To help myself remember how I felt about various things that I finished
Thursday, May 7, 2015
I've had the DVD of Duel sitting around forever, but I never got around to watching it until just recently. I was home sick, and it seemed like a good sick day movie -- and it was! I thought it would be good, but I had no idea it would be as good as it is. So weird, so elegant, so stylish. When I watched the DVD extras (definitely worth the price of the DVD), I understood why! It was written by Richard Matheson, writer for Twilight Zone, not to mention the screenplay for The Incredible Shrinking Man, and then it had a young Steven Spielberg trying to prove himself. Unbelievably, it was shot in 12 days (the budget was for 10), as they only had budget for an ABC Movie of the Week. It was originally something like 71 minutes, but footage was added for international theatrical release. You can see so much of Jaws in this movie. Even the music is interesting and clever. Spielberg notes that he chose Dennis Weaver as the star because he loved his role in Touch of Evil. This is just one of those times when the right artists get together and make something greater than all of them. My only nitpick would be that the internal monologues come off a little corny, but really, I'm not sure how you'd tell the story without them. I love the underlying masculinity theme that flirts around the edges of everything. Anyway, put great people under pressure, and sometimes great things happen. I would like, one day, to make something so elegant and powerful.
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.