By Slaker117 29 Comments
My Night with Beefy Media: How I Swindled My Way Into Something Awesome
So sometime around six o'clock last night I was sitting at a table in the heart of Hollywood, eating some expensive looking food. On my right was Phil Sinnott, Beefy Media producer, and to my left was Sony biz dev Carter Lipscomb. Across the way was Beefy president Adam Boyes, who himself was between Juli Wood, who's working with MGM to try to expand into the game space, and the man himself, John Vignocchi. As I sat there, enthralled in the conversations going on around me, I couldn't help but think "I have no right to be here".
I'm just a college kid. A college kid who currently isn't in college. I took a semester off without a solid reason and have wasted a lot of time on the Internet since. It just so happened that friend of Giant Bomb Adam Boyes also seems to be into this Internet thing and posted on our message boards, asking for volunteers to help him run an event for a game he's launching. I figured I live close enough and have nothing going on, might as well meet the man. So I did.
The Game EventBeefy Media is producing an iOS game for Scream 4, and this event was set up to demo the game to press. This is what I was there to do. Unfortunately only about a dozen people showed up and Adam and Phil were able to address them all. Juli was also there with the same job as me, also not really doing anything. So I pretty much sat there for two hours watching other people play on iPads while the Beefy team chatted with them. At this point I felt pretty underwhelmed and useless, and while it was cool to meet Adam, the whole thing seemed to be a bit of a waste. I also did get to play an unreleased game, but that's significantly less exciting when it's for iOS. Not a slight against the game, but I'm not really into those, so it was pretty "meh" for me, but the press seemed to like it.
Downtime and DinnerThis is when things got more interesting. Despite the fact that I had done next to no work, Adam offered me a chance to watch the world premier of Scream 4 to thank me for volunteering. (He obviously having a relationship to the studio and all.) Of course I accepted. The movie didn't start for a few hours, and going home and coming back would have taken longer than the wait, given the time (LA rush hour is as bad as you've heard), so I got to hang out with the guys, even though I felt intimidated to be with industry vets who already know each other. I'd like to think I'm knowledgeable about video games and have intelligent things to say on the subject, but I'm still just a kid tossing around the idea of actually entering that line of work after I finish the college education I've barely started. I mean they were all really nice, and in truth are just normal guys who've made games there job, but still. I'm 18, hanging out with proper adults is strange enough, let alone adults who have jobs I'd like. Lots of interesting talk about stuff I can't repeat going on though, so that was cool. This is also when Carter (The Sony guy. Old, but cool as hell.) and Johnny showed up.
Oh, and another thing to add to the intimidation factor. I'm six foot four. That's not huge, but I'm used to being able to look at down people, and have found the the height makes it easier to feel comfortable with those who would otherwise be unsettling figures. Adam and Johnny are tall. I had know them to be big and have seen them on video, but had never registered how tall they were, and it was a surprise to see them match me. I also believe that our very own Jeff is around the same height. Therefor I've concluded being ~6'4'' is an important skill needed for working in the video game industry. Sorry guys, it's science.
Anyway, we were off to dinner, and the surreal experience that I opened with, soon enough. First off, nice Japanese restaurant. Lot of seafood, something I don't usually like, but what I tried I enjoyed, and there was enough land meat to keep me fed. At this point I realized how quiet I had been the whole time, which had me a bit embarrassed, which made it harder to speak out, but I think I managed to make some decent conversation. Johnny seemed happy to include me in questions and I think I impressed Carter with my knowledge of Bungie's early days. (Being a Halo fanboy had it's advantages.) In spite of my shyness, we all seemed to have a good time.
SCRE4M So then we got to see a movie. The world premier of Scream 4. Yeah, that was pretty cool. After a bit of walking and then squeezing into a single cab, we got to the Chinese Theater and went down the red carpet. (Pictured: Me on the walkway for not important people, managing to get in a shot with actress Anna Paquin.) They had free popcorn and soda so that was also pretty cool. As for the movie, I had fun. It not like it's trying to be anything groundbreaking, it's a Scream movie. Incredibly self-aware and silly, but at the same time, lots of blood. At first I was trying to decide whether I found the absurd amount of meta humor clever or trite, but then I remembered the condition that I was watching it under, told myself to stop being a snob, and I enjoyed it. It moved well and had a fair amount of both amusing and tense moments. If you liked the other films in the series, I see no reason you wouldn't like this.
ConclusionThat was my day. The others got to go to an after party for the movie that sounded like even more fun if Adam's twitter is to be believed, but I already got as much as I could handle anyway. I had a great time and met some awesome people. I just want to thank Giant Bomb for being awesome, and thus allowing me this opportunity to find me. Thanks again to Adam Boyes and Beefy Media for actually providing the opportunity. You guys are great.
My takeaways from the evening:
- Mobile Games Matter- So, I am, as I assume most here are, what is considered a "core" gamer. I like meaty games. I buy big AAA console releases. I'm not really into playing on my smart phone besides some picross every now and again. Part of me would like to dismiss that market all together. I know many here do. Well, like it or not, it's big and only going to get bigger. While I don't think it will make lager game experiences obsolete like Rovio has said, it is growing in importance every day. All we can do is hope companies like Beefy can get it right.
- Johnny V is Really Like That All the Time- He just is. And it's great. Heard stories he probably shouldn't have told, got to see him act both smooth and foolish, pretty much all the impressions you've got of him from podcasts are actuate. The man has a larger than life personality and is tons of fun. One thing that doesn't come across as well though is just how friendly he is. A really nice dude all around and instantly likeable.
- Industry Dudes Like to Drink- Ok, so I already knew this from talk on the Bombcast, but got to confirm it independently.
- Get Shoes That Fit- We only had to walk a few blocks and my shoes were only slightly too large, but I still somehow got blisters. Didn't even feel them then, but they are definitely here now.
tl;dr- I met Adam Boyes and John Vignocchi. Fear me.