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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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.