NOT QUITE GAME OVER

Retro Gamer - - FROM THE ARCHIVES: DIGITAL PICTURES -

Dig­i­tal Pic­tures’ promis­ing game Max­i­mum Surge was canned in 1996 when the com­pany closed. But it didn’t mark the end for Tom Zito’s video footage. Snapped up by In­sight Film And Video Pro­duc­tion around 1999, it was used within a 2003 movie bear­ing the same name as the game. And it gave fledg­ling direc­tor Ja­son Bourque his break.

“We had footage star­ring Wal­ter Koenig and Yas­mine Bleeth [stars of Star Trek and Bay­watch re­spec­tively] as well as a script by Keith Shaw, the brother of the com­pany’s owner,” Ja­son tells us. “We ended up cre­at­ing a vir­tual re­al­ity-type plot based around getting this footage to work in a movie, although Koenig wasn’t too happy: he’d signed up for a videogame and thought the pro­ject was dead.”

To help the footage make sense, Ja­son spent eight days film­ing ad­di­tional footage on a budget of un­der 500,000 Cana­dian dol­lars. “When I was cutting it, we also looked at us­ing film from other videogames like Corpse Killer, Supreme War­rior and Quar­ter­back At­tack,” he adds.

Picked up by a Cana­dian sci-fi channel and later re­leased on DVD as Game Over, it helped turned In­sight into Canada’s big­gest in­de­pen­dent pro­duc­tion com­pany. “A lot of peo­ple’s ca­reers in Bri­tish Columbia were born from this re­ally crappy, C-movie,” Ja­son says.

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