Thursday, December 1, 2016

Flipping of the Dinner Table

Just on a lark, I checked to see if that horrendously cringe-worthy KoDT live-action series got released...

There is... count it... ONE episode (which I will not link here). It was published in June of 2015 on the d20 Entertainment YouTube channel. Then nothing for over a year. The most recent upload is titled something for a TV pilot, which is of the quality we've come to expect from the people who were involved with The Gamers movies. Apparently two other episodes were produced but only available to backers, which, judging from there being 795 backers and only two people liked the update posts that announced those... were not well received.

Wouldn't you know it... it's another Kickstarter that went completely off the rails. The backers and Jolly Blackburn are pissed. Yes, Jolly himself commented regularly on the situation. The level of vitriol in the kickstarter comments isn't nearly the toxicity level of Spoony's Patreon, but the passion folks are displaying over being cheated is comparable. Apparently the Director of this and other notorious Kickstarters, Ken Whitman, is now known as "a thief and a conman" says Disgruntled Customer on d20's YouTube channel (Edit: Since this posting, his discussion section has been scrubbed). This sentiment is reflected in the YouTube comments for the video as well... but that's to be expected.

As for the episode itself... my commentary.

Of course, that assumes that you're expected to actually watch it. Fine.

0:03 I see they're ripping off the guy who did the animated shorts. Not a good sign.
0:05 Are they trying to do a Psych style intro using the series catch phrases? Cringe.
0:19 Christian Doyle of Gamers 2... and 3 I suppose playing B.A. A familiar face. ...
0:45 Nathan Rice was also in Gamers 2 as Lodge (the GM) is Bob here. Good fit.
0:55 What is with the sound? Did they not have people on staff that know sound design? It sounds like something my kids would record and then delete later.
1:00 I just realized this thing is 17 minutes long. Lord help me!
1:10 Nice enthusiasm on that Hoodyhoo. Granted, I know no one actually says that, so I guess no one knows how it should be inflected... but I count that a miss.
2:42 Ok... Brian's actor is really selling it. Kudos where they're due.
3:40 After a long spiel of flavor text... I am remembering just how boring role-playing is to watch. I've tried to watch game sessions on twitch before and it is every bit as soul killing. I want to knaw off my own leg to escape. Role-playing is not a spectator sport... this is why in The Gamers movies you were shown the perspective of the PCs.
3:42 Vectra!? That's a name I recognize (based on the infamous Vecna from "real" D&D). If this story is what I think it is, it's a good one. Jolly was the writer on this... so.... actors: don't screw this up!
3:44 ...and he killed it. Thanks alot.
4:54 Did Christian Doyle get energy drained between the Gamers 2 and this, lose a level, and thus acting skill? No take backs indeed.
5:10 Really? Are they really going to keep this up with only having the perspective of them at the table, I know that's how the comics were, but.... I stopped reading those! I really read them for how many years!? AUUUUUUGH! *Break for technical difficulties*
5:49 You said it, Sara.
6:21 I'm right there with you at this point.
7:40-7:45 ... Ok... That got a snicker out of me. Properly portrayed how much of an idiot Dave is.
9:28 *PSSST* It worked fine for the comics.... but the dialogue sounds really unnatural coming out of real people. What this called for was adaptation... not CTRL+C, CTRL+V onto the script.
10:48 I never figured Sara as a southern belle... go figure.
12:50-13:16 Ha! Funny image... too bad this is film. Show don't tell, you know.... THIS IS ALL TELLING!
13:47 Again... well said Sara, and delivered with the enthusiasm of "would you like biscuits with that." Get used to saying that. It'll serve you well at your next job at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
13:55 D: ... This was dedicated in memory of Jolly's daughter. ... D: x1000
14:52-16:42 All the people not getting promised rewards.... or refunds.
16:50 Holy crap! This really was filmed in Kentucky. I was just trolling... didn't expect that.
16:55 PORT RAIDED... ??? Portrayed!? Did the credits get auto-corrected?
17:24 Nice placement of that light for the film.

I wonder if the actors were forced to film this at gunpoint. They weren't exactly pulling out their A-game. It was more like... let's get this over with. I suspect the actors knew they were getting screwed and put forth effort to reflect that. Well, except Brian's actor... but I suspect he decided to just have fun with it, like they way the actors in the Super Mario Bros. film did.

The whole affair just worsens the already icky feeling of the whole sub-genre of movies "by gamers, for gamers". I'd say they're losing ground, but that assumes that they had any to begin with. At least the so-bad, but unintentionally funny Dungeons and Dragons movie was sincere. This and other films made on the coat tails of Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising just feel like a cash in taking advantage of people's beloved niche hobby, and dragging its reputation through the mud.

Gamers! We deserve better!