For quite some time, gamers have been disappointed by video game movies. Most of them such as Alone in the Dark and BloodRayne are complete disasters while others are just okay (Resident Evil, Tomb Raider). Also, all of the video game movies usually present gamers’ favourite fictional characters. Indie Game: The Movie takes a completely different route and brings you behind the scenes of independent game development.
According to the filmmakers, the documentary is “about video games, their creators and the craft.” More specifically, the movie presents the indie video game culture and the special love that their creators put into them. Many developers have been interviewed for the movie including Ron Carmel (World of Goo), Jonathan Blow (Braid) and Derek Yu (Spelunky). Developers Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes from Team Meat are also featured in the movie as it follows the development of their latest critically acclaimed game Super Meat Boy.
Indie Game: The Movie was shot, directed, and produced by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot from Winnipeg, Canada. Armed with two rather small cameras, the Canadian filmmakers went out on the road for a few months to visit indie developers and shot over 200 hours of video. Out of all this footage emerged beautiful stories that show you that the creators behind the games do not only create games but they invest themselves totally into them. In addition to having great stories to show, Indie Game: The Movie’s visual style and music make you feel like you are sitting right besides the game developers as they are talking. The movie is beautiful and is being treated by James and Lisanne just as indie games are carefully crafted, which is a special feeling you don’t necessarily find in many movies.
Just like some indie games, the documentary was funded with the help of the community. Only by showing a small video of what the final product would look and feel like, James and Lisanne have been able to receive over 15,000$ through Kickstarter.com. Not only did this cover most of the costs of the movie but more money was obtained by the filmmakers through hundreds of online pre-orders and donations. This really shows how the indie community support itself; everyone cares and helps each other out to create special pieces of art.
While an impressive amount of content was shot during the production of Indie Game: The Movie, the final product will only be about 80 minutes in length. This is why the Canadian filmmakers will put together a Special Edition of the movie. This limited package is planned to be packed with bonus content, such as many short films, like the World of Goo clip above. Other content, including game concept artwork, the movie’s official soundtrack, and behind the scenes material, is planned to come with this edition, although nothing is 100% certain. Nevertheless, the filmmakers intend to create one hell of a package with the Special Edition.
Indie Game: The Movie is now in its post-production state. James and Lisanne already have gone through the process of putting a rough-cut together; a task that seemed to be a really hard one according to this blog post. Although the team behind the camera still has quite a lot of work to put into the movie, the project has come a long way. Personally, I believe this could be the first great documentary about video games and you should keep an eye on it. Indie Game: The Movie is scheduled to be released in Fall 2011.
For more information about the documentary, to pre-order a copy of the movie, to request a screening and more, visit www.indiegamethemovie.com. And make sure to follow them on twitter, too, for interesting updates @indiegamemovie.