Articles & Notes, Photos — September 17, 2012 at 7:57 am

How “Stay Dead” narrowed gap between movies and video games (exclusive)

There are fighting computer games, and martial arts movies. Until now, it was all kind of separated.

A company by the name “BRUCEFilm” managed to combine the two, thus narrowing the gap between a film and a video game.

If you haven’t heard of it before, meet “Stay-Dead”, a motion picture game, where a person is able to control real-life characters, as if they are videogame characters.

In the end, “Stay-Dead” is a fusion of an action movie and a “round beat’em up” game like street fighter with elements taken from rhythm games.

A Word from the Creator

Needless to say, “Stay-Dead” has created some buzz online, with a lot of game related online websites have been writing reviews, and discussing the game. The game’s creator Fabrizio Digiovinazzo says from the beginning his idea was to be able to watch a movie, at the same time being able to control character movements on screen.

Talking to BZFilm, Digiovinazzo said he and his team were looking for “Stay-Dead” actors in Milan, where he is originally from.

“We made a casting call, posting invitations in all of Milan’s gyms, so everyone you see in the game is a martial artist,” Digiovinazzo told BZFilm. “We were very lucky to find such talented performers, all in good shape for this project.”

Further, Digiovinazzo spoke a little of the characters themselves.

“Iblis, for istance, participated at the last Olympic games in judo competition. Yama spent 6 years of his life in a Shaolin temple. Dukerg is studying his style (manusardi stick fighting) directly from the grandson of the style’s founder,” he said.

Speaking of the game’s concept, Digiovinazzo went into details, explaining how does “Stay-Dead” compare to one of the most popular fighting games ever – “Mortal Kombat”.

“My concept for “Stay-Dead” was really different from the one in “Mortal Kombat”, because we started from the opposite perspective,” Digiovinazzo said. “In Stay-Dead, I wanted to be able to interact in real time, inside an action movie.”

“No matter of the quality of the Mortal Kombat graphics, it will always look like a video game, because there is no direction, nothing cinematic, and all the characters are sprites,” Digiovinazzo noted. “It is not bad, just different.”

According to Digiovinazzo, the most difficult thing was the “multi-layer direction”.

“In the final, Stay-Dead must be a believable movie, not just a collection of poorly edited shots – you can immediately see the difference,” he said. “So I spent four years shooting and editing back and forth, before writing down new rules, acording to which, a sequence could be cut as a normal movie sequence, but with real time montage.”

As far as distribution of “Stay-Dead” goes, Digiovinazzo admitted that European market would theoretically be the easiest one to reach, as he himself is from Italy.

“I said theoretically not by chance, but because the U.S. is more open to this kind of product. As for Europe, there are two interesting countries, that we can target – the UK, and Germany,” Digiovinazzo said, adding that his team is currently seeking for national distributions.

“Right now,we are talking with some very important people in the industry, who are very interested in Stay-Dead. The Ipad version of the game had better luck, as we already signed with a worldwide distributor, which grants us visibility in a month or two in a lot of countries,” Digiovinazzo told BZFilm.

Sequel wise, Digiovinazzo said he thus far wants to focus more on marketing “Stay-Dead”, while revealing that his team is working on developing a “real course golf”, which supposedly should look like a real game, with real golf player control.

“During the production of “Stay-Dead”, we had planned more features than the ones we included in the final product,” he said. “It all depends on how the market will react to the game, as I need to know whether the gamers like the idea, and then adjust my plan accordingly.”

Digiovinazzo’s “BRUCEFilm” company not only creates games, it also creates movies. BZFilm asked Digiovinazzo about company’s future projects as well.

“Making a movie is harder than making a video game, and making a film in Italy is harder than making it in the United States,” he said. “So to sum it up, making action movies in Italy is like 3 times harder than making them in the U.S., yet we still try to.”

“For the moment, we have a comedy series in pre-development stage, and in the future, thanks to “Stay-Dead”, I hope we will be able get higher budget to make an action movie, as it is supposed to be done.”

While no game is ever perfect, and neither is “Stay-Dead”, it is definitely something fresh, something ambitious, something we haven’t seen (played) before. The market better react right…

Behind the scenes

Check out below for some exclusive behind-the-scenes photos that were provided to BZFilm.

Also check out behind the scenes video from “Stay Dead”, of how the “game” was actually shot.


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