did you make it?

James Gurney said...

Bookish: The storybox was a high school workshop project that began with a roll of adding machine paper. It's made completely of wood. I glued photocopies of the Dinotopia storyboard into it.

Hiram, the puppet was also something I built, starting with a chunk of cardboard packing left over from Christmas.

And I built the motorized toy in "Loose Ball" based on an antique wind-up toy that I saw in the Philadelphia antique toy museum back around 1978. My dad and grandfather were mechanical engineers, and I spent most of my youth tinkering in a workshop.

Now you can imagine why my house is so full of weird junk. I can't throw out stuff that might be useful in a project.

Erik Bongers said...

Thank you for a very entertaining video week!

But of course, 'entertainment' wasn't the only goal here.
So, let's take a (preliminary) look at the results so far.
Which trailer is the most succesful?

With the last video only just released, number-of-views is of course still much determined by the number of days it's on the Net, but some first signs of favourites can be detected.

Unicycle Painter is clearly leading with almost double points to it's competitors (+2200).
Second is Parakeet Artist (1400), jumping over two previously released video's, Gallery Flambeau(1300) and Square Puppet(1000).
For the last tree posts, it's still too soon.

I'd say it's clear that a high "Man bites dog" factor determines the popularity - a drawing bird, or a unicycling artist does the trick. Humour or clever editing is less effective.
So it's crucial to make your commercial stand out.

I'm curious to see how it will evolve the next couple of weeks and months. Will it keep on rising steadily or will it top off at some point? Probably the last - there's always a saturation point.

But the million dollar question is, what will it do to sales? Well, marketing boys make 'an earnest living' figuring this out for you...

Can free youtube videos compete with an expensive ad in an artists magazine?

Unknown said...

As I am not coming to America in the next few decades, I've ordered the book in a Belgian webshop ( - shipping in the whole of Europe). For the moment, my shipping status says "waiting for the editor/printer to deliver". I think I'll have to wait some weeks, but I was already very happy that it was possible to order a copy...

James Gurney said...

Interesting ruminations. I was all finished producing my little video commercials (which I really just did for fun) before I was sitting with a bunch of book editors a few days ago, and I discovered that there's a name for these things: "book trailers" and "viral marketing." The editors told that they're one of the fastest growing areas of advertising.

Here's one of the companies that makes them: Circle of Seven. I'll leave it to others to judge how entertaining or effective they are, but I note that it costs from $600 to $5,000 each to commission them.

For less than a $1,000, an artist can get a good camcorder, an external hard drive, and the editing software, and produce their own videos to promote gallery shows, comics, or individual paintings. It's really easy and fast, and the only limit is imagination.

I agree with your analysis. The formula for success in this genre seems to be some combination of: animals, weird magic, disasters, mud puddles, flames, and/or music.

Unknown said...

Nice, job. It seems more and more that creators destinies have extended from beyond the creative and business aspect of their lives to the marketing aspect.

Many of us who have worked in videogames, advertising or graphic design bemoan an aspect of marketing. Especially when it's an outside company who has all the demographic data and tools at their disposal and none of the "familiarity" of your product.

As single creators like yourself whose company is James Gurney or Dinotopia, you really have to spend more time away from the board/studio (if it is to include both business/marketing) to promote the work to get better results.

But there's got to be a breaking point of effectiveness sooner or later. Maybe when it becomes more about work and less about fun.

Nice run of "viral" marketing videos. It's another great example of your creative expression as well as the personality behind the work.


Rachel M. Brenner-Manis said...

Congrats on your new book, Mr. G. , Hope to see you when you come to the Inland Empire next week.

OMg, the video was fun! :)

Anonymous said...


That had me in stitches. Awesome work, loved every video. :)

Boldheadstudio said...

you are a genius all over, aren´t you?
you continue to inspire us all :)

Anonymous said...

Hello again! I can't tell you how very much I've enjoyed your ad week. Each "commercial" seemed to top the next one - so imaginative and tongue in cheek. My favorite was Mr. Kooks as artist, but then, I'm partial to hookbills! I've already ordered your book via Amazon - even before I saw the videos, so your reputation goes before your need to market the book. And thank you again for all the incredibly helpful artist tips you generously give us each day. I've benefited greatly from them. Please keep it up!

eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher Manzanares said...

I love that little wooden box with the reel in it. That's awesome! This is great inspiration for my contest entry.