A couple of hours ago, I walked up to a beautifully restored red brick building on Boul St. Laurent. I had been up since five, so I was hoping I looked a little less disheveled than I felt. It had become an impromptu road trip with my dad, since I'd decided I could use some moral support (and more than one camera angle) for my interviews at Ubisoft Montreal.
I was admiring the industrial-chic vibe of the lobby when I was presented with a long video release form. Ok, I don’t have the energy to decode this right now, but as long as I can still make the documentary, we’re good, I thought. I tried to mask the scuttling of my suitcase on the hardwood floors as we wound our way through the endless departments of people hard at work. Lots of screens. Giant gaming figurines. Awards all over the wall. Everything had its place. Everything was cool. Everything was perfectly branded.
When I arrived at the interview room it was bright and spacious, if a little dull and corporate. No problem—all the more incentive to focus on the interviews instead of the scenery, right? I go through the usual ritual: talking to myself at various volumes, testing, testing, fiddling with the lights, fiddling with buttons, trying not to leave anything unhooked, unplugged.
I think I’m ready. After 10 months of filming—bussing across the city, flying across the ocean, juggling odd-looking bags of equipment—I'm ready. After the electric highs and lows of so many interviews I am ready for the boss. Well, bosses.
Ok by boss, I don't mean the kind you talk to at a meeting or the kind you fight in a dungeon. I mean those people who totally own at what they do. In this case, three incredibly chill, bright young women who are part of the biggest video game dev branch in the world.
On my right: Anouk Bachman, Bio Jade Adam Granger and Stephanie Harvey. The minute they walk in the door they break the ice with open smiles. Instead of getting straight down to business, they want to hear about the project. I don’t feel the need to plead my case for She Got Game. I don't have to stand up and defend my personal gaming history or offer solutions to all of the industry’s gender issues. These women get it. I I’m ready to dive in, because this is the last chapter of something that has completely consumed my life for the past year.
After Saturday my interviews for the documentary will be done. Wait, what? I can't believe it. I’m not always the best interviewer. I have the horrible habit of getting excited about certain topics and interjecting. I have a tendency to be more casual and personal than objective, if that’s considered a virtue in documentary filmmaking. But at the very least I do my best to represent the messages of these women with accuracy, humility and artistry. This is where I’m at with She Got Game right now.
As I see it, my responsibility is to make people feel comfortable so that they're able to discover something new in the process of talking. There's nothing more gratifying than seeing someone wake up inside as they get carried away with the conversation. Something great happens who you see people forget about the reserved, well-arbitrated answers they'd prepared and start to learn something about themselves through our interaction.
You're like, "Ok that's nice, but what about the interview!?" I know I know I know! I'll be posting it soon, I promise. I just wanted to capture the feeling before it disappeared completely. I can tell you, I've almost never had such a good time and learned so much in one sitting. I can’t wait to share these segments with you. Anouk, Bio and Stephanie are absolutely kickass.
So what’s next? As October ushers in the cool winds of hibernation I’ll be madly working away at my editing station. Somehow I'll weave together the dozens of stories I’ve collected and figure out how to make them make sense to you.
Thank you so much to each and every single one of you who has made a contribution to the production, content or my motivation for this project. I needed you all in order to get this far, and I hope I will give you something that you will be proud to be a part of.