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Kojima critiques Games Industry in Shape of Water article
11-27-2017, 09:46 AM
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Kojima critiques Games Industry in Shape of Water article
Kojima gives his boi's new film some luv - suspense! Violence! Erotic action! Humor! The Joy! And even Pixar's Sadness... over the games industry.

"A Guillermo del Toro Film" appear on the screen as proof that it is a work only he could produce. It is of the one and only "del Toro" genre.
Fulton Recovery Sheep

Pot Shots at Konami?


"The colossal Hollywood movie machine makes it extremely difficult to take initiative and involve oneself like del Toro. It's true though that great forerunners like John Carpenter and James Cameron created their own genres by having a hand in writing, design, casting, cinematography, editing and even music composition. (On a side note, both James Cameron's and Guillermo del Toro's film careers started out in VFX. A happy coincidence, but intriguing nonetheless.)

And independent talents with the same mind frame as del Toro, including Nicolas Winding Refn and Neill Blomkamp successfully deliver their creative vision in an entertaining package. However, it is undoubtedly a struggle for them to flourish in the profit driven environment of Hollywood.

The fiercely competitive global video game market is the same. Like the research facility in The Shape of Water, these industries are ruled by the majority opinion of the "day dwellers". To avoid risk and ensure the success of big budget blockbusters, or AAA games, economics and efficiency are given top priority. As a result, originality that springs from creativity, the shape and essence of the creator, are seen as impediments to the marketing driven manufacturing line.

In Hollywood, creators who take on the mantle of director are asked to be a simple delegator of tasks, a director in function and not in spirit. These days in big budget Hollywood, music composition, concept art and other creative elements are all created via similar processes. Tasks are broken up amongst a myriad of staff so that results can be achieved as quickly as possible. In the past, for example, H.R. Giger handled the entire creative process for the creature in Alien, and the results are timeless. That era, though, is behind us. Composers also no longer follow in the lead of Bernard Herrmann and John Williams, but instead "oversee" compositions crafted by a team. Modern film production is about "handling" your part, not about taking charge of the whole.

This process is akin to the factory line assembly of industrial goods. What's important is making sure the appropriate cogs and screws are assembled just as the manual indicates. At no point is the manufacture of uniquely shaped triangle or square cogs required. Sure, this kind of process guarantees a functional product, but something new, something unlike anything anyone has seen, something original; that's the kind of thing this process won't yield.

This trend is even more evident in video games.

In AAA games, the division of labor is well established, and there are almost no "directors" that like James Cameron or Guillermo del Toro can take charge of both direction and creation from the initial planning stages all the way through to release. In fact, there is no desire for this kind of director. This is one of the traps the current game industry has fallen into. The assembly line process and digital manufacturing are an efficient pair. As a result, the "director" only need be a delegator of jobs, just as in major Hollywood film making. A director that takes part in planning, conceptualization, production, script, music, and even promotion is only wasting time and resources, and is inefficient. It doesn't benefit the corporation either.

This line of thought, which may sound correct to some, is a big mistake. And from a different angle, this may also lead one to the false conclusion that efficient digital creations don't have authorship, and are mere products, while only painstakingly crafted analog creations can be considered creative. Analog or digital is merely a question of methods and tools. How they are used is what defines the difference between a mere product and a creative work; the difference between copycat products and truly original creations.

Films and games are forms of entertainment that require a significant investment of the user's time. There must be love from the creator there. A human with a soul must deliver love through their creation to an unfathomably large and unseen audience. To succeed, every ounce of their creation must be imbued with the creator's soul. At the very beginning of this movie made "for those with a deep love for film and love itself", on-screen text reads "A Guillermo del Toro Film", but it's not for the sake of vanity; it's a statement and a signature stating who's love and soul is in the creation. It's pride and responsibility towards the creation.

It's the same reason I put "A HIDEO KOJIMA GAME" in my works. I want to deliver a game with the love from a man named Hideo Kojima to an audience that has "a deep love for games and love itself."

Hollywood might be a bit better than the current game industry, as it recruits talented directors from the indie movie scene, even if just as "industrial process directors." As I've mentioned several times in past articles, lots of directors have been called to direct movies in universes such as Star Wars or Marvel, and many of them have functioned as job delegators without being able to show off their true talents or authorship, the reason they were hired in the first place. Their plight is the same as the merman brought from the South American "night" into the world of "daylight."
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