8 Times Filmmakers Contributed to Games

Here are 8 times filmmakers contributed to games. Video games have always mixed movie elements into them. Whether it's CG cutscenes, Hollywood actors included, or in this case, actual input from filmmakers. They can have an incredibly important impact on the project, for both the bad and good.

8 Times Filmmakers Contributed To Games

For a long, long time, movies and games have always intertwined in somehow dating back to the old FMV games. Every year at the Game Awards, plenty of people from the movie industry, including actors and directors, are present. While some don’t care as much about the games industry, some of them definitely do. Throughout the years, several filmmakers have put in work in video games, and sometimes they’re extremely beneficial to the project. Certain games just wouldn’t be the same without them. Although, some other filmmakers just didn’t understand the video game format for certain genres. Here are 8 times filmmakers contributed to games.

David S. Goyer: Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and Cold War

Writer of comic book films, including the Blade and Dark Knight Trilogies, David S. Goyer is a known name in the genre. While David was a story consultant on Call of Duty: Black Ops 1, he was a lead writer for Black Ops 2 and Cold War. Both of those games arguably offer the best campaign in the series with their gameplay variety, multiple choices, and replayability.

Behind the Scenes with Trent Reznor & David S. Goyer - Official Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Video

Their writing is also solid and fits well for the type of action game COD is. One of the cool aspects of Cold War is being able to talk to the other members of the team in between missions. You really learn a lot about them, and it’s a worthwhile thing to do. Unlike Stephen Gaghan, who worked on Ghosts, David Goyer was a worthwhile contribution here, and the campaign benefitted from it. 

Tom Savini: Friday the 13th The Game

One of the most famous people in movie makeup, especially in regard to horror, is Tom Savini. Since he worked on the original Friday the 13th and The Final Chapter, it made sense for him to also work on the game. Tom designed the Savini Jason version of the horror icon as an exclusive to Kickstarter backers or through the Backerkit store.

FULL REVEAL! Tom Savini-designed Jason Voorhees!

Despite high demand, this form remained for backers only, making it very hard to use him nowadays for most. However, for backers, this was worth it. It’s a totally badass look for Jason, appearing to have gotten out of hell and even taken Lucifer’s pitchfork for himself. This is an awesome reward for backers and will make many players jealous. 

Kinji Fukasaku: Clock Tower 3

You may have never heard of Kinji Fukasaku, but you’ve definitely heard of the Japanese film Battle Royale. This man directed the incredibly influential film that created an entire game genre. Fukasaku-san was a co-director of Clock Tower 3 and was in charge of the in-game cinematics. For a game released in 2002, it has arguably the best cinematics up till that point.

The cutscenes and motion capture work were arguably the best in the business when Clock Tower 3 first released.

The cutscenes and motion capture work were arguably the best in the business when Clock Tower 3 first released.

Metal Gear Solid 2 came out just a year prior, but even that isn’t quite on the same level. The cutscenes were actually one of the biggest praises for reviews back when Clock Tower 3 first came out. Unfortunately, the rest of the game doesn’t have that same level of quality, with most Clock Tower fans considering the third entry to be one of the weaker ones. Tragically this was also one of the last projects Fukasaku-san would work on before passing away in 2003. 

Takashi Shimizu: Ju-On The Grudge

Again, you may never have heard of Takashi Shimizu, but you definitely know The Grudge or Ju-On. One of the most iconic horror films from the 2000s and synonymous with Japanese horror, Shimizu-san directed most of the films and even the video game on Wii. Ju-On: The Grudge is likely the most famous movie licensed horror game on Wii, although maybe not for the right reasons.

The iconic Kayako appearing in an elevator from the game.

The iconic Kayako appearing in an elevator from the game.

The game was critically panned upon release, and when playing, it’s not hard to see why. Ju-On is based on a film, but it feels too much like a film. A lot of it is taking control away from the player and just having them be scared by a cutscene. That just doesn’t work, especially in 2009, when the horror game genre was well-established at that point. If this was a mid-90s FMV game, I could see the appeal, but in 2009, the game felt ancient. 

Clive Barker: Clive Barker’s Undying

Many people in the film industry are adamant gamers, and Clive Barker is one of them. Both an author and filmmaker, Clive Barker is most well known for creating the Hellraiser and Candyman franchises. He also has quite a few games to feature his name, like Clive Barker’s Jericho or the video game adaptations of his film Nightbreed. The most well-remembered game to feature his name has to be Clive Barker’s Undying, released for the PC in 2001.

Patrick shooting projectiles at monks.

Patrick shooting projectiles at monks.

Barker wrote the story and created the characters. While Undying remains a cult classic due to its FPS gameplay, its Lovecraftian story also plays a part. Some might not dig the aesthetic, but those who do will get really engaged. It’s definitely up there with titles like Eternal Darkness or Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, which are must-plays for fans of Lovecraftian material

James Wan: Dead Space

Early on, James Wan was one of the freshest new faces in horror directing movies like the original Saw and The Conjuring 1 and 2. He has since done more mainstream films like the Aquaman movies and even Furious 7. Back in 2008, James was still mainly attributed to horror, and he made one of the trailers for the first Dead Space.

Dead Space - James Wan trailer

It’s not the one you might be thinking of that starts with Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. It’s a different one that features some Saw-style editing. The trailer’s alright, but nowhere near the quality of the previous one. At the very least, it created some buzz in the horror fandom that attracted more interest in the game. It is interesting, though, that another horror legend John Carpenter wants to make an actual Dead Space film now. 

James Gunn: Lollipop Chainsaw

One of the most acclaimed filmmakers at the moment, especially in regard to big blockbusters, has to be James Gunn. In an era where many superhero films can feel samey and unimportant, James constantly makes his films stand out across the pack. Back in 2012, though, he was still associated with the horror genre, with his standout horror comedy Slither and writing the Dawn of the Dead remake. James was a pretty big player in creating the 2012 action game Lollipop Chainsaw.

The PS3 theme of Lollipop Chainsaw featuring Juliet and Nick.

The PS3 theme of Lollipop Chainsaw featuring Juliet and Nick.

He played a big part in creating the story and characters. One of his most notable inclusions is the objectification aspect of Nick. Juliet is designed as a super hot woman, yet Nick, her boyfriend, is literally objectified, being only a head. That is pretty clever and used well for comedic effect. It is unfortunate that James Gunn isn’t involved in the Lollipop Chainsaw remake. However, the devs have stated it is essentially a remaster. We’ll just have to wait and see. 

Bruce Feirstein: James Bond 007 Everything or Nothing

James Bond has a long history of video games, and still, what most will say is the most James Bond-like game has to be Everything or Nothing. It’s not just another Third-Person Shooter, as it has all the James Bond hallmarks. Car and plane driving sections, the same cast as the movies, and even a Bond-style music video with an original song. 

Bond just narrowly avoiding a collision with an armored vehicle.

Bond just narrowly avoiding a collision with an armored vehicle.

It’s little surprise that the game was actually co-written by Bruce Feirstein, who wrote the screenplays for the first three Pierce Brosnan Bond films. His input added that extra bit of authenticity to the project. Everything or Nothing is still remembered as one of the best James Bond games, and while it isn’t as good as Goldeneye, it’s still in the top three. 

8 Times Filmmakers Contributed To Games – Conclusion

Since games and movies have intertwined for so long, it can be a common thought that filmmakers just don’t understand games. With most video game films being bad, it’s easy to see that reason. However, nowadays, if a filmmaker is gonna contribute to a game, for the most part, their inclusion is incredibly beneficial. Most of the entries here had an incredibly positive impact on the project in question. Lollipop Chainsaw and Everything or Nothing just wouldn’t be the same without the involvement of Gunn and Feirstein, respectively. If they didn’t understand it, they most likely wouldn’t have gotten involved in the first place. 

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