My Favourite Game Josh Trank


DThe di­rec­tor of Chron­i­cle on the Shadow Of The Colos­sus movie and how Forza 5 has trig­gered the apoca­lypse

irector Josh Trank was just two years old when he de­cided to pur­sue a ca­reer in the movies, and his pas­sion for gam­ing started just as early. Here, the 29-year-old cre­ative talks to us about the artistry of games, the mass ex­o­dus of Hol­ly­wood’s new talent, and why Forza’s Dri­vatars are the new T-1000s. Like Chron­i­cle, games of­ten give or­di­nary people su­per­pow­ers, but people are far more in­clined to abuse those pow­ers in a vir­tual space. Do you think that games should tr y to em­u­late real­is­tic sce­nar­ios more of­ten? I think it’s like art. The guys work­ing in the game in­dus­try are all artists, and I truly mean that. I think they should be as ex­per­i­men­tal and crazy, as nat­u­ral or as sur­real, as they want to be. The great thing for me is my re­la­tion­ship with that whole world in a cre­ative way, and the way I think about it. That’s not my world, it’s just a world that I’m a fan of. There have been a lot of nar­ra­tive ex­per­i­ments in games lately. Do you think games are start­ing to chal­lenge Hol­ly­wood in terms of sto­ry­telling? No, I don’t think so. I think that games are do­ing their own thing. I don’t think it’s a ques­tion of bet­ter, be­cause it’s just a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence. A lot of big sci-fi movies – and I won’t say any par­tic­u­lar movies – are made with an aware­ness of the pop­u­lar­ity of videogames, and there­fore bor­row so [many] of the de­sign and vis­ual ideas from those games. I’m like, ‘Man, that looks like Mass Ef­fect. Those look like Mass Ef­fect suits.’ And that is not at all orig­i­nal or dif­fer­ent. I also feel there’s a cre­ative drought in Hol­ly­wood right now, be­cause most of the young guys who would come in and be the next young, big di­rec­tors are all in the videogame in­dus­try. I think if the game in­dus­try had been what it is now in the ’80s, a lot of those great Am­blin [En­ter­tain­ment] di­rec­tors and people from that era would have been in games, too. As the in­dus­try moves for­ward, how do you think the new gen­er­a­tion of con­soles will change things? Yeah, I’m cu­ri­ous. There’s this in­ter­est­ing im­pli­ca­tion of what kids are go­ing to be able to do when they’re my age. Hope­fully, it won’t be a dystopian sci-fi sce­nario. Un­for­tu­nately, I feel like it’s go­ing to be­come one. When I saw this one demo for Xbox One, there was one thing that fright­ened me big time: these two top de­vel­op­ers were talk­ing about Forza 5, and how the game is go­ing to learn you and your driv­ing style, and it’s go­ing to be driv­ing and com­pet­ing for you against other people when you’re not there. That scares the shit out of me! This tech­nol­ogy that they’re go­ing to un­leash on the planet will also then lend it­self to AI that adapts to how all of us play. I’m just like, ‘Wait. Woah, woah. Wait. This is Skynet! What are you talk­ing about? Are you se­ri­ous?’ But they’re like, ‘Now let’s give this tech­nol­ogy to ev­ery­body.’ Now you’ve just cre­ated the T-1000. That’s my fear of the next gen­er­a­tion of con­soles, that it’s go­ing to be the ar­rival of Skynet and the de­struc­tion of hu­man­ity. I’m not jok­ing. What can you tell us about your in­volve­ment with Sony’s Shadow Of The Colos­sus film? I can’t talk about it, but I’ll say just one thing: I got Ico as soon as it came out, and I just loved that game so much. I knew im­me­di­ately when I read that [Team Ico was] mak­ing a new one that I wanted to go out and get it as soon as it came out, too, and it just blew me the fuck away. A cou­ple of years later, I re­mem­ber see­ing in Va­ri­ety that it had been op­tioned. I must have been 22 or some­thing, and I just knew, ‘Oh my God, if some­body’s do­ing that, I have to some­how get in there and make sure it’s done the right way.’ It was one of the first calls I made af­ter Chron­i­cle came out – when I re­alised I could make calls about things. I was like, ‘Hey, what’s go­ing on with that?’ We’re work­ing on it.

“If some­body’s do­ing SOTC, I have to some­how get in there and make sure it’s done the right way”

And what is your favourite game? I would say my favourite videogame of all time is Suiko­den II on PlayS­ta­tion. It was one of those games that made a huge epic prom­ise on the box, and then it to­tally fuck­ing de­liv­ered in ev­ery way. The game box it­self ad­ver­tised on the front ‘108 to­tally unique char­ac­ters’, and I swear to God there are 108 to­tally unique char­ac­ters. The score in that game, and in each of the in­di­vid­ual towns, is just the best mu­sic ever.

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