Films based on PC games seem to be making some money at the moment. Making money for the production companies at least. We heard that Gears of War is going to be produced as a film version by New Line Cinema. Epic Games must be confident, but it is something they planned from the beginning. CliffyB, the lead designer, is producing but with help from Temple Hill who have the prior experience.
The writer will be Stuart Beattie, who wrote the film adaption for the SpyHunter game from Midway. That was for Universal and he also wrote on the Curse of the Black Pearl script for Pirates of the Caribbean. He should know what he’s doing but I hope he has some fresh ides because the game as pretty lacking in that area. It was a shoot-em-up without many innovations. Perhaps the film will improve on this.
The Doom movie did OK at the box office, but you have to be a particular type of person to go watch these. It must be hard to get the people away from their totally interactive environment to go and see a film about the same thing. Microsoft are also still struggling to produce something suitable for the Halo franchise. It’s difficult to see where the scripts on all these games could be so individual. Maybe we’ll wait for the HalfLife 2 movie. I think that has more interest in the basic game and it should allow for a few new twists.
It’s an area I’d like to do more in, as I’m interested in animation and the compositing arena. Digital Intermediate has a lot going on at the moment as software production comes up to par with the quality of film. Both After Effects and Fusion 5 are comfortable with 16bit colour (What happened to Nuke? I liked that package). HDR images can be put together in the Adobe Bridge without any technical knowhow. Animation packages like modo and mudbox are bringing new 3D modelling techniques at lower prices and we have super fast processors with quad cores coming through the door. So much to learn.
However, with the latest CPU power and the latest DirectX perhaps you don’t need the rendering power. Just script the film and create it in real time, in HD, with all the special effects instantly available. Ah, that’s what they should make. A version of the game with a Director’s option. Make your own movie while playing online with your mates, then submit it to Epic Games for immediate digital distribution.