Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Turning Great Video Games Into Ok Films

Hollywood has tried several times to turn some of our favorite games into good movies, however most of the time these turn into huge flops. Lets face it some games just aren't meant to be movies. Movie moguls see a widely popular game and dollar signs light up.

While some game to movie projects have turned out to be very successful the majority have not. In general video games aren't written to be live action movies. For the most part the plots, story lines and character development just aren't there. However its not the game producers fault when movies flop. Movie producers, who in my opinion have never played the games, have issues sticking to the very thin story lines and try to take development too far. Scripting/writing for many of the movies is atrocious and casting for many of the roles has been less than stellar.

“Few games have translated well to film,” says Michael Pachter, videogame analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities. “'Doom' was a flop, as were the second 'Mortal Kombat' and 'Super Mario Bros.' movies. 'Resident Evil' has done well, as have the Lara Croft films, so I’d say it’s hit and miss.”

The next great game to attack the big screen is "Max Payne" which supposedly will be released in Oct, with Mark Wahlberg in the starring role. The film will be directed by John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, Flight of the Phoenix, and The Omen). Fans have had a mixed reception of some of the casting as well as some of the behind the scenes calls.

John Moore is a less-than-acclaimed director and then there is first-time screenwriter Beau Thorne was hired to pen the script. Add to that the casting of Chris O'Donnell for a major role and the movie starts to slide a little.

MSNBC's article "Turning good video games into great films" explores some of the ins and out of transporting video games into live action films.

Some of the people behind the scenes of "Max Payne" are working hard to see that game to movie porting works out better than in the past.

In June 2007, Hollywood producer Scott Faye, owner of Depth Entertainment; Scott Miller, also head of game developer 3D Realms; and Jim Perkins, former CEO of game developer-publisher Arush Entertainment, formed Radar Group.

Rather than creating a game, then licensing it as a film, or vice versa, Radar will cultivate story lines—“storyverses” in company parlance—that transcend any one medium, whether linear or interactive. From there, they can spin out movies, videogames, comic books, and anything else that might emerge.

“I think that because we’re starting at the outset, both cultures will have an incredibly solid foundation for an ongoing evergreen franchise,” says Faye.

Usually, a movie based on a game gets green-lit only after the game has been released and built an audience. But Depth Entertainment is already shopping Radar’s stories around to studios—even though the games are still a few years away from hitting shelves. Merchandising and expanding an intellectual property from the get-go has been a long-standing Hollywood strategy, but the concept is still new in the game business, where all the focus generally remains on creating the game.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderate for content, please be patient as your comment will appear as soon as it has been reviewed.

Thank you