Interview: Video Game Reunion, a Funny, Game-Inspired Web Series
I headed over to the offices of the creators of the new, upcoming web series, Video Game Reunion; a show produced by Game Trailers and MTV Network's Atom.com about classic video game characters of the 80s and where they are now, 25 years after their prime (trailer on page 2). Walking into their studio, crammed with whiteboards marked up with story notes and doodles of video game characters, headshots of video game character-looking talent, and a heck of a lot of nice editing equipment, I sat down to chat a with the guys behind the show:
GD: So, tell us a little about the show, Video Game Reunion.
Tim: The show fills in the gaps of classic gaming characters from then to now. It follows their life as if they were real people, from then to now…
Aaron: And it centers around an event where all these characters are brought back together. A lot of them, their careers have disappeared - as if they were huge celebrities back in the day, and then twenty years later, this reunion event forces them all together.
Matthew: It’s a Brat Pack story, but for video games. They’re trying to reboot their careers.
GD: So what was your inspiration for this?
Matthew: It started out about the Muppets. What if the Muppets had to go on a reality show? Then we decided - Why not do it about classic video game characters? And that’s how it came to be. It’s a “where are they now?” story, mockumentary style.
GD: Some of the costumes are pretty elaborate and really cool. Some of them are spot-on to the classic characters, like Mega Man. When you saw these actors in their costumes for the first time, how did it feel?
Matthew: It came to life in auditions. When we were casting, the talent were in costumes. The picture of Peach, that was taken at casting. She hadn’t even gotten the part yet. We knew, right then, Tonya Kay, as soon as she was in costume that was it.
Aaron: It was Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Bowser - from that very first moment, we knew they were right.
Tim: For me, when P.J. Marino, who plays Luigi, walked into the room, I knew it was perfect. He hit one line so well and we all laughed, and we knew this was who we had in our head the entire time while writing. It really came together at that moment. And seeing the costumes were great because I hadn’t seen the Samus costume or the others. It went from word to real life transition. Here were the characters I grew up with, and now they’re standing in front of me.
Matthew: When the special effects guy showed up with the Mega Man helmet and blaster, it was a feeling of both - okay, this imminent and real. People dress up as Peach and Mario all time, and yeah, the costumes are awesome, but this was a custom built from fiberglass. It had a helmet and blaster that lit up, and when Mega Man was there getting his custom-made blue suit, very cool. The helmet was amazing. You didn’t even need to see it on him, but then when you did put it on him… his face was perfect.
The Samus suit was one of a kind. It was made for someone in Brazil - her name is Yuki. She was worried because she said she had a Brazilian body type, not a razor thin L.A. body type, but our actress Amy Bloom has a voluptuous body type, and the suit fit perfect, so thank God because otherwise we would have been really in trouble, that costume would have been impossible to recreate.
GD: How much research did you put into creating the show? Did you go back and play a lot of classic games?
Aaron: I would say it was 25 years of research, from the day my mom first got me the first Nintendo with Mario and Duck Hunt. From there, I got Metroid and The Last Starfighter.
Matthew: We took all the writers up to Santa Barbara after we sold the show, but before we had written it. The show was picked up but we hadn’t written the script yet. So, we went up there and locked ourselves in with a Nintendo and told ourselves we’re not leaving until we came up with a plot. So, we played Mario 3, Mega Man, and got drunk for three days straight and wrote. We busted out the white board and basically made a connect-four like system, connecting characters to plot. So it was a three day bender of outlining the stuff, with two months to write it.
(Continues on the Next Page...)
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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