Jarrod Shusterman discusses directing the Publication trailer for his Dad’s novel ‘Scythe’

The beautiful and cinematic preview for Neal Shusterman’s new book, Scythe, was made by his son, and we spoke to him concerning the creative process.

Around ‘Scythe’ by Neal Shusterman

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only means to die would be to be randomly killed (“whined”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who’ve been selected to be scythe’s apprentices– and — even though wanting nothing related to all the vocation — they must know the art of murdering and come to comprehend the necessity of what they are doing.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes evident that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against another in a struggle for their lives.

scythe neal shusterman

‘Scythe’ publication trailer

Writer with Jarrod Shusterman

What interested you in creating this trailer? Have you got a history in this type of thing?

I have been making films as long as I can recall, and I now work as a Writer and Manager — so when I discovered that there are a preview for Scythe, and that I’d get to lead it, I was absolutely thrilled and could not wait to begin.

What aspects of this book were significant for you to catch in this trailer?

The publication introduces some really interesting questions regarding both the light and dark areas of humanity, particularly portrayed by the way each Scythe chooses to glean (or kill) — with compassion or absence thereof. We believed it was important to play this dichotomy in every possible way, concerning songs, production design, and cinematography.

What novels, films, or video games inspired the look and feel of this trailer? (I have a pretty large ‘Assassin’s Creed’ vibe!)

For us the trailer was really regarding the juxtaposition of several styles. Our soundtrack has been influenced a lot by ’80s futurism electronica, but in the exact same time utilizing musical parts of an orchestra. We love the florescent throwback feel of Tron Legacy— along with Assassin’s Creed has been certainly an undeniable reference!

What is the most difficult aspect of the trailer to gather?

The hardest part is balancing the budget, and it will be pretty much always the case with projects, but especially this one. Because with so many varied shots, six months of shooting could translate in to six seconds of runtime. Since the goal is to represent the entire world envisioned in the publication, we often have a great number of setups and big set bits for a commercial using only a 1 minute runtime.

What was the father’s reaction when he first saw it?

At any time you send a last product to a customer, there is always that moment where you are waiting in anxious anticipation. But I believe those kinds of moments are amplified much more so if it is your own father who is approval you are hoping to get. So it was really an wonderful feeling once I got the text which read “Vibrant” in my dad — but I believe what felt better was that he did not have some notes for me on the way to make it easier. In this case I suppose it had been the absence of words which really made the most impact.

‘Scythe’ by Neal Shusterman is available today!

The post Jarrod Shusterman discusses directing the publication trailer because of his father’s book ‘Scythe’ appeared initially on Hypable.


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