The question of "medium" in the story-telling world is just as complex as the art world. Different ways of story-telling, from novels to movies, and furthermore video games all have unique abilities that showcase themselves in a way that can't quite be replicated in another medium. And yet, we as the audience still find ourselves craving those "movie-made books" or now in 2018, the video game movies. Video games turned into movies allow for a new, live-action perspective on their narrative-driven games.
The purpose of this article is to take those behind-the-scenes moments and bring to light their different aspects that will hopefully change the way you view not just that particular movie, but the idea of translating or crossing mediums in the narrative. We have images from Assassin's Creed, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Silent Hill, and last but not least, Warcraft. Something you'll notice right off the bat is that all these movies are Franchises, not just single game stories. They all contain a certain depth to their worlds, lore, etc that are needed for versatility. The stories need to be versatile in order to successfully translate into a movie, because there are different things required for a movie that video games don't have. I will go into more details within their specific images, so read on to have me change everything you knew about video game movies.
I also have some fun with a few of the images by just poking fun at things, or bringing to light other aspects of the movie that you may not have considered.
26 Assassin's Creed: A Hidden Blade Without Effects
As much as I want to feel like this is an epic scene. It isn’t when you look at it realistically. First off, you really can't hit the nail on the head when it comes to immersion.
Meaning that you will never get the same "I made this happen" feel when watching a movie. There is a higher degree of separation, no matter how close or tense the scene is. Like with the iconic hidden blade eliminations, all you can do is watch it happen. Even though it is only divided by hitting one button, that action makes a world of difference.
25 Resident Evil: Don't Forget The Gun
I am in no way undermining the capabilities of writing in script for long-form mediums such as a movie, but I am in every way trying to help the committed fans of these franchises understand just why the movie versions didn't quite make par with their game counterparts. The gun is probably an uncomfortably light, plastic model of a gun that isn’t even that impressive, to begin with.
There is a certain feeling that comes with holding a gun. It has a physical and mental weight. There is more to the thing than just aiming and shooting. It is like a superpower, it comes with responsibilities, ya know?
24 Tomb Raider: It's All Fun And Games Until The Boom Mic Gets Too Close
Who doesn’t love those boom mic bloopers? Those impeding things will graze your head more often than a cow grazes grass.
You have to make sure that whoever is holding the thing can actually lift it – or you’re in for a boom mic bump.
This article is sounding more and more like video games are better than movies, and I don’t think one is better than the other. I’m currently just discussing the restrictions that come with crossing from the video game genre to the script form. Voice acting is one of the more convenient attributes of writing for a game, albeit more complicated due to barks, audibles, etc.
23 Warcraft: Imagine All The Wires
Whatever you do, don’t unplug, trip on, or tug any wire. You aren’t a cat, so don’t chew on them either. Regardless of how “unnatural” they look as they trail away from the set, they are required to make things work.
There is nothing more effective at ruining any form of immersion than a wad of zip-tied wires staring right at you.
This is more of a life lesson than a rant on movie restrictions. Whether it’s a mysterious internet cable or a wad of snake-like cords under your parent’s desk, don’t mess with it. Trust me.
22 Assassin's Creed: Real Versus Fake Horsepower
This photo has been from one side of the web and back again. It is one of those real, gem-like images amidst the rubble of behind-the-scenes. Why?
It actually shows the audience something that changes their perspective on the movie.
It also portrays how hard it is to get certain live-action scenes. These are things that only high-budget productions can accomplish, which definitely puts a cap on the amount of game-based movies that we see. That, and because you need a game with enough of a linear story to translate into a movie.
21 Resident Evil: All Those Extras
This is where my argument changes. When it comes to extras versus NPCs, I would say that filming a bucket load of extras is probably easier than programming, writing, and recording audio for those unimportant background characters in a game.
Probably cheaper to pay them too.
A lot of work goes into the background of a game. Things like barks, NPC movements, and other things to add to the ambiance all need to be created and then incorporated. This is a multi-step process that takes a lot of time and resources. That’s why I always encourage people to experience and appreciate everything in-game, because it wasn’t easy jamming it all in there.
20 Tomb Raider: It Wasn't A Real Boat
Even if it were, I don’t think I would trust it in actual water. A pond, maybe. That being said, it is pretty epic on land and on set. A lot of time and effort went into making it look as realistic as possible, and it really paid off in the movie.
Regarding mammoth sized sets like this one, I'm not sure which would be harder to accomplish between a movie and a video game. I want to guess that building it in real life is far harder than a video game, but a location like this would need to be open to exploration in-game, so I'm not certain.
19 Silent Hill: It's All Just Make-Believe
One of the issues with movies is that you know, deep down/at the back of your head/or due to some remnants of trauma due to working as a lackey on a production set in the past, that there is and will always be a herd of people behind the camera.
What you see is only a fragment of a larger world built only for the sake of the scene.
You can't whirl around knowing that you can traverse the open world, because there is none. Everything is a temporary set that will be taken down after it has served its purpose. This is tragic really, if you think about how much work goes into making a set perfect.
18 Warcraft: Things Were Very High Tech Back In Medieval Times
Bad joke, I'm sorry. The intense visual contrast between the medieval-inspired settings and the high-tech gear for filming is a real eye-opener for inexperienced filmmakers such as I.
It really shows the audience just how complicated it is to film a feature-length fantasy movie.
Warcraft has books upon books of lore and backstory. It all started in the RTS Warcraft games and evolved into World of Warcraft. So many different myths from so many different cultures have been incorporated into the game's world, so I can see why it was such a big project.
17 Assassin's Creed: Don't Worry, There's A Harness And Strings
If you look closely you can see the strings attached to the stunt woman as she "jumps" off the top of the building. While in the movie you are led to believe (or make yourself believe) that she's doing something remotely dangerous.
Sometimes in a movie, there will be stunts that are genuine and add to the experience of the viewer, but most of the time it is completely fake.
At least you're watching real people perform these stunts, which is a one-up compared to video games, because you know that those are undeniably fake. There are no bodily restrictions or risks in a video game.
16 Tomb Raider: Try Keeping A Straight Face
We have all been there. You are trying to keep a straight face, either for a staring contest, to hide your reaction from an insensitive joke, or if you yourself are acting in a film.
You can't hold the giggles in forever, so just let them out and get back to being serious.
These behind-the-scenes moments always humanize the actors/actresses in a familiar and comical way. It allows the viewer to see them on a more personal and approachable level. The people who play your favorite game characters are real people too, so don't forget that.
15 Warcraft: What A Pretty Backdrop
IT'S NOT GREEN! I love it so much. This really adds to my argument about how CGI is improving in magical ways, because they have found a way to eliminate that awful eyesore we all know as the green screen. The green screen no longer needs to be green. It can be a pleasant, less reflective blue.
This must be sorcery.
It could also be that there was too much green used in front of the wall. Felfire in Warcraft is a radioactive green magic, so it could also be that they had to use a different color for the background, and not that this is some amazing new technology.
14 Assassin's Creed: The Not-So-Hidden Blade
I had to include this picture because it is so amazingly ironic. An iconic HIDDEN blade is given a shot, front and center of attention for everyone to see.
There is nothing even remotely "hidden" about this.
Kudos to whoever made the prop, though. It was definitely deserving of the close up it received. I am just thankful that the producers used hidden blades in the movie, seeing as other aspects were not quite up to par with the video games. This is a common issue with movies that come from their game counterparts, so I wasn't surprised.
13 Resident Evil: These Zombies Did Not Actually Have To Run Very Far
If you watch the Behind-The-Scenes footage, you can see that the extras- err, zombies only had to run past the camera. No marathons or triathlon athletes were required for the making of this movie.
I get out of breath just thinking about it.
In a real zombie apocalypse, however, you better be ready to run, and run faster than most others if you want to survive. You'll wish you were a triathlon athlete then.
12 Tomb Raider: The Things They Had To Go Through To Get Those Angles
Some things in movies are just a lot harder to achieve than in a video game. The unique angled shots, for example, would be one of those.
This could so easily be animated, or if you are playing, just mess around with your mouse for a bit.
There is a lot of fun to be had with weird angles while playing a video game. There are things that clip, glitch, or maybe are totally fine but still fun to giggle at. On the other hand, movies are a whole different challenge. Shots and angles are part of the foundation of a movie, so they must always look good.
11 Silent Hill: This Is A Wig, Thankfully.
Chances are that the hair you see used in a movie is probably a wig. Nothing beats a synthetic lace front wig that can handle enough heat for easy styling, braiding, or matting.
If this wasn't a wig, I would be worried.
It makes like easier for both the actors and the hairdressers on set, because you just have to take off your hair like a hat at the end of the day. You can still get the occasional dedicated actor/actress that will change their natural hair for the sake of a movie or even a scene.
10 Warcraft: Garona Is Cute When She Giggles
The Warcraft movie had so many dedicated and talented actors/actresses. Everyone looked and played their roles in perfection.
Garona is one of those amazingly played characters.
The story of Garona is one of unique strife. She struggles all her existence because she doesn't fit in. Her mix-breed appearance is a moral story for everyone out there who feels like they don't fit in. No spoilers, but at the end of the movie Garona ends up doing something that allows her to fit in with the orcs, but it forces her to abandon her humane side.
9 Assassin's Creed: When He Asks You To "Hang Out"
Again, more cables. The best part about this image is that it shows all the work that went into this location for it to work for the movie. It isn't easy finding the perfect locations to film, and usually there is someone who's sole job is to find them.
Assassin's Creed did a great job with their location-based scenes.
What Assassin's Creed did with the movie was they decided to venture into a new and fresh time in history that hadn't been done in any of their games before. This brought a lot of new excitement, because "no one expected the Spanish inquisition!"
8 Resident Evil: Those Walls Remind Me Of An Old College Dorm
No offense to some of the college dorms out there, but this is surely a wall that I am familiar with. Maybe with a few less chunks missing, but a very similar vibe. Some sad old college dorms just don't have the walls to contain their inhabitants, and things like this happen.
Of course, this wall is purposefully ruined, or was chosen due to its awful state... unlike a college dorm.
This is something that can be achieved with a few textures and art in a video game. That being said, you don't get the same authentic, dust-in-the-nose vibe as a real wall like this one.
7 Tomb Raider: Goofing Off Mid-Stunts
This was so funny to watch. The actress that plays Laura Croft in Tomb Raider is such a fun and playful individual. She constantly has moments behind-the-scenes where she can't keep a straight face or decides to have fun while the camera is off.
This shot of her goofing off really doesn't do it justice.
This was a whole thing where she started pretending to swim, and then dance while being held up in mid-air. Kudos to her for making the most of things.
6 Silent Hill: Running From That Terrible Green Screen
Another green screen. I totally understand why they would want to run away from it, though.
Silent Hill was co-written/produced by Christophe, who was an avid player and fan of the Silent Hill game. He really understood the limits and restrictions between games and movies as mediums for storytelling, "a game is a game, and a film is a film." (Gans). He went into the project knowing there would be challenges, and he used his knowledge in both mediums to spin a successful movie.
5 Warcraft: This Is Gul'Dan
This is much, MUCH, more impressive in the actual movie. The way it is now if just plain entertaining -- and not for the right reasons. Gul'Dan is this ominous, shaman-turned-demonic orc with nothing but hatred and menace to fuel him.
This is just an actor in a blue suit holding a stick.
Really puts things into perspective, doesn't it? It also shows the capabilities behind CGI and animation. It's technological sorcery, folks. CGI is something that has seriously closed a gap between video games and movies, because it makes so many more creatures, events, and even worlds possible.
4 Assassin's Creed: Michael Rocks The Stunt Mat... Or Is It Damian?
This movie took a "leap of faith" with their stunts. Michael and his stunt double, Damien for example, achieved a lot of natural and organic jumps, flips, and parkour within the film.
No green screen in this one, folks.
Apparently very little green screen was used in the making of the film, which is commendable. Another amazing feat was when Damian preformed a leap of faith from 120 feet without a rope and landed into a bag. Michael did do almost all of his own stunts, while Damien did the really dangerous and expert-level ones.
3 Silent Hill: Almost All Female Cast
Silent Hill's main cast is almost all female, with the exception of Sean Bean (to which I would never complain over his appearance)
Christophe did this on purpose, but was it a good idea?
It was already a risk changing the gender of the protagonist, but he did it knowing that most of the main cast would be female. Even the cop that gets pulled into the mix is female. I personally won't complain, because I found the story more relatable and organic (the dialogue needed some work, though).
2 Warcraft: The Co-Producer Is A Character In The Movie
This is a cute little Easter egg, and it really speaks to how committed the co-producer is to the Warcraft franchise. To many, Warcraft is more than a long stream of video games. It is a livelihood, an endless fountain of stories and lore, and even the beginning of a life-long career.
It speaks volumes when the makers of a movie are invested enough to want to be a part of the world they made.
Next time I watch Warcraft I am going to see if I can find him in the background.
1 Warcraft: Behind Those Perfect Moments Is A Cameraman Every Time
This is a bit of a stretch, but think about it and keep up with me on this one. So, let's say in a game you get to a pivotal moment and a super sappy/inspiring/amazing/whatever it is cut-scene comes on. You sit there, leaning into your monitor with your hands at the ready just in case you might need to go through a timed mechanic and push a button.
Movies are the opposite. It's as if there's an extra layer between you and the scene you're watching.
Why? Because you're sitting there, leaned back with your hands inside your pockets/snacks/whatever it is you're doing while you watch. The person who is leaned over and at the ready is the cameraman -- not you. You are watching through the lens of someone else. It's nowhere near as immersive.