Voice Actor. Author. Alien. Human

My New Videogame Demo

Video games, as a medium, do a lot of incredible things that other media just can’t. They immerse people in stories in a new and innovative way, bringing a level of personal experience to storytelling that isn’t available in movies, television, or even Choose Your Own Adventure novels. That’s one of the reasons I love working on them so much. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I moved out to Los Angeles in the first place.

Over the last year or so, I’ve been honing my craft as a voice actor in several different categories, working on specific skill sets that would help me grow as an actor and a storyteller. I’ve been meeting with David Lyerly, a NYC-based coach and video game connoisseur, and the journey has been an interesting, difficult, and rewarding one. At the end, we produced a demo reel that I am really proud of.


I present to you my brand new video game reel:

We tried hard to focus on the recent trend of video games to be more theatrical, relying on the actor to provide subtlety and nuance to the dialog in order to bring out specific elements - not just what’s going on visually, but the implications all of that has on the story surrounding all of it. Video games have become so realistic and raw lately, and we tried to focus on that here.

I hope you enjoy taking a listen! I can’t wait to continue having a part in telling these incredible stories.

Majora's Mask - A Terrible Fate, Part II AND MOVIE!

If the word “ocarina” immediately makes you think of a hookshot, I think you’re in for a treat.

If the word “ocarina” makes you think of a 90s dance song, please go buy a Nintendo 64 and start playing The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask right now.

I mean, it wasn’t even called the “ocarina.” It was the macarena. You disappoint me.

Anyway, the brilliant and talented Jason Gallaty, also known as Theophany, has dropped a two-run homer consisting of two absolutely incredible fan projects centered around the Majora’s Mask game. I had the privilege to be a part of both of them in different capacities, but even without me (maybe especially without me) these two projects are just wonderful to behold.


First, here’s Majora’s Mask: The Story of Skull Kid. It’s a bit of an origin story behind the tragic villain of the game. It’s made by Ember Lab, which has put out some stunning stuff in the past. I got to play the voice of the Skull Kid himself, which mostly consisted of guttural screams and noises. Which means it mostly consisted of fun.

Aside from being spoonful of visual awesome, it’s a chilling story told with no words at all.

Then, I’d like you to bounce over to www.terriblefate.com, which holds the now two-disc Terrible Fate album. Two whole discs of music from Majora’s Mask, re-interpreted and re-imagined into some of the most gorgeous tracks I’ve ever heard Jason write. He invited me to play some instruments on some of them, and I was, as I always am when Jason comes knocking, happy to help.

In one of the tracks, it sounds like he has like a hundred soprano singers going absolutely nuts. So I asked, “Jason, how did you get it to sound like you have a hundred soprano singers going absolutely nuts?” And he responded “we got a hundred soprano singers to go absolutely nuts.” That’s the kind of awesome that Jason brings to this album.

Go. Listen. To. The. Album. And then go hug a nerd while you both softly cry.

And then go learn the macarena.

***UPDATE***

Well this became viral way quicker than I expected. Here are some links to stories about this project that you might be interested in:

Majora’s Mask Cartoon Is Real Good - Kotaku

Witness Skull Kid’s Origins in “Majora’s Mask” Fan Film-Crunchyroll

This Amazing Majora’s Mask Fan Film Explores the Origins of Skull Kid - Escapist

Majora’s Mask Fan Video Brings To Life Skull Kid’s Origin Story In Stunning Detail - Gameinformer

My New MoCap Demo!

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve written, namely because I’ve had roughly 8 flights on airplanes in the last 3  months, one of which was a trip to Japan, because why not? I’ve been working on a whole host of things, but I recently completed one project that I wanted to share right away because I am so excited about it.

I present to you, my new MOTION CAPTURE DEMO!

I am so happy with the way this turned out! 


Some of you might be wondering: what the hell is motion capture? Motion capture or MoCap, is a brilliant technology that allows animators and programmers to integrate human-like motions into a game for the purposes of increasing realism, streamlining programming, and overall creating a more realistic, expressive experience in game. Here’s a little video produced by FullSail that explains the process a bit more:

To me, MoCap is the next evolution in video game voice acting. Not only can you capture the voice of the actor, but you can capture the actor’s movements as well. This allows the voice actor to do things that were previously impossible or difficult - act with his/her body, without worrying about staying “on mic.” In the booth, you can’t really move your head away from a very thin degree arc, or the microphone won’t pick up your voice well enough to include in a video game. 

In short, MoCap is a great technology that allows us to tell stories in new ways, which is enough to give it a pass in my book. 

Thanks for visiting! 

I am Fox McCloud!

I am so thrilled to announce that Nintendo of America has cast me in the role of Fox McCloud in STAR FOX ZERO:  THE BATTLE BEGINS!

fox

THE BATTLE BEGINS is an official anime-style animated vignette that fills in the story before the new game Star Fox Zero, which released on April 22nd of this year. It was produced by the same folks that worked on the amazing Attack On Titan, Ghost in the Shell, and, of course, the legendary creator of Mario, Star Fox, and Zelda:  Shigeru Miyamoto.

Being a huge anime and video game fan myself, I was so nervous about fan reception. When you take something so beloved as Star Fox and try to do something new with it, the space between making your fan base scream like children because they're excited and making them scream like children because they're angry is a thin, treacherous area. But to my delight, the overall reception was wonderful. The animation quality was fantastic, Phil Bache's voice direction was incredible, and all in all everyone that worked on the project was a superstar. The result was well over half a million views in a week and thirty thousand thumbs up on YouTube, all surrounded by pleas for a series. I couldn't have asked for a better response unless someone bought me a functioning Arwing.

And what a rush! I didn't know I was working on a Nintendo project until literally 4 days before I recorded, and it was still codenamed until about 12 hours before I stepped in the booth. I was sitting on my couch on a Sunday when I got the email from the casting director, and my wife knew something was up when I started gleefully yelling profanity.

"What is it?!" she yelled.

"FOX @#$&@#$& MCCLOUD!" I yelled back. Repeatedly. Over the next day. It became the house slogan.

And in just four days, I went from not knowing a project existed to being the lead role of an iconic video game tie-in. Wow.

Just to clarify, since I've been getting lots of questions, Mike West is still the voice of Fox in the video game. He's an iconic, incredible voice actor and I currently have no plans to dethrone him and burn the franchise to the ground. My plans mostly include eating these new IHOP Cupcake Pancakes that are in front of me and slipping into a diabetic coma.

So long everyone! Don't forget to check your G-Diffuser system!

What's My Favorite Voice Work?

Possibly the hardest question that I get asked from people when I talk about voice acting is "What's your favorite thing you've ever done?" Everyone has projects they love, and everyone has projects that they don't love as much. It really is hard to pick one.

So much goes into what makes a project fun or fulfilling. A lot of the time it's actually the client. How many of you have ever worked at a job where the work you do is really amazing, but your boss makes you hate your life? I had a few of those during my government days, for sure. It's amazing how one person can make working to defend freedom/save the world/defeat Hydra feel like mucking medieval horse stables. On the other hand, a two minute video on a new cat medication can be a riotous good time if the people on the other end of the line know how to have fun.

For example, I had a client once ask me to use a lead in (ad-libbed introduction) to a line to make sure that it really felt like the next statement was a "wow" moment. It's a common technique; you say something off-script that helps "lead you in" to a moment and make it feel more natural.

So I took a breath and yelled "HOLY SHIT! This software is three times more likely to detect security threats before they become a real danger to your system!" We had a good laugh, one that I couldn't have had with all of my clients.

So, the people you're working with can make a project fun, even if you're not particularly enthusiastic about the subject.

As far as projects that I enjoy purely for the content...well, that has to be video games and animation. That's a broad brush, since the two can be very different, but these two types of projects are basically the reason I moved to LA. There are a lot of things about character work (a term I'll use to lump these two things together) that make it appealing to me. First, of course, is that it leans heavily on what I've discovered is the central theme of my life: storytelling. Yes, there are storytelling elements in commercial and promo, but not change-the-way-you-think-about-life storytelling. Character work has that. Plus, I get to be different people. Check out some pictures of characters I've played:

 Archer Artwork.png

Second, I'm not exactly a guy that people would describe who lives with his heart on his sleeve. I'm usually measured, calculated, and standoffish. It's just an aura that I've picked up over the years, from being an east-coast Italian boy and from the military. So when sometime hands me a script and gives me permission to lose my mind? What a release that is for me. Pardon my sappiness for a moment, but acting has let me get in touch with and understand not just my own emotions, but the emotions of others. Acting is an extreme exercise in empathy. It has - like storytelling - expanded my point of view.

Third, I'm a nerd, and the thought of being in video games makes me giggle. I was playing Oxenfree last week and heard my own voice come out of the radio, heard the other characters talk to me, and I actually chortled like a small child. So sue me; I like validation.

If you're a freelancer - or if you're a dayjobber, who cares? - post your favorite type of project, and what makes it special for you, in the comments below!

Check out my voiceover page, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook, for the occasional voiceover update and clips from projects I've completed. 

 

MAGFest 12 - Some Reflections

If you consider yourself a part of video gaming and music culture at all and you don’t know what MAGFest is, you’re doing something wrong.  Music-and-Gaming Festival (MAGFest) is a yearly festival that has occurred for the past 12 years in the Washington DC area – the National Harbor in Maryland, to be precise, at the Gaylord Convention Center – and it is basically five days of ceremonial worship of the nerd gods.

“Festival” is a bit of a misnomer, though.  It’s really a convention, much like a lot of other fan conventions except that there is that added element of music that is not so much a focus at other cons.  Here you get a brilliant juxtaposition of video games and music that tickles all kinds of nostalgic bones, and is pure awesome – especially for someone like me whose artistic tastes developed in a way that is inextricably tied to video games.  Music practically started with video games for me.

So getting to go to MAGFest for a couple of days this year was a real treat.  I’m relatively new to the scene, for the most part; I’ve spent the last 10 years or so getting bounced all over the world and haven’t had the time or flexibility to really start to become part of a culture.  Now, after being “settled” for over ONE YEAR (gasp) I can feel myself starting to branch out, build relationships, make friends, and experience life in a somewhat normal way again.  I miss traveling, but I think I missed being part of something like this, too.

The highlights?  Well, the really great part about MAGFest was getting to hang out with the OverClocked ReMix community.  If you’re familiar with my blog(s) at all, you’ll know that OCR is a fantastic community of video-game reinterpretation into which I am happy to pour my creative juices.  Aside from a lot of beer and introspective nerd conversation, I learned how to play a couple of new tabletop games, indulged in Magic, the Gathering for a couple of hours, listened to some fantastic concerts (like OverClocked University, Flexstyle’s DJ set, and Those Who Fight), and got to participate in a couple of impromptu jam sessions myself.

You know shit just got real when some guy walks into the room carrying an accordion.  You know shit got really real when he passes it to 3 other people who all also happen to play accordion.

All in all, I find that I learn something about myself every time I go to a convention.  I mean, I’ve only been to a few in my life, but I still feel like I come out of each one of them changed, and usually for the better.  That might seem like a pretty deep inference for what is essentially a giant party, but it’s true.  Sure, there’s partying going on, and sure, there’s nothing particularly deep about an NBA Jam session in which every character is Bill Clinton (YES THERE IS), but I still got to step outside my bubble for a while.  The panels were educational, too, and just talking to people who have a different life experience than me can be really enlightening.  Being an introvert has an unintended side effect sometimes of thinking that there is only one worldview (yours).

So, what did I learn over the last few days?  Well, first, I learned that I have an awesome wife who is willing to go let me geek out for a few days while she takes care of our kid.  I also learned a little bit about fitting in, about chasing my dreams, and about balancing priorities in my life.  I’ve been so busy over the last couple of years (like ten of them) that it’s been hard for me to really sit and think about what I value, what I think is going to help me live a fulfilled life with my family, what I want to do here on this planet.

And I think I might have had a bit of tunnel vision for a while.  I worked so incredibly hard to get where I am right now in my totally non-nerd, non-writing, non-music career, but I’ve sort of come to the realization that all of this might have been a stepping stone and not a destination.  I have stories to write and music to compose, nerds to hang out with.  I’m not sure I’ve been prioritizing my life that way; I’m too stuck in the old fashioned model of family stability and having a “real” job. But maybe the path I’ve been on was just meant to set me up to set me free, if that’s not too gushy and silly to understand.

It’s not very often I get to hang out with huge amounts of people that fall into similar strata of nerd culture as me, and it’s always kind of refreshing and liberating when I do.  To me, nerd culture (I need to find a better word for this) is a sort of ultimate freedom.  What looks like social awkwardness is really just kind of universal social acceptance; you can go to a DJ dance party and act like you’re having a seizure for three hours, and nobody will ever think about how poorly you are actually dancing – only that you are having fun.  You can put on an Altair costume from Assassin’s Creed and walk around looking dead serious, like you literally believe that you’re that character, and it’s cool (unless you try to stab someone in the eye).  Nobody judges.

So, it had me doing a bit of a self assessment, and I think I really needed it.  My wife said to me in a related conversation after MAGfest, “Maybe you and I need to stop pretending to be cool.”

I’m not 100% sure what that means yet, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t yet realized all the implications of that line of thought.   I hope to, soon.  2014 is a brand new year, and I think some exciting things are coming my way in ways I never expected.  I just hope it’s not a pie in the face.  Cuz, I mean, nobody expects that.

Cheers to you, MAGFest!  Until next year.

United Video Game Symphony!

I remember the first time I discovered an orchestral arrangement of a Final Fantasy tune.  I was surfing the web back when MP3s were just sort of starting to come out, and I found a couple of files.  One of them was actually part of Symphonic Suite, and the other one was a crazy samba version of the Chocobo theme.

I literally thought I had found some sort of secret thing.

Of course, it wasn't secret. It was a huge area of fandom that I had yet to discover fully.  There are many orchestral arrangements of formerly 8-bit video game tunes, and many of them are hair-raising fantastic.  Going to the Final Fantasy Distant Worlds concert was one of the best musical experiences of my life.

Buuuut there's always that ONE tune that you wish would be orchestrated, but hasn't been.  After all, orchestras are expensive; you need to hire the musicians, rent the practice space, rehearse, etc.  It's a complicated process.

Until now! (God I hate that line...)

Thanks to the brilliant idea of Thomas Kresge, the United Video Game Symphony is close to being a reality!  In his model, after a Kickstarter funding, a giant group of video game fans like you will get the chance to vote on what you want orchestrated.  After collecting about 18 pieces, the arrangers (of which I am one) will get the voting results and begin arranging.  The concert will be held sometime in mid-2014 in the Washington D.C. area (venue TBD).   If you can't be there in person, you'll be able to watch it live streaming on the internet and buy the CD later.  

If this sounds as awesome to you as it does to me, you must go to the Kickstarter webpage right now and throw your life's earnings at it.  This project is ambitious, but think about what a couple of video game nerds are undertaking here; we want to hire a group of talented, professional symphony members and have them put on a concert at a major venue.

I hope you'll take a moment to spread the word, contribute if you can, and just get as excited as I am about hearing your favorite video game pieces orchestrated by some of the best players in the world.

Go to the Kickstarter NOW!

 

The End of FFVII - The Web Series

I suppose it’s a few weeks past due that I post something about this, but the Final Fantasy VII Web Series has been cancelled.

In short, it boiled down to a legal dispute we’re having with Square Enix – one that we always knew we were going to have but had hoped that Square would be professional enough to overcome.  Despite attempting to work with them for months through several forms of communication (email, snail mail, phone calls, everything but flying to Japan) they chose to ignore us.  We were open and honest about what we were doing with absolutely everyone involved, especially Square – they knew exactly what we were doing and when we were going to do it for almost six months.  We got media coverage from ridiculously popular gaming online mags like Kotaku and TheWired and Crunchyroll.

But…they still ignored us.

That is, until we tried to use Kickstarter to fund the project.  Then they brusquely came down on us with a takedown notice, said nothing, and continued to refuse to respond to our many professional missives.

We knew we were going out on a limb with this one, but we had (albeit perhaps naive) hopes.  Square isn’t known for being lenient with fan projects, and have shut down several before.  But they also have made deals before with fan organizations like OverClocked Remix.  We hoped that, with all the amazing stuff we had out there already , Square might see this as an opportunity to reclaim some of the fan support they’ve lost through the past few iterations of Final Fantasy.  Instead, they took it as an opportunity to maintain their already scarred reputation and uphold the perception that they’re not very interested in what fans want.

So maybe I’m a little bitter. I think everyone on my team was – and we had a right to be.  Haters gonna hate, of course.  We’ve seen plenty of that, and combined with the outright rudeness that comes with the implied anonymity of internet communication, it was a pretty discouraging time.  Regardless, though, our team of fifty some odd fans got together and tried to do something amazing with the Final Fantasy VII world, and no amount of tactless trolling is going to diminish that.  We know what we were capable of bringing to the fan community, and we know what Square Enix lost by choosing corporate elitism over professional relationships.

The team has moved on to other individual projects, but we’ll all be keeping in touch and pulling on the massive talent pool we’ve accumulated.  For me, it’s time that I start focusing on my writing again; DEATH BEAR AND THE SNUGGLE OF DOOM is in its last edit and Book 1 of THE DEICIDE SAGA is shortly behind it.  And NaNoWriMo 2013 is coming up!  While one dream might be dead, a hundred others are rising up to take its place.  That and I’ve launched my music and voice website, which you can find over at www.renmanstudio.com.  I have several projects that I’m working on that I hope to be able to announce in the coming weeks.

Much love,

Joe

 

Renaissance Man Studio, LLC!

How to Terrify Yourself, by Joseph Zieja

Step 1:  Start your own business.

Step 2:  Post a blog entry about it.

Step 3:  ...Profit!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present my new website and new business:

Renaissance Man Studio, LLC!

I feel obliged to tell you how I arrived here, but you can just go ahead and click the above link to skip my bullshit and see the glory that is my new website.

When I was 15, I got one of my first "on-the-books" jobs as a telemarketer for a sales company --  Put down that knife!  There's a point to this story, and I promise I only did it for one summer and I never called you at dinner.  I came across some very, um, colorful personalities (and strange last names), one of which was clearly a woman of African descent who began very enthusiastically praising the timbre of my voice.  Instead of buying what I was selling (damn her), she began raving about how nice my voice was and did I sing in a choir and oh what a sweet young man I was!  I hung up and promptly forgot about the conversation for thirteen years.

Then, this year, I decided to try my hand at the voiceover business.  By that I mean: all those commercials and whiteboard animation videos and cartoons and video games have to get their voice talent from somewhere, right?  Well, now, they (or at least a small percentage of them) get it from me.  My recording studio was pretty ideal for giving this a shot, and since February of 2013 I've amassed over 50 clients and starred as a cartoon panda speaking Arabic for a children's game (I know, right?).   It's proving to be very successful for me and a lot of fun.

Then, with the sudden boom I've been experiencing on OverClocked Remix, I thought - hey, why not include music in this gig too?  So I started offering custom music services to my voice clients, some of whom took me up on the offer.  And then I started getting contracts for independent video games and stuff too (visit the new site's blog for more info).  It seemed like the pieces were all coming together.

So I thought I would create the Trifecta of the Starving Artist:  making a career out of three horrifically non-lucrative professions all at once.  I could be a starving author, a starving musician, and a starving voiceover artist all from the comfort of my home.

And so here I am.  A certifiably insane business owner with a bunch of guitars and apparently a pretty good Arabic panda voice.  I'm very excited, very nervous, and maybe I'm clinging to my day job a bit.

This site, josephzieja.com, will continue to remain active as the main conduit for my author career, and will also continue to be my personal blog where I'll post random musings, news, and other such things.  But now I get to manage TWO sites with TWO blogs and TWO Facebook accounts and TWO Twitter accounts.  I feel like a monkey who has just been given a whole new row of shiny red buttons to press.

Many thanks to PJ Icasas  who helped me conceptualize and organize the site, as well as to my wife who came up with the awesome idea for the Da Vinci logo.

Go check out www.renmanstudio.com !

Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin RELEASED!

Skip my bullshit and get straight to the music HERE.  It’s FREE!

_____________

I. Love.  Video Game.  Music.  I really do.  It might sound nerdy (it is) it might sound weird (well, maybe), but it’s some of my favorite stuff to listen to on the planet.  Some of my first out-of-my-own money CD purchases were soundtracks from video games – specifically Final Fantasy VI.  It is an instant nostalgia button that evokes emotional responses that I can’t really describe, and I’m not going to try.  It’s an intensely personal experience.

I joined the OverClocked Remix community in January of 2012, just about two and a half years ago, after a lifetime of depravity in not knowing that it existed. An entire community of musicians willing to donate their time and talent for the furtherance of video game music as an evolving, highly creative art form?  It just seemed too good to be true.  And even then, listening to the font of genius that is OCR, never did I really think I could contribute.

Today, OverClocked Remix released FINAL FANTASY VI:  BALANCE AND RUIN.  This album represents the incredibly diverse talents of 74 musicians combined to create 74 tracks of content spread across five traditionally-portioned discs.  It is a gargantuan effort marvelously directed by the incredibly talented and dedicated Andrew Aversa (Zircon) and Michael Vafeas (McVaffe).  This whole thing would never have been possible without them, and I thank them both from the bottom of my heart for creating the opportunity for what has been one of the greatest musical experiences of my life.

Physical copies of the album with artwork and other bonuses were available to Kickstarter backers (sorry if you missed the boat!) but otherwise the album is available 100% free online to anyone that wants to share the joy.  Today a fantastic day for music, and I know it’s a fantastic day for me.

I hope you all enjoy FINAL FANTASY VI:  BALANCE AND RUIN.

-          Joe (XPRTNovice)

My Tracklist:

Disc 1:   La Montaña de los Caballos Jóvenes
A Fistful of Nickels (Collaboration with Zircon)

Gobble, Snarf, Snap

Disc 2:

Bad Octopus (Collaboration with Fishy)

Disc 4:

Go-Go Gadget Gonkulator

The Narshemellow

Other Links:

OverClocked Remix Press Release

The Boy With the Yellow Scarf: A Video Game Music Commission

I was recently contacted by an artist who has created a character named Reize for the purpose of finding a home for him in a Japanese RPG (JRPG) style game.  He wanted me to do two things: create a theme song for the character and create a battle theme for a possible future game.

He was very happy with the song I wrote for the character, and I wanted to share it with you all here.  You can hear it by playing the YouTube video embedded in the linked page.  Danny's art is amazing as well, so take some time to check out the eye candy on his DeviantArt page as well.

That piece was a ton of fun to work on!  I got to flex some creative muscles that went beyond my normal OverClocked Remix tracks - I wasn't working with any sort of pre-determined melody or within a certain style.  I got to take a look at a character, read a bit about him, and think to myself, "what would be playing in the background for this young boy?"  It was a wonderful experience, and many thanks to Danny for allowing me the opportunity.  I'm excited to finish the battle theme as well.

Do you have a similar project that you'd like some music for?  Shoot me a quick email via the "contact" tab above and we can have a chat.

Team2X Joins the Final Fantasy VII Web Series

Holy crap.  Have you ever seen Jedi Ninjas?

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400"](But you wouldn't have been nearly as good at making it reality) You're Jealous You Didn't Think Of This First[/caption]

There are about 2 million people who have.  And for good reason.  It’s absolutely nerdgasmically awesome  Made by 2XEntertainment (the team is called Team2X), these guys have been destroying YouTube with martial arts, special effects, filmography, and other words that have to do with the movies that I’m not 100% sure what they mean.  They’ve been on-scene with Jackie Chan and his stunt team, on the live stage all over the world doing ridiculous acrobatic shows and martial arts demonstrations, and have had their hand in Jumper, Scott Pilgrim, and the cookie jar (well, probably – chances are they’ll deny it like everyone else does if you ask them).

Well, guess what?  Remember the Final Fantasy VII movie/web series that I’m the musical director for?

Yeah.  They’re doing it.

Seriously, they are.  We’re going to be using their twelve million dollar studio in Canada to do the filming for this series.  And they’re going to lend us all sorts of great special effects equipment, cables, dudes that are on fire, whatever.

Check out this demo reel from TWO YEARS AGO.   Then, I want you to go to the store.  By earplugs.  And then buy earmuffs.  Then a hat.  Maybe some nose plugs.  Because this web series is going to BLOW YOUR MIND.

If you haven’t done so already, I definitely recommend jumping on the Facebook page and following the project.  You won’t regret it.

Final Fantasy VII - The Web Series

Okay. I admit it. I’ve been neglecting this blog. There are a lot of reasons why I haven’t been offering my life story here, lately, but those can come another day.

I wanted to make a bit of an announcement. If you’ve been reading any part of this blog at all, you’ll know 1.) I’m a huge nerd and 2.) I like music. You also probably know that I’m an aspiring writer, and all that. All of these things are true.

As such, I really like video games.  Of all the games I’ve ever played, there are a few that stick out. Final Fantasy VII is one of them. I argue that it was the best in the series (though I might allow for some wiggle room, unless you say Final Fantasy XIII, in which case I will punch you in the face). I loved the characters. I loved the plot. The music was fantastic. To this day, it’s the game I have replayed the most, followed shortly by perhaps a few other Final Fantasy titles. FFVII is simply worth revisiting over and over again for me for a number of reasons.

There was some speculation a while ago that Square Enix was going to do a remake of the game, either in movie form or by porting it to a next-generation console. Personally, having seen what they did with Advent Children, I would prefer them to leave it the hell alone. So far, so good.

But there were other fans that didn’t think that way. Back in 2012, a couple of Italian filmmakers named Gionata Medeot and Mattia Ferraro decided they were tired of waiting. So what do you do when you’re an ambitious pair of Italians that want to make a movie? You make it.

Well, you sit down and have a doppio and talk loudly with your hands for a while. But then you make it.

This trailer was the result.

Now, if you’re not impressed by this, then you should probably just stop here and go back to doing something boring like watching the NCAA tournament. Go ahead and let me know how crazy March Madness is when it’s over. I’ll be sure to turn on the blender while you’re talking.

If you’re not totally lame, you’ll be happy to know that this trailer wasn’t just to blow smoke. Since then, the Italians have teamed up with the Scots and the Brits and the Americans and the Canadians and whoever the hell else I’ve missed on our crew to make:

FINAL FANTASY VII: THE WEB SERIES

ff7series

(Because, shit, Peter Jackson somehow did it to a 275 page book. We can do it to a 60-hour video game)

I can't even begin to emphasize how much this is NOT an average fan production.  Just look at the trailer.  We have VFX artists from Harry Potter, professional screenwriters, you name it.  I'll be one of the composers as well as one of the editors, and who knows what else I might pick up along the way.  I think I'd make a badass Sephiroth, but whatever.

I'll write more later, but for now you should join the ELEVEN THOUSAND FANS who have liked this on facebook.

 

Follow Joe @