Interview with Daniele Spadoni, director of adventure game movies
«Il mio desiderio e portare al cinema i vecchi giochi.»
Daniele Spadoni is an ambitious Italian independent filmmaker and director with a soft-spot for the adventure games of the good-old-days. He may not have a great budget to work with, but he has vision, passion and determination that have led him to the creation of three short action movies of great adventure games: Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, The Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion. Let's meet him!
Welcome, and thank you for giving us this interview. So, first of all, would you like to introduce yourself and Spadoni Productions to our readers?
My name is Daniele Spadoni, I was born in Brindisi and since 2013 I have been living in Ferrara, in the north of Italy. I am an independent filmmaker and director and I have already created a number of video productions, many of which can be found on my YouTube channel: here.
Most of my works got over 100,000 views in a short time in spite of the diversity of the subject or even the style of shooting used. That is why I intend to follow the path of professionalism in direction, while at the same time I also have expert skills in photography and especially in editing and special effects in post-production. I have received some great reviews for my work from the media, both on the web and in the newspapers, and to be honest I am counting on the fair number of devoted followers I have online. I am particularly fond of cartoon series and sequels to famous productions.
Are you an adventure gamer yourself? What is your favourite adventure game and why?
Yes, I am. I was introduced to the world of Pixels when I was a young boy. Thanks to the Commodore, I grew up playing these masterpieces and it was sooner than later that they stole my heart away. However, I don't love just one single game in particular. During my childhood, my father used to give me a good number of games to play, and every single time I used to identify with each one of them.
Are there any adventure games that have inspired your work as a director thanks to their intriguing story and/or excellent direction?
Let's just say that it was not a single game to breathe life into my dream to become a director; it was the Commodore itself that has inspired me and helped to develop my passion for the world of the cinema. This has been the case from the moment I started making the first 2D pixel animations all the way until today that I am reinterpreting and adapting into real life the most famous titles in my field, with my personal cinematic style.
What do you think of adventure games today? Do we still see great releases like in the good-old-days?
Modern games have no energy; they don't give out so much. Nowadays when players end a game, they will not play it again as it never managed to strike at their hearts as pixels did in the past. Sure, Ron Gilbert is still trying to create something similar, yet new, and has great results. Pixels are fantastic as they are, they don't need any graphic alterations. This is an alternative reality, a different dimension, which needs no renovation.
Would you like to tell us how come you have chosen those three adventure games in particular to base your short movies upon?
What I did with these gaming masterpieces' adaptation was to keep things simple and real at the same time. As I said before, while you were playing those games, you always felt immersed in the world of the game, you always felt as part of that dimension. Those stories captured me so firmly that I wanted to convert them in our present time. I managed to do that, and with good results, despite the total absence of budget. The passion we put into them made the result so cool and full of energy.
Is there any recent adventure game you enjoyed playing so much that you would love to shoot a short about it?
Surely, 'Future Wars' by Delphine Software and Eric Chahi. However, without any budget, I'm afraid it won't be possible to make this one.
What movie would you like to see turned into an adventure game and what adventure game turned into a movie?
A film converted into pixels? I confess I have never thought about a conversion of this kind... but it's a good idea! As for a game converted into a live action movie, as I just said, that would be 'Future Wars'. At least if you are talking about my work on YouTube. If we are talking about cinema, I would start again from Zak Mckraken, The Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion.
Would you ever consider developing an FMV adventure game yourself, or working together with a development studio to that end?
No, I wouldn't as my passion is dedicated to the cinema. However, I would be pleased from a collaboration for the development of a new adventure game.
How many people work on the production of one of your shorts? Are you professional acquaintances or friends with relevant know-how?
I am doing almost everything by myself: from the direction to the post-production and the CGI effects. Now, as far as actors and locations are concerned... with no budget at my disposal, I am constantly looking for people and collaborators who like acting and want to prove their passion.
How long does it take you to complete such a project? And what is the greatest challenge you usually face?
My times are short to complete a short movie. It takes no more than two days for the shootings and then I start the post-production work. The entire project is competed in less than a month.
What was the feedback you got from the adventure game community worldwide for your movies? Did they love those shorts or were their expectations way too high to satisfy?
Mostly it was positive. There were some who expected more, but they didn't bother to take into consideration the fact that my works were realized without any budget at all or that I gave my very best for it. Nevertheless, my greatest satisfaction came from the creators of the games who shared my actual works on their social media.
Should we expect another short movie based on some popular adventure game? If yes, can you give us a hint about it?
Unfortunately, my private life won't allow me forever to express myself and my talent without a budget. I wish I could make the short action film of 'Monkey Island II', but as I already mentioned even this would be difficult with no money at my disposal.
Thank you for your time and this fine interview. We can't wait to see what you have stored for us next!