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Page: Video:

Lead: 24 Excite: 33 Amaze: 7 Direct: 10
Leviathan (1:13)
Leviathan cover.jpg
Author: Scott Westerfeld @ScottWesterfeld

Illustrator: Keith Thompson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster @SimonBooks

ISBN: 978-1416971740
Date Published: Oct 20, 2009
Elements: Animation, Directive, Narrator, Series

One of my favorite trailer with wonderful illustrations by Keith Thompson and a great hook. Great premise. The animation is stream-punk in style and the final line hooks the viewer. The animation is not complicated but effective. One of my favorite trailers. I ended up buying and reading the series.

The visuals are from the book and help pull the viewer in. The target audience is 12+ years old. The introduction of the boy protaginast as well as the girl shows appeal to both genders but the trailer and cover mainly appear to boys. This is the first part of a series. Unfortunately Scott Westerfeld did not do any additional trailers for the others books.


Author Scott Westerfeld Discusses Working With an Illustrator. Video:

Trailers by Scott Westerfeld

LEAD Analysis

Lead Long lead at 24 seconds. "Throw your history books away!" Set up pre-WWI. "Who will triumph? The Clankers with their faith in machinery, or the Darwinists who evolve living creatures into tools and weapons... LEAD Timing Stopwatch.png
Excite [interest] Introduce two protagonists. Boy and girl for both gender appeal. Introduce crisis - war coming.
Amaze [hook] "The question is do you oil your war machines? Or do you feed them?" - I love this hook. One of my favorites.
Direct [directive] Book cover, author name. Reference other series by author.

Trailer Arc

Setup.jpg Ordinary.jpg Character.jpg Motivation.jpg Challenge.jpg Directive.jpg

The trailer begins with the setting (12s). "But put your history books away." This transitions to ordinary world (18s) to explain the rivaling factions in the story: Clankers and Darwinists. After the introduction of the world, on to the two protagonists (20s), then to their motivations (5s) and finally on to the challenge, which also acts as the hook. The key focus is on the ordinary world.

Footnote: On the strength of the book trailer I bought this three book series. I am clearly not in the target audience but thoroughly enjoyed them. The illustrations by Keith Thompson in the trailer are from the book. The action moves quickly and makes for a fast read. While the cover and trailer appear to be targeted at boys, the girl protagonist is in many ways more important to the story. I feel boys and girls both would enjoy the series. Based on how much I enjoyed this series I am going to try the first book of Uglies.

Publisher Intro

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.