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David and Scott Hillenbrand interview

Date of publishing: 2nd April 2007

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interview Brothers David and Scott Hillenbrand were born and raised in Long Island, New York. After attending the High School for Performing Arts in New York, Scott received a BS in Theatre/Film from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. David Hillenbrand also traveled to the mid-west receiving his undergraduate degree in Radio/Television/Film along with a Special Concentration in Music from Indiana University. He then received a graduate degree from the University of Southern California for Film Scoring. In 1991 the brothers incorporated Hill & Brand Productions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Hill & Brand Productions is an entertainment company specializing in the creation and production of quality motion pictures, music and theatre. Their 5th feature film “Game Box 1.0” is an action adventure feature film set in the world of a futuristic video game.

GameBox 1.0 starring Nate Richert and Danielle Fishel is the story of a young man in his 20’s named ‘Charlie Nash’ (Richert) who is an expert at testing video games. His life has become unbearable since the tragic death of his girlfriend ‘Kate’ (Fishel) who was shot by a drugged out, crooked cop named Ronald Hobbes. One day Charlie receives a mysterious futuristic video game system that pulls him into game worlds in the style of ‘Grand Theft Auto’, ‘Resident Evil’ and ‘Halo’, - while forcing him into a coma in the real world. Charlie realizes he must win the game to survive, and with the help of the game’s Princess, who is the exact image of Kate, he must battle the deadly martial arts master Ao Shun, who takes the form of Ronald Hobbes. Charlie must use all his expert gaming skills to navigate through the dangerous streets of a crime-ridden city, a zombie infested forest, and a war zone on an alien planet. The film will be released by Lions Gate Films April 10th on DVD.

Download the audio interview by clicking here (Zipped MP3 file)
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Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewLinda Craddock: Where did the idea for “Gamebox 1.0” originate?

David: Gamebox 1.0 was an idea that had been percolating in our brains as we watched the evolution of video games and how they've become even a bigger industry then movies themselves, and we've watched the worldwide phenomenon of online games and the, ”playstations” and “x’boxes”, how it's all evolved into its own, worldwide culture and phenomenon that just, blows us away.

Scott: We've come up with a quote, that kind of like sums up our feelings about what's happening, with kids and older people as well is that people standing in the real world

David: People are more concerned about their standing in the virtual world than they are in the real world.

Scott: You know they're spending money online buying virtual weapons and the idea that you can be anybody, you know your fantasy person and almost conduct that fantasy character within a game, and that is more important to people than actually their standing in the real world is kind of a frightening concept to us.

Linda Craddock: Where did you guys learn your craft?

David: Well, Scott went to High school of Performing Arts in Long Island New York.

Scott: And then I went to North Western University in Chicago for radio, television, film and theatre.

David: And David, I went to Indiana University for Telecommunications, film television radio and music and then went to USC University of Southern California for film scoring And then we both worked for a number of companies for a little while gaining some experience on film sets, movie sets, doing various things before we wound up launching our own company, the first thing we produced was a play actually, a Broadway style play here in Los Angeles. And then we moved onto our first movie from there and never looked back.

Scott: Yeah we made our first movie on 45 credit cards, you know, between us, we amassed all these credit cards and charged out a quarter of a million dollars, made our first movie and that led to meeting people and investors for the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th moving on to the eighth feature film and, so, it's all paid off.

Linda Craddock: “Charlie” was released from the game twice, why 2 times.

Scott: Why was he released?

Linda Craddock: Twice, yes, two times he wanted to come out.

Scott and David: Why did the game let him go?

Linda Craddock: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewScott: It's interesting because we sort of view and we leave it up to the imagination a little bit about what, where exactly the game came from and what its motivation is. To us to a certain degree there is a bit of taunting and playing because the game knows that “Charlie” is going to come back because of “Kate/Princess”. And it sort of progresses as you see his hallucinations become worse, and the pull to get him to play again becomes greater.

David: Its sort of a psychological thriller aspect there where again, like Scott said, “Charlie” is happier in the virtual world he's more alive, he's reunited with “Kate” the “Princess” and it's where he'd rather be, rather than the real world. And it's sort of our way to, make people think about that message about what's real and, what is, what is worth living. Is living going and meeting people online and having a virtual representation of yourself. It's all of that kind of stuff wrapped into one.

Scott: I think also the game, you know, to answer your question directly, the games goal is to kill “Charlie”. So it could have happened that he could have been killed in the real world, but it sort of doesn't happen because of his inner strength. And the game knows that, like David said the game is going to bring him back or he's going to voluntarily want to come back to the game because he's been so intrigued with. You know it's sort of like, we talk about it in the sense like “Wizard of Oz”, because, here it is, he's photographed his friends and the bad guy and then the game takes from his memory the concept of the “princess” or the dead girlfriend and makes her the “princess”, so it sort of creates the same triangle in, that was the tragedy in his real life and helps him to create that same triangle in the game, knowing that there's no way that he's not going to want to come back and deal with that triangle.

David: And you know Linda, it's always interesting to us what our intent and intention is and then we're always curious to see is there a lot of testing in the movie. How did it strike you? When the game let him out twice. How did that come across to you, was it compassionate, was it evil, how did it strike you?

Linda Craddock: It was compassionate trying to give him an opportunity to adjust, it almost seems as though with each scenario when he wanted out he was caught off guard, he wasn't prepared for what was to come and he wanted out to re-adjust. And I thought that was compassionate.

David: That's good. I think that interpretation of it is, because again, the game has to slowly tease and taunt him. You know he gets that phone call from “Kaplan” his co-worker at the office and at first you believe.

David: and then, “Chalies” like, “wait a minute, did you call me” and then he’s like “No I didn't call you". And then he confronts the game and the game says a couple sort of chilling things.

Scott: We made you think, you know. We had to do what we had to do in order to get you to play the game.

David: And so it lures him slowly and then “Charlie” in that same scene says "I want to see Kate." and the game says "we know." So, it's kind of this dangling carrot, which is voluntary, it's willful - he takes the choice, to play.

Scott: Which is a dangling carrot, which is the same thing that leads into the addiction, of video games. Why is it that kids can just sit there forever and play the same game over and over or just try to get to the next level for hours upon hours and get lost.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewDavid: And how many times do you tell yourself "Alright I'll just play for 5 more minutes, 5 more minutes I know I can". It's almost like gambling in a way, the addiction to gambling, "If I just play a little longer I can win. I just", you know "I can beat it”. I can get to the next level." and all of a sudden you look at the clock and hours have gone by.

Scott: Which is again comes to circles back to what we were saying before so its kids and people today have that kind of determination within a game to keep going, to try to win, to get to the next level what, where’s the misfire that their not able to take that in their own life.

David: And it’s interesting that you saw the compassion in there, I’m really happy that you got that element to because we always find to with a villain in a movie and really the game is a villain there the villain is just completely one dimensional and know its bad and know its evil, it’s a little boring. If a villain can have a little compassion in a somewhat sinister way, it makes him more interesting. Don’t you think?

Linda Craddock: Absolutely, absolutely.

Scott: There is one movie that we love that illustrates that point really well. The movie, “In the line of Fire”, with John Malkovich and Clint Eastwood. Because even though John Malkovich is the bad guy, in the movie he has some very valid points. Now it’s not right what he does with those valid points but, ...

David: And even in the sci-fi world obviously being your domain, the whole “Darth Vader”, good/bad “Luke Skywalker”, good/bad delineation where everyone has that little bit in you. It makes it more interesting. (No, I agree. I absolutely I agree. I really enjoyed it. It had a lot of levels of emotions and a different flavor from scene to scene.

Linda Craddock: Yeah, absolutely.

David: We’re glad you did.

Scott: I mean we feel what makes, I mean we’ve actually have some relationships with people like Ben Bova and some of the fathers of science fiction, and you know to us what makes really good sci-fi material is discovering the human nature of relationships in characters within a world that is different…

Scott: Fantasy.

David: Fantasy. And for us we wanted to create a story that’s why the triangle thing of getting the triangle to happen in the game you know was really important to us. So, it makes us happy that, you know…

David: You picked up on it…

Scott: You picked up on that and you’re responding to it.

David: And is grounded in reality while being fantasy at the same time. All the different worlds he encounters.

Linda Craddock: How was the scene between ““Charlie””, “Peter”, “The Princess” and the zombies at the cabin laid out.

David: Yeah, we wanted, again from a basic palette, each world to be delineated and defined where crime spree is more of a cold blue night feeling environment. The zombie land is a bit more desiderated with a kind of a tobacco filtered. It’s like brown tinge with a more black and white type world. And then alien planet going with the yellow look essentially.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewScott: But it’s sort of the same concept like, I think, what you were going for. When their shooting behind the burm, at the alien, that was a green like little ramp that they were leaning up against. When “Charlie”, they’re moving the rock and they’re coming up out of the tunnel… there… you know we created flats and platforms and things that they can come in and out of and as if the only difference, in a movie that didn’t have the CIG world, is that they would be painted and textured, in the way that you wanted them. Everything was green and… like the sequence where they have to climb up the ladders is a complicated sequence because your mixing, you have, you know zombies chasing them, you have them going, you have a ladder that you’re replacing.

David: You have two different worlds, one below and up top with different color schemes there and each one has to be able to be textured uniquely and differently. We’re moving the camera a lot which makes it very challenging.

Scott: But like when she opens the hatch and everything, you know, the handle, and the way the hatch opens all that is practically built. And then you just texture on top of it and give it the look that you want.

David: We like the idea, I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie “Pitch Black”, it’s a slightly older movie maybe 10 years ago, now. Like the first “Pitch Black” and that had sort of a yellow filter type look that we really liked and thought that captured the idea of a sci-fi type planet. You see multiple suns and when you see some of the wide shots of that environment from a CGI standpoint, the guys built us like an entire globe, a world that we could pretty much go anywhere within in the digital realm.

Scott: And we went with a more of a retro kind of alien, spaceship kind of concept instead of going modern and what we might imagine that you’ve seen in some of the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars”. We wanted to be have a kind of as if the creators of that game, which often, creators of the games do, we kind of park in back into the like maybe 50’s or 60’s kind of spaceship look.

David: Like “The War of the Worlds” type of flying saucers. By mixing modern and cutting edge in futuristic and retro we kind of gave it, we feel, a unique overall look.

Linda Craddock: The echo effect with the audio that an enhancement from, explain that. Describe the echo effect.

Scott: Okay, I mean, it’s, it’s a really good point that you latched on to because we worked very hard to… You have the real sound and dialogue of the actors in the real world. And then what we did with the game characters is we gave them kind of a metallic game like sound that sort of echoes in a slightly artificial way.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewDavid: A way to delineate between “Charlie”, the player, and then the characters in the game so that again we’re reminded “Charlie” is here and they’re all part of the game. And, this is all leading towards the big question and discussions we’ve had over Pete and “Peter” because when he appears in the game…

Scott: In the cabin, which…

David: In the cabin as you mention, is a big question. Is he real? Is he like “Charlie”? Playing the game in the real world, that’s why he’s here?

Scott: It’s like his whole story, that he says, “Oh, I found the game. I found your superintendent. He let me into your apartment. I’ve started to play the game.”

David: So that’s his story and we the audience don’t know whether or not to believe him. We’ve decided that the game would be clever enough that even though its manufactured him and that story is not actually true, which hopefully we won’t do it to spoiler it to people, but that it made him sound normal, it made him sound like “Charlie”.

Scott: the game made that choice because the game, that shows the intelligence of the game. And then when we realized that he’s bad…

David: When we realized he’s bad, you know the cat’s out of the bag, I think we’ve left him to sort of sound like he’s a real human not a game character, in that way. But it really, see we felt that if we played Pete like “Kate” and the other characters, John and ...

Scott: Sherman.

David: Sherman, if we played them, him like them, then you would know automatically he’s part of the game, he wasn’t real. So we had to pull you along, we had to fool you and the game is certainly clever enough to be able to pull that of to make Pete sound real just like “Charlie”.

Scott: And we created the sound of the digital sound of the characters in the game with our mixer, Chris David, who is an English chap and, he mixes our movies and we came up with that kind of a sound.

David: And he works with lots and lots of big studios features. Lots of sci-fi movies as well as very talented guy, Chris David really did a phenomenal job and coming up with that sound and that’s what we all – because there’s always a million choices as to what you can do and that was just an artistic choice we made to make the delineations clear and hopefully fool the audience and lead them along.

Scott: That’s great that you really picked up on it, noticing it.

David: – especially seeing it on DVD and not seeing it in the theatre.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewLinda Craddock: What approach did you use to blend the right music and sound effects?

Scott: Well, obviously there are a lot of sound effects in the movie and there’s a lot of music in the movie and then it breaks down into two components: the score and then the song.

David: and then the songs we wanted to have a variety of sounds, again, delineating the games. “Alien Planet” relies more on score being a sci-fi kestrel score type sound. “Zombie Land” is a mixture, again, of scary or kestrel and we used a real orchestra in Romania, Bucharest Romania, “The National Radio Symphony Orchestra”. It’s a 75 piece orchestra and we went over there and conducted the score.

Scott: David wrote the score. He has a different name in the credits but has actually scored all the movies that we’ve made and he composed and conducted that score.

David: Scott actually is the music supervisor who we get a lot of submissions from record labels and record companies.

Scott: We used a lot of music from a band that was fairly popular a couple of years back called “Ghost in the Machine”, and, there techno, when he is riding the motor cycle in “Crime Spree”, “King of my World”, in “The Zombie Land” “Drop Down” a lot of these songs if you like look at the credits at the end of the movie are from this band called “Ghost in the Machine” and we used the song to delineate the words, like there’s a song called “Freeze” in the “Crime Spree” that takes us into that world so it has a very urban, hip-hop kind of feel because we wanted to set the audience and make it feel like the world that he was entering in, in “Crime Spree” was not a very safe world.

David: and then your question about the balance between the music and the sound effects at any given moment or at any given scene, we together with Chris David, had to decide which is going to be more dominant, the music or the sound effects. Sometimes they both play loud but other times emotions is better conveyed through the music and other times emotions is better conveyed through the sound effects. Obviously there’s a percentage or a balance of each. Sometimes you can say 60% music, 40% sound effects, and other times it could be 80% sound effects and 20% music. So its really the overall, obviously you have to hear the dialogue and hear what people are saying as first and foremost and create – I don’t know, again what your viewing system is or was for the movie. We did a lot of work with a 5.1 surround mix, your hearing things swirling around you and the gun fire is coming behind you, but in the “alien planet” you get a sense of the other world battle that’s happening in and around them and we have a lot of fun fooling around with the full 3D sonic space that surrounds the viewer.

Scott: actually for sci-fi type movies the advancements in sound equipment and sound design had really changed in the last lets call it 15 years. It gives you a lot of latitude and flexibility to create, especially in this kind of movie to really create the environment.

David: so we tell people to pop the movie in sit back, crank it up and enjoy.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewLinda Craddock: Yeah, I listened to it on the wrong TV, now I have to bring it downstairs and listen to it on my Sony, definitely.

David: Oh there’s a lot going on in the 5.1, the rumble, the bass and I think if you get another viewing of it ...

Scott: I don’t know if the advanced screener’s copy doesn’t have the 5.1 mixer or is it just the 2 track mix. It's possible, the solicitation master, the one that goes into black and white and every now and then for copy protection. That may not have the 5.1. We should definitely have Lions Gate so that you can see the other features behind the scene and all that. If you call Shannon who set this up, our publicist and tell her that you, that the interview went well and your intrigued to see the final product on DVD, then she can arrange that and get it to you. Lions Gate did a really nice job in the final ling of it, and packaging of it, the quality and everything is top notch. We have to say that Lions Gate has released a bunch of our films. We also have a “National Lampoon” called “Dorm Daze” and if you haven’t seen that, it’s more of a college comedy kind of a franchise. They’ve released “Dorm Daze 2” and they’re releasing “Dorm Daze 3”. We have a long standing relationship with the studio and they are very, very supportive of film makers. They are one of the most progressive studios out there today. They are really just great to work with because they allow us the creative freedom and they also allow us to personalize the special features on the DVD because you know somebody’s going out and their either renting or their plunking down anywhere between $15 and $20. From our perspective we want to be proud of the product that we’re making, like David said before we’re giving the viewer something more than they’ve seen before and hopefully its’ a learning thing, a tool. We, as directors, watch other people’s DVD’s and listen to the commentaries and everything because there’s a lot to be learned.

David: And the thing that’s really cool on that behind the scenes is because of all the green screen work, its really interesting in the deleted and extended scenes, your watching a scene that you’ve seen in the movie with all of the CGI and all of a sudden an extension of where we cut out what we didn’t use for the final movie goes into green. And so you can see it back to back, you see ...

Scott: What it looked like when we filmed it and started editing it before there was any special effects work.

David: you get some more shoots, more angels, some more dialogue, and at the same time get to see back and forth what its like before and after, not just from a behind-the-scenes point of view but cut together dramatically right smack in the middle of the movie.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewLinda Craddock: The game was a nice romantic story. Were there any other considerations for the storyline or ending?

Scott: That’s a great question and it’s really interesting because we talked about as far as sequels and even a re-imaging/re-inventing of “Gamebox” on a much larger budget. One thing – in the extended scene I was going to say in the cabin, when they talk about their conversation in the cabin, its interesting because “Charlie” says at that point and its not in the final of the movie but only in the delete scenes or extended scenes there we talked about “look, we can stay here together, we can go live in the suburbs of the game, buy a house. Now we know the rules, we know to avoid our ???, we can live happily ever after, mow the lawn. That idea, could you live in a game and stay there? Like you said it was interesting, I would think that – there’s a very clear answer that I want and I know David will agree with what I’m going to say. You know we could tell you that in our minds we were opened to different endings, really we never were because one thing that we are finding with the movie and people’s connection to the movie is that it has some spiritual overtones because the whole idea is that “yeah” he could stay in the game but the whole point of that concept and having her in the game is that the only way, in our opinion that “Charlie’s” going to get our of his funk and realize that unfortunately in life, tragedy happens to all of us but that doesn’t give us, I mean its our belief that everybody on earth has a mission and God puts us here, not to get too spiritual, but we all have a mission

Linda Craddock: I agree with you.

Scott: ok, and when we come into sync with who we are as people, its when we identify and come to terms with what that mission is and then embark on accomplishing that mission. “Charlie’s” mission in life was way greater then where it ended up where the movie starts with the tragedy that happened to him which he is unable as a person to move on in his life and its only through the experience in the game and the relationship with the princess who is really the likeness of his girlfriend. And her being able to say to him you have to move on. You are real and you need to live your life. You know what you can find happiness even in spite of tragedy, and that is what you are meant to do in life. There are random things that happened but you have to overcome that.

David: You can even look at the game and this is why we think, when you really dive into the concepts in the movie. Not only is the game sort of scary and evil and its doing what its doing to “Charlie” but you can also look at it as a gift. It becomes a gift, this experience to “Charlie” to do exactly what Scott just went through to learn, to understand and to be able to move on with his life. And the way he looks at the end, and we gave a little bit of a twinge or a touch in the casting with the girl he meets, the new waitress at the restaurant, “Pamela” to sort of remind you of his past but also tell the audience that “Charlie” has a future and that there’s some kind of spiritual connection in the universe because “Princess” in the game says “you’ll find somebody”. She calls him “Romeo” and this girl uses the same word right at the same time in the beginning when the other waitress says come on princess because she’s dauntingly so she calls – its those little touches to make you say maybe the universe is coming together and we’re here to give you a sign, to give you a clue, to help you to move on and that is for us one of the things we wanted to get across in the movie if we use coming, circling back to our first concept that we told you that people are more interesting in standing in the virtual world than in the real world, well, that’s where “Charlie” has been. He doesn’t care about his life in the real world because it has no meaning because of the tragedy and now through the experiences of the game and surviving the game and beating the game, he has a renewed sense that he does have a purpose in life. Then he is able to move forward.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewScott: Out of any movie genre, science fiction, I think, has always been at the forefront of exploring these type of themes, of redemption. You can take a science fiction movie at its basic level and enjoy Orson Scott “Cars Enders” game and movies like this and you can take it at face value but there generally much greater than that and by being able to have this thematic story about a character named “Charlie” who needs to learn something and move on in life, not only can you enjoy the video game experience that he goes through, but that character moral experience journey he takes is even of greater, we find, significant and hopefully enjoyment to the audience.

Scott: again, everybody in life, it’s like the goal of the game is to kill “Charlie”. You know we leave it a little ambiguous where that game comes from. Is it from some serial killer type person who concocts this game in the middle of the country and is going to try and kill people, like a Unabomber, or is it an alien race that knows that earth is a planet that has an addiction problem with video games so their using that concept to see if they can destroy people by killing them within the video game. So, you know that phrase, if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. Or a third choice, you go the gift idea route and he goes the gift route because he is able to overcome the game and, therefore, becomes a gift. So he finds something that says, Scott: “Jumanji” or even “The Last Mimzy” that’s out now or opening now where something is found coming from another world but it allows people to learn something and reconnect with who they are in a gift kind of way. Food for thought: In every one of those ideas as far as we’re concern is right. They’re all right interpretations, its how – each viewer sees. That’s why we find that with all the reviews starting to come out very soon now and all the people calling us wanting to do interviews, people are really finding on faith level that like kind of creates the game experience in a way that’s really never been done before. And then at the character and emotional level a story that you connect to because you really care about the people and you want to see them overcome adversity and their tragedies.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewDavid: We had some nice compliments paid to us and we were very honored where people have said that also, they were happy that we didn’t glorify the movie by the world of the video game tester. We played it true and we had done a lot of research to what its’ like. These guys are like sitting in a cubicle, at a desk, just playing video games and what their life is like then going home and playing more video games.

Scott: And we can sort of relate to it that we’re editing a movie, we’re spending every day, you know, 10, 12, 14 hours a day in a darkened room, cutting together a movie. Its sort of like you sometimes feel like your living in the world, the movie, or living in the world of the game.

David: I’m sure it’s the same for you as a writer sitting in front of your computer coming up with a story and ...

Scott: and how to tell – we’re trying to give you as much from our souls as we can about why we made this movie and how we made the movie and answer the questions but also to give you a little bit more beneath the surface because I think this movie is pack with stuff below the surface.

Linda Craddock: Patrick Cavanaugh and Danielle Fishel are big fans of your work. Talk about your relationship that draws you to their talent because I see that they have been in your “Dorm Daze” series?

David: Correct.

Scott: Both of them are very talented actors. And Nate Richert which you might not have in your notes, Nate Richert was also one of the stars in our movies “Pinata: Survival Island: and so we had worked with him before, too.

David: We like working with actors we’ve had experience with before that really grew and to work with them again. Lots of film makers do that, obviously Steve Spielberg, Woody Allen often. People sometimes use the same people over and over and over. Yes and his comedies often have almost the identical cast from movie to movie. Patrick is a, I will speak maybe about Patrick first. He is a very talented, very gifted, very good comic timing, very quick and he’s also has a sweet face and passionate eyes. To work with them as directors, he’s disciplined, hard working, comes to work every day. Giving his all.. always has ideas, thoughts, thinking about the character. That’s what we like in an actor to not only give us what we’re looking for, but to probe and challenge and offer suggestions and come prepared with ideas, and its our job to pick and choose and hone and craft and say we like that – well why don’t you try this, why don’t you try that and it’s a joy to work with him. Scott you want to talk about Danielle.

Scott: Danielle is sort of the same, and we know this because we’ve traveled with her on the theatrical release of “Dorm Daze” and she’s mobbed everywhere she goes.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewScott & David: “Boy Meets World” and “Topanga Lawrence” that character that she created on that show. In order for a TV show or a movie to reach a certain level of success, there’s a reason, and Danielle is the reason that “Boy Meets World”, I mean it was a great cast all around, but that show was centered around her character. She has a very likable, universal, every girl kind of quality with a very sharp, fast wit. Like Patrick, she’s very, very fast, her timing, her comic timing is very good. We chose to work with her in “Gamebox” because we thought it would be really interesting for her fans all over the world to see her in a role as far away as she had done to date from “Topanga”.

David: And we wanted, even with the relationship between “Charlie” and the “Princess”, and Danielle did a fantastic job, she didn’t have, we didn’t give her - and same with the writers, the opportunity to know “Kate”. We only learned about “Kate” as you’ve seen through flashback and through the video “Charlie” watches in his apartment. It’s a very short time to get a sense of this very bubbly cute personality that’s one side of Danielle Fishel, and I think she really came across that way on that video to see what their life was like together, and then we wanted, very much a relationship like a “Han Solo” and “Princess Leia” relationship where their back and forth at each other snappy, quick and Danielle being sharp and shrewd and clever like Scott said, pulls that off really well, too, where she border line “bitchy”, just like Carrie Fisher and “Princess Leia”, but in a playful, twinkle in the eye kind of way. To get that you know, there’s love beneath the surface. And then the challenge for Danielle was to see “Princess” sort of ...

Scott: her own realization of who she was, who the character of “Kate” was through “Charlie”, and soften and grow and start to see that side of her that makes her seem more like “Kate”. When we were filming that last scene, in the boiler room, which is kind of the genesis where we just jumped off for this whole last conversation we had, I mean everybody on the set was crying. Even us, while we were filming it because it was one of the last days of shooting and was very early in the morning after a very long day and both her and Nate had a connection, a really special connection while they were making this film in their characters and you really see it in her eyes how she comes full circle in that end scene and its so compassionate with “Charlie”.

Linda Craddock: What other projects can we look forward to?

Scott: Well, we have a few different things on the horizon. We’re in the middle of editing right now what is essentially the third in the “Dorm Daze” franchise, so it's quite different and special from “Dorm Daze 1” and “Dorm Daze 2”.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewDavid: It takes place in Romania and we actually went to Romania and shoot in an 800 year old castle 8 hours north of Bucharest, in the heart of Transylvania, (wow). It’s a castle that looks “Harry Potter” except it isn’t CGI, it’s really there. If we had to describe – with our “Dorm Daze” franchise, we didn’t want to do the same thing from movie to movie to movie, we wanted to keep it changing and fresh and what we’ve done with “Dorm Daze”, “Dorm Daze 1”, if you haven’t seen it, “Dorm Daze 1”, if you liked “Gamebox” you should check out the “Dorm Daze” franchise. “Dorm Daze 1” took place, well, the “Dorm Daze” franchise is like a moiré or Shakespearian kind of farce and the first one takes place all in a college dormitory. The second one takes place at a college at C program on a cruise ship, and the third one is like “Young Frankenstein” meets, like a college comedy that takes place in this great castle with vampires and almost has the quality of like a Danny Kaye movie where one actors playing multiple parts that look identical and how that all works in, so we’re in the middle of editing that and that will be coming out soon. Neither under the name of “Dorm Daze 3”, “National Lampoon Dorm Daze 3”. We may call it something else.

David: And then we’re in preparation on a large budget period, swash buckling sort of a classic novel that hasn’t been done before. Like “Pirates in the Caribbean” or a “Last of the Mohegan’s”, that type of a movie, we are in preparation on that. And we are also talking with a number of studios right now and our independent group too about a sequel or sort of a continuation of the “Gamebox” type world. Like taking that concept and reinventing it, putting it on a bigger scale. When we finished the first “Gamebox”, we showed it around to a bunch of the studios and they all said this is amazing, this is incredible. If you guys had a 10 – 20 million budget, and we were able to put huge, huge actors and stars in it, then this might have been a different kind of release. So would you be interested in reinventing it, using “Gamebox 1.0” as a launch pad at the first movie out and taking it from there.

Scott: its funny the charm, we feel, of “Gamebox 1.0” being this, you know, a smaller budget independent with Danielle and Nate, kind of connects on its own level as opposed to it being Tom Cruise or whoever. This movie’s a funny movie because we shot the entire movie, principal photography in 12 days. And then it took us 2 ½ years to just finish all the visual effects because unlike a studio, that has a hundred people like at ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) or some of the digital houses, doing all the effects. We had 10 guys in a garage. It really is like a garage band kind of movie kind of put together like it was apple or Mac, apple or IBM at the beginning. A bunch of guys in a garage putting this together. That really is kind of the environment that the movie was made in and both David and I, and it seems that the public and reviewers are embracing that and going, well that’s what makes it really unique and good like what David said because we didn’t have ...

David: Suits looking over us. We were able to do it in a way that is a little more unique, special – perhaps the spiritual side of it as well.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewLinda Craddock: Last question and I say that because you guys have given me so much information and input that you’ve actually eliminated a couple of questions I had and it’s great because its so much information, great feedback. What would you do professionally if it were not movie making?

Scott: I wanted to be a baseball player, (laughter) a tennis player – those are my top other choices that I wanted to do ...

David: One thing that’s fun for us, to answer your question, hopefully in the spirit of it but, one thing that we really enjoy in the movie making process is that you get to do a lot of different kind of things and learn about a lot of different things. And even the fact that we both wear different hats, we both, sometimes we’re the writers – sometimes we hire writers. We’re the directors, we’re the producers, and we also work with the music so at different times of the year, we get to be a music guy or we get to be a director. So it’s almost like living what you’re saying different jobs. If we couldn’t do any of those, and again, not to not answer your question. I agree with Scott on the sports stuff. When I was young at one point I wanted to be a doctor, either a Veterinarian because I like animals or Pediatrician because I like children but then I realized that I liked those things but I had no interest in medicine in that way. But we really have been fortunate to work in a variety of things experience different things. The movie making process is such a collaboration of professionals who you have your grip team, your camera team, your electric team, your make up artist. This is funny – in about 10 minutes our make up artist whom we met in and hired in Romania to work on “Dorm Daze 3”, is, I think this is her first trip to the United States. She’s coming for lunch with some of the people we worked with there and to connect with people in a foreign country.

Scott: It's speaking a lot of languages, which is what David is referring to which is why – circling back to what we were talking about what you were put on this planet for – David and I will both say in any interview, anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances that we really believe that what we are doing, right now, in our careers is what we were meant to do.

David: We are very fortunate to be able to do what we enjoy, what we like to do. Like every good writer, I am sure your’ the same, love to write. Your’ passionate about it and it shows in the work and we love what we do and we love coming to work everyday, editing, making a movie, telling a story, ...

Scott: We also like being in control of bring together the team or artists because when you’re working on a movie, when you’re shooting it, you’re working at any given time with 125 – 150 people that you personally get to hire all these people, bring them together, ask them to kind of interact and work together, almost like a Wall Street “A” level company that just comes together for a short period of time in order to accomplish the vision that we have in our head and often our vision gets taken this way and that way because we have with the collaboration with the people that we work with over and over again. So it really – we feel that we are right where we’re supposed to be, doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing.

David: Let me give you one more tidbit. I’m also a magician and when we were younger, Scott and I had a magic show business and we loved performing magic at parties. You knew that we were brothers, right, (laughter) both collaborating: As magicians and doing shows!

David: In some ways we’re still in the movie making process able to create magic. And that’s always our goal. Wasn’t that poetic (laughter). Never ended an interview in that way, not that this is the end because if you have more questions, we’re happy to answer them, but I like that.

Gamebox 1.0: David and Scott Hillenbrand interviewLinda Craddock: Are you guys twins by any chance?

David: No, we’re 2 years apart, although Scott has twin children.

Scott: Actually twin babies, a boy and a girl, they will be 3 in June. It's funny, sometimes David and I would go to someplace and people would think that we were romantically involved and say they didn’t know we were brothers. (laughter) But no David has blue eyes, I have brown eyes and we’re brothers and we share a lot of similarities, and yet we’re different and that what kind of makes our relationship, and our team, and our company really special because being brothers, working together has really been special and then bring together the similarities and the differences and making them work creatively is always fun because people often say I’m not quite sure how you guys have done it, together so long.
David: It's funny, the way we direct is exactly the way you hear us speak we don’t delineate you do this, I do that, we do it together...
Scott: very organic in the moment.

Linda Craddock: Well, David and Scott, I want to take the time to thank you so much for this interview. It’s been great. very informative.

David: it’s always nice to speak to someone didn’t just throw questions together, but really thought about the movie and the specifics about it, took the time to really guide it, our discussion in a way that captures what we tried to do with this particular movie, and always I think that’s the challenge for a critic to come or a reviewer or interviewer to see what kind of intent or movie the film makers tried to make. Sometimes it’s a popcorn movie, sometimes its art house, sometimes it’s in between and to guide it in the spirit of the intent.

Linda Craddock: : Well thank you.

Scott: We do appreciate it and “Gamebox” is a very special project for us because it's taken a long time to make and complete to do it the way that we wanted to do it and in some sense to us it’s the little movie that could and we feel that if enough people see it, and it gets out there that the world will see it because people will tell people. This business is so word of mouth and if something’s good out there it shines and it gets passed around. So we’re hoping that enough people see that it gets that word of mouth going.

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© Interview by Linda Craddock: for The Scifi World
Transcript by Linda Craddock: (And special thanks to Rising Phoenix & Camy)


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