Wednesday, December 10, 2008

International Dorkness

So this cheered me up. Last week, a package arrived at the Epic Level office for Dead Gentlemen Productions. The postmark on the package said it was from Israel. Written on the back were "The Icon SF Festival" and "The Tel Aviv Cinematheque." The package was addressed to Don, so of course I opened it.

Inside was a program for the 12th annual Icon Science Fiction, Fantasy and Role-Playing Festival. The festival is held every year in Tel Aviv, this year from October 14-18. Also inside was a letter summing up the events. The Gamers had screened at Icon. I hadn't known about it, but that's not much of a surprise -- DG allows any festival to screen our movies as long as they don't charge admission, so there are X many screenigs per year that I'm mostly unaware of.
According to the letter, The Gamers was received quite well by the Israeli crowd:

As you'll be able to see in our printed program, Icon has a major
role-playing section. Over recent years we've been complementing it with a few relevant films in the international film festival section.

THE GAMERS is the first film to have received such a vastly positive reaction from the role-playing community in Israel. The screening [was] followed by many excited reviews and conversations (off and on-line) circling the message "finally, a film that shows gamers and gaming for what it is, does it well and does it funny".

... We're quite eager on seeing the new installment, DORKNESS RISING, and possibly screening THE GAMERS again.

Concisely -- many thanks! Ir was a pleasure and I hope to have the chance to work together in the future.

The director of the festival even went on to say that we have friends in Tel Aviv if we're ever there and need showing around. I may take him up on it -- much of the write-for-hire work I've had and continue to have comes from the Holy Land.
I flipped through the Icon program and found the entry for The Gamers. There was the familiar shot of Nathan, Shimkus, Phil, and Justin looking out over the sea, but the summary underneath it was in Hebrew as well as English. What a kick that was. Looks like the next version of the DVD will need Hebrew subtitles. Why not? We've already done Latin.

On the subject of subtitles: This week, I received an email from fans in Estonia. For the geographically-impaired, the Republic of Estonia lies on the Baltic Sea, west of Russia and north of Latvia:



They'd seen Dorkness Rising and enjoyed it immensely. How they got a copy in Estonia, I don't know. But it turns out the guy who sent the email was one of the translators who did the Estonian subtitles for the Director's cut of The Gamers. He offered his services if we decided to put Estonian subtiltes on any future Dorkness Rising DVDs.

So how about that? Our silly little movies about RPGs have an international following. Feeling pretty good right about now.


Katie said...

Less exotic locales, but when I was at Leicester Uni, about 20 members of the fencing club were sitting in the pub post-practice, and I overheard two guys talking about this crazy-funny gaming movie. They were laughing and quoting lines from the it. They had only met a couple of months ago, and one was from Germany, the other from Scotland. I leaned over and said "hey, are you talking about that Dead Gentlemen movie, The Gamers?" They said yes, and asked if I had seen it. I just smiled and said I was in it. Apparently that makes me a movie star (being a dead body didn't seem to matter).

What really amazed me though was that 3 people from 3 different countries all randomly met up to discuss a small indie-geek film.

Brie said...

By the way, did I ever mention that I have Estonian heritage? My great grandparents were born there, and my grandmother still speaks Estonian. I thought it kicked a lot of ass that there was Estonian subtitles. Random, but kick ass.
And of course, awesome job on doing so well in Israel, whether or not you knew about it. The Israelites seem to have a thing for you, no?

Kuba said...

Hello, friend. I have been silently following your amazing ascent in the world of filmmaking for some time now, not wanting to intrude on your precious time with valueless remarks from a person you haven't seen or heard from for 12 years or so. But today I feel I must speak up,to reassure you that Estonia is not the only place in Europe where your work is appreciated and admired! A little to the west and south lies Poland, populated by Poles. Admittedly, they are mostly known for and interested in less intellectually demanding pastimes than roleplaying, leaning rather towards binge drinking and axe-fighting, BUT there are 40 millions of them! Statistics shows that there simply HAS to be a substantial geek population even in so dumb a nation. I, having been introduced to roleplaying by you in the good days of senior year at Foss, have been spreading the word about your work, with unanimously positive results. Therefore, should the need arise, I humbly offer my services in providing Polish subtitles to any DG releases which may find their way to our neck of the taiga.
Jakub Szmytkowski

Kuba said...

But seriuosly.
Matt, i would like to take this opportunity (this being an unusually calm night here on Trauma Duty)(but then, this is hardly a surprise, because who in their right mind would crack anybody's head open on a night before Christmas Eve?) to wish you and your wife a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming year. Fear not,Hopjockey will take off one day. Judging from the little taste of it I've had, it kicks ass. And again, fear not - I won't be flooding your blog with lengthy randmom posts too often (there's usually plenty of trauma to be had, and when not working I'm kept busy by my 14-month old daughter). All the best, @#&! the rest.