DID YOU READ

“Indie Game the Movie” debuts trailer and soundtrack from “Sworcery” music man Jim Guthrie

“Indie Game the Movie” debuts trailer and soundtrack from “Sworcery” music man Jim Guthrie  (photo)

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One of the biggest barriers to greater cultural understanding of the video game medium is the simple fact that most people don’t know how games get made and who makes them. People understand that actors memorize lines, musicians string together chords and writers make stuff up to create their works. Along with the skill sets each endeavor requires, the creators also draw on an emotional spectrum to craft a performance.

Indie Game: The Movie Official Trailer from IndieGame: The Movie on Vimeo.

The technical aspect of game-making obscures the creativity and the personal investment that go into making a playable experience. That’s why the trailer for “Indie Game the Movie” is so exciting. The clip spotlights Jonathan Blow, Phil Fish, Edmund McMillan and Tommy Refenes as they talk about the reasons why they make games, as well as the stakes involved in being an indie developer. They’re all at interesting crossroads in their scenes, too. Blow’s work on “Braid” had already brought a strong spotlight not only to his individual efforts, but to the whole sphere of indie game development as well. He’s able to look back at his process while McMillen and Refenes are still knee-deep in making “Super Meat Boy,” which came out last year to near-universal acclaim. And “Fez“–Fish’s long-brewing mind-bending platformer–is only now rounding the bend towards completion, as evidenced by a recent trailer.

I’ve interviewed Lisanne Pajot and James Swirksy about their long-in-the-works film before but this trailer makes plain the dedication and access they brought to bear on the project. And they’ve announced that Jim Guthrie–who did the excellent soundwork and music on hit iOS game “Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery LP“–will be creating the soundtrack for “IGTM.” But, just like in indie game development, the Blinkworks team producing the movie wants to throw an extra bit of polish before they set the film out the door. To that end, they’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the audio, color and mastering finishes for “IGTM.” Go to their Kickstarter campaign to throw some money their way and, depending on what you donate, you’ll get a digital copy of the film and other goodies. Honestly, it’s worth it to get the special edition of the movie, as there’s ton of great interviews and moments with loads of indie devs like Derek Yu that might not make it into the movie.

Pajot and Swirsky’s film represents a unique and apropos intersection of indie cultural production. Though they may appear to come out of nowhere, indie games aren’t products of spontaneous generation. Hopefully, “Indie Game the Movie” will enlighten gamers and non-gamers alike as to the passion, persistence and vision of the people who’ve made interactive entertainment their lives.

Which developer’s story are you most interested in hearing about in “Indie Game the Movie”? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.