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The memorable opening movie featuring lots of familiar faces in unusual situations has become something of an institution now at the MCV Awards, one of the video game industry's longest running and most prestigious awards ceremonies.
The shoot is always really good fun particularly because it brings together executives who spend the rest of the year fiercely competing with one another. This year a fabulous cast included the UK heads of PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo and the opening motivational speech had a real resonance with the industry facing some tough challenges of its own.
This 3-minute spoof of The Apprentice created to open the Develop Awards 2013 features over 15 leading execs and creatives from the UK's vibrant game development scene.
Because we wanted to get some of those classic boardroom group shots, we opted for getting the whole cast in the same place at the same time. That meant we had just half a day to shoot everything, the green screen and the exteriors. No surprise then it was a pretty fast-paced shoot with no time for the cast to learn lines... all the dialogue had to be improvised! Thankfully this was one Apprentice task the teams excelled at.
Yes, there are a million Gangnam parodies, but we were actually quite early doors with ours. Slightly bizzarely, the idea for riffing on Psy's amazing video came during a filming trip to Siberia. We were in what felt like the remotest place on earth, but wherever we went that video was playing and people were watching and talking about it. In a rare moment of good fortune, in the very week that our little tribute premièred at the ME Awards three months later, Gangnam fever went properly mainstream. Every newspaper and TV news show was all over it. Note to self... visit Siberia more often.
It's amazing how many people list Anchorman in their favourite films. That's what we discovered when we told the 40 execs from the games industry who agreed to appear in this opener for the MCV Awards 2012 we would be parodying the film's famous fight scene, complete with a real horse drag. Of course, it's a scene that is itself a parody of those brilliant gang fight scenes in West Side Story. So, when it came to figuring out how we could quickly introduce our own gangs before the rumble, we looked to everybody's favourite screen musical for inspiration too. The result? Probably still our most epic parody.
For this Olympic torch run skit, we decided we could give it an air of authenticity and scale by filming the opening amidst the crowds following the real torch. So we headed to Stevenage with our star dressed in a pretty ropey looking white tracksuit and our mock up of the Olympic torch tucked under our arm. The fairly low-rent nature of our props didn't however stop the police from mistaking us for the real torch bearers and attempting to usher us through the patriotic throngs to the starting line. I'm eternally grateful for their calm reaction upon discovering we were imposters intent on stealing the torch for our own alternative run.
2012 was a great year to be British. And the Games Media Awards fell just after that amazing trilogy of celebrations, whilst we were all still basking in the afterglow of an Olympics that had triple trumped expectations and delivered a stream of amazing nation-catches-its breath moments. Of course, the lasting legacy of all this was a plethora of iconic photos that we fiddled with to make this irreverent opening video.
In 2011 we'd done a similar thing with the photos from the UK riots, which once again proves that parody should treat those imposters of disaster and success alike.


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