PC Game of the Year

For a fair number of years now (who keeps track when you’re having fun?) I’ve been working with the talented folk out at Grinding Gear Games in Titirangi, Auckland.

One of the highlights for me was directing the incredibly talented George Henare, one of my favourite actors, during a voice session for the characters of Laviaga and Siosa.

Seven years of hard work finally paid off for the guys when they landed Gamespot’s PC Game of the Year Award last year – an awesome achievement for a little group of first time indie developers!

I’m currently directing new voice sessions for an upcoming addition to the game and soon to start on a trailer for the new content.

The last trailer I edited for the game is below (warning: adult content).


New Game Trailer: Introducing the Templar

I’ve been very sick lately – in a couple of bouts.

I got very ill a while ago and after coming out of it had a number of pressing deadlines to catch up on – including the trailer below for Titirangi’s Grinding Gear Games. I then got sick again and am just on the road to recovery now – hence the drop-off in online upkeep…

Anyway, here it is, the trailer introducing the new Templar class to Grinding’s Online Action RPG Path of Exile. We’re happy with it and the fan reaction on the forums seems to be pretty good so far too!

More news and views coming soon!

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Editing a Trailer

I’ve spent the last couple of days in at Grinding Gear Games’ Titirangi office preparing a new trailer for their Online Action RPG, Path of Exile.

The process is always fun – shaping something engaging, informative (for eager fans of the game) and artistic from many disparate elements. We went through our voice actor session at Thinkt Studios on Tuesday and captured a lot of good stuff. Our actor, Kevin Harty, had a healthy scottish brogue and brought an enthusiasm and attitude that made the session nice and easy!

I’m going in tomorrow to finalise the edit and then I have time to move on to the polish – finer visual flourishes, audio mixdown, etc.

The picture on the right is from a desk in at Grinding Gear Games – I took a photo because I love the skill of sculpture and 3D games bring artists who think and design in 3D space. These two ‘sculpts’ are examples of fine visual design in two popular game franchises of recent times (Assassin’s Creed, Killzone).

l’ll post an embedded version of the final trailer once it’s online – for now, it’s back to finishing up some web work and pre-production planning!

Hypnotic R&B Vibes

We’ve finished the video for “Amour”, a song by South Auckland R&B group, The Hypnotics.

My role was offline edit and post production grading. It was an enjoyable experience – especially getting to know a bit more about the group and their support network, which included long-time friends and members of the crew. Noma and Rita (the admin team for The Hypnotics and for Anonymouz Workz, the production company for producer / musician Anonymouz) threw a video launch party in Onehunga on Wednesday night where singer Jess put on some tasty nibbles and we got to see the video on a large projector screen in all its finished glory. Noma, Rita and The Hypnotics in general like to keep a real family vibe to the proceedings which makes a nice change from some industry events and ensures a relaxing atmosphere.

One minor annoyance about the night was a purely technical one – and whilst not my fault, still something to do with me. The problem was the occasional stutter in the playback of the video – I took my laptop along (Sony Vaio) to play the vid in HD through the Infocus x1 projector (the laptop the team planned to use wasn’t up to the HD playback). I tested the playback before I left home and it was smooth as silk. However, plugging into the projector saw the resolution of my screen pushed down from 1600×900 to something sad like 1024×768; my guess is that the slight lag about 2/3rds of the way into the video was caused by the laptop having to ‘scale’ the video down to the res the projector was putting out. At least the audio sync caught up in short order…

The edit itself went well all up – the most productive part was when Anonymouz, Jess and Ashley (Pitman – co-director and writer) sat in on the final draft for 6 hours and we spat out the finished edit together (with a few pizzas in the mix). I know some directors/editors create the final video without any input from the artists and present it to them as a completed product but I really enjoy the process of involving the artist, when they want to be involved, and getting their insight on what works for them and what doesn’t. I find I learn a lot in the process too and each time I’ve taken something significant away that’s cropped up in how I treat the next video I work on.

Follow The Hypnotics on Facebook and check out Anonymouz, producer wunderkind at www.anonymouz.co.nz

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Producer Showreel

Towards the end of last year I put together a showreel for South Auckland Producer Anonymouz.

As you can see in the showreel, Anonymouz is a very talented musician and Producer with an impressive range of skills and depth of experience at his disposal. Putting together the reel was a really interesting experience, not least because I got to learn a lot more about Anonymouz – I thought he was talented based on the little I knew before I started the work…

I hope to get the chance to direct a music video for him in the future – fingers crossed!

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What I Dun Bin Up To

As sporadic, inconsistent and uneven as these blog updates are it feels good to be updating now cos I’ve got something to talk about : ).

I dun bin up to a lot lately and here’s a bullet point list (written more to myself than anyone else):

  • had great amounts of fun editing together four game trailers for talented and dedicated indie developer Grinding Gear Games for their Diablo-alike, Path of Exile (the first of which is embedded below)
  • worked on a number of challenged small business endeavours (<— this version sanitised from the original edit for the sake of avoiding controversy at this time xD)
  • directed NZ’s first all live 3D music video for J Williams featuring Scribe
  • got ripped off by a few friends (<— this version sanitised from the original edit for the sake of saving relationships xD)
  • watched a pretty cool movie
  • learnt – yet again – that it pays to be paid
  • made new friends
  • made new enemies

It’s been an interesting year and it’s still going. Significant birthday this year too – if only because it falls on the 10th of the 10th of twenty 10 : ). Looking forward to it!

Path of Exile Game Trailer
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J William’s “Young Love” Re-release Promo

On Sunday I went to Illegal Musik’s photoshoot for the re-release of J Williams’ “Young Love” album.

Besides shooting a promo for Illegal (embedded below) I also intended to shoot the first item of our video magazine show, thinkdotreset.

Our presenter, Teri Pope fronted an item on Illegal Musik and the grind that goes into maintaining a career in the industry, from managing artists to managing an indie label. Mark – Illegal’s CEO – gave us a great interview and filled us in on the history of Illegal Musik but we had major technical issues with sound so we’ve had to put that item aside for now.

I constructed the Illegal Musik promo around Mark’s breakdown of Illegal’s approach – which is to make best use of the experience of creating and pushing Ill Semantics so they can provide support to their newer, younger artists. In that light I picked an old favourite Ills track of mine: “Outta Control”. It’s an awesome track with a great MPC constructed beat from CXL and a silky, groove-heavy hook from Patriarch (Mark’s MC alias).

If anyone cares, tell me what you think of the track – I think it’s great! : ).

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Behind the Scenes unedited

In early October Illegal Musik shot two music videos in one day – one for J Williams (R&B) and another for Junipah (Rock). I went along and captured some behind the scenes footage. I never had a chance to edit it up properly (like I did with Ghetto Flower’s Behind the Scenes clip) but Illegal wanted to get something out and they were happy with the rough cut-together I made for the crew not long after the shoot.

I created the music track (for something else) and since I have to edit to music and didn’t have access to either of the video tracks at the time, I slapped my track (“My Private Revolution“) over the top.

I would’ve preferred to do a proper edit as this clip has not been constructed in any way (I just grabbed some shots that were ok and slapped them in sequence) and I haven’t done any grading – but it’s good to have something out there and at least I don’t have to take more time to do the full edit : ).

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What’s bin going on…

I’m not even going to acknowledge the amount of time that’s passed since my last post lol. That seems to be a common theme on the various blogs I have to update these days… :P

But I spose it’s good because it means that I’m busy xD. At the beginning of last month we (Pixelati) entered our first game into the Independent Games Festival – Danger Balls.

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That was a great milestone to reach (for us) and we were stoked to find ourselves in DIYGamer’s Top 10 Break Out Indie Games of 2010 alongside awesome work like Shank and popular titles like Super Meatboy.

I’ve also kept up my work as a videographer for Illegal Musik and DJCXL – I shot and edited this video, recently, of DJCXL putting together a set for a Hip Hop versus Drum & Bass soundclash. It was a great performance to see and I think we made a pretty interesting little clip about it.

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I’m really looking forward to my next major video project which is the music video for CXL’s first single…

I’ve also been keeping up with the launch of the Independent Game Developers Association of New Zealand – IGDANZ, also known as PlayMaker. You can check out the site here – we’ve just upgraded it (we’re using Drupal now).

Anyway, I’ll be floating around and keeping this a little more up-to-date going forward.