Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 6:10PM
J + L in Behind the Scenes, Indie Game the Movie, documentary, video game

It’s Coming Together

Well, we’ve gone through all footage and have been cutting for the past 2 months.  With the exception of pesky things like Christmas and the odd bout of the Flu, it’s been pretty much non-stop editing over here.

The process has certainly been interesting. Going into filming we had a pretty clear base idea of what we wanted to accomplish with the film.  Our basic approach was to create a film that was at its core, a discussion of games and how they relate to their creators - basically something that was a collection of assorted self-contained stories & vignettes.  However, always in the back of our mind was the idea, and hope, that we could create more of a narrative arc throughout the film.  Something that urged you to keep on watching the movie from beginning to end.

Naturally, we thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great to follow a game during its development?’  However, given the inherent challenges with doing this (i.e. games take a looonnngg time to develop, and the on-camera action of making a game is somewhat unremarkable from a cinematic point of view), we didn’t think this was a strategy we could soundly rely on.  

We figured:  Let’s shoot for the discrete-segment driven doc and if the narrative pieces fall into place, then we’ll pursue that.  If not, then we keep on with the segmented strategy. 

We Got Story & Everything!

Well luckily for us, a few things unfolded during shooting to allow us to create more of that narrative we were hoping for.  We’re not going to tell you the details here - that would ruin it :)  But we are happy to say that the film is shaping into a richer narrative experience than we initially thought it would be.

That’s not to say the original vision of IGTM has changed at all.  It hasn’t.  

We just now have some story arcs that prompt one to keep on watching this doc.  One thing that we feared early on was created something that was a collection of disparate ideas.  A film in which the viewer could watch 5 minutes at the beginning, 5 minutes at the end and not sense that they’re missing anything in between.

The doc has more of a journey now.  And that’s a good thing. 

‘Good for you, but when’s it coming out?’

We’ve done an extremely rough edit of about 80% of the film.  Enough to allow us to chart of the film on the big wall below.  Each card on the top row represents a scene or movement within the film.  The bottom row is simply various notes and general 'scene intentions'  (shoddy timelapse intentionally blown out to keep it all spoiler free).

We still have some filming to do (20% or so).  But the heavy, monotonous lifting is done and we are on track for a September (ish) 2011 release.  What remains are some focused shoots, a huge collection of graphic creation and the just some good ol’ fashion creative editing.

A couple of realizations: 

  1. The film is shaping up to be a tad longer (10-15 mins) than our original target of 80 mins.  We're still going to fight to keep it as lean as possible though.
  2. The Special Edition is going to have some kick ass content that kills us to leave out of the film.
  3. The way the script has continually changed on us throughout this process, everything we said above, could be rendered obsolete tomorrow...but hopefully not :)

Soooo, that's what we're doing. 

Take Care,

James + Lisanne

p.s. Once we get the editing humming along at a nice pace.  You can likely expect beefier updates with some new content.  All video-creation energies are directed into the film these days, but this is not the end of our online content. 

Article originally appeared on Indie Game: The Movie - A Video Game Documentary (
See website for complete article licensing information.