Why Creative People HAVE To See INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE

August 1, 2012 at 12:34 am

Why Creative People HAVE To See INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE | Review

CREATIVITY.  PASSION.

It applies to every creative medium and beyond.   What I loved about Indie Game: The Movie was the heart and dedication demonstrated by the creators of three unique independent video games.  You don’t have to love video games to understand this wonderful documentary’s message:

Hard work, sacrifice and commitment pays off if you believe in yourself.

It’s compelling to watch these highly creative people struggle to finish their projects and reach their goals.  They are constantly under pressure from others and themselves.

Indeed, the stakes are extremely high when you pour everything into something you believe in.  And it takes courage to put yourself out there.

As an aspiring screenwriter, I found their journey to be inspiring.

I need to be creative in order to function normally on a daily basis.  It’s just not a regular day without a screenplay or a blog post to work on.  These video game evelopers have taken on stress, debt and the darkness of uncertainty in order to achieve their vision.  They just want to create something worth while.  So we follow them as they overcome their insecurities and we share in their triumphs.

One of the most profound moments in the film is brought to us by Super Meat Boy’s Co-Creator Edmund McMillen.  He is a die hard gamer who spent his youth playing the games that inspired him to design games himself.

After Super Meat Boy’s release, he has a quiet moment to reflect on what the overwhelming success means to him.  But he doesn’t talk about the money, the fame or what it means for his career.  He knows the impact it will have on him professionally and so do we.  Teary eyed, he thinks about the child staying up all night playing his game.  And how great it would be if his game inspired someone.  What if someone designs a game someday because of him?  It’s a powerful moment.

I loved this film for that very reason.

The people in this documentary are passionate and talented artists who found success because they never gave up on their vision or themselves.

Indie Game: The Movie doesn’t just inspire video game designers.  It will inspire anyone passionate about their creative aspirations.

The flick is available now online here.

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The People vs George Lucas vs Me

October 16, 2011 at 11:21 pm

The People vs George Lucas vs Me

If you live in Canada, chances are you love hockey.  More specifically, if you live in Toronto, chances are you love the Toronto Maple Leafs.  There are millions of ‘casual’ fans out there but I want to focus on the hardcore.  The people who bleed blue and white and have been craving playoff hockey for 7 years.  The hardcore fans.

There are two types of hardcore fans: The people who plan the parade route after every win and those who simply enjoy it as a game well played and a step forward.  Both groups adore the Buds but there is a clear separation between the two.  This applies to all sports teams but it also applies…  To Star Wars.

To me, Star Wars fans share the same division amongst it’s hardcore fans.  There are some people who live and die by the force and others who are simply obsessed with the films. The line between these two groups is fairly fuzze but there is a simple way to determine which side you are on.   Just answer this one innocent and uncontroversial question:

DID GREEDO SHOOT FIRST?

The People vs George Lucas vs Me | Documentary Review

Are you angry right now? Or can you look past it?

This is what The People vs George Lucas is all about.

The documentary is about George Lucas’ never ending ‘revisions’ to the original Star Wars trilogy and the backlash against Episodes 1-3.  I was born in 1983 so George Lucas really didn’t ‘rape’ my childhood because I didn’t see the films until at least 10 years after they were released.  I was absolutely blown away by the films even though ‘I am your father’ was firmly entrenched into our pop culture thus ruining one of the greatest twists of all time.  If anything bothered me about the ‘special editions’ and the new trilogy it was the utter disregard for that powerful cinematic moment.  It’s not a twist anymore.

The first copy of the Star Wars trilogy I owned was the gold special edition on VHS.  So my memory of Star Wars always included Greedo shooting first.  I understand that Han Solo isn’t as bad ass as he once was but that’s not in the movie anymore.  I don’t know why Lucas decided to change it but I certainly wasn’t stewing about it while practicing with my home made double lightsabre at home.  It was Star Wars and I had a home made double lightsabre!

The main debate at the center of the film is whether or not a film belongs to it’s fans once released.  Where do you stand?  Can an artist still retain the right to change his work after the fact?  Unfortunately, fans weren’t given a choice and have been forced to endure countless changes that altered the story.

Personally, I think Mr. Lucas can change the films all he wants.  It’s his work and he has that right but I DO think he owes fans a release of the original versions.  That’s ORIGINAL George!  Han shoots first, Jabba is only seen in Return of the Jedi and Ewoks don’t blink!

Until that happens the collective sound you’ll hear from every fan’s basement will be:

“Noooooooooooooo”

The Star Wars franchise is a merchandising empire and the fact is, people will still consume.  The recent blu ray release of the series proves that no matter what he changes, people will still buy the films.  Imagine the sales if he would have included a few extra discs containing the original releases.

The truly hardcore fans will probably ban this blog once they read my next statement but I believe in honesty so here goes…  I didn’t mind Episode One.

The People vs George Lucas vs Me | Documentary Review

I’m also a fan of the third mostly because I found a way to ignore Hayden Christensen terrible acting.  (I won’t mention Attack of the Clones because that movie doesn’t exist.)  The one thing about Episode 3 that angered me was how quickly Anakin devotes himself to the Emperor.  Just like that? The rest of the film was full of incredible battles and fights that Star Wars fans adore.  At the end of the day, Episodes 1-3 were entertaining but I don’t HATE them because they weren’t as good as A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back & The Return of the Jedi. (And they weren’t)

I will say this, I sympathize with the people who grew up with Star Wars only to have it changed and altered.  It’s like watching a trailer and falling in love with a moment only to realize it didn’t make the final cut of the actual film.  It’s distracting and disappointing.  Add years of devotion to a franchise and you can see why people are angry.

The People vs George Lucas is all about the line between the love of Star Wars and the hatred of George Lucas.  (And by hatred I mean adoration)

It doesn’t matter if you’re a casual fan, a hardcore fan or a HARDCORE fan of Star Wars, this was definitely a great documentary full of the references we love because we all love Star Wars.

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Behind The Scenes of THE HOBBIT Inspires!

July 11, 2011 at 9:15 am

Behind The Scenes of THE HOBBIT Inspires | A look at the making of the hobbit movies

I CAN’T WAIT TO GO THERE AND BACK AGAIN!

The Lord of the Rings trilogy has had an enormous impact on my life.  For me, goes beyond Frodo’s epic journey to Mount Doom.  It’s the documentaries that tell the story of how the film was made.  I’ve watched the special features on the extended DVDs more times that the actual films.  They are easily the most in depth and entertaining docs you can find.  The incredibly deep emotion the filmmakers show in their interviews is remarkable.  It’s about their passion for the story and the sacrifices they made to pull it off.  Every single crew member and actor were committed and showed such an unbelievable love for the project.

That kind of love shows up on screen as characters we have come to love ourselves battled for the freedom of Middle Earth.

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THE HOBBIT MOVIES

Thankfully, after a lengthy struggle, we are finally getting not one but 2 Hobbit films.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14, 2012)
The Hobbit: There And Back Again (December 13, 2013)

It’s going to be a long wait to finally see these amazing stories come to life but I’m okay with it.  Mainly because the behind the scenes stories have already begun to surface online.

It’s hard to believe that these movies almost didn’t happen for about 15 billion different reasons.  It’s even lost a director (Guillermo Del Toro) in the process.  I think fans of the series were okay with that as Peter Jackson stepped up to finish what he started years ago.

I know these movies will be great.  The book is legendary and the people behind the films have already proven their love and loyalty to J.R.R Tolkien’s wonderful creation.

What fascinates me is the story behind the scenes.  It looks like, once again, we will be treated to detailed and candid stories of how this project came together and what it was like to return to Middle Earth.  An unexpected journey indeed.

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey Oin Gloin Gimli's Father

I’m still blown away that we are finally getting images and news from the SET!  As a fan of film and filmmaking alike, I’m always interested in following the development of movies but I don’t think there is another like The Hobbit right now.  There are movies like The Dark Knight Rises that I’m anxiously awaiting but those films are so secretive.  You won’t see production diaries online anytime soon starring Christopher Nolan.

For me, part of what makes the entire story of Middle Earth special is the filmmakers journey and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

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