Book trailer contest

Sierra Pacific High School students Cynthia Martinez, Victoria Dutra, Brandon Kirk and Cody Mayer were finalists in the school's Book Trailer Contest. Not shown is Adrianna Funes, who teamed with Dutra, Martinez and Kirk.

Josh Butters, The Sentinel

HANFORD - In a world where movie trailers are released to widespread fanfare, students at Sierra Pacific High School are showing that books deserve the hype just as well.

For the second straight year, nearly 40 students participated in Sierra Pacific’s Book Trailer Contest, where students created their own two minute promotional videos for novels instead of what are made traditionally for films.

Out of 12 entries, Victoria Dutra, Adrianna Funes, Brandon Kirk and Cynthia Martinez’s trailer for the book “Wuthering Heights” was selected as the top student-made video.

Staff narrowed entries down to the top two with those finalists being shown to English classes on campus. Of those two, students voted for their favorite.

Sierra Pacific library assistant Pam LaTraille said the staff thought of the idea for the contest last year in a way to persuade students to pick up a book.

“We knew kids love movies,” she said. “We thought it would be a way to encourage them to read.”

The library staff advertised the competition across campus and through the bulletin with the contest catching on. Students had to pick a book that was either part of school curriculum or was available in the library.

Martinez, who directed the winning trailer and did hair and makeup for actors in the trailer, picked "Wuthering Heights" after reading it during summer for an honors class.

“I immediately thought of that book,” Martinez said when hearing of the contest.

That made her talk Dutra into participating. Dutra played the role of Catherine in the trailer. Martinez had told her that Dutra looked like what Martinez envisioned Catherine looked like.

Dutra said the hardest part was making a serious scene while the group was still having fun.

“It’s hard keeping a straight face when you’re portraying something serious,” she said.

Kirk, who also acted in the trailer, had previously been in different school plays. The trailer gave the team a way to be creative, Kirk said.

“We were just able to have fun with it,” he said. “I loved every second of it.”

For winning the contest, the four sophomores came away with gift certificates to local theater chains and restaurants.

While the trailer for “Wuthering Heights” came out on top, LaTraille was impressed of the quality of all the trailers.

“It’s a big effort,” LaTraille said. “And it’s all extracurricular. They really turned in some good trailers.”

Another one of those included senior Cody Mayer’s entry for “Coraline,” which was the other finalist.

Mayer, who worked on his entry by himself, used the program iMovie to put his trailer together.

He selected that book after reading it when he was younger and knowing images from the movie adaptation of it would be easily available.

Mayer had previously done some editing in a business class.

“The hardest part was getting the point of the movie across in the trailer,” Mayer said.

Kirk enjoyed watching all of the trailers.

“There were a lot of really good ones,” Kirk said. “A lot of them were really well organized.”

Dutra agreed.

“There was a lot of talent out there,” Dutra said. “It was so cool to see what people did and the ideas they had. It was a fun experience.”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2431 or Follow him on twitter @jsbutters.

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