WKU community creates book trailer

Courtesy of David Bell

Sidney Blanford

David Bell, assistant professor of English, is doing whatever it takes to promote his upcoming novel, Cemetery Girl.

One of the creative writing instructor’s efforts includes releasing a two-minute short film, or book trailer, called “Caitlin’s Story.” The trailer will act as a tease for the book to be released on Oct. 4.

The trailer highlights scenes from the novel, narrated by the father of 12-year-old Caitlin Stuart, who goes missing for four years. But when she is found alive, she is unnaturally calm and has no desire to talk about what happened to her while she was missing.

“My publisher did a three-minute interview with me in New York about the book, and then the interest was on my part to create the book trailer,” Bell said.

Bell has published two other novels, The Condemned and The Girl in the Woods. Of these two, only The Girl in the Woods had a book trailer, which he said was a very different process than that of “Caitlin’s Story.”

Bell’s trailer for The Girl in the Woods was done completely by his publisher at the time, and in Bell’s opinion, it was a bit longer than he would have liked. This time around, Bell took the initiative to find his own film maker, Nashville’s James Weems, who brought along director of photography Glen Rose, also from Nashville.

Next, Bell acted as the executive producer, co-wrote the trailer and paid for the project costs. His wife, Molly McCaffrey, also an instructor in the English department, was the producer of “Caitlin’s Story”, and many others from the WKU community played a crucial role in the short film.

Both Bell and his wife commented on working collaboratively with many people to achieve a common goal. As writers, both are accustomed to working alone.

“I had forgotten how much fun it can be to work with a talented and interesting group of people,” McCaffrey said.

The rest of the crew was made up of WKU students and recent graduates, including anthropology major Barrett Griffin, creative writing major Rachel Hoge, film major Dillon Ward, interdisciplinary studies major Cody Johnson, graduate student Kyle Sanders and journalism graduate Marianne Hale.

“I had a terrific time,” said Hoge, who worked as the production assistant during filming. “When you get a group together for a notable project like this, you’re almost guaranteed to have a great time.”

Involvement in the project didn’t stop with students. The main character, Stuart, was played by two Bowling Green girls — 12-year-old Cate Lowry and 3-year-old Kate Neal. Lowry is the daughter of WKU alums Kristie and Mark Lowry, while Neal is the daughter of Bowling Green residents Amy and Justin Neal.

Two WKU professors also were involved. Eric Reed, associate professor of history, and Ingrid Lilly, assistant professor of philosophy and religion, played Stuart’s parents. In addition, many members of the Bowling Green area chipped in with various services to help the production run smoothly.

Lisa and Shane Vandiver, along with Michael Carter of the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department, helped secure two dogs needed for the film. The Parks and Recreation Department also aided with securing locations for filming, as did the Bowling Green Police Department who provided police assistance and props for the film.

“We owe a great deal to the BGPD for their cooperation,” McCaffrey said.

The filming took place in Bowling Green from Aug. 27-28 at the Kereiakes Park and Fairview Cemetery, which Bell said was his inspiration for the setting of Cemetery Girl.

“I had the idea for the book before I came here, but seeing the cemetery next to the park really had that feeling,” Bell said.

He said the most rewarding and interesting part of working so closely on this book trailer was actually getting to see his ideas come to life in the exact spot he had imagined them.

The trailer’s release is set for Sept. 15 and will be viewable online at youtube.com and at davidbellnovels.com. Cemetery Girl is available for pre-order in paperback or ebook format online at Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Indiebound and Amazon.