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'Indie Game: The Movie' Now Also 'Indie Game: The HBO Television Series'

The Sundance documentary darling has been picked up by producer Scott Rudin...for a half-hour HBO series.

Perhaps you've already heard of Indie Game: The Movie, but I'll just go ahead and assume you haven't been following the independent documentary on its journey from Kickstarter-based conception to its most recent stint at the Sundance Film Festival. Therefore, a recap: Indie Game: The Movie is a documentary about indie game makers, and their struggles to bring deeply personal projects from their bedroom computers to the rest of the world. It features the likes of Fez creator Phil Fish, Team Meat's Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, as well as Braid creator and occasional industry feather rankler, Jonathan Blow.

Reportedly these people have made a fine little film about independent video games. Shame about this promo photo, then.

The film has been receiving extremely positive reviews during its stint at Sundance, and not just from the usual game industry cheerleaders you'd pretty much expect to love this kind of movie, either. It's gotten such great buzz, in fact, that rights to the film have reportedly been picked up by Hollywood mega-producer Scott Rudin, the man behind such big time blockbusters as the recent adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, last year's heavily award nominated The Social Network, and Oscar Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men.

Aha, but there is a catch. In fact, Rudin picked up the remake rights to Indie Game: The Movie, and plans to put them to use on HBO as a weekly, half-hour television series--one that is scripted, to boot.

So, wait, what do these two things actually have to do with one another?

Ostensibly, nothing, save for the licensing connection between the film's creators, Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky. While some freaked out when the original deal became known, bandying about that this would have some impact on the film's eventual theatrical distribution (apparently it won't) and that Rudin planned to turn this into some kind of half-hour comedy series in the vein of Grandma's Boy (he doesn't). According to the film's makers (via the movie's Facebook page), the new series will not be a comedy. That makes some sense, given that Rudin's other projects with HBO are of a dramatic bent as well. Those include Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's cable news-oriented series Newsroom, and a series based on Jonathan Franzen's critically acclaimed novel The Corrections, which he's co-developed with director Noah Baumbach. Not exactly a comedy lineup.

Though the exact design of this weekly series is still very much up in the air, the filmmakers are adamant that, despite the half-hour run time, the goal is to make something as sincere and heartfelt as the film it's based on. Whether that proves true--or, really, whether this series ever actually makes it to air--we won't know for some time. But at the very least, Indie Game: The Movie is getting some great exposure out of this whole endeavor, and that hardly seems like a bad thing at all.

For the previously unawares, you can check out the trailer for Indie Game: The Movie below.

Alex Navarro on Google+
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Posted by Alex

Perhaps you've already heard of Indie Game: The Movie, but I'll just go ahead and assume you haven't been following the independent documentary on its journey from Kickstarter-based conception to its most recent stint at the Sundance Film Festival. Therefore, a recap: Indie Game: The Movie is a documentary about indie game makers, and their struggles to bring deeply personal projects from their bedroom computers to the rest of the world. It features the likes of Fez creator Phil Fish, Team Meat's Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, as well as Braid creator and occasional industry feather rankler, Jonathan Blow.

Reportedly these people have made a fine little film about independent video games. Shame about this promo photo, then.

The film has been receiving extremely positive reviews during its stint at Sundance, and not just from the usual game industry cheerleaders you'd pretty much expect to love this kind of movie, either. It's gotten such great buzz, in fact, that rights to the film have reportedly been picked up by Hollywood mega-producer Scott Rudin, the man behind such big time blockbusters as the recent adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, last year's heavily award nominated The Social Network, and Oscar Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men.

Aha, but there is a catch. In fact, Rudin picked up the remake rights to Indie Game: The Movie, and plans to put them to use on HBO as a weekly, half-hour television series--one that is scripted, to boot.

So, wait, what do these two things actually have to do with one another?

Ostensibly, nothing, save for the licensing connection between the film's creators, Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky. While some freaked out when the original deal became known, bandying about that this would have some impact on the film's eventual theatrical distribution (apparently it won't) and that Rudin planned to turn this into some kind of half-hour comedy series in the vein of Grandma's Boy (he doesn't). According to the film's makers (via the movie's Facebook page), the new series will not be a comedy. That makes some sense, given that Rudin's other projects with HBO are of a dramatic bent as well. Those include Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's cable news-oriented series Newsroom, and a series based on Jonathan Franzen's critically acclaimed novel The Corrections, which he's co-developed with director Noah Baumbach. Not exactly a comedy lineup.

Though the exact design of this weekly series is still very much up in the air, the filmmakers are adamant that, despite the half-hour run time, the goal is to make something as sincere and heartfelt as the film it's based on. Whether that proves true--or, really, whether this series ever actually makes it to air--we won't know for some time. But at the very least, Indie Game: The Movie is getting some great exposure out of this whole endeavor, and that hardly seems like a bad thing at all.

For the previously unawares, you can check out the trailer for Indie Game: The Movie below.

Staff
Edited by KaneRobot

HBO = Human Body Odor. Ha! Kids jokes.

Posted by DeF

very cool that the guys behind this got so much attention recently!

I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the DVD set so I can finally get my special edition :)

Posted by Chibithor

I'm very much looking forward to the movie, and beyond the initial confusion over the HBO series, it looks like it has the potential to become something pretty cool as well.

Posted by Mongoose

Did I read right that Ryan (Davis) makes an appearance in this?

Posted by billyhoush

I can't wait for Indie Game: The Game.

Posted by Itwastuesday

hey i videogames

Posted by BigStupidFace

@Mongoose said:

Did I read right that Ryan (Davis) makes an appearance in this?

Where'd you see that?

Posted by sully

Man, now that's some perfectly stereotypical nerd hair.

That frivolous comment aside: It looks interesting.

Posted by Krampus

Very Excited to see this film. Not so interested in HBO.

Posted by fr0y0

@BigStupidFace said:

@Mongoose said:

Did I read right that Ryan (Davis) makes an appearance in this?

Where'd you see that?

A re-tweet on his Twitter. Apparently he has a small cameo. I doubt that he actually addressed the camera.

Edited by ckeats

@fr0y0 said:

@BigStupidFace said:

@Mongoose said:

Did I read right that Ryan (Davis) makes an appearance in this?

Where'd you see that?

A re-tweet on his Twitter. Apparently he has a small cameo. I doubt that he actually addressed the camera.

Brad too. I'm pretty sure it's just the scene where Edmund watches the Lemon Lens where Brad's playing meat boy with everyone around him. It's in the trailer, he cracks up laughing at it.

Posted by Vorbis

Please don't turn into a Big Bang Theory.

Posted by shulinchung
Posted by Olivaw

Apparently hipster glasses are very popular these days! That is what I learned from that trailer.

Still, looks neat. Real shame about that promo picture.

Posted by Rastapasta

I was able to snag tickets to the first showing at Sundance. I really enjoyed the movie and can confirm that theres a quick shot of a video review with Ryan and the Super Meat Boy Lemon Lens thing with Brad. It was very exciting

Posted by Ravenlight

I don't understand the SNES controller imagery. What does that have to do with indie games?

Posted by IshimuraD

How did I not know until today that the directors were from the same city as me? Yay Winnipeg...I guess?

Posted by RagingLion

I really like the visual style and tone of the film from what I've seen so far.

Edited by VincentLonga

@ckeats said:

@fr0y0 said:

@BigStupidFace said:

@Mongoose said:

Did I read right that Ryan (Davis) makes an appearance in this?

Where'd you see that?

A re-tweet on his Twitter. Apparently he has a small cameo. I doubt that he actually addressed the camera.

Brad too. I'm pretty sure it's just the scene where Edmund watches the Lemon Lens where Brad's playing meat boy with everyone around him. It's in the trailer, he cracks up laughing at it.

I saw the film this weekend, and tweeted at Ryan that he had a cameo in it. I think it's a quick look, and it's only for about a second, with no audio. Then there is Brad playing SMB with Will Smith Vinny saying "don't hit the spikes" and Will Smith saying something about Brad feeling remorse after he finishes the level. The audience at the screening laughed at the first comment :)

I also got to briefly meet James Swirsky and he seemed pretty down to earth. Someone asked what his favorite game was, and he said some adventure game from the 90s (either a Lucas Arts or Sierra, can't quite remember). Lisa Pajot admitted se was not into video games at all, but was now "interested" after making the film. All in all, the film is REALLY good, and allows the devs to portray themselves in a very open and honest way. Swirsky and Pajot may not be legit when it comes to video games, but they've made something wonderful with the documentary that appeals to humanity, not just people who are really into games.

Posted by falling_fast

cool. hadn't heard about this film before.

Edited by GS_Dan

I dislike how documentaries have to have those dramatic cutaway shots. Here's a guy staring away from the camera. Here's a guy walking down a street, towards the camera crew. Here's a guy in a swimming pool, still wearing his glasses(?!).

Posted by woo

It's an intriguing concept, but am I the only one that keeps picturing The IT Crowd?

Posted by RVonE

So, not shaving is a thing among game developers?

Edited by jasondesante

indie game the breakfeast cereal. indie game the audiobook narrated by morgan freeman. Indie game the epic trilogy starring Adam Sandler.

"hollywood mega producer" and I've never heard of the person even theres a handful of big names thrown around when talking about The Social Network or The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake. I'm pretty sure "the man behind" The Social Network movie isn't that guy. Probably just a significant chunk more of David Fincher's vision, maybe some of Sorkin's too with a touch of Reznor. If he had influence in making movies it was probably when he was "the man behind" Clueless and Sister Act 2 lol

Posted by admanb
@woo said:

It's an intriguing concept, but am I the only one that keeps picturing The IT Crowd?

I'm okay with this.
Posted by SockLobster

Fez needs to hurry up and be released, the documentary about it's creation is beating it at this point.

Posted by DharmaBum

The production values of the trailer make the show seem promising.

Posted by von_wemberg

@RVonE said:

So, not shaving is a thing among game developers?

Or in Jonathan Blow's case, ALWAYS shave...

Edited by lockwoodx

I can't stand how the media portrays gamers. Pass

Posted by I_smell

You forgot to mention Seth Rogan is playing Edmund McMillen (he tweeted that).
 
And yeah, I freaked out for the hour that everyone thought it was a sitcom.

Posted by cikame

How do you buy the licence to remake a documentary?

Posted by SeanFoster

Not sure about a TV series, but I'd love to see the movie. I'm hoping it will screen at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto this spring.

Posted by 49th

Wow that trailers looks great. I will definitely check this out.

Edited by ErikSchroder

@billyhoush said:

I can't wait for Indie Game: The Game.

It has to sound more indie than that!

Indie Game: The game based on the Television show based on the movie with the same name and oh there are zombies in it!

Posted by Redbullet685

Had never heard of this movie, but it looks good.

Posted by MisterMouse

man Phil Fish's twitter feed got pretty heated when he got wind of this

Posted by Vigorousjammer

ughhh, why did they have to add a script to the TV show? I'd totally watch a weekly half-hour documentary about a new indie game developer each week.

Posted by mnzy

@cikame said:

How do you buy the licence to remake a documentary?

Money.

Posted by jorbear

I saw the film just yesterday, and trust me, it is really fucking good.

Posted by TheGorilla

I've been looking forward to the documentary for a long time. Seems like it's great. I'm fine with this TV series. The people involved all seem top notch. It seems a little ridiculous that people would have such a strong negative reaction to the news. If HBO did a half-hour series about indie film makers no one would get pissed off, but because so many gamers, especially in the indie seen, have a flag pole stuck up their ass so many of them get pissed off. It could be cool. If it's bad it will just get canceled.

Posted by wolf_blitzer85

Everyone should always dig deeper into Jonathan Blow.
 
Also: 
 

Posted by Nottle

@ErikSchroder said:

@billyhoush said:

I can't wait for Indie Game: The Game.

It has to sound more indie than that!

Indie Game: The game based on the Television show based on the movie with the same name and oh there are zombies in it!

Published by Activation.

Posted by Evercaptor
@billyhoush You mean Game Dev Story for iPhone?
Posted by NegativeCero

I had no idea this existed and I'm interested in the final version of the film. As for the HBO version, I will probably never see it because I don't have it.

Posted by MysteriousBob

I know this really isn't the point but uh...

... why a SNES controller?

Posted by BitterAlmond

Indie Game: The Movie: The Show: An HBO Series.

Posted by Chubbaluphigous

If you go to the website for the movie, you can request a screening in different cities. You should totally go there and tell them to have a screening in Seattle.

Posted by Branthog

If they really knew their audience, they would put the remake where people who give a damn would actually watch it. Put it on netflix or the internet or something. Putting it on HBO is like putting chocolate cake in the produce section of the grocery store, where I never ever fucking will bother to go. :)

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