"Don't worry," Marlon said, as we jumped to the beat of LCD Soundsystem. "I just need your feet."
He aimed the camera at our sneakers. Behind us, a wall the color of antifreeze curved and swooped into infinity, surrounded by a barricade of eye-scorching lights. Marlon, the ever-so-patient director, along with actors Joel and Valeria, got up early on Saturday morning to meet me at school. In the film department's "green screen" room, we shot reference footage for the animated NARC book trailer.
In a way, making a trailer is a lot like storytelling. First, I wrote a list of images from the book. Then I emailed them to Marlon. It was fascinating to see how he interpreted them into scenes that moved and breathed.
"Maybe I should look down," said the lead actor, Joel, squinting at the camera. "It's like a metaphor for where my life is going."
He wobbled on a skateboard, trying to balance on one leg while Marlon shouted instructions: "Strike...strike...now step on it. Less puppety. Not so zombie-ish."
Joel zipped up his hoodie. "I'll do it one more time."
And he did: falling in slow motion, kneeling on the floor, never complaining.
Valeria propped a chair on top of a table. "This is supposed to be a tree?" She wore a paper crown and a punk rock fairy dress.
"Your character looks way too cool to be interested in me," said Joel, laughing.
As Marlon transforms the pictures into animation, I wonder what shape the book trailer will take. They are still my characters, but now they also belong to others. It's like sharing the people who live inside my head. Soon they will be walking around inside someone else. That's exactly how it feels when I read a book.
I can't wait to turn the next page.