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Making The Accidental Highwayman Videos

The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp

Reprinted with permission by Ben Tripp

This is what happens when a writer gets his hands on after effects.

In Los Angeles, everybody knows somebody who makes movies or television. Ben Tripp worked in the movie business for a long time, and his wife Corinne Marrinan Tripp makes documentary films and television. So he knows people. Talented, versatile people who make the magic happen. You might imagine that when Tor Teen approached him about making a book trailer for The Accidental Highwayman, Ben’s first instinct would be to turn to this tremendous pool of talent.

You would imagine wrong, of course. Instead, Ben set about making the trailer single-handedly. Then he got carried away and made three more. Along the way the scale of the task got completely out of hand, and the great Buz Carter was enlisted to assist in the shooting. Then it was back to the desk to begin compositing, titles, and building the sound. Here are a few interesting aspects of these miniature productions.

ben-study-vid-green-screen-original

All live action shots were performed in front of a green screen, at different times of day so that the lighting would match the backgrounds. In Los Angeles everyone has a green screen in their garage somewhere. This one was pinned to the ceiling or tacked to the back of Ben’s house. Here we see an interior shot of the ukulero performing.

ben-tripp-study

The backgrounds were composed in Photoshop; this study is what Ben wishes his office looked like. In fact he does not own a hippo skull or a bust of Voltaire and there is no stolen Vermeer over his mantelpiece. His real office doesn’t even have a mantelpiece in it. But the black-and-white portrait of his wife (next to the window) does in fact hang near his desk.

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Below is a screen capture of what a home movie studio looks like these days: a whole lot of layers on a computer screen.

after-effects-compositing-ben-in-study

Not everything could be achieved digitally, of course. Stock footage of sheep and a large papier-mâché giant’s head were involved, too. Ben’s love of all crafts shows here in sculpture; he also sewed the rest of the giant costume.

Originally his French Bulldog Roscoe, who is the model for Demon in the book, was to appear in the videos. But he had recently had back surgery, was underweight and partially shaved, and looked like an uncooked Thanksgiving turkey. So he did not appear in the videos.

Read more about The Accidental Highwayman and Ben Tripp at his website, kitbristol.com.

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More from the October Tor/Forge newsletter:

On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in October

Mortal Gods by Kendare BlakeTruth Be Told by Hank Phillippi RyanThe League of Seven by Alan GratzThe Midnight Plan of the Repo Man

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in October! Once a month, we’re collecting info about all of our upcoming author events. Check and see who’ll be coming to a city near you:

  • R. S. Belcher, The Shotgun Arcana

October 16
Copperfield’s Books
Santa Rosa, California
7:00 PM

October 18
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, California
8:00 PM

October 31
Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt
Nashville, Tennessee
7:00 PM

  • Kendare Blake, Mortal Gods

October 13
Books of Wonder
New York, NY
6:00 PM

October 19
Anderson’s Bookshop
Naperville, IL
2:00 PM

October 21
Red Balloon Book Shop
St. Paul, MN
6:30 PM

October 22
Schuler Books and Music
Lansing, MI
7:00 PM

October 25
Linden Tree Books
Palo Alto, CA
4:00 PM

October 26
Powell’s Cedar Hill
Beaverton, OR
4:00 PM

October 28
Third Place Books
Lake Forest, IL
7:00 PM

  • W. Bruce Cameron, The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man

October 28
Rainy Day Books
Fairway, KS
6:30 PM

October 29
Anderson’s Bookshop
Naperville, IL
7:00 PM

October 30
Highland Park Public Library
Highland Park, IL
7:00 PM

  • Tina Connolly, Silverblind

October 7
Powell’s Cedar Hill
Beaverton, OR
7:00 PM

  • Matt Cook, Sabotage

October 5
Barnes & Noble at The Grove
Los Angeles, CA
4:00 PM

October 7
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

October 11
Clive Cussler Convention
Scottsdale, AZ

October 14
Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
7:00 PM

October 31
Noircon, “Three Minutes of Terror”
Society Hill Playhouse
Philadelphia, PA

  • A.M. Dellamonica, Child of a Hidden Sea

October 28
University Bookstore
Bellevue, WA
6:00 PM

Steven Gould, Exo

October 19
Barnes & Noble
New York, NY
7:00 PM

  • Alan Gratz, The League of Seven

October 1
Booksellers at Laurelwood
Memphis, TN
6:30 PM

October 3
Square Books
Oxford, MS
4:00 PM

October 8
The Fountainhead Bookstore
Hendersonville, NC
5:00 PM

October 11
Books by the Banks Festival
Cincinnati, OH

October 13
Blue Marble Books
Fort Thomas, KY
4:00 PM

October 14
The Book Stall at Chestnut Court
Winnetka, IL
4:30 PM

October 16
Anderson’s Bookshop
Naperville, IL
7:00 PM

  • Dan Krokos, The Black Stars

October 11
Books of Wonder
Fantastic Middle Grade Reads
New York, NY
1:00 PM

  • David Lubar, The Bully Bug

October 11
Books of Wonder
Fantastic Middle Grade Reads
New York, NY
1:00 PM

  • Jon McGoran, Deadout

October 2-5
Iowa City Book Festival
Iowa City, IA

October 11
Collingswood Book Festival
Collingswood, NJ

October 29
Noir at the Bar
Misconduct Tavern
Philadelphia, PA
(Time TBD)

  • Hank Phillippi Ryan, Truth Be Told

October 7
Brookline Booksmith Launch Party
Brookline, MA
7:00 PM

October 8
Gibson’s Bookstore
Concord, NH
7:00 PM

October 9
Aunt Agatha’s
Ann Arbor, MI
7:00 PM

October 10
Seattle Mystery Bookshop
Seattle, WA
12:00 PM

October 11
Copperfield’s
San Rafael, CA
6:00 PM

October 12
Investigating Mystery
Oakland Public Library
Oakland, CA
2:00 PM

October 15
Murder on the Beach
Delray Beach, FL
7:00 PM

October 16
Atlanta Eagle Eye Bookstore
Decatur, GA
7:00 PM

October 20
Vero Beach Book Center
Vero Beach, FL
4:00 PM

October 23
Posioned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
7:00 PM

October 24
Vroman’s
Pasadena, CA
7:00 PM

October 25
Book Carnival
Orange, CA
3:00 PM

October 26
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:00 PM

October 27
Porter Square Books
Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM

October 28
Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts
Indianapolis, IN
7:00 PM

October 29
Rockport Public Library
Hosted by Toad Hall Books
Rockport, MA
7:00 PM

October 30
Writing Across Gender Panel
Boston Women’s National Book Association, Brookline Booksmith
Brookline, MA
7:00 PM

  • John Scalzi, Lock In

October 7
The Bell House
Shipwreck, NY
8:00 PM

October 10
Barnes & Noble Union Square
NYCC: SciFi vs Fantasy
Amber Benson, Peter V. Brett, Pierce Brown, Richard Kadrey, Caitlin Kittredge, and C.L. Wilson will participate with John Scalzi moderating.
8:00 PM

October 11
Books by the Banks Festival
Cincinnati, OH

October 21
Seminary Coop Bookstore
Chicago, IL
6:00 PM

  • Ben Tripp, The Accidental Highwayman

October 12
Books of Wonder
New York, NY
1:00 PM

Tor Books Announces Programming for New York Comic-Con 2014

Celebrating LOCUS Magazine’s Best Publisher for the 27th year in a row!

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New York Comic Con is upon us once again and this year we’re pleased to welcome Greenlight Bookstore in our booth! They will be selling titles for our in-booth signings, featuring Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow and others!  There will also be panels featuring old and new authors, and special events around the city celebrating B&N Superweek as well as an event at The Bellhouse.

Read on and stop by Tor’s Booth (#2223) to pick up a schedule for a full list of events! For a full list of NYCC happenings at the Tor booth, excerpts, and more visit tornycc2014.com.

Sunday, October 5th

2pm B&N Superweek Fantasy Audiobook Performance Q&A | B&N Tribeca
Rebecca Soler, narrator of Marissa Meyers Lunar Chronicles, Fred Berman, narrator of Walking Dead series and others discuss the acting and voice work that goes into an audio book. Moderate by debut Tor author, Leanna Hieber.

Tuesday, October 7th

8pm ShipwreckSF & Word Bookstores Present Alan Moore’s Watchmen for New York Superweek | The Bell House
Good theatre for bad literature? Marital aid for book nerds? A literary erotic fanfiction competition for the ages? Shipwreck is all of these things. Six Great Writers will destroy one Great Book, one Great (Watchmen) Character at a time, in service of the transcendent and the profane (and also laughs). Featuring John Scalzi, Naomi Novik and others!

Thursday, October 9th 

2pm Booth signing, Steven Gould signs copies of his new novel, Exo, in which he returns to the world of his classic novel, Jumper.

4pm Tor Booth signing, John Scalzi will raffle off 50 ARCS of his latest New York Times bestseller, Lock In. Didn’t win but want a signed book? Finished copies as well as Scalzi’s backlist will be available for purchase.

8pm B&N Superweek Round Robin | B&N Union Square
Watch as your favorite genre authors spin a quick tale as dictated by the audience! Q&A to follow. Moderated by Steven Gould and featuring Paul Wilson, Simon R. Green, SJ Harper and others!

Friday, October 10th

12pm Tor Booth signing with A.M. Dellamonica, signing copies of her latest book, Child of a Hidden Sea.

1:00pm – 1:45pm Tor Geek Geek Revolution | Room 1A21
A no-holds-barred geek culture game show featuring six science fiction/fantasy authors competing for the chance to be TOP GEEK makes its second appearance at NYCC. Featuring John Scalzi, Rachel Caine, Patrick Rothfuss and others.
3:15 – 4:15pm Autographing at Table 19

1:15pm – 2:15pm Playing with Magic | Room 1A01
Magic is central to fantasy, whether it takes place in our world or one completely foreign. How does using magic affect storytelling? Django Wexler (The Shadow Throne) leads fellow authors A.M. Dellamonica, Sam Sykes and others discussing incorporating magic into the fabric of their worlds.
2:15pm – 3:15pm Autographing at Table 19

5pm Tor Booth signing with bestselling author Cory Doctorow. Copies of his backlist including his latest New York Times bestseller, Homeland, will be available for purchase. Buy one, get one free!

8pm B&N Superweek Family Feud Science Fiction vs Fantasy |  B&N Union Square
John Scalzi plays host as science fiction authors compete against fantasy authors Family Feud style. Will Scalzi give contestants a loving kiss on the cheek? Come to Union Square B&N and find out! With Amber Benson, Peter Brett, Pierce Brown, Richard Kadrey, Caitlin Kittredge and C.L. Wilson.

Saturday, October 11th

2pm Tor Booth signing with Brandon Sanderson! We’ll have plenty of Brandon Sanderson’s titles both old and new available for purchase. Free Way of Kings sampler with every purchase!

3pm – 3:45pm Not Your Mother’s Fairy Tales | Room 1B03
Get ready to travel over the river and through the woods, to a panel where standard fairytales get transformed into something more. Featuring Tor Teen debut author Ben Tripp discussing The Accidental Highwayman.
4pm – 5pm Autographing at Table 19

5pm Tor Booth signing with Ben Tripp. Limited edition art pack with original prints designed by the author will be available for free with each purchase of The Accidental Highwayman. A Comic Con exclusive!

Sunday, October 12th-*ALL BOOKS ON THIS DAY ARE FREE

12pm Tor Booth signing with Paul Park, signing All Those Vanished Engines.

2pm Trust Me, I’m The Doctor | Room 1A18
Calling all Time Lords and their Companions! Having just reached its 50-year milestone this past year, Doctor Who has proven itself to be an enduring staple of nerd culture. With Paul Park, Simon R. Greene and others.
1pm – 1:45pm Autographing at Table 19

2pm Tor Booth signing with Dan Krokos signing Planet Thieves, the first thrilling installment of a new middle grade series!

All giveaways are on a first come, first serve basis

Not at San Diego Comic-Con Sweepstakes – Swag Bag #1

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We hope to see many of you San Diego Comic-Con! If you are there, stop by Booth #2707 to say hi or to participate in one of our many events.

Can’t make it? You can still get some or our swag when you enter our Not at San Diego Comic-Con Sweepstakes! Just sign up for our newsletter, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win this awesome swag bag:

SDCC swag bag

This prize includes:

  • Wheel of Time bag
  • California Bones coaster set
  • Lock In keychain
  • Dragon Age poster
  • The Way of Kings magnet set
  • The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp
  • Among Others by Jo Walton
  • Blindsight by Peter Watts
  • California Bones by Greg van Eekhout
  • Dark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising by Lara Parker
  • Dragon Age: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes
  • Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Lock In by John Scalzi
  • The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind
  • Hurricane Fever by Tobias S. Buckell
  • Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
  • The Time Traveler’s Almanac edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Sign up for your chance to win today!

And, after you sign up to enter this sweepstakes, head over here to enter for a chance to win our other amazing swag bag!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 or older as of the date of entry. To enter, complete the entry form here beginning at 12:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) July 23, 2014. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 PM ET July 27, 2014. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Tor Books is heading to San Diego Comic-Con!

Placeholder of  -30 Once again Tor (Booth# 2707) continues our wildly popular *in-booth signings and giveaways, offering you a chance to meet your favorite authors up close and personal and pick up free books. We’ve got a great line up including appearances by: John ScalziGreg van EekhoutTobias Buckell, and Tor Teen debut author Ben Tripp.

 


Thursday, July 24th

  • 12:00 – 1:00am Panel: Fairy Tale Remix, Room 32AB
    Tor Teen author Ben Tripp (The Accidental Highwayman) joins Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles) and others that will give insight to the fairy tales of old, and new!
  • 1:30pm – 2:30 pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09
  • 1:30pm – Author Reading Spotlight – John Scalzi, Science Fiction Author Cosplay, Horton Grand Theater, 444 4th Ave, between Island and J Street.
    John Scalzi reads from his forthcoming near-future thriller, Lock In, answers audience questions and maybe even serenades them on the ukulele!
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm Panel: When Magic & Myth Meet Main Street, Room 25ABC
    When stories mix modern cities like Paris, LA, New York with magic, myth and demon spawn they are collectively known as Urban Fantasy, and many of today’s popular authors are adding their otherworldly ingredients to the melting pots of modern (and not-so-modern) society. Join some of today’s top urban fantasy authors, including Greg van Eekhout (California Bones), Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire and others as they discuss why something old with something new equals gold.
  • 4:30pm – 5:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09

Friday, July 25th

  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm Panel: 101 Ways to Kill a Man, Room 32AB
    Coming up with creative ways to commit mayhem and murder is the lifeblood of these talented thriller authors. A fatal chimera virus; hybridized bioengineered parasites; murderous microchips; lethal electric stimuli; deathstrike via satellite targeting. How many ways can you kill someone? Join top thriller authors Tobias Buckell (Hurricane Fever)Greg Hurwitz (Don’t Look Back) and others as they discuss the art of delivering deadly thrills. But don’t worry too much. A little light reading never killed anyone.
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09

Saturday, July 26th

  • 12:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Hurricane Fever – Tobias Buckell
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm Panel: The Art of Fear, Room 8
    Horror novels have been keeping us at night for years. From puppets that come to life, to creepy-crawly worm, haunted towns, demons out for blood, killer wolves, possible possessions, to the apocalypse, these authors give you goosebumps while you read. Glen Hirschberg (Motherless Child), moderates this panel featuring, Mira Grant and others as they discuss their novels, the writing process, and why you keep the light on while you read.
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm Signing to follow in the autographing area, Table AA09

Make sure to follow @TorBooks on Twitter for up to date information and last minute events!

All Tor Booth signings are on a first come first serve basis and while supplies lasts. Limit one book per person.

Tor and Forge at BEA

BEA attendees eagerly awaiting the opening of the doorsBook Expo America 2014 takes place in New York City from May 28th to May 31st and we’ll be there! Take a look below to see which Tor authors, editors, and more will be appearing. Meet Douglas Preston, John Scalzi, Jo Walton, and more!

Tor Books will also be present in the Macmillan section at booth #1738 for the entirety of the conference. Stop by and say hello!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 28TH

Tom Doherty – IDPF Digital Conference – Keynote Speaker (Ticket Required), 3:35pm-4pm

Ben Tripp Blogger Celebration (Invitation Only), 3:45pm-5:00pm

THURSDAY, MAY 29TH

Where Near-future Techno-thrillers and Sci-fi Meet: Douglas Preston and John Scalzi in conversation, 1:00 – 1:30pm, Uptown Stage

Every day, our present begins to look more and more like science fiction. We converse with AIs on our phones, communicate by digital avatars, and maintain entire social presences online. Movies like HER demonstrate how familiar – and how close – a world could be where AI’s become completely essential to our personal lives. Join bestselling authors Douglas Preston and John Scalzi as they discuss the implications of current technologies, the blurred lines between sci-fi and techno-thrillers, and near-future possibilities in a rapidly changing world.

Signings at Tor Table #13
Jon Land (Strong Darkness), 9:30-10:30am
Hank Phillipi Ryan (Truth Be Told), 10:30-11:30am
Doug Preston (The Kraken Project), 2-3pm
John Scalzi (Lock In), 3-4pm
Jo Walton (My Real Children), 4-5pm

Macmillan Booth Signings #1738/39
Ben Tripp (The Accidental Highwayman) 11:30am-12pm

Mystery Writers of America Booth Signings @ MWA Booth #2557
Hilary Davidson (Blood Always Tells) 1:00pm – 1:30pm
Hank Philippi Ryan (The Wrong Girl), 2:30pm – 3pm

Macmillan Booth Giveaways #1738/39 (No author participation)
The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man, by Bruce Cameron, 9:00am – 9:30am

FRIDAY, MAY 30TH

John Scalzi The Worst Social Media Advice Ever, 11:00am – 11:50am, Special Panel E: Hallway

Macmillan Booth Signings #1738/39
John Scalzi (Lock In), 2pm-2:30pm

Mystery Writers of America Booth Signings @ MWA Booth #2557
Bruce DeSilva (Providence Rag), 1:45pm – 2:15pm

Macmillan Booth Giveaways # 1738/39 (No author participation)
My Real Children, by Jo Walton, 10:30am – 11:00am

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