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David Lee King

SXSWi2009: From Framing Shots to Pushing Pixels – Crossing Between Film and Video Games



Last session – let’s see if I can make it! And a funny aside – I was talking to two people before this session about sound boards of all things – one attendee and one SXSW volunteer. Turns out the volunteer is a librrarian who took a year off to write a novel (good for her), and the attendee – not sure who she is – actually attended another presentation and asked me what FRBR was, of all things! Wow.

Panelists:

Rich Vogel
Rodney Gibbs
Mark Bristol

Gibbs:

If you flake, you’re out. Don’t leave the project before it’s done. Also share turntables – mix things up that don’t actually go together.

Try awkward things.

Learn how to deal with difficult people. (he worked with Michael Medved)

Henry Winkler says “say thank you” (panelist worked with him).

Ed Spielman says “Start with the poster…” Make believe the movie’s done. He’d get people to give him money … then they’d go write the script.

Megatron says “Geeks have a long, long memory.”

He transitioned into video games in the 90s.

Tim Curry says “say dirty words in funny voices.” Hmm …

What stuck with him in his transition was storytelling. Games are stories. In a gaming pitch he attended … the designers were focusing on the story.

Mark:

To film makers – you should be able to transfer your writing ability to the gaming industry.

With film, you have a budget, can maybe just do 3 takes. With games, you can do whatever you want to do.

Talked about his transfer from film to gaming…

Rich:

Ouch – he always loved film, made a documentary about a teacher affair with a student, got in trouble for that!

Loved PCs in college… After college, realized he didn’t want to program … so went to grad film school (I think).

Landed a game design job – they put in long 60-70 hour work weeks…

Film helped him develop game pacing, how to make them more immersive.

He was a senior producer for Ultima – a virtual world game from the late 1990s.

With “suits” – in presentations, they mainly notice what you’re showing them – not what you’re actually telling them. So his background with storyboarding and quickly getting to the point helped – if you have this skill, you will get the gig.

They went through 1000 writers before they picked the 12-14 they kept. Wow. The writers take a writer’s test.

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