The movie about videogames goes straight to DVD.
Gamebox 1.0, a Showcase Entertainment and Hill & Brand Productions film, is set to be released on DVD by Lionsgate Home Entertainment on April 10. Directors David and Scott Hillenbrand (National Lampoon Dorm Daze) and screenwriters Patrick Casey and Worm Miller began work on the film three years ago with a $1 million budget, spending 12 days in 2004 for live-action filming and the following period with animation technicians to create a virtual game world. The Hillenbrands are in talks with major studios to recreate the movie with a larger budget for a theatrical release.
Charlie Nash (played by Nate Richert from Sabrina the Teenage Witch), an expert game tester, receives a mysterious videogame system that photographs his friends and enemies and places them into a virtual world as characters. Along with his real-world friends, Charlie must defeat Ao Shun (Patrick Kilpatrick), a cop who shot his girlfriend Kate (Danielle Fishel of Boy Meets World).
The directors extensively researched gaming patterns to find common themes to feature in film. “We immersed ourselves in every game and we talked about where games were at and where they were going,” said David Hillenbrand. “We threw out the concepts and ideas of what hadn’t been explored in movies and how we could make it current and trend-setting at the same time. We became gamers through this process. As we were making the movie and all through finishing the movie we’ve been staying current to the games that have been coming out. … We wanted to play on the concepts like repeat mode and checkpoints and when you die to come back a few minutes beforehand in the situation. We hadn’t really seen that before.”
Mr. Nash will traverse through three unique game worlds during his time playing the Gamebox. David commented on the different levels. “We wanted to jumble games like Grand Theft Auto, Resident Evil, Halo, and Warcraft all together. We decided to have the three basic games, Crime Spree, Zombie Land and Alien Planet and then let things get chaotic.”
Scott added, “We did a big study of videogames before writing this. With Crime Spree we wanted it to be clear; we wanted the audience to say it’s just like the world of Grand Theft Auto and the urban shoot-em-up games.”
A video preview is available at Showcase Entertainment’s website.