One such project was a sketch show for the Manhattan Public Access Cable Channel. Which is, of course, the elite of all the public access channels in New York City. We wound up doing work on something called “Big B’s Travelling Sideshow” or the “Jim Farley Vanity Project.” It was a couple of actors and a musician with a real “let’s mimic ‘SNL’ the best we can and hope they discover us” vibe. They had taped two episodes of comedy sketches then felt they had run out of good material. Having seen the shows we felt they had run out of good material two shows ago. But, they had a sponsor; they had original music: they had a couple of decent actors. Also, they were open to letting us do stuff. Anyway, we were fresh out of college and looking to write comedy. No, it never went anywhere. But I got copies of all the shows!
So, I’m looking for new ways to promote “Lost Claus.” I’m starting to think a new commercial, a follow up, is in order. So, what do I do? Then I remembered something. The perfect visual I could use. I pull out that old Big B footage. One actor did a Private Eye sketch, where he imitated Humphrey Bogart. The sketch started with him sitting at a desk in his office while the voice-over set the scene. What was more natural than taking that footage, put in the opening voice-over from the radio show and put that out there as a taste of chapter one? Nothing, that’s what!
So I copied the footage in my PC (it was on VHS. VHS? Google it, you whippersnapper). It was a short scene, so I wound up having to pad it a bit. First, I slowed it down just a bit. Then, I got cocky, and decided to record a new scene to illustrate the voice-over recounting one of Nick’s old cases. I made up a file, labeling it and put a photo in it, then and recorded my hand tossing the file on a desk, then opening it up with my little cam-corder. I played some more with the editing software, debating about turning it black & white or leaving it in color. Came up with a cliff-hanger; as Nick states there’s a knock at the door, I put in knocking. Then repeated it. And once again. Very ominous. But perfect.
I know it worked because a co-worker called me complaining, “That’s where you leave it? With a knock at the door??? What? I have to buy the book to find out who’s at the door??” I then had to explain that was indeed the basic premise of the commercial.
So, I have two very nice promos for the book. And a solid book behind them. I should slay them, right?