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 Bleszinski Talks Gears of War Movie 

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PostSubject: Bleszinski Talks Gears of War Movie   Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:11 am

With Gears of War 3
hitting retail shelves today, the Gears continue to turn across
multiple media. There are Gears books, comics, action figures, clothes,
and a Hollywood movie still in development. The man at the center of
Gears, Epic Games
Design Director Cliff Bleszinski, has helped craft this transmedia
universe from day one. Bleszinski talks about the Hollywood movie's
development, chimes in on 3D movies and games, and explains why Unreal
Engine 3 is now taking Hollywood by storm…


What are some of the similarities between creating Hollywood blockbusters and video game franchises?


Creatively, when you look at creating a videogame or writing a book or a
graphic novel or a film, the whole processes are very different in
their own ways. But there's actually a lot of overlap in regards to the
creative process. You can have one person at the core of it all who has
a vision and knows what they want to see. But a person who doesn't
listen to feedback, who doesn't see it as a challenge to himself, his
peers and his ideas, can often be in a vacuum and often he can limit
himself creatively. I found with back-and-forth and give-a-take and
mutual respect is one the elements that's very, very crucial to not only
making a very compelling videogame, but also through the film
production process, as well as developing graphic novels and whatnot.


When it comes to Gears can you explain what your vision would be for the big screen movie?


When you're taking a videogame adaptation and moving it into the film
medium, you need to first and foremost respect the source material. If
you look at the comic book movies that have been successful, they take
Iron Man and Spider-Man very deadly serious. I think that's one of the
keys to making a great videogame movie. The second key is to get the
right people attached. People who have a vision for making something
that's very compelling, people who have a proven track record. And the
third thing is not to be dismissive of just the fact that it is
videogame source material. There was a time back in the day where
people would be like, "It's just a comic book movie. Who cares?" And
then suddenly they start taking it seriously and the audience came to
it. With videogames movies people, won't be just like, "Oh, it's a
videogame movie, forget about it." They'll take the source material
seriously, get the right people attached, and polish it until it shines.


Were you thinking about a potential movie when you mapped out the original Gears of War universe?


Creatively and personally, I've always wanted to create universes that
are successful in the videogame space that then translate out into other
mediums. Personally, I wouldn't really want to work on something where
somebody says, "Hey, there's a new Incredible Hulk movie. Do you want to
make the videogame?" It's like, no. I love crafting worlds and then
saying, "Hey, let's do a film adaptation of that." And with Gears we
actually made a better videogame by making something that we hoped could
be turned into a movie at some point. We have characters that people
remember. We have events in the story that are crucial. These are
things that make for an interesting film. But as it turns out, it makes
a better video game.








What are the challenges of making a film and telling the story to people who haven't played the game?


One of the main challenges when you take a videogame adaptation and turn
it into a film is to make the mistake of assuming the people who are
seeing the film played the game. We've had to step back numerous times
in script development and remind ourselves we're taking a lot of people
who may not have even heard of Gears of War and they need to be schooled
from the ground up. There are monsters coming out of the ground of
this alien planet and it's not Earth, but these are humans on an alien
planet, etc. These are things we take for granted as gamers. We need to
make sure that we have Gears 101 so that people understand the universe
from the start.


What creative freedoms do you leave on the table and what are some of
the absolute rules of the Gears universe that cannot be broken with
transmedia?



When we set off to make the Gears film and we were working with New Line
Cinema, we had a list of rules. We didn't say, "Here's the story bible.
It's three inches thick. You have to adhere to every single thing." We
have three or four pages on Marcus. He isn't going to have a love
affair with Dom because we didn't want the universe getting messed too
much. Don't turn Marcus into a woman, all these random things. You don't
think anybody would do something like that with the universe, but you
never know. You're working with multiple screenwriters, multiple studio
execs, so we put in a certain amount of safeguards. That said, we
didn't want to get so hung up on the story bible that we creatively
wound up having the screenwriter and the director drowning. I believe
if you look at the reboot of Star Trek, for example, there are things
that they kept from Star Trek and there are certain things they let go
of. You have to do that because you can't have one random episode where
the Tribble does something and completely limit what the movie is going
to do. And you have the same thing with videogames.


Can you talk about how characters like Jace Stratton have migrated across media?


It's funny when you work in this kind of creative environment with
people on the graphic novel and the movie and things like that. We've
had instances where a character like Jace, who was crafted for the
graphic novel, then actually finds his way as a cameo in Gears 2. He's
this iconic soldier with corn roll hair. Then you start thinking about
how it'd be cool if you were playing as that character in multiplayer.
So you have tail wagging the dog type of creative energy that you don't
see elsewhere.


What are your thoughts on Hollywood companies like House of Moves using Unreal Engine 3 for pre-visualization?


Our technology is a very, very useful model for making great games, but
it's also useful for real-time filmmaking. We are rapidly getting to the
point where a movie director -- who by nature loves to have control
over his actors, his sets, his pacing and everything -- can basically
have his film in real-time and manipulate the camera as he sees fit in
order to get the shot that he's always wanted, instead of having to
re-stage everything and re-set everything. Previously, you'd have to
re-render everything out. It was all very rigid. Now with real-time
filmmaking, you can have anything you want at any time.


What are your thoughts on the 3D phenomenon that we're seeing in Hollywood?


I think 3D is very compelling and when I have a choice in town to go see
a movie in traditional or have the option to see it in Digital 3D, I
always go see it in 3D. I think we're at a point where those who are
producing the product want to give you that extra boost, that reason to
go to the theater, or the reason to go have that kind of deluxe
experience.


What do you think 3D adds to the home experience?


If you can get that kind of experience in your living room, I think it's
going to be amazing and it's going to be happening and rolled out on a
regular basis for the next ten years. I think it will continue to add
that extra level of emersion and I'm personally looking forward to it.


What can 3D add to videogames, particularly the shooter genre?


I believe that when you actually add 3D to the traditional shooter,
you're increasing the immersion. You have the potential for the player
to have some interesting angles in regards to a little head tracking.
The 3D adjusts depending on its perspective, lean in, lean out, things
like that. It feels like the television isn't a camera view mounted in
the wall, it's actually a portal into another world. You might actually
see people starting to duck when they feel like bullets are really being
fired at them.


End Transmission ....
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