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Page: Video:

Excite: 26 Amaze: 18 Direct: 9
If I Stay (0:53)
If I Stay cover.jpg
Author: Gayle Forman @gayleforman

Series: If I Stay Collection
Publisher: Penguin Books

ISBN: 978-0525421030
Date Published: April 2009
Elements: Directive, Sound Effect, Video - Stock

Classical music with titles overlay stock video and images to pose the "what if" question. Was not obvious to me this was a life question.

When I first saw this trailer I thought the decision was whether the protagonist should move to NYC to study music or stay home and marry her boyfriend. As I added in the publisher and author overviews I realized it was about the decision of whether to die from a serious accident or fight back to live. WOW, talk about a different level of decision.

I rewatched the trailer and the accident was implied by stating "What if one day, you went out for a drive and in an instant everything changed. What if suddenly all the other choices were gone. Except for the one - the only one that really mattered? What would you do? Stay."

Missed Opportunity

Both intros below clearly explain that there is a life threatening accident but the trailer does not. Were I in the intended target market I would have passed up the book as trivial rather than seeing it as the deep story it is.

Author Intro

On a day that started like any other...

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make. Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

Publisher Intro

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

LEAD Analysis

Lead No opening lead. LEAD Timing Stopwatch.png
Excite [interest] Establish world and protagonist.
Amaze [hook] The question
Direct [directive] Interesting directive. No book cover or website. I think the trailer is meant to be part of a website and not a stand-alone.

Trailer for the If I Stay Movie (2:33)

The movie trailer spends so much more time setting the stage then showing visually the crisis and challenge. Movie trailers are usually about two and one-half minutes long so they have time to develop the arc more. Video:

Trailer Arc

Ordinary.jpg Crisis.jpg Challenge.jpg Directive.jpg