Review Fix chats with author Luke Owen, who discusses his new book, “Lights, Camera, GAME OVER!” which discusses in-depth the process behind the creation process Video Game-inspired films.
Review Fix: What inspired this book?
Luke Owen: I had the idea back in 2010, as it was the sort of book I would have wanted to read. I then started doing a lot of research into Super Mario Bros. and its production history, and was fascinated by the whole situation! Sadly other things got in the way, but on a holiday with my wife I read Blake J. Harris’ Console Wars which had a section on the Super Mario Bros. movie. It brought back all of that research I’d done and I wanted to read and learn more. That led me to learn about Steven De Souza’s troubles on Street Fighter and Simon West’s issues on Tomb Raider – and I just had to write something!
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself and the industry through this book?
Owen: I learned I could write a book – which I didn’t think I could do! As for the industry, I learned that a lot of bad movies still have good intentions behind them. Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel didn’t set out to make a bad Super Mario Bros. movie, or one that was a blackmark on the game’s franchise, but circumstances beyond their control led to the movie we know and love today. It’s also fascinating to hear from filmmakers about the perception of video games and why the deviate from the source material so often. As game lover I thought I would disagree, but their logic always makes a lot of sense!
Review Fix: What makes it different from other gaming books?
Owen: This is a topic no one has broached to this degree before. No one has sat down with these filmmakers and asked these questions. I hope that the title lives up to the book, it explains how these movies got made.
Review Fix: What was your research process like?
Owen: Tough and long. I did interviews for around 18 months and wrote the book at the same time. Because no one has written about these films in this level of detail, I had to dig deep and trawl through Internet history to find articles, reviews and press releases from the time periods. Finding those Variety articles from 1999 was quite a jubilant moment! Speaking with the filmmakers and reading earlier drafts of movies was also a great thrill.
Review Fix: Bottom line, why must someone buy this book?
Owen: If you’ve played a video game and wondered why the movie version is so different, this book will explain why. You may not agree with the process, but it will give you a deeper understanding about the choices made. It’s also got some great anecdotes and unreleased stories about the productions of live-action movies for Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man and Metroid!
Review Fix: What’s next?
Owen: I’ve got a couple of projects in the pipeline. Nothing I can divuldge here, but I’m really excited about a couple of them.
Review Fix: Where can people go for more information on you?
Owen: You can find out more at www.thisislukeowen.com.