I checked in with Andrew Pascal of the Dungeons & Dragons Documentary on their progress since Gen Con.
Michael Tresca (MT): I caught up with you guys briefly at the very end of Gen Con but didn’t really get a detailed update. Who did you interview?
Andrew Pascal (AP): Ethan Gilsdorf, Sean P. Fannon, Rone Barton, Jen Page, Chris Pramas, Eddy Webb, Paul Hughes, Peter Adkison, Tim Kask…I think there may be a couple more, but I am completely forgetting as we (shamefully) have yet to look at what we shot at Gen Con. Still to interview: George Strayton and Ed Healy. Oh also, we interviewed a ton of gamers on the main floor of the convention.
MT: What did you talk about?
AP: We had asked similar questions to all. Namely how did you discover D&D, what was the appeal, describe your character, how has it affected your life…and for the most part, it has been nothing but a positive experience for everyone (as you can imagine). All good stuff, but we did get a lot of great quotes and incredible insights from practically everyone (including yourself). This game has been nothing but a positive influence on most of these people’s lives and continues to do so. The biggest take-away for me is the fact that Gary and his friends, sitting in a basement somewhere in Lake Geneva in 1973, has spawned a multi-billion dollar industry with convention of 35,000 people…humble beginnings indeed.
MT: I know you got a chance to run through True Dungeon. How was it?
AP: We unfortunately did not have time to play the actual dungeon, but we did get a chance to film/view the highlights. For me, i had half expected a “haunted house” type experience, which, as a jaded New Yorker, I hate, and purely because i just can’t see past through the trappings of what went in to create the experience (“that’s not a cave wall, that’s a curtain”…”that’s not an ogre, that’s an out-of-work actor dressed like an ogre”). I know, I’m an asshole, but I just can’t help it. But I was really impressed once I got to understand the mechanics of the experience, that there is actual game play, that it’s not just a hack-and-slash walk through, that there was real thought about game dynamics, personality types and if you let yourself go, even just a little, actual fun. I wish now we had played through. Next year, definitely.
MT: What else did you cover?
AP: Unfortunately we missed the ENies as we were finishing up other interviews and getting some footage at the auction (which ran late)…but it was great to see so many people who have a genuine love for gaming as was evident in the auction and in the award ceremony. (P.S., We missed Gail’s and Sean’s speech…we’re hoping to get a copy of it somewhere).
MT: This was your first trip to Gen Con. Any insights?
AP: Without question, the biggest take-away for me (and this is always true whenever my wife and I travel), that beyond the spectacle and the sheer immensity of the convention, the most surprising thing was just how genuinely nice everyone was. I know, I again speak as a jaded New Yorker, where we expect gruffness and impatience…but I loved, loved the folks at this convention, from the people we interviewed, the cosplayers we took pictures of, the gamers we talked to and the random strangers we happen to be sitting next to. Otherwise, Indianapolis was a great city, surprisingly good food and friendly people.
MT: What’s next for the Dungeons & Dragons Documentary?
AP: The next step involves putting together the footage to create a trailer…we found an editor, she is a documentary editor and not a gamer, which is great for us as we need an objective eye…hopefully that will take less than a month to put together. We are also piecing together the business package which will include the trailer, a budget, a production schedule, a marketing plan, a distribution plan and an investment plan. Once all the pieces are in place, then we approach investors. Beyond that, we will also be putting together a Kickstarter project to recoup some of the money we’ve already spent, we also need to do a couple more interviews here in the city…so, yeah, we’ve got some work cut out for us. and all that needs to get done by the end of the year. Once funding is in place, then the real work of actually making the documentary begins.
You can find out more about the Dungeons & Dragons Documentary on their Facebook page.