The convergence of Gaming and Filmmaking are becoming inventible. Watchmen Prequel will be a game and there are more that have been spoken of. Wired Magazine has posted ideas of how film and game will converge, Ted Hope talks new business models, the collapse of finance structures is happening and everyone is scrambling to come up with new innovative ways to produce films.
If these models where being talked about a couple of years back films like “Primer” may have gone on to be produced a lot differently. Alas.
This mysterious new model has many hidedn secrets (sounds like the opening of game…) and should be explored by as many film makers as possible. Soem questions i have pondered; does the model lie in the narrative, the ancillary products or the product placement. What is the balance of all these elements?
Richard Lackey divulged some ideas on his blog recently which I would like to share. He talks specifically about the ARG and how feature films and ARG’s can become hybrids. Using models and techniques from both genres to create new films/games which, in his discussion, could lead to larger investment opportunities.
I think he is on the right path and he closes the blog post by stating that this is a work in progress. Indeed it is, and the more we share our thoughts on how to make this work the faster it will happen with success.
Excepts from Richards great site Digital Cinema Demystified
The game, utilizing sometimes hundreds of websites, real phone numbers, email addresses and real-world locations, physical media and objects engages players individually and collectively through online communities where players discuss and solve clues leading them to ever more cryptic and confusing clues. The “puppetmasters” keep constant tabs on individual players, changing the game and twisting the plot during gameplay to stay constantly one step ahead.
The ARG has been used to great effect as a form of online viral marketing, for products and for films, but the boundaries of form and method are constantly being pushed.
The power in the ARG as the online narrative native to the internet is in its ability to engage the full senses of the individual participant and rudely, unexpectedly involve him or her as a key player in something far bigger than they can possibly know. The player does not know he is playing a game, does not know who or what his opponent is or what they want from him, and in fact one of the most important design principles in the ARG is that the game never lets on that it is a game.
Just as linear, narrative fiction on-screen did and still does provide an audio-visual escape into another world outside of the viewer’s own, the ARG crosses all the boundaries that limit the ability of traditional audio-visual mediums to actively involve the audience as a participant and change-agent in the plot of the story itself.
What the film needs is no overt branding whatsoever, yet in my ideal, it needs to be free to view. When combined with an ARG campaign however, the opportunities for appropriate in-game advertising and product involvement (not just placement) are far greater, in fact are limited only by the imagination (and chosen storyline) of the game designers.