GamesRadar has conducted an interview with Mark Hamill on the subject of his extensive voice work. These days he's a famous actor in numerous animated series and video games, and the article also goes into his Wing Commander history. He's had enormous success playing The Joker in various projects, and he's still keeping busy today. Check out the full interview here. Thanks to HotT.
By the time of gaming’s full motion video (FMV) craze in the mid-’90s actors were eating their words. The titles may have been campier than a row of tents, but they were not short on talent, as Hamill discovered when he played Colonel Christopher Blair in three Wing Commander games.
GameSpot recently brought marketing leaders from EA, Ubisoft and Microsoft together at the MI6 event to discuss franchise outreach and tie-ins. The companies all have strategic plans to develop their major series, and it's interesting to see how they compare with EA & Origin's successful cross-promotional ventures in the '90s. Find the full discussion here.
“There were great actors in that: Malcolm McDowell [A Clockwork Orange], John Rhys-Davies [Lord of the Rings], and John Spencer [The West Wing]. Malcolm is one of the most hysterically funny actors I've ever worked with. He’s just brutal in his humor and merciless in terms of torturing you on camera. He would be making smoochy faces and I’d tell him, ‘You know, I never look you in the eyes, I’m looking you in the chin, you S.O.B.’”
... “We had cheat sheets of every kind. If you look at the game, when we’re looking down at the game's interface with light on our faces, that's from a teleprompter because of the massive amount of dialogue. One of the greatest things about doing animation or videogames is you don’t have to memorize your lines. You get as old as I am, it’s hard.”
Morris took over to explain a change in EA's approach to brands in recent years. He said the publisher basically spent two decades creating original intellectual properties but never gave a second thought to extending those brands beyond the world of games. While there was a comic book here or a tie-in there, Morris said there was no coordinated effort and no opportunity for the company to learn from its past mistakes.
At least Dead Space's character design leaves casting decisions wide open.
To remedy that, EA centralized its brand-extension efforts. One small team now works with all of the developers to coordinate their project's leaps beyond the gaming screen. The publisher's slogan, as articulated by John Riccitiello, is IP Cubed: Create, Sequel, Extend. Morris is focused on the "extend" part of that equation and started going over the publisher's attempts to break onto the big screen.
To get into movies, EA allied itself with people that knew how to make movies better than EA did. The publisher has an exclusive deal with United Talent Agency to set up motion picture deals for a variety of its key properties. Morris said the good news is that with UTA and the original IP EA owns, the publisher has been able to land a few deals, specifically Dante's Inferno, Dead Space, Spore, and Army of Two. Morris said EA is hands-on with all of those projects because the worst thing for the company would be for these films to get made--but get made poorly.