To help myself remember how I felt about various things that I finished
Sunday, July 21, 2013
The Way Way Back
This was kind of a hard movie for me to watch -- a bit too much of it happened to me, one way or another. The whole thing was well crafted, and well acted, with no wasted moments. The most fascinating thing about it for me was the way they used 70's and 80's cultural elements (the station wagon, the girl's bike, Pac-Man, Candyland, REO Speedwagon, a plot that matches Meatballs pretty closely), but put them in a modern context. It was a way for the filmmaker to say "This is a film about my childhood", but set it in the present day. I can't say I've ever seen anyone do that before. Having been on that vacation, and in that station wagon, and having had my self-esteem saved by a theme park, this film meant a lot to me. I rarely listen to director commentary, but I can't wait for this to come out on DVD, because I'd love to hear details about how they decided to put this together.
And, unbelievably, Water Wizz is a real water park.
Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (www.etc.cmu.edu) since 2002. Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest videogame studio, Schell Games (www.schellgames.com), the author of The Art of Game Design: a book of lenses (www.artofgamedesign.com), and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association (www.igda.org). In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s magazine of innovation.
Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online. Before that, he was a software engineer at IBM and Bell Communications Research, and a writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer's Mime Circus and the Juggler's Guild. You can email him at jesse(at)schellgames.com.