What’s the next best thing to winning a contest yourself? Seeing the most deserving competitor win! There is justice in this crazy world after all.
Vikas Wadhwa (Clear Box Studios) took first place in the Amazon Studios Seed Book Trailer Contest with his entry “Grinning Demons.” It’s a live action, beautifully filmed piece that captures every essential element of the novel and sells it convincingly. I told Vikas early on that if his video won, I would celebrate with him. And indeed I am doing just that! For all the awful gaming and bias that went on during the contest, I have to say that Amazon got it right when they chose the grand prize winner. Ania Ahlborn, you are one very lucky author!
I was born and raised in the Deep South. Vikas’ video opens with the line, “We’re Southerners.” Oh, boy! Did he ever get my attention with that one. And the rest of the trailer does not shirk when it comes to delivering on the promise of a “Dirty South.” With every frame, we are drawn deeper and deeper into a dark, desaturated world that oozes creepy from its pores, from willow branches dragging the ground to the dead-eyed children who stare right through the camera. Not to mention the fact that the young Jack Winter is a carbon copy of the adult Jack Winter, an attention to detail you seldom see even in big-budget Hollywood productions.
And the actress who plays Aimee Winter. . .oh, my goodness, does she ever sell her character. Actually, there isn’t a bad actor in the bunch, but I suppose it’s because she has so much screen time that I find her so memorable. Vikas, you did a heck of a job casting these roles. I predict great things for your future!
Now here’s the best part: Vikas Wadhwa is a NICE GUY. He’s very approachable, unassuming, and maintained his perspective and his professionalism throughout the entire fracas spawned by those SCAD students. This is more than I can say for myself; I completely popped a cork. But I usually do when bullies take over the playground.
I don’t know if Vikas is interested in producing more book trailers or if he has his sights set on the box office, but for live action filmmaking, I would love to channel some business his way. I know a lot of professionals in the writing community, but I don’t have any particular influence over them. Let me just go on record as saying that if I am able to afford a live action trailer for my own novel, Vikas Wadhwa will be the very first person I contact.
I also want to mention that after the contest, I received an email from Vikas that contained one of the kindest and most encouraging messages anyone could have sent. I won’t quote it here, but what he said to me validated every bit of effort I have put into building this niche for machinima book trailers.
Congratulations, Vikas! You deserved the win!
To see his winning video, which is now the official trailer for Ania’s novel Seed, follow the link below and make sure that Video #68 is active in the view window. I’m not sure how long this link will be active on Amazon’s site, but I will try to keep a working link somewhere on this blog.