Interview with Nathan Rice - Director of The Gamers
Q: So, for those readers who might not be aware, who are the Dead Gentlemen/Zombie Orpheus Entertainment and what do you do?
Interview by: Zelda|
Geek Girl Zelda recently did an interview with Nathan Rice, director of The Gamers - D&D movie trilogy. The third movie is now in production after they ran an epic Kickstarter campaign...
Dead Gentlemen and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment are a group of film-makers who create and provide an accessible net-space for projects that kick ass. Both founded by the same group of folks, Dead Gentlemen(DG) and Zombie Orpheus(ZOE) are behind movies like The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, and the web-series JourneyQuest. Online, ZOE is also a place for other movie and web-series makers to showcase what they've made side-by-side with our own projects. We figure there's gotta be other stuff out there that's awesome, and by putting it all in one spot, we can make a Voltron of entertainment. You can come to the site to find something bad-ass you've heard about, only to find even more stuff that's bad-ass. Audience-sourcing, I think one of the smart people called it.
The big news with you guys right now is that your 3rd installment of the Gamers series was not only funded on Kickstarter recently - It was the highest funded film of all time on the site (Congratulations). How does it feel to have such support from your fans?
It feels pretty damned good. We're not big Hollywood. We're not even small Hollywood. We operate entirely on the support of our fans. If we didn't have such an unbelievably, astonishingly, mind-blowingly crazy-cool group of fans who support our efforts, we would never have done a single project after the original The Gamers, and we would never have broken the Kickstarter record when we did, and we wouldn't be attempting right now to put in place a new system of distribution that takes full advantage of this series of tubes that my small typewriter is hooked up to, allowing us the potential to keep making material directly for our fans for the foreseeable future.
What can you tell us about the third movie? Will it pick up right where we left off in Dorkness Rising? Follow the same cast of characters?
It will pick up with the same cast of real-world characters, Cass, Joanna, etc. but not immediately after. Some time has passed since we filmed our first movie(say, eight f@#$ing years) and there's no reason not to acknowledge that. Our players are older, wiser, and... okay, they're just older. This time, though, while we will still see our fantasy D&D characters, Luster, Flynn, etc. the movie looks at Cass's involvement in the world of Collectible Card Games. But we still use the same basic mechanic, going between the real and fantasy world. How do we do that with a card game? You'll see when we release the movie. We're partnered with Alderac Entertainment Group(AEG), the makers of Legend of the Five Rings, and as a big fan of that game myself, I geek out about that a little each day.
What was it like shooting footage at Gen Con? Any funny stories come out of that experience?
Well, I've been to GenCon quite a few times with the DG crew to promote our shows, but this was the first time we filmed anything substantial there. It was also one of the highlights of my life as a film-maker. We held an event at GenCon in which we did a Gamers Improv for the first half, and then filmed a scene from the movie for the second half. We had 500+ people in the audience, and the energy from that crowd was absolutely electric. All fans, all very excited to be helping contribute their time and efforts to the project. I'm not kidding when I talk about how great our fans are. My goosebumps had goosebumps.
So, what edition of Dungeons and Dragons do you guys play? Got any opinions on the new 5th edition that is coming out soon?
Well, most recently I have played 4e, but also had a few Pathfinder games as well. I'm usually happy to try whatever gaming system is out, as long as I get to game. I've looked over D&D Next, but haven't tried it yet. I'm interested to see the results. I also have a new Pathfinder game I might get in on that I'm pretty stoked about.
Can we plan to see more Journey Quest from you as well? How does working on a film compare to working on a webseries?
You can expect that a Kickstarter from JourneyQuest will be emerging in the future, although I couldn't begin to accurately estimate when. As for film versus web-series, when DG/ZOE does it the differences are small. JourneyQuest is filmed identically to a longer narrative. The episode breaks are built into the script, so it doesn't change the way it is shot. That means that as an actor, the main differences are in the role. For The Gamers, I don't have to get prosthetics, and grey make-up slathered over my entire body(pretty much the whole thing... at one point we discussed the best way to apply my “taint paint.” 'Nuff said.)
Will The Gamers be at any conventions coming up?
Why, how convenient that you ask. November 9-11 is ZOECon, our very own Con here in Seattle. The attendance is limited in number, but it will be fun gaming, and a chance to be in the film! Details can be found at zoecon.net
Finally, what's next for you guys? What can we hope to see from you in the future?
That's a question I wish I knew the answer to. Once Gamers 3 is finished, you can expect that we will be gearing up for season 3 of JourneyQuest, assuming our unreasonably cool fans decide they like us enough to keep us going. After that... well, we've really only just begun to explore what can be done with crowd-sourcing. Our biggest enemy to future projects being completed is obscurity. We don't have the resources or budgets that an enormous Hollywood studio could produce, so we rely on word-of-mouth, on fans telling other fans, telling potential fans, telling their grandmothers, etc.
On a final note, in case I haven't gushed enough, a big hearty thank you to all of the fans who have pledged to our Kickstarters, or given time to help our project, or recruited other fans. All of us in DG/ZOE would just be some unknown schlubs without your time, money, and support. I hope we can keep making stuff that you want to see, 'cause damn do we love making it!
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November 26 2012