Uncharted 2 Creator Dropped Out of Film School To Make Games

| 10 Feb 2010 13:21

The creative director for Uncharted 2 at Naughty Dog, Amy Hennig, was attending film school before she quit to make games.

There's a good reason that Uncharted 2 was called cinematic: its creative director took more than a few cues from her experience in film school, with a sprinkling of English major thrown in. Amy Hennig received a bachelor's degree in English literature from UC Berkeley before attending film school at San Francisco State in 1989. Then she got the opportunity to work at Atari on a game called Electrocop as an artist. She never looked back, and has forged a respected career in videogames over the last few decades, working on the Legacy of Kain games at Crystal Dynamics before jumping to Naughty Dog and making Jak 3 and the first Uncharted. Through it all, her knowledge of film and literature has informed her designs and might be a reason that Uncharted 2 received so many accolades.

"Everything I learned as an undergraduate with English literature and in film school about editing and shots and the language of film has come into play, but in a way I couldn't possibly have planned," she told the L.A. Times.

On her introduction into the business by working on Electrocop: "It was purely for pay. But once I started, my wheels began to turn and I had a lightbulb moment: that this was a more interesting and pioneering medium than film."

Being one of the few women with top-level creative positions in the business, Hennig is in a rare position to comment on the perceived sexism in the industry. She says it's all bullshit. "Usually, it has been men who gave me the opportunities I have had," she said. "I think this is a young enough and progressive enough industry that there just isn't any of that.

"It's a meritocracy in the sense that if you're a hard worker and people see you have an aptitude, you get a shot usually. Then your fate is in your hands."

The fact that she's a female does lend a certain amount of realism to the female characters in her games though. "There was an issue with breast size sometimes," she said. "I would say to the modelers, 'Let's take it down. How about a C [cup]?'"

Source: LA Times

Comments on