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in Filmmaking
on Jun 1, 2009

Ben Fritz has an interesting interview with Gore Verbinski up at the L.A. Times in which the director, whose film adaptation of Bioshock is stalled over budgetary issues, discusses his company’s foray into game development. He’s hired game designer Will Stahl to work on staff, is in development on five titles, and seems dedicated to rethinking Hollywood’s traditional relationship to the game space:

It’s a mistake for Hollywood to impose themselves on the gaming space. Not only is it arrogant, but it hasn’t really worked. The presumption that we have a better understanding of narrative that we can bring to gaming is flawed at its core because interactive entertainment is a completely different way to navigate and explore what compels you in that world.

As a filmmaker, I’m absolutely fascinated with the idea that the protagonist is the audience. That mandates a new form of narrative at its core. So you can’t really take the skill sets we have for making movies and impose them upon games. Hollywood has made a mistake to think they can enter this space and somehow provide better storytelling.

When we design a game here, my mantra is “gameplay first.” We start on a game with the way controlling it feels in your hands. Narrative has to be a byproduct of that in the same way story is a byproduct of character in films.

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