Interview with Free to Play creators
Q: What was the goal you made while filming this movie?
Phil: The primary goal of the film is to provide a gift for the Dota community. Millions of people have played and followed the competitive scene in Dota for several years. We felt that we wanted to do something special for them – tell their story through a few players from around the world.
Q: Can you tell us about the shooting process?
Phil: We shot the entire film on Canon 5D and 7D DSLR cameras with a few shots from a RED as well. We traveled to Cologne, Germany for The International as well as Oregon, China, Singapore, Ukraine, and Denmark. We also did some pickup interviews here in Seattle.
Q: What difficulties have you faced while making the movie?
Phil: We had a couple of pretty difficult problems to solve while making the movie.
First, we had to introduce all of our players, their families, and all the personalities from the Dota community in a way that made sense and allowed their point of view to be heard and understood. And we had to do all of this in 75 minutes.
Second, we filmed hundreds of hours of footage and put together a lot of scenes. We had to decide what scenes we should eliminate. We went through hundreds of iterations to make it all fit together in a way that made sense. We had screenings at Valve and received feedback from the audiences to help us figure out what was working. In the end, we had a lot of really great scenes we put together that didn’t really fit in the film any more. Fortunately, we have released some of those scenes as bonus footage.
Q: How many people worked on the film?
Phil: We started with just a few of us and grew to almost 20 people over the course of the project, including artists, animators, and sound designers.
Q: The film was shown for the first time at TI3 and after that it was shown nowhere else. What was the reason for that? Did it happen because of a long post-production stage?
Phil: We had just finished the edit for The International 2013, but there are a lot of other things that come into play when shipping a product. We needed to get legal rights to some footage that we had found as well as a final audio mix and color correction which are all very time-consuming. We also wanted the film to be localized in several languages at launch.
Q: As far as I know the movie will be shown in Russian in the CIS countries, is it true?
Phil: We have subtitles for 24 different languages including Russian. We also have onscreen text that has been translated for a few languages – Chinese, Russian, Korean, and German.