Frontier Pop Issue 7: Movies VS / And Video Games

FRONTIER POP: Frontier Pop Issue 7 - Movies VS / And Video Games. BONUS: The Indie Connection.

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With no established film community, and no progress in a decade, and with filmmakers and outside interests working to undermine it, is there hope for Tampa indie film? Is the Tampa Bay area doomed to be used by outsiders to make movies at the expense of indie film produced here by Tampa filmmakers?

MOVIES VS / AND VIDEO GAMES: Current Issue, Issue 7, Volume 1, for Tuesday, August 31, 2010. New Issue published every Tuesday, and updated throughout the week. Next issue due online September 07, 2010.

082410-2200 - Passinault: Finally have the new issue of Frontier Pop up and online. Didn't have to write much, however, because much of the content is already up on the Tampa Bay Film sites.



This issue of the ultra-exciting, and quite amazing, Tampa Pop Culture web site and online magazine Frontier Pop is about Video Games VS / And Movies; their parallels and differences.
First, however, a moment for some clarification.
Although this may not be the correct definition for everyone, for me, there is a difference between indie films and movies. I write about both here on Frontier Pop, and it's important to know which is which when I'm writing about them. Movies are, usually, high budget films with distribution, money backing them, theatrical screenings with ticket sales, and, eventually, DVD sales. Indie films are lower budget, and usually more creative, films which screen in film festivals in an attempt to obtain distribution, backing money, and which will, hopefully, join the ranks of mainstream movies.
Also, however, as a whole, movies are films, and vice versa.
Night Trap, a classic FMV video game. Old and new.Note that I will be reviewing movies here on Frontier Pop, published directly here on this web site, and will be reviewing indie films on Tampa Bay Film, with those reviews referenced here on Frontier Pop and our issues, linking back to the relevant issue of Frontier Pop.
That, my friends, is smart. I have a reason, and a plan, and that's all that I have to reveal here. I'm not writing all of this to train people aspiring to compete with me, so there. Ha ha.
On with the subject matter at hand.
Throughout the history of video games, most in the entertainment history have not really had a clue on how to position video games and movies properly, in respect to each other, and have been largely ineffective in playing each format of entertainment to their strengths. In the 1990's, for example, we had a fad of full motion video games, or "movie games", on the first CD ROM based video game consoles, such as the Sega CD and the CDi.
While interesting conversation pieces, especially games like Night Trap from Tom Zito's Digital Pictures, these FMV games ultimately failed as video games, as they were not nearly as interactive as true games. In the case of Night Trap, even with the superior 3DO version, it didn't quite work as either a movie or a game; it was stuck in the middle ground. It was in hybrid format limbo, a true sterile mule of entertainment, if it truly could be considered entertainment, as far as being fun. With Night Trap, it didn't work as a movie because the video quality was poor, A misleading cover for the Sega CD version of Night Trap. Yes, I have this in the studio!and the movie itself was substandard, at best, compared to "real" movies. If you would have rented a movie with the acting and the story at a video store, you'd have probably brought it back to the store and demanded your money back, even if it was a $3.00 rental; yes, the "movie" was that bad. Also, for those so-inclined to try to watch the Night Trap movie, and who put down the controller, too many Augers (The bad guys) got past the traps that you were trying to control, and the movie comes to an abrupt end just after the exposition, with some obnoxious "tough guy" who my ex-girlfriend used to describe as a "wannabe porn actor with a cheesy 70's mustache "yelling at you and destroying a perfectly good video game controller (maybe this was a message that FMV, or Full Motion Video, games were really anti-game/ gamer, after all. Also, what was up with all of the FMV games having aspiring actors in them with attitude, and who yelled at the player? And they thought that Sonic The Hedgehog was supposed to have "attitude"; the overly dramatic, angry characters in FMV games sure liked to yell at players, and took the cake. I DID rather enjoy the guy in Sewer Shark calling me "Dogmeat", however, and I sampled him (as well as the girls in a scene in Night Trap), and used the sample sets in the intro to my popular dance mix program,, which was done under my DJ Frontier name, Party Zone 2, in the summer of 1994. Good stuff, and a good time to be a gamer, as well as a popular underground DJ who loved video games.
So, Night Trap is an interactive movie which discourages the player from watching if they Tampa modeling portfolios, model testing, and modeling portfolio photography.choose to? Here's an idea, Zito, wherever you are. Once the player wins the game, enable them to sit back and watch the full movie so they can see what they missed playing the game and skipping scenes.
On the flip side, to see how the story ends in the movie, you have to play the game, basically flipping between scenes to allow the movie to progress. In the process, you skip many of the scenes in the movie, because you have to be in certain scenes at certain times, and this undermines the enjoyment of the movie (and yes, there is a way to make this work, as I will demonstrate in the future. The trick is to play to the strengths of a format, and optimize it for what works, instead of shoe-horning a concept into an execution that it is not suited for. In the case of Night Trap, it would have worked better if it had been set up like a real CCTV system, and the player switches to the room with the Augers and times the trap to trap them. You could have kept the code changes and the audio, with the player able to select as many rooms to monitor with audio as possible. Sure, it would have been sensory overload, but multitasking, and customizing the set-up so that the player could monitor as many rooms, in real time, as they want would make it a challenging game, especially when juggling traps and timing the traps to trap the Augers would take coordination. Unfortunately, however, I don’t think that early CD ROM consoles could have handled mutiple video streams in the format that the “movie was shot in. It might have, however, if the movie was shot like a real CCTV system, with each room having a fixed camera. You know, I might have to make a game like that to show that it could have been executed better, and I bet that I could make it a good, and fun, game!).
The really interesting part was how the marketing, and later, the controversy from idiots who had no clue what they were talking about (They never actually played the game, and assumed that the game was about killing girls in nighties. Whatever.....). Although Night Trap would have never sold at $10.00 as a movie, or even at $3.00 as a movie rental, because it was marketed as a "revolutionary", controversial FMV video game, gamers shelled out $50.00 for it (and even more when bad press made it controversial, and more desireable, as demand shot up, and the game was more difficult to get. I drove 80 miles and paid $70.00 for my copy of the Sega CD version, and, oddly, I don't regret it.). If you have a product with flaws, sometimes, you can sell anything if you position itself properly in the market. It's all about marketing, baby.
All in all, however, FMV games such as Night Trap might have flaws, but they aren't bad. At Tampa headshots for talent, actors, and businessleast they are playable, and watchable, to an extent. Personally, I rather liked Night Trap, as it was unique, and creative. Also, I, too, was swayed my the marketing of the unique "game". I remember oohing and aahing over the cool full motion video coming from my 16 Bit video game console, packaged on a cool CD, before I changed my perspective by seeing it as it really was.

A FMV Video Game That Worked As A Game:
Tomcat Alley

Balancing Act: Combining Movies and Video Games
The PS3/ PSP Video Game Little Big World Gets It Right.


Movie to Video Game Crossovers

Video Games

Video Game to Movie Crossovers

Video Games as Art


Night Trap: A classic FMV video game. Find out more about the old version, and check out an updated, better version for the iPad / iPhone.



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There is nothing which caught our interest this week in the Tampa Bay scene. Check back next week for news of something worth checking out, we hope. At any rate, make sure that you think twice before supporting any charities (see our new Charity Scam section), as about half of them make money for the organizers at the expense of the cause that they claim to be supporting. Don’t enable, or support, a scam, as the people who do charity scams are bad people.



Updated this week....
I'm working on things. Really.


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Evil Nolan Evil Nolan - Posted 08/24/10: 0805

If you want to make threats, Joeba, just threaten to eat him. I am sure that he will take that threat more seriously. I told my little buddy the other day that it was only a matter of time before Passinault used this site to attack real Tampa filmmakers, and it has happened. While I agree with Passinault's reveiws of your films, which all suffer from bad writing, poorly define characters, and no exposition (Passinault makes valid points, I have to admit), I too, hate this Frontier Pop site, and Passinault. He is better than I am, smarter, and women are actually interested in him. Frontier Pop is also putting my pop culture web site out of business. The cool people don't want to read my site anymore!

08/24/10 - 11/19/10 - 01/16/13

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