Indie Game: The Movie is a 2012 documentary film made by Canadian filmmakers Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky. The film is about the struggles of independent game developers Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes during the development of Super Meat Boy, Phil Fish during the development of Fez, and also Jonathan Blow, who reflects on the success of Braid.
After two successful Kickstarter funds, interviews were conducted with prominent indie developers within the community. After recording over 300 hours of footage, Swirsky and Pajot decided to cut the movie down to follow the four developers selected. Their reasoning behind this was to show game development in the “past, present and future” tenses through each individual’s story. (wiki)
imdb / rottentomatoes
A crew digs up all of the old Atari 2600 game cartridges of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” that were tossed into a landfill in the 1980s. (imdb)
Atari: Game Over is a 2014 documentary film directed by Zak Penn about the North American video game crash of 1983, using the Atari video game burial excavation as a starting point. Eurogamer called it “one of the best films about gaming this year and should be seen by anyone with an interest in the medium’s early wild west years.” (wiki)
Developing video games—hero’s journey or fool’s errand? The creative and technical logistics that go into building today’s hottest games can be more harrowing and complex than the games themselves, often seeming like an endless maze or a bottomless abyss. In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) takes readers on a fascinating odyssey behind the scenes of video game development, where the creator may be a team of 600 overworked underdogs or a solitary geek genius. Exploring the artistic challenges, technical impossibilities, marketplace demands, and Donkey Kong-sized monkey wrenches thrown into the works by corporate, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels reveals how bringing any game to completion is more than Sisyphean—it’s nothing short of miraculous.Taking some of the most popular, bestselling recent games, Schreier immerses readers in the hellfire of the development process, whether it’s RPG studio Bioware‘s challenge to beat an impossible schedule and overcome countless technical nightmares to build Dragon Age: Inquisition; indie developer Eric Barone‘s single-handed efforts to grow country-life RPG Stardew Valley from one man’s vision into a multi-million-dollar franchise; or Bungie spinning out from their corporate overlords at Microsoft to create Destiny, a brand new universe that they hoped would become as iconic as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings—even as it nearly ripped their studio apart.
Documenting the round-the-clock crunches, buggy-eyed burnout, and last-minute saves, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is a journey through development hell—and ultimately a tribute to the dedicated diehards and unsung heroes who scale mountains of obstacles in their quests to create the best games imaginable. (goodreads)
GTFO (also known as GTFO: Get the F&#% Out) is a 2015 American documentary film, directed by Shannon Sun-Higginson, about sexism and women in the world of video games. It premiered at South by Southwest on March 14, 2015.
Sun-Higginson, a documentary filmmaker from New York City, began work on GTFO in early 2012 and ultimately funded it as a Kickstarter project. She was initially inspired to create the film after watching a clip from live-stream gaming competition Cross Assault in which a player repeatedly sexually harassed his teammate. Sun-Higginson then “decided to take a step back and explore what it means to be a woman in gaming in general, both the positive and the negative.”
The movie compiles interviews from gamers, developers, journalists to show how pervasive sexist behavior is in the gaming world.
The film’s premiere at South by Southwest was met with primarily favorable reviews, with critic Dennis Harvey commenting: “Several other documentaries are currently in the works on the same subject, and many will no doubt be a lot slicker than ‘GTFO.’ But the rough edges of Sun-Higginson’s Kickstarter-funded feature lend it an ingratiating, unpretentious modesty, and its lack of rancor on a topic that might’ve easily supported a more sensationalist approach can only be a plus in reaching male gamers most in need of its wake-up call.” (wiki)