Level Achieved. Unlocked, the World of Games Interview with Jeremy Snead

13 Dec


Sean helped with the talent brought in to make this documentary happen and offer advice. According to Jeremy, he knows the business really well this director can not thank him enough.

The segments are thoughtful, educational and insightful. After previewing the product, Astin believes the show needs to be screened at universities and schools. Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame) offers up a lot of thoughtful discussion in his segment which looks at the future of gaming and virtual reality (VR).

Snead recalls the pitch when meeting up with Randy Pitchford, co-founder of Gearbox Software, to discuss filming at the office for Unlocked. At the time, not every segment was locked down, and when those two talked, Randy (also an amateur magician) mentioned he’s friends with Jilette. One conference call later, the thoughts expressed by this performer about how magic tricks and video games are close cousins — both are engineered to deliver an entertaining experience to folks with a willingness to suspend disbelief — convinced this filmmaker to bring him on board.

“All of his conversations with Randy and with Palmer Luckey (The founder of Oculus VR) are really interesting because he’s such a philosophical guy. He really goes deep and does not ask the generic questions,” said Snead.


This segment in what the future of gaming holds includes Jillette asking what does the story mean and if there’s a physiological impact on the player? The answers provided may seem brief, but to touch upon the future will require further study, and if this documentary does get presented in academic circles, perhaps new reports can emerge to explain the changes this industry needs to make to keep up. Very little has been said about the side-affects of experiencing VR through headsets. Some folks experience headaches or dizziness because the receptors in the brain have to re-calibrate after experiencing the illusion of motion.

Storytelling is very important in today’s videogames because if an intellectual property is popular enough, it will be adapted into other mediums, like comic books and movies. Tomb Raider is an example of a past success, and Assassin’s Creed is coming up at the end of this year, along with the conclusion to the Resident Evil series in January 2017.

The future is with augmented reality and virtual reality. The sixth and eighth episode explore this topic so some degree, but with technology advancing by leaps and bounds in a short amount of time, to keep up is tough. Snead recalls the attempt with Google Glass to improve the world around us and it came and went. Gabe Zichermann and Matt Walsh talks about the gamification of life, and Snead believes it’s already happened and is progressing at such a rapid rate all around us. He said, “We’re the frog in the boiling pot. We don’t even realize how fast its happening, when we look [pop our head out] in 10 years, everything will be completely different again.”

For Unlocked to remain current, sometimes even exploring the explosion of interest in ‘augmented reality’ games getting people outside, namely with Pokémon GO, will require backtracking. “When this game came out, that was probably 4 months after we have wrapped shooting. We’ve interviewed Nintendo, but it’s one of those things where anytime you cover anything in the videogame industry, especially in a documentary, it’s kind of like melting ice cream a little bit,” laughed Snead.

“You have to shoot the footage, edit it, and release it as quickly as possible telling the story you want. It’s an interesting conundrum to hurry up … We treat this product with a paint brush of entertainment with our celeb hosts, our animated videos, the music and the montages created. We respect the audience that Unlocked is being made for.

“If we end up making a season two, we’ll back track to everything we missed and pick up from there.”

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