GeekDad Giveaway: Get an Early Look at ‘Noisy Night’!

Noisy Night cover

Today we’ve got a sneak peek at an upcoming picture book by Mac Barnett and Brian Biggs, along with a chance to win a copy!

Noisy Night goes on sale March 7 (and is available for preorder now), and it’s about a noisy apartment building, with each resident hearing the noise of the floor above.

Illustrator Brian Biggs put together a book trailer, which we are proud to reveal on GeekDad:

Biggs also shared a little about the creation of the video, which you can read below.

Thanks, GeekDad, for showing off this video trailer for the support for Noisy Night. Being a longtime geek dad myself, I have a lot of experience toying around with audio and video, and I’ve created several promotional videos for the books I’ve been involved with. When Macmillan asked if I wanted to create a video for Noisy Night, and I thought about the animation and audio possibilities, the answer was a resounding yes.

The structure of the book itself is built around moving from one floor to another of this tall building. Each page turn reveals a new character on the floor above, and the sounds being made. I didn’t want to reveal too much with the video, so limiting it to the first two characters we see in the book, the boy on the first floor and the opera singer on the second, was key to just giving the viewer an idea of what’s in the book. The cover of the book hints at what we see in the book, and I was able to use that as we move up to the top of the building to the title.

Lastly, the audio was the part I was most looking forward to. The book is full of onomatopoeia, and one of the challenges of making the illustrations was somehow making words and images seem loud (it’s going to be a blast to read this book aloud to a roomful of kids, I promise you). Having audio in the trailer was the chance I’d been waiting for to turn these sound words into actual sounds. For most of what we hear in the trailer, I used audio clips I found on free sound websites. But for the two key characters, the boy and the opera singer, I enlisted the voice talents of some friends and neighbors, dragging some audio gear to their houses and directing them as I recorded multiple takes. Jack, who voices the boy, had a blast recording “What is going LA LA LA above my head?!” over and over again. And the opera singer was voiced by a good friend, Father Kirk Berlenbach, who happens to be an Episcopal priest and who I knew sang perfectly for what I wanted here. I was already going to his house to watch the Super Bowl, so while friends and family were downstairs eating wings and chili, we went up to a bedroom in his home and recorded various takes of him singing variations on “LA LA LA.”

Since this website is GeekDad, I feel like I can be true to my geek nature here and dig into the tools used to make this video. The animation was edited and comped using Adobe After Effects straight from my Photoshop files used in the book. The audio was recorded with a Shure SM57 microphone into a Zoom H4n portable digital recorder. The audio was edited and rendered in Ableton Live, and then everything was put together and edited in Final Cut Pro.

Thank you again for showing this off.

–Brian Biggs

And now, thanks to Macmillan, you get a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself! Just fill out the form below by 10pm Eastern on Sunday, February 19. We’ll pick a winner at random from the eligible entries and contact you via email. US and Canada residents only, and only one entry per person.

'Noisy Night' Giveaway
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Winners will be chosen at random. Only one entry person. Entrant must be 18 years of age or older. Contest only available to residents of the continental United States and Canada. Data collected will be used for contacting winners only. I understand the restrictions and certify I meet the restrictions.
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Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.