The 4-Hour Chef: The 8-Second Book Trailer (And Competition)

What happens when you feed wine to a world-class motion designer like Adam Patch? Simultaneously, what happens when you want to avoid the super-long trend in book trailers?

An 8-second book trailer for The 4-Hour Chef, of course.

If you think the above looks familiar, you’re right. It was converted from ridiculous to Avengers-like with post-production movie magic. The original clip was abandoned footage from The 4-Hour Body trailer. It’s embarrassing just watching it!

Think you can create a better soundtrack to the top trailer?

I’m putting $2,000 USD on the table, so show me your best on this AudioDraft page. Check out some of the tracks there, including unstarred. Really fun stuff.

If you want to try AudioDraft yourself for custom audio, use code FERRISS-JUNE to get a $99 discount until the end of June.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

73 Replies to “The 4-Hour Chef: The 8-Second Book Trailer (And Competition)”

    1. Yes, yes you did. If that is not awesome, I don’t know what is.

      Tim is not saying too much about the book because he saw that Futurama based meme with “shut up and take my money!”

      Don’t tell me you don’t want to buy his new book already.

  1. The trailer looks good although doesn’t say too much about the book. 😀 Anyway, looking forward to it!

  2. Thats more of a branding commercial, doesn’t have much to do with cooking, unless your implying your cooking will make you that hardcore.

  3. cannot download the footage to sync with the audio i am working on… i hit up support at audiodraft but have not heard back yet. how do i get my hands on the mp4?

    i don’t fuck around either…

  4. Totally diggin it: short enough to peak my interest. I was just having a discussion with my roommate last night about how in marketing, less can be more! Throw to much to fast you lose people. It’s a good tactic to arouse interest and allow your audience to ask for more.

  5. Tim, this is the most awesome thing ever.

    Been a massive fan for like 4 years and now I get to totally nerd out on sound design and make you sound like a transformer and look like a total bad ass.

    Bit cheeky but any chance of the winner getting a pre-release, signed copy of the book as well?

  6. Cool clip for sure. However I would suggest maybe adding something like a wok, spoon or some type of “kitchen weapon”

    PS Anyone who has read your stuff before understands the caption text which I think makes all of us smile

  7. It’s certainly edgy and sure to polarize a bit on the fringe, but I think you guys made the right move. This is a welcome counterbalance, as the last few months have, in my opinion, featured a few somewhat fluffy pieces. Hopefully this trailer accomplishes the goal of getting the blogosphere buzzing.

    Love your work and looking forward to the new book. You and Kevin are quite overdue on another episode of Random.. would be very interested to hear about what he’s been up to at Google.

  8. I like the Five-Fingers… but if I impacted anything that hard in my Five-Fingers, my feet would be crushed…

  9. Legit! Tim Ferriss doesn’t fuck around! NICE

    PSYCHED for this book, Tim!!!

    Will spread the word on Twitter and see who can crush this soundtrack!

  10. Tim’s a genius. Has you all drooling over something ( and ready to give him money) and you don’t even know what it is. Makes me chuckle but I must tip my hat to Tim. He has the masses figured.

    1. So true!

      People drool more though when someone who consistently releases good content tells you he about to release more!

    2. I hereby promise that it will be a good book, well worth all the ridiculous trailers I might concoct 🙂

      1. Love it!.. Pattern interrupt trailer. If there’s one thing I can say, it’s “Tim Ferriss doesn’t fuck around.”

  11. Hey Tim, if you want people to create the soundtrack for your trailer you might want to think about adding a downloadable version of the video so we can load it into our audio systems. That would be the best way to ensure good sync with the visuals. Quicktime is usually the best.


    There is no civilized reaction to having just seen that. I almost through my damn laptop against the wall. Thats meme-worthy.

  13. Classic Tim, I always like zigging when everyone is zagging and you do it perfectly, playing it safe is too risky today.

    I do like Derek’s comment that it would be funnier if you landed in a Wok or some other cooking utensil and nailed it to the ground.

    What do you think?


  14. Well here is my stab at it. Adds a little more of a dramatic feel, or at least I think so.


      1. Hey Tim,

        Not gonna lie, the video you posted made me laugh the first couple of times I watched it. Post movie production magic and all, it still has that ridiculous, silly quality to it. I like it, but it’s funny.

        I like Ricardo’s version, but the music from 0:13 on sounds cliche.

  15. Dear Tim, This trailer/contest is so fun. I appreciate all the content you publish for us. A music group that is influenced by 4HWW and 4HB (I am co-creator of…) released a fun new summer song yesterday, called “I Think I’m Jimmy Buffett”, about a young 20 something bailing on what is expected as normal, creating a big idea (The “I got a plan” line was written as I was reading 4HWW) , and moving to the beach….I hope you enjoy. ,

    Thank you, – Tom.

    (Back to citing the reason this isn’t purely self-promo…!)

    I am having my co-creator, who produces all the music, to submit to the contest!!! Good Luck All!

  16. Tim, did you stop your hair from falling out and grow back? How were you able to reverse your male pattern baldness?

  17. The best way of getting to the f’ing point in the fastest most efficient way is to follow Tim’s advice. Love it!

  18. Needed a break from my day job so I redid the trailer and it is still under 30 seconds. It’s edgy… I did a lot of video editing/acting/directing in my younger years.

  19. I think you should stay on the ground with your head down after you landed, and the camera just zooming out. That would look much cooler, but maybe you want people to recognize you. Excuse my english (swedish) 🙂

  20. I simply LOVE seeing both the original footage and then the super-edited version. Talk about illusions, heh? Amazing.

  21. Tim,

    “4 Hour” has become your trademark title. But How long do you think you can continue to use it? I’m not against using it more, but it just seemed to have run out of the steam. I doubt you would be unsuccessful using something else. So why have you not considered it?

    1. As for the trailer, I can’t say it does its job.

      The look you had when you looked up, not that great. (probably why you scrubbed it before)

      More importantly it is awfully pretentious. It tries too hard to make “Tim Ferriss” a cool guy. Most of your readers already think you are a cool guy. The rest will probably won’t like the trailer, because it feels like you are forcibly convincing(manipulating) them that “Tim Ferriss” is cool. Again, not a good thing.

      And how does this relate to the “4 hour chef” book? It’s confusing.

  22. Hi Tim,

    Hope all is well…I was just reaching out and was curious if you are still promoting muses and other online businesses..I have been on OkCupid for a while and have had a lot of success…I just launched an ebook to help men with OkCupid..I will be adding coaching programs also….So far I have started to hustle on Berkeley and Stanford to get face to face with students and have noticed that there is a lot of demand for online dating advice since students are really busy with school and women are complaining that there are too many creepers.haha!…

    P.S. Great post on Derek Sivers….He is amazing….we send emails back and forth and recommend books to each other!!

    I totally respect your comment box so I have added my website link above on the website box…Would really appreciate if you can reply back to this comment or email me on my personal gmail email that is on my website…

    Thanks for considering this note….Looking forward to collaborating and keeping in touch in the long run..

    which samovar location do you head out to by the way? I am addicted to samovar..Go there all the time to get some blogging done…Jesse has done an amazing job with the whole concept!



  23. Love Tim’s stuff, but the F bomb is over-used, and I think unnecessarily offensive… your well loved “catch phrase” actually causes me to lose interest in your book- it’s like comedians who can’t be funny, and then they try too hard and work it in to every line. Go ahead, use it where needed, but I’m actually disappointed in the lack of creativity… but I’ve loved all the other stuff. Just one opinion. Keep up the amazing work- you’ve made a huge impact on my life, and those around me!

  24. Tim…

    I have been a fan of yours since the 4HWW. The road I took after reading the book led me to quit my day job and pursue my career as a composer full time. So I saw your contest and just spent an hour working on my submission. It might have won, it might not. I will never know. The site you have affiliated your contest with does not allow any one that is a member of a “collection” society participate. You do a lot of things great, you really sucked at this. Basically any one who is actually trying to make money from their music is a member of a “Collection” society (ASCAP,BMI, SESAC in the United States), thats how your royalties are paid when your music is used. Music business 101. What is a shame is that Audio Draft seems like a cool idea. This is a pretty b%tch move (keeping Fonzie cool, but even Fonzi would be pissed) by Audiodraft

    I’m still looking forward to your book, but honestly dude this was a huge disappointment. Its just not the right way to deal with composers.

    The contest….. great idea. The fine print with Audiodraft epic FAIL!


  25. I think it does well…its “cool”, and the message I think will be good for those who don’t know anything about you. Enough so that they will want to click to learn more about you and realize “wow, this guy really isn’t fucking around. I want to hear(learn?) what he has to say!”

  26. Love the idea of crowdsourcing your music, but not really a fan of how audiodraft set it up. They say it’s for professional musicians but then you cant submit if you’re part of a performing rights society like BMI or ASCAP. I don’t know ANY pro musician that is not a part of one of those types of societies.

    I can’t submit because of their clause but I didnt find that out until after. Anyways, here’s my take.. enjoy!

  27. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for the opportunity. Whether you pick my design or not, it was a pleasure to make. I linked my Gravatar icon to the youtube page so any interested readers can see it. Looking forward to your new book. 🙂

    Best wishes,