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Subject: New Board Game Documentary Film rss

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Justen O
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Hi, folks. My name is Justen Overlander. I've been a lurker at BGG for a few years after being introduced to Dominion about five years ago. Since then, I've become engrossed in board games, although my participation hasn't been as prominent as I'd like. Having three young kids limits my availability, although my oldest is now ten and she loves 7 Wonders, Alhambra, and Ticket to Ride. Yay!

By trade, I'm an actor/filmmaker. You can Google me or check IMDb to vet me. No, I'm not a household name. Sorry to disappoint.

But I love what I do and I do it well. My latest directorial effort is a Young Frankenstein/Airplane spoof that I hope to distribute sometime this year. I also have a faith-based project currently in development. My first self-produced film was a horror. What can I say? I'm eclectic.

Which leads me to the point of this post. (Finally, right?)

I'd love to do a documentary about the Board Gaming Community. I recently saw a trailer for Going Cardboard, and while I appreciate what the filmmakers were trying to do, I don't think the production quality is quite there. I have equipment and connections and could put together a higher quality product relatively inexpensively.

I'm not asking for money. Well, not yet. whistle

And I'm not here to insult the efforts of the Going Cardboard people. Making a movie is a ton of work and I applaud their efforts. I want to do something different.

At this early stage of development I'm just putting a feeler out there to gauge the interest of the community. So take a moment to answer my poll below and leave a comment if you have suggestions. Who would you like to see in this project? Should we go after Wil Wheaton? Jim Parsons? Olivia Munn? Feel free to make reasonable suggestions.

And please know that this project is very early in development. I can't guarantee it will ever come to fruition (by me), but let's at least get a discussion going. If I can't be the one to spearhead the project, maybe this thread will prove a valuable resource for whomever launches a new documentary about board games and us nerds who love them!

Thanks for your time. Have a great day!

Poll
What would you like to see in a feature-length documentary about the board gaming hobby? (choose as many as you'd like)
Convention Coverage
Individual Gamer Interviews (Joe and Jane Q. Public)
Game Design Process
Game Play Sessions
Publishing Company Tours
Celebrity Gamers
Well-known Gamers/Reviewers in the BGG Community (Dice Tower, et al)
The "Dark Side" of Gaming
      67 answers
Poll created by prov326
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Justen O
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louper wrote:
prov326 wrote:
I recently saw a trailer for Going Cardboard, and while I appreciate what the filmmakers were trying to do, I don't think the production quality is quite there. I have equipment and connections and could put together a higher quality product relatively inexpensively.


A higher quality product than the trailer? I mean, if you're going to make a board game documentary, don't you think you should actually view any existing ones in their entirety?

Sorry, but I just can't take the rest of the post very seriously if you couldn't invest 76 minutes to watch the whole movie.

I applaud your efforts but wonder how you can do "something different" from something you haven't seen.


Thank you for taking the time to respond, Todd. I understand your concerns and will take your honest feedback into consideration as I continue down this road.

One mistake I made when I produced my horror movie is that I didn't watch every previously produced horror movie in its entirety. Shame on me for making the same mistake.

But seriously… when the time comes, I'll watch Going Cardboard. It's not necessarily the content that doesn't quite meet the mark, it's the lack of production value (audio quality especially). That's all I'm saying.

Forgive me for touching a nerve. Best wishes!
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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prov326 wrote:
One mistake I made when I produced my horror movie is that I didn't watch every previously produced horror movie in its entirety.
Watching every previously produced horror movie would be quite an undertaking. Watching every previously produced documentary about board games might take you an afternoon.

I bet you had seen at least a few of the classic horror movies when you made your horror film. It seems a bit odd that you would get very far into producing a documentary about board games without watching one.
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401k? More like .357
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Bodymore
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Ooooh...the "Dark Side" of Gaming. Gotta go with that one, man. The stuff that happens afterhours at these boardgame conventions will turn you green. It's, like, "Fifty Shades of Richard H. Berg" and you just don't unsee that.

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Driver 8
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One thing I didn't care for in Going Cardboard were the 'human interest stories' that followed the undertakings of fledgling game designers. I also wasn't too interested in talk about game theory or things that were more related to the design process, rather than the aspects of gaming that most gamers are actually involved with. I was much more interested in the 'history of board gaming' pieces that were in Going Cardboard.

I would expect a board game documentary to answer the following questions: What are modern board games? How are they different from older games and different from each other? How have they developed into what they are now, and how are they trending? What are board game conventions and events? What's Boardgamegeek (and other important board game community resources)?
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Phil Hendrickson
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Sorry if this sounds redundant, but before you proceed with your project it really would be most productive to digest a representative quantity of the board game media already in existence. We have seen the results of game "designers" who don't get a good handle on the state of the market before going public with their own project. Those are the games that get publicly mistreated (on BGG anyway) due to the ignorance of the producer.

Your work might be great; I don't mean to imply otherwise. And I'm not calling you ignorant. But becoming familiar with the work of your intended peers is just the wise thing to do.

If you don't want to buy a copy, Going Cardboard is available though your local library by interlibrary loan. My library's copy gets loaned out frequently.

On YouTube, look up "Made for Play", a film covering the production of modern board games.

Look into the new film from last year, "The Next Great American Game", available in the BGG Geekstore.

In addition to several mockumentaries, comedy shorts, and countless game reviews, podcasts and video blogs, the three films above all give different views of the BG community. Learn how the current wheel rides before offering to reinvent it.

Then go make something better; we'll all be cheering for you.


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Brett B
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prov326 wrote:
I'd love to do a documentary about the Board Gaming Community. I recently saw a trailer for Going Cardboard, and while I appreciate what the filmmakers were trying to do, I don't think the production quality is quite there.

I've just viewed the IMDb page for your horror movie and, whilst I appreciate what you were trying to do, I can tell it's a piece of crap without even watching it.


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Justen O
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DrumPhil wrote:
On YouTube, look up "Made for Play", a film covering the production of modern board games.

Look into the new film from last year, "The Next Great American Game", available in the BGG Geekstore.

In addition to several mockumentaries, comedy shorts, and countless game reviews, podcasts and video blogs, the three films above all give different views of the BG community. Learn how the current wheel rides before offering to reinvent it.


Thank you, Phil. This is helpful. And, Chris, I appreciate your thoughts, too. Uncle Jay Jay, you made me smirk. Thank you.

The Next Great American Game looks like it's done very well. I'll definitely check that out along with your other recommendations, Phil.

I appreciate your human approach to this thread.
 
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Justen O
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bouchbre wrote:

I've just viewed the IMDb page for your horror movie and, whilst I appreciate what you were trying to do, I can tell it's a piece of crap without even watching it.


You're right, Brett. It's a terrible movie. But I learned a lot doing it and have learned a lot in the eight years since doing it.

Thank you for your relevant addition to this thread.
 
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Bill Gallagher
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There is a documentary film called Word Wars (2004) about the Scrabble tournament scene. You should watch it to give you some ideas on how to proceed.

It depends a lot on your audience how you should proceed. "Celebrity" gamers (I'm not talking Tom Vasel or a big name game designer, but what the average Joe/Jane would consider a celebrity) could attract viewers, thus bringing more people to the hobby.

Game play sessions may be useful for some games.
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