[5:29] Sterling M: "Hello again, and welcome to G4tv.com's liveblog coverage at Comic-Con 2009! This is Sterling McGarvey, Sr. Reviews/Previews Editor, and I'm blogging live from the "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves: The First Active Cinematic Videogame" panel."
[5:31] Sterling M: "None of the talent has taken the stage yet, but it looks like we'll see creative director Amy Hennig, Emily Rose (Elena Fisher), and Claudia Black (Chloe Frazier), among the seven panelists onstage."
[5:31] Sterling M: "Also, apparently the line was longer for this than the Assassin's Creed II panel. Damn."
[5:32] Sterling M: "IGN's Greg Miller is onstage. As a former co-worker, I feel the need to tease him. Is that unprofessional?"
[5:32] Sterling M: "Nah, I'll pass. He's moderating the panel, and he's working the crowd nicely."
[5:34] Sterling M: "Lead cinematic animator Josh Scherr, editor Taylor Kurosaki, Robin Atkin-Downs, Emily Rose, Nolan North, Claudia Black all take the stage."
[5:34] Sterling M: "Atkin-Downs was the voice of Navarro in the first game and Tenzin in the new game."
[5:34] Sterling M: "Nolan North is the voice of Nathan Drake."
[5:35] Sterling M: "Hennig discusses how uncannily the talent resembles some of their in-game characters."
[5:35] Sterling M: ""Sometimes the design of a character evolves, and eventually, some of them resemble the people voicing them.""
[5:36] Sterling M: ""We do tons of rehearal, just like we were doing TV or a short film. There's a lot of improvisation in the studio, and a lot of that gets into the game.""
[5:37] Sterling M: "North: "We capture both the voice and the actual physical movements together. As an actor, it gives you much more of a film or television experience.""
[5:39] Sterling M: "Rose: "The fun thing for me about Uncharted was that it was my first gig out of graduate school. I was so used to an acting teacher yelling at me. For someone to direct physical action, then go into the booth and perform from the script, it's a dream come true. It's different from television because you're working with animators, but it gives you much more freedom. They want to see what kind of personality comes out of these characters, and it's more fun." "
[5:41] Sterling M: "Atkin-Downs does a lot of grunting Schwarzenegger impersonations for the amusement of the crowd. "In a lot of games, you spend time in the booth drooling. It's brutal. Most games, ?ou're alone in the booth with the writer. In this game, I'm with everyone here on the panel. It's a wonderful experience to work opposite the actors and getting back to the basics of acting out a scene.""
[5:41] Sterling M: "North: "You didn't say you were gonna open with the 'Arnold.'""
[5:43] Sterling M: "Black: "The greatest thing about voice work is working with people with a proper skill set and grasp of the craft. It allows me to use voice and theatrical acting skills. We can try a lot of things and experiment. It's very creative. I've lucked out with leading men in my career, and Nolan's no exception. He's my twin separated at birth.""
[5:45] Sterling M: "Black didn't know about the series before auditioning. Her husband checks out some of her acting gigs and gives her advice. He told her about the first game, and told her she had to audition."
[5:46] Sterling M: "Hennig: "The main thing is that we get the purity of performance, just like it were a theatrical moment onstage. We don't capture faces or hands during the mo-cap.""
[5:46] Sterling M: "Miller interrupts to mention that they've said "beyond." BEYOND."
[5:47] Sterling M: "Scherr: It's up to him to look at the mo-cap footage to figure out what to use in the final product. There's an argument about how many takes it requires to get the scene just right for mo-cap between North and Black."
[5:49] Sterling M: "Scherr's showing off a raw mo-cap of the basic framework, then the body-approved version, then the facial-approved version."
[5:50] Sterling M: "It's three steps in the animation process: the skeleton, the body movements, then the facial expressions."
[5:50] Sterling M: "Kurosaki is explaining how he picks the best audio for a scene."
[5:50] Sterling M: "It sounds like they implement the facial movements last, and they can mix and match the best elements."
[5:51] Sterling M: "North jokes about how he can't pee in the mo-cap suit."
[5:51] Sterling M: "North talks about how the velcro mo-cap balls got ripped off during fight scenes in the first game. Instead, they were sewed on for the new game."
[5:52] Sterling M: "For those wondering about trophies and limited editions, doesn't sound like it's gonna fall into a discussion about mo-cap, animation and audio from the actors."
[5:53] Sterling M: "North is explaining how ridiculous everyone looks with a ring around their heads and a mic attached."
[5:54] Sterling M: "Black is explaining how ridiculous motion capture suits look. One of her co-workers was walking his dog in the mo-cap suit, and people stopped and gawked."
[5:54] Sterling M: "She's giving an example of how you get used to it after spending hours in a black velcro suit."
[5:55] Sterling M: "They're showing footage of the same cutscene, this time with the actual actors wearing those ridiculous black velcro suits."
[5:56] Sterling M: "Scheer is discussing the references and takes for what they use for animation, then how it compares to the experience of working on the Jak and Daxter games."
[5:57] Sterling M: "Hennig: everyone uses mo-cap, but Naughty Dog puts extra effort into capturing that animation to make it look more realistic."
[5:58] Sterling M: "Hennig: the fact that the team is based in LA means that there's a broader group of people to select for acting. It means that the game is better because there's more talent to choose from."
[5:59] Sterling M: "She feels that the attention to detail is where the game gets its results from."
[6:00] Sterling M: "Rose explains that playing Uncharted made her finally buy a PS3."
[6:00] Sterling M: "She talks about how her friends don't totally get it when she says that she's working on a videogame."
[6:00] Sterling M: "They kind of smile and nod as though her career's in the toilet. But she's very proud of it."
[6:01] Sterling M: ""I have to play it on easy, but at least I get to play it.""
[6:01] Sterling M: "Miller asks if people recognize their voices."
[6:01] Sterling M: ""What if you're ordering a cheeseburger?""
[6:01] Sterling M: "North: "Not really.""
[6:02] Sterling M: "Miller: "What if you're ordering it hanging from a cliff?""
[6:02] Sterling M: "Laughter from the audience."
[6:02] Sterling M: "North mentions that once he was at a Gamestop, and the clerk looked at him stunned."
[6:03] Sterling M: ""I thought he was stoned. That wouldn't unusual at a Gamestop.""
[6:03] Sterling M: "The clerk saw his credit card and flipped out. He took all of the copies of Uncharted and begged him to sign them."
[6:03] Sterling M: "Rose said that she had the opposite effect. The clerk shrugged her off."
[6:04] Sterling M: "He makes a lot of jokes about playing badly."
[6:04] Sterling M: "North: "my wife knows how I sound when I'll die now.""
[6:04] Sterling M: "Miller starts asking about the movie."
[6:05] Sterling M: "Hennig can't say much, but she's a believer in the producers. She says that they'll probably get a few games out before the movie drops."
[6:05] Sterling M: "Miller jokes that she just confirmed Uncharted 3."
[6:06] Sterling M: "There's new video."
[6:06] Sterling M: "It's gameplay."
[6:07] Sterling M: "Looks like the outskirts of a Tibetan temple."
[6:07] Sterling M: "Drake shoots someone in the throat. The animation looks much better than before."
[6:07] Sterling M: "It's leading into the section I saw at E3."
[6:08] Sterling M: "Elena's cameraman has been shot, and Nathan has to carry him while shooting at Lazarevic's men."
[6:09] Sterling M: "It's a great scene that establishes tension between characters, which drives home the cinematic feel."
[6:09] Sterling M: "It's Q&A time."
[6:10] Sterling M: "Guest asks what actors they'd use for the movie."
[6:10] Sterling M: "Nolan North jokes that Hugh Jackman's being considered."
[6:10] Sterling M: "He's fine with not being Nathan Drake in the movie."
[6:11] Sterling M: "Emily Rose says that she'd love to audition for Elena in the film."
[6:11] Sterling M: "But she'd be flattered that a big actor would study her work to prepare for the movie."
[6:12] Sterling M: "North says that his friend who played Max Payne in the game was in the movie as a federal agent."
[6:12] Sterling M: "He'd at least like a cameo, "even if it's a pirate being shot off a boat.""
[6:12] Sterling M: "Guest asks about an SPCA in Long Beach and a Naughty Dog sign there."
[6:13] Sterling M: "Ex-Naughty Dog CEO Jason Rubin donated the truck. Awwww."
[6:13] Sterling M: "Guest wants to know how they improved facial animations."
[6:13] Sterling M: "Scherr: "I tore the skin off Nolan's face.""
[6:14] Sterling M: "Seriously, new shaders for skin and eyes. They've re-capped the actors from the first game and done a lot of new tech work."
[6:14] Sterling M: "Two-tiered question...shot down."
[6:14] Sterling M: "One for the devs:"
[6:14] Sterling M: "How long did it take to build the game engine and move to the second game?"
[6:15] Sterling M: "Hennig says that they stripped down and reoptimized the game immediately after the first game."
[6:15] Sterling M: "Second part:"
[6:15] Sterling M: "What kind of cool lines can we expect?"
[6:16] Sterling M: "Hennig explains that a lot of the great dialogue is improvised in the studio. They do a lot of ad-lib work in those ugly black velcro suits."
[6:16] Sterling M: "Guest: "How can you get a T-rating with so much cursing and shooting while Halo gets an M?""
[6:17] Sterling M: "Hennig says that they don't really restrain themselves. They drop verbal bombs because sometimes the story warrants it."
[6:18] Sterling M: "Guest: Are we getting another beta?"
[6:18] Sterling M: "Hennig: I hope I'm not speaking out of turn, but there should be a second phase of the beta."
[6:18] Sterling M: "Guest asks to high five Nolan North."
[6:18] Sterling M: "Applause."
[6:19] Sterling M: "Guest: what were actor's fave ad libs from the second game?"
[6:20] Sterling M: "Hennig: Nolan's first day on the job when Claudia offers to jump off the car and wrap her legs around him."
[6:21] Sterling M: "North leers at Black. Black: "Don't even think about it. You're my brother." North: "But I'm from the South." Guy in crowd: "DUELING BANJOS!""
[6:21] Sterling M: "North explains that he ad libbed lines like "I'm gonna kick you to sleep.""
[6:22] Sterling M: "Turns out that the "kitty got wet" line came from his 8 year-old son who worked him at Wii Sports Tennis."
[6:22] Sterling M: "Rapturous applause."
[6:22] Sterling M: "Rose: "I love when you climb walls when you're tired and you cluck like a chicken.""
[6:23] Sterling M: "Hennig starts talking about how North started to get loopy after 12 hour workdays and stuffed his mouth full of chocolate and started clucking like a chicken. I hope it's an unlockable cutscene."
[6:25] Sterling M: "Guest: Why isn't there character customization in multiplayer?"
[6:25] Sterling M: "Hennig: We wanted players to have characters who they were familiar with in the universe."
[6:26] Sterling M: "Guest: Will Claudia Black be on Torchwood?"
[6:27] Sterling M: "Black: Write to them and ask. I'd love to audition."
[6:27] Sterling M: "Guest: How much dialogue was ad-libbed?"
[6:27] Sterling M: "North: 67.8%"
[6:27] Sterling M: "He's joking of course."
[6:28] Sterling M: "Hennig: A lot of the dialogue is improvised, actually."
[6:28] Sterling M: "North: You need a good script, ad-libbing aside. Amy's crucial to the Uncharted experience."
[6:30] Sterling M: "Guest: for Atkin-Downs, is Tenzin's role bigger than Navarro's in the first game?"
[6:30] Sterling M: "Tenzin barely talks, but he voices the soldiers who get killed a lot."
[6:31] Sterling M: "Guest: Nolan, I hear you do a mean Christopher Walken..."
[6:31] Sterling M: "It's good."
[6:31] Sterling M: "It's pretty damn funny."
[6:31] Sterling M: " The crowd agrees."
[6:32] Sterling M: "Miller: Keep the applause up, Uncharted 2, October 13, only on PlayStation 3."
[6:32] Sterling M: "And that's a wrap."
[6:33] Sterling M: "Thanks for reading, and please be sure to check out http://www.g4tv.com/comiccon for more coverage!"