Have you ever wondered what it takes to make a blockbuster movie? In Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair you'll get the chance to go through the movie-making process step by step in order to create your very own version of a movie.
This game is part of the Knowledge Adventure series, so it focuses more on details than a quick fix for a fun time. You'll begin with Steven Spielberg welcoming you to the game. From there you'll be introduced to the script of the movie you'll be making. It's a fairly simple story involving a man wrongly accused of a murder, while his girlfriend goes undercover at a magic show to prove his innocence. Of course the player has total control over what actually takes place in the movie. There are many different plot twists available to use that will affect the outcome of the ending. To enhance the movie experience, some familiar faces have been included in the game, most notably Jennifer Aniston (from Friends) and Quentin Tarantino.
You'll actually start playing the interactive game after your production assistant shows you the ropes. Your first order of business is in the pre-production building where you'll meet the writers. This is where you'll be able to customize the movie's script to your liking. There are only so many different ways to assemble the script, but as you become more advanced, you'll have more choices available to you. This part of the game is fairly straightforward.
Once you're done writing the script, the actual production process can commence. The actual shooting of the footage occurs here. You can select to shoot any of the scenes in any order, but most of them will have some kind of conflict. Many times the hairdresser isn't ready, or a costume isn't done. You have the option to wait it out, or to shoot a different scene. The longer you wait, the more money it will cost you in the long run. The more money you spend in this area of the movie means less spent in other areas. The shooting of the movie isn't as fun as it could have been. You're basically given a few movie clips, all of which you must use, to splice together to make a somewhat coherent film. Once you play the game a few times, you can advance to a more difficult level and actually choose different camera angles, but overall it's pretty boring.
When you move on to the editing room, things really slow down and become complicated. What could have been lots of fun is hindered by bad controls. It takes awhile to get used to the process by which you can cut and paste the various scenes together. It doesn't seem like you have enough control over what makes it into the film, which kind of makes the whole editing process unnecessary.
Probably the most enjoyable parts of the game are when you add in the music, sound effects, and graphical layouts. Since the movie doesn't have any sounds (with the exception of the talking), it's your job to add in various sound clips. From loud noises, to walking sounds, you'll be able to make your movie sound the way you want it to. It can be difficult to match up the sound to the on-screen action, but it's not too bad. Adding in the music is done pretty much the same way. You pick the music that suits the scene. In the graphics room you are able to select the type of credits you want, as well as develop your own movie posters.
Once you've accomplished all these tasks you can finally premiere the movie. If it's good enough you'll be able to continue on to the next skill level. You're able to save the movie to your hard drive so you can view it at any time.
The graphics and music in Director's Chair are standard for a multimedia game. The backgrounds are nicely rendered, but there's no animation throughout the game. The videos of the actors are done very well, with very little graininess present. There's not a lot of music in the game, but what's there is adequate. The sound effects and voice are top-notch.
Controlling the game is easily done with the mouse. You simply point and click throughout the entire game. Even though it's simple to control, many people will find that the game isn't all that easy to succeed in. A lot of the various movie-making tasks are difficult to do because of the bad interface. There's just not enough freedom given when making your own movies. I found it almost impossible to make the movie exactly the way I wanted to because of all the restrictions. I also had a hard time making what I desired in the editing and sound effects room.
Even though Director's Chair prides itself as being a game, it really reminds me more of a multimedia product. It focuses more on the "how-to" aspect than on the entertainment area. I didn't have much fun playing through the game, mainly because of all the restrictions. The movie clips and script are almost laughable, and even though the actors are professionals, the overall film looks corny.
With a guide like Steven Spielberg we have got a chance to direct our own movie in this interactive movie-making game. Some of the most talented people in cinema industry are also helping us to choose and do the right things during our project. In addition Jennifer Aniston and Quentin Tarantino are our stars, OUR STARS of OUR OWN MOVIE! However, like most of the interactive games, this game is lacking its game side: Mostly all you've to do is to click the places you've told and wait to see what happens next.
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