The Beyond Cosplay was recently invited to go along to a short film festival organised for the gaming community by Electronic Arts, the people behind a video game taking the first person shooter world by storm right now, Battlefield 4.
The only requirement for submissions was that their video had to reference the game in some way and bingo, they were in the running for a $10k grand prize.
The top 5 finalists got flown to Sydney for the big night, where the creative teams behind each of the finalist films got to screen their movie to an intimate group of people from the gaming and media communities.
Tom Tilley of Triple J’s Hack fame was the MC for the night and did a superlative job introducing each video and making terrible but welcome puns at every opportunity. I didn’t get to find out what sort of fee he got for the night but he did seem genuinely excited about the videos and laughed along with the rest of us when the less serious shorts played so who knows, he may have been there pro bono?!
Soon enough all 5 of the best had been shown and we got a short clip from the Swedish creators of the game itself talking about how hard it had been to choose a winner and how much they loved what Australia had come up with, nevertheless there could only be one crew going home with the ten large and that honour went to the team behind my personal favourite…
It captures the excitement, drama, wish fulfilment and inevitable failure of anyone trying to survive for longer than thirty seconds in the heady world of BF4.
I grabbed the director who had turned up with most of his crew after the awards ceremony and he seemed quite surprised by the win.
He shouldn’t have been, while some of the other entries were good – his short took it to another level. Other than some pretty glaringly obvious CGI vehicles (which given that the film is about a videogame isn’t such a bad thing) it was a professional looking production, and its hard to believe it only cost them a few hundred dollars to make it.
I imagine most of that cost would have been the petrol money to get down to the location in the Southern Highlands, an abandoned brewery and certainly a spot I will be looking at with interest for future film or photo projects of my own! (Beyond Cosplay Roadtrip, anyone?)
In the end it was a great night and an opportunity to mingle with industry heavyweights from the video gaming world, young creative types with big dreams who will no doubt go onto build on their success, and other fans of the world of military simulation, whether it be online or real life.
A couple of the guests were regulars in the cosplay world and either turn up as Umbrella corp operatives or as characters straight out of the Call of Duty or Battlefield franchises. Though not dressed up to the nines on the night it was good to touch base with them and hope to do a shoot with them soon which will of course be featured on this website.
I also look forward to talking to the guys behind ‘Take Point’ a lot more and publishing the results here soon.
For now though its just a quick recap. EA took a risk and threw a good amount of cash both in prize money and marketing towards motivating fans to produce their own vision of the game they have grown to love.
Hundreds of entries flooded in and one stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Lets just hope the winners use the prize money to create more exciting and humorous media, if so then in the end we’re all winners.