Why support THIS project?

I’m well aware that we aren’t the only documentary about Starcraft. The first job of any filmmaker when they start a project is to research other projects on the same topic. When I started pre-production, the first thing I did was get my hands on every video game documentary I could find and watch them.

When I started this project almost a year ago, there were no other documentaries. I’m not going to make a big deal about that, but I want everybody to understand that this isn’t some flash in the pan idea we had because it seemed popular. I started pitching the idea to friends and filmmakers last October, and contacted Evil Geniuses about the idea a month or so later when I had formulated a proposal and started my research. This is not a bandwagon project, and we had been working for months before any other films showed up on the radar.

We started filming at PAX East, and then picked up again at MLG Columbus. That was when several other films announced their projects. It very quickly became clear that each of the films had entirely different focuses and points of view. I’ve talked to several of the other filmmakers, and we all agree that there’s no use in us duplicating each other’s work. We also think that’s not going to happen.

For example, my film is focused on a single team and their journey through 2011 as esports stands as high as it has ever been. We’re talking to the players about their journey, yes. But we’re also talking to the team management and to different employees about their jobs within the organization. We want to know what makes Evil Geniuses work. Yes, this is also a film about Starcraft and about competitive gaming. But at it’s core it is a film about one team with their own struggles and successes.

I personally don’t believe in disparaging others in order to promote myself. So I’m happy to spend some time telling you why my project is worth your time, but not as a “those guys are doing X, and I’m going to do Y.”

I’ll just tell you more about who I am, the crew I’m bringing to this project, and why you should be as excited about their work as I am.

First, I’ve been making films for over a decade. Along with several short documentaries, I also made a long-form film called “Watashi Wa.” In it, I explored the world of cosplay at anime conventions. It was screened at several conventions in the years following it’s completion. What can I say, I really like making films about people that are passionate about things other people don’t always accept.

I’ve got two film degrees (a Bachelor’s and my recently completed MFA), if you care about those kinds of things. I’ve also got awards in both screenwriting and filmmaking. Last year, I wrote and directed two short films. Along with that, I’ve been working in the DC film industry on a wide variety of projects. I’ve learned how to make a film by being on a number of sets of every shape and size. You can find more of my credits and filmography on my website, http://www.ninehourfilms.com.

But enough about me. Nobody makes a movie by themselves. In my opinion, one of the main jobs of the director is to bring the right people in to do the job. I’m extremely lucky to have met some amazing and talented people during my time at American University.

DP Stephen Tringali, sound mixer Jeremiah Horan, and editor Banu Debre have all already helped the project immensely with their skills and talents. This is a crew that I have worked with before on multiple projects, and that I trust to make this film the best that it possibly can be. They’re a group of talented professionals who have the skills and experience to do the job right.

So we have a track record, experience in the industry, and as you can see on our video page, we aren’t just talk. As an added bonus, Stephen and Jeremiah are both gamers who love Starcraft. I’ve been a huge fan of Blizzard’s games since the days of Warcraft 2, and I spent most of my college days playing Starcraft on Battle.net with my friends. My senior thesis project for my Bachelor’s degree was actually a fan film about Starcraft and Blizzard called “Waiting for Warcraft.” I can bring the expertise of both a gamer and a filmmaker to this project.

I should also go ahead and address some of the concerns I’ve seen raised before, so that we can put your mind at ease (I hope).

First, people have wondered if other projects are just going to “take the money and run.” We’ve already put a year of work and a very significant amount of money into this project. I’ve put a lot on the line for this, and I hope that shows you that I’m serious. For that matter, I think it also proves that I’m not looking for somebody else to fund my vacation. I’ve spent more than enough to have funded a really great trip to Europe. Lucky for everybody, I’d rather make movies.

People have raised concerns over the timeline for a lot of these projects. The only thing I can say to that is that it’s just how the process works. To make a high quality feature length documentary, you have to put in the time. Our intention from the beginning was to follow the team for a lengthy period of time. This isn’t just a quick puff piece, it’s a film, and that takes time. We’re following them at least through the end of the year because that’s the actual story we’re telling, a year in the life of a professional Starcraft 2 team.

After we’re done filming, we have to go through post-production and that’s a process that shouldn’t be rushed. I’m sure you can all think of a film you’ve seen that seemed like they just slapped together some clips and free music clips. I’m just as excited about finishing this as (I hope) that you are about getting to see it. I want to show it to you as soon as possible! But if you’re going to support my film, I want to give you a worthy film to support. I know it’s going to take patience, but I think it will be well worth it.

I also want to point out that we have the full support of the team on our side. They have been with us every step of the way, and are just as dedicated as we are to making this something the fans want to see and can be proud of.

If you have any other concerns, then I welcome you to voice them. You can use the contact form here, tweet @ninehourfilms, email me…I’m pretty easily available. I want you to feel confident supporting my film. So ask away if you need to.