Behind the Scenes of the Trailers!

 

1: Hello who are you and what are you known for?

Gage 03.jpg
My name is Gage Allen, and I am known for creating professional game trailers, cinematics, and the likes for indie and AAA studios/publishers. Most recently I created the launch trailers for ConariumEmpathy, and Dawn of Andromeda.

2: How did you get your break into the industry?


It all began with Fallout 3, which had just come out. The gameplay trailer completely blew my mind, and was the first thing to make me consider combining my skills in video at the time with my passion for games. It inspired me to make fan trailers and practice my gameplay capture methods aSCP_-_Containment_Breach_v0_2012-12-23_13-35-11-93.pngnd such. Several years later, after creating a number of fan trailers and teaching myself advanced editing programs and such, I came across a popular indie horror game called SCP: Containment Breach. The game didn’t have an official trailer, despite how popular it was, so I offered to create one. I ended up creating two official trailers for the game, and they both went viral. From then on, I’ve been doing game trailers, cinematics, and such professionally.


3: What advice would you give as a mentor to anyone thinking of entering the industry?

I get emails from college students and people all the time asking about advice for entering the game industry and creating trailers and what not. I wrote an entire article on the piece, but essentially there are three things: Never stop creating, never stop trying, and never let failure own you. I only got to where I am by believing in a single philosophy: “The greatest calamity of all is not to have failed, but to have failed to try”. 

4: How do you explain what you do for work to people not in the industry, say at a party?

It depends. For people not inclined in that world, I’ll usually just tell them I do movie trailers for games. That seems to be easier to understand for people.

5: Which title in recent history has really pushed new boundaries in gaming with their use of cinematics?

I’d say GTA V did an amazing job with the blend between gameplay and cinematics (Specifically gameplay cinematics). That game did so many things on so many levels that shocked all of us in the industry. Another big one would be Uncharted 4.

6: Best use of a 30 second game trailer segment you have seen?

Definitely one of the best ones I’ve seen has to be the 30 second trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End called Man Behind the Treasure

7: Could you name the worst design scenario you were involved in? What would you do different if you were in that situation now?

I don’t know about worst design scenario. There are always trailers that present their own challenges. Some of the games I’ve done trailers for have been incredibly complex, which makes the process of conveying an accurate overview of the game in a cinematically appealing way very difficult. Dawn of Andromeda was one that was somewhat complex in demonstrating the 1.pngconcepts behind the game in a way that was unique. The publisher wanted something that hadn’t been done before with other 4x space game trailers, so I had to not only come up with something that conveyed the narrative of the game, but do it in a way that wasn’t normally seen with similar game trailers. That’s where the mix and beats of the opening archival footage sequence of the trailer came in to the mix, and the writing behind the voice over was created for. But that wasn’t a bad experience, I loved doing challenging design scenarios like that because it allows me to think outside the box at times. A link to the trailer, here

8: How do you see game trailers compared to other media fields? 


Game trailers are definitely a unique field. A lot of people compare them to movie trailers, and a few trailer houses try to mimic movie trailers and such, but the truth is the approach to high-end game trailers is a fundamentally different experience when compared to the approach to a movie trailer.
Gage 01They both share a goal: Market the product in such a way it convinces people to play/see it, but one is a condensed material of footage, while the other is a much larger and complex interactive product that can vary in enormous ways from game to game. Games can be much more complex than films, and therefor can be much more difficult to really condense into a trailer and show in a way that doesn’t give away the narrative (if there is one) or elements of the game the studio wants to keep a surprise.
Now, the bar for game trailers however is a bit lower than a movie trailer, as a game trailer could be random gameplay sequences edited together, while a film has a bit more complexity to move into a trailer, even for basic users. This is why I’ve found that game trailers tend to have a bit of a larger variety, especially indie game trailers.

9: Best influences in your art/design that’s non-game related?

My life experiences. Growing up I spent 10 years of my childhood in a third world country, so I draw from that a lot in my film and game work when portraying the power of sequences. There’s also things like books, stories, films, etc.. 

10: Finally, how has the AR/VR field affected the way you create trailers and in-game cinematics?
VR has had an enormous impact in the field of game trailers. A lot of companies are trying to figure out the best way to convey a VR game and it’s pexels-photo-123335.jpgfeeling in a non-VR medium. Just showing first person footage of someone playing a VR game looks pretty boring, no matter what you do to it or how thrilling the feeling of playing the game in VR is. We’ve been experimenting in showing the character model while taking traditional gameplay capture elements with a cinematically inclined camera direction, as we do with normal gameplay capture in a 3D based engine. There is also the live-action element that companies like Sony have already attempted; showing someone put on the VR headset, and then transported into a different world. The problem is, a lot of these methods have a hard way of truly conveying the feeling of VR because… well… there isn’t quite anything like it when you try VR for the first time. It’s not just a hurdle for us making game trailers, but also for companies making VR games. But, I love it, because it forces people like me to think outside the box and overcome another challenge. 

 

Thanks Gage, for a great insight to the other creative side to games and the thought processes that go into their trailers for marketing!

If you would like to know more or to connect with Gage, check his profile out on Gamesmith.com. His company, Player One Trailers.

Gamesmith, is a unique network of over 200,000 gaming professionals worldwide. If you have shipped a game, this is the place for you to connect with top-flight game studios or with other gaming professionals.

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