segunda-feira, 5 de março de 2018

Interview Jim Miskell

Posted by | março 05, 2018

2017 was the year of the 20Th aniversary one of the best games on the N64: GoldenEye 007!

In celebration of this ocasion, Jim Miskell made a film about this game that everyone loves. I had the oportunity to watch it one day before it oficial release. Besides that, Jim was very nice to agree to a interview and his told us a little bit more about the production and behind the scenes.

Please, introduce yourself.

Hi guys, my name is Jim I am the writer & director of "Going for GoldenEye" a film I self financed and released for N64 and goldeneye fans around the world.

What's your story with the N64 and GoldenEye?

Like most n64 gamers Goldeneye has a very special place in my heart, it was my favourite game as a child, I spent thousands of hours playing it with friends at home or at school at break time, it was the first video game I was ever good at. I’ve never really stopped playing it to be honest. It’s a game that changed everything and at the time blew the world away with its unique gameplay, graphics and of course multiplayer! I will never forget the first time I played an N64, it was Star Fox with the Rumble pack and it blew my mind, the loading times were super fast, the controller precise and also felt perfect In my hands (still a big fan of the Z trigger and miss it ). It was another year before I managed to get hold on an N64, I swapped my friend my ps1 for his N64 and Banjo Kazooie, I definitely got the better deal! Banjo Kazooie to me is still a perfect game and probably the game I put the second amount of time into, I adore everything about it, Grant Kirkhopes soundtrack is still in my head 20 years later! I now own almost every N64 game which you can see in the film in the character Bens bedroom in glasses display cases, I have around 150 boxed games and the others are loose cartridges.

(The first two games that Jim played on N64 were StarFox 64 and Banjo-Kazooie)

GoldenEye have a lot of hack games, more recently the Goldfinger 64. Have you played any of these hacks? What's your opinion about these games?
I have not managed to play Goldfinger but i watched Glenn Plant play it on his N64 channel and i was completely amazed that some really talented people had created a sequel to GoldenEye, truly amazing!!! I also recently saw a hack of Mario 64 characters in Goldeneye, it looks so fun!
(Goldfinger is GoldenEye hack that was released in 2017)

What other video games and games do you like?

Nowadays when i’m not playing on my N64, I play a lot of The Witcher 3, Zelda Breath of the wild, Destiny, Battlefield 1, Assassins Creed, Dark Souls 2 & 3, Bloodborne, Nioh and recently I picked up Sonic Mania which is the perfect Sonic game I have waited 25 years for!

What are your influences on cinema?

Being from England I am a big fan of dry, subtle humour like The Office or Extras which were written by Ricky Gervais. Spinal Tap in my opinion is the funniest film ever made and it has no jokes in it, its all about making the audience laugh by showing how deluded the characters in the film are which is what I tried to emulate when writing the script for Going for Golden Eye. Christopher Guest is one of my biggest influences along with Ricky Gervais all the way to comedians from my childhood like Rik Mayall. When I first watched the office I remember laughing and cringing for the first time in my life at a show, I think getting cringes from your audience as just as important as laughs as to cringe at someone is to relate to them and see the delusion in them as people. I was very aware that Ethan in the film has to be extremely cringeworthy at all time as he may well be the best goldeneye player of all time but the rest of his life is a mess! Bragging about having a 17-1 kill to death ratio in GoldenEye in 2017 when your average gamer can't even remember goldeneye is pretty embarrassing! Haha

(Two major influences for Jim: Ricky Gervais and the film Spinal Tap)

Which director(s) do you like?

Along people like Ricky Gervais I adore John Woo, James Cameron, John Carpenter, Sly Stallone, Edgar Wright (is probably the best working director in the world in my opinion). I have to say George Lucas as Star Wars was the film that made me loves movies as a child.
(Edgar Wright, British director and writer that made "The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy")

Have you ever watched a Brazilian movie?

The only Brazilian film I have seen is City of God which is regarded as one of the best films ever made and for good reason! It is a masterpiece, I must say I am a big fan of Brazilian football!

Why did you do the mockumentary about GoldenEye? Why a mockumentary?

That is a great question. The truth is it just felt like a perfect match to make a mockumentary about video game players. As far as I am aware it hasn't been done before? I have never studied film or directing or writing so it was a huge task to get this film made with no experience, it really is a miracle it has all happened. The thing I love about a mockumentary is if it is done well the audience is tricked into thinking it is real life, there are moments in GFG where I feel it is real and even though I made the film I sometimes watch it and go wow, that feels like it really happened! Especially the world championships part of the film, I think all the cast and crew did a great job. Again I mentioned earlier that making an audience cringe is important as that shows they understand the characters aren't ‘cool or funny’ they are humans who are flawed, there is something fascinating to me about someone flawed trying to convince people they aren't when it is plainly obvious, Ethan and Ben especially are very flawed characters who are living in the past off old glories which is interesting to me as a writer.
(Ben, the main caracter)

How was the production of the film?

The production was extremely difficult as I had to shoot the whole film in just 3 days, no one in the crew thought we could do it but me and my wife planned out every scene painstakingly so that we could fly through the shoot as fast as possible. We had no rehearsal times also which wasn't ideal, just the night before we shot we had a cast read through over a few beers (I think the lack of polish in some of the performances helps make the dialogue feel a little more organic and natural rather than overly rehearsed ) I practised with as many of the actors as I could over Skype especially the actor Daniel Bruce who played Ethan as we had to make Ethan as unlikeable as possible, when in reality Daniel is the nicest person in the world! He did a great job as Ethan I think we can all agree! The whole film only had 3 locations where we shot, a hotel for the Goldeneye World championships, my house and an exterior for Clives house. I think we did a great job in hiding the fact its all shot practically in 2 places. The main production problem was getting the film written, shot and edited ready for release on the 20th Anniversary of the Goldeneyes release, which was only a turnaround of 2 months. I edited the film also so I didn't have a break, I'm just lucky I have an understanding wife!
(Daniel Bruce as Ethan, one of the most important elements on the film)

What were the main difficulties during filming?

The main difficulty was my utter lack in inexperience, I didn't know what I was doing and just had to pick it up along the way with help from a very talented cinematographer Mark Duggan who gave me lots of advice and tips along the way. Without Mark the film wouldn't have been made, he was that important to the process. Directing is an interesting job as really its putting trust in other people to do there jobs, most of the takes in the final film weren't what I initially wanted but an actor came up with a line here or there which I liked or something spontaneous happened which fit the narrative. The other difficulty is I had almost 40 people at once asking me questions all day while I was trying to focus on the next scene, so juggling that and trying to be as helpful to the cast, crew and background artists was extremely challenging. 

You did a little of everything on the film (script, direction and editing). What are the advantages of this on the film?

Thats right, I wrote the script, directed, produced, made all the props and costumes, cast the film, edited the film and the benefit of this is the film is one persons vision. When writing the film I always wanted this to be a true love letter to GoldenEye not by saying ‘goldeneye is amazing’ but by reminding people of the quirky bits of the game, the Klobb, the kneeling animation, shooting guards in the dick, hating people who played as odd job, all these things that people might have forgotten about are what keep me laughing when writing the script. Even the joke about the white stuff that is always in the base of the analogue stick makes me laugh because everyones controller had it haha. I think we live in a time of big summer films that all feel the same because they are written by a committee based on market research of what they think audiences want. The beauty of my film I feel is I made it to make me laugh, that is the truth, I love the film and seeing other people commenting on the film on youtube who get the jokes and references makes me so happy and all the work worth it! The fact that you are from Brazil a completely different culture and part of the world to me and we can relate to the same jokes about Goldeneye is absolutely amazing and what film making Is all about. And what makes all the work to get the film made worth it.
(Where did this come from?)

What are your favorite parts/scenes on the film?

Great question, my favourite parts are the drama scenes that drive the narrative as if this was just a documentary about the game I do not think it would be very interesting and it wouldn't stand out from the other documentaries which all relay the same information about the game. The scene where we meet Ellie as she bumps into Ben and they awkwardly chat before Duncan enters the scene is easily my favourite as we have a range of dynamics going on, it also sets the ending up perfectly where we have 4 players in the final who all have some kind of beef with each other and a score to settle. Other than that I love all the scenes with Ethan and Cher, Cher was the most fun character to write as she is just a ridiculous character and I couldn't resist writing a few sex puns for her which at the premiere of the film brought the house down with laughter! There are also so many easter eggs and references to Rare and the N64 hidden in the film the obvious one was the characters named in tribute after the people who made the game. So Alana. K Hope is named after Grant Kirkhope, Graeme Norgate who was part of the team messaged me on twitter saying he was still laughing about some of the easter eggs a few days after he watched the film which made my day.

What did you learn after finishing this movie?

Another great question, the one thing I learnt which will stick with me is at the premiere people loved the film, not just the gamers and n64 fans who attended. Because of the narrative there was a little something for everyone to enjoy. The icing on the cake was all the inside jokes for N64 owners. You always worry when writing comedy ‘will people laugh’ so hearing 200+ people laughing in the cinema was a huge relief!

Any plans for a physical release (like DVD or Blu-ray)?

The film has been pitched to Netflix and Hulu, funnily enough it was pitched on the 20th anniversary of the games release so that could be a good omen! It will be on iTunes and amazon eventually but in all honesty I made the film for the fans and want people to watch the film. I already have had a lot of people asking if they can buy a Blu ray or dvd so maybe a small print run will be down the line if I do I want to wait until I can put together a great release full of commentaries and behind the scenes information. 

We see that the independent scene has grown a lot in recent years. What are the consequences of this? Is this helpful?

Another great question, I think the fact anyone has the ability to make a film thanks to iPhone cameras being so awesome is great and recommend anyone who wants to make a film to go for it and do it! I shot a few of the pick ups with my iPhone for the film and all the old vhs style footage with my phone also.

What is your favorite Bond? And which Bond movie?

It has to be Pierce Brosnan, I still think GoldenEye is the best Bond film by a mile! It’s amazing and the stunts and action set pieces are amazing even now! Any film with James Bond driving a tank through the streets of a city gets my vote!

Do you have any future projects?

I have had a lot of people asking for a sequel which is very flattering. I have started writing another comedy which I want to spend a few years working on but in all honesty I need a bit of a break haha I had a baby girl a week before the films premiere so I will try and enjoy as much time with her before I work on any more films :)

Any final words?
I just want to thank the community for the reception to the film, it’s made the 3 years of work all worthwhile. I only ask that if people enjoyed the film to share it so as many people can see it as possible as this film is ours as a community not just mine. We are all a part of the N64’s history and Goldeneyes legacy. And thank you to you Alexandre for your support.
I want to thank Jim for the interview, he is a really nice person and talent director!

We are very excited for the launch of the Blu-Ray and we will report it here on the Blog when we have more information about it.

If you want to check out other interviews that we've done on the Blog, just click on the links below:
Tony Thai (Composer of the CD F-Zero Style-X)
Glenn Plant (the host on the YouTube channel "N64 Glenn Plant")

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