Indie Game: The Movie moves from the secluded Sundance film festival to your local theater as they make their way around the country. When I ran into them at GDC this year, I expect this to be a victory lap for them after the amazing reviews from both gamers and non-gamers alike. Little did I know that they were still filming and planning for additional material for the final release of the movie on DVD and digital media.
- Review – Indie Game: The Movie
April 3rd in beautiful Santa Monica, gamers in the greater Los Angeles area (myself included) will finally be able to see for themselves what the fuss is all about. If you don’t have a ticket, I suggest that you pick up one now before this one, like so many of their other screenings, sells out.
For everyone else out there, make sure you visit the movie’s website for more information about screenings and how you can pick up your own copy of the movie.
As many of you already know, Indie Game: The Movie follows the trials and tribulations of Phil Fish and Team Meat, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, as they toil away on their dreams of video game greatness. For anyone curious about what it takes to make a game or just wondering what video games are all about, Indie Game: The Movie seems to answer many of those questions and more.
Even with their busy schedule, Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, the masterminds behind the movie, were kind enough to answer a few more questions about finally getting the movie out into the wild, the fans’ reaction, and some of the surprises you can expect in their Special Edition of the movie.
How does it feel to finally get to show Indie Game: The Movie to the public?
LISANNE: It has been pretty wonderful. We've gotten such a positive response from audiences - from gamers and non-gamers alike. People seem to relate to the story and the developers in lots of different ways. It's been really satisfying.
What has been the response from game developers seeing the movie?
JAMES: Game developers of all stripes, indie and AAA have said some really nice things. Lots of people have said - "That's my story. That's how I've felt". It's really neat to hear.
You've been taking the movie across the country for screenings for the last month or so. How has the reaction been with different audiences outside of the gaming sector?
LISANNE: On our tour of the US, presented by Adobe, we've been able to screen to 1000s of people - lots of gamers and game developers, but also just fans of film and design. People seem to like the movie as a movie, as a story. They seem to relate and root for the developers on screen. We've had a surprising amount of mothers of gamers come to the film. They often come up to us after, and are like "I don't play games. My kids do. I've never understood what was so special. I think from this film, I can't see what's special". Which is unexpected, and amazing to hear.
What was it like to see Phil Fish win at the IGF awards?
JAMES: It was really great to see Phil and Renaud win the Seamus McNally Grand Prize at the IGF, after all their 5 years of work on FEZ. We were filming with Phil most of that day at GDC (for the Special Edition of the film). We followed him most of the day up to the win. It only occurred to us backstage at the IGF awards that this would be the last night we'd interview him. So, it was a final joyous (and kind of sad) moment for both Phil and us. It was kinda like "well, that's it. Huh."
People can start pre-ordering the movie on DVD now. What comes with the special edition?
LISANNE: The Special Edition will include lots of material that we had to cut from the first cut of the film, which was ridiculously long. We interviewed several other developers for the film (Ron Carmel, World of Goo, Alec Holowka, Aquaria, Derek Yu, Spelunky, Jenova Chen, Journey... to name a few) and documented a few game jams/events. It's going to have all that additional new content, and as well as interesting stuff from the main subjects of the film. The Special Edition is more of a discussion on game design and making games. We've produced about half of it, so it won't be coming out as the same time as the film, sometime after that.
What's next for you after Indie Game: The Movie is finally done?
JAMES: We have about 5 ideas for new projects. We're eager to start but we're self-distributing the film and making the Special Edition, so, we won't be able to start anything until next year. But, we're excited to start a new project.