Cop & Robber Book Trailer

Cop & Robber book Trailer Tristan Bancks

We recently shot the book trailer for my new thriller novel for middle-graders, Cop & Robber. Here, I share what went into the making of the action-packed 45-second video.

I’ve been making book trailers since my first book release, Mac Slater, Coolhunter in 2008. The trailers back then were very rudimentary, consisting of stills, music and VO, but in the years since, I’ve made animated and live-action trailers that have been

I shot the Cop & Robber trailer with some excellent cast and crew, consisting mostly of talented friends and family. Post-production graphics thanks to the amazing Jess and Georgie from Penguin Random House Australia.

This trailer is my third news report book trailer, a follow-up to the Two Wolves and Detention trailers. If you’re making a book trailer and you happen to have a sister who is a talented journalist and newsreader like Kerryn Johnston, I highly recommend you use the news report approach. 😉 


We used an EOS 70D SLR camera to shoot the trailer with an iPad to record sound. (The SLR didn’t have the mic input we needed. The mic was part of a karaoke set. Heehaw.)


The light was a little low, late in the afternoon, so we needed some fill. I believe it was a $20 light from Bunnings, but it did the trick.


We scouted multiple service station locations for the shoot, navigating light and noise, walking single-file at all times.


The news report location was pretty noisy with an NRL match playing nearby and cars going by and passengers yelling out as humans seem to do when they see a camera.


Book Trailer
We staged a robbery in my local service station for the interior shots, mainly using CCTV camera feeds for footage but I shot a couple of extra bits on my iPhone 13 with a BeastGrip. No audio was recorded. From outside, It probably just looked like a robbery.


A screenwriter friend played my robber. He was also useful in helping ensure I gathered enough shot coverage.


My robbery cash was stacks of lined paper with $50 notes taped to the outside. 😉


The service station attendant, Sebastian, was a filmmaker and very handy to have on-set.
Georgie Demertzis
The very clever Georgie Demertzis from Penguin Random House Australia did all the graphics for the trailer using the Adobe suite. On right is Michael Windle, another amazing digital creator on the PRH team.

Thanks to everyone who helped me make the trailer. It was lots of fun and I’m really happy with the outcome. Pics in this post are by Amber Melody and Luca Bancks.

If you’re a student or educator in NSW, don’t forget to check out the CBCA Collide Book Trailer Competition.

Oh, and here are my other trailers and videos.


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