Minding the time in a nondescript cafe a few minutes away from the IFC Center, "Indie Game: The Movie” co-directors Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky and composer/indie rocker Jim Guthrie share an easygoing parlance that showcases the spirit of effective collaboration. Of course, one of the notable ways to spot excellent craftsmanship is seeing something difficult made to look easy. “Indie Game: The Movie” manages that trick, and we fell in love with the film at Sundance, calling it “the most mature look at video games yet, and a fine documentary in its own right,” that served “as a powerful document for why games deserve consideration as a legitimate artform.” High praise for a documentary that was but a seed on Kickstarter almost two years ago.
“What we thought would take a year, probably six months,” says Swirsky, adding "Basically our thinking as, we own all the equipment, we can kind of do everything our selves, all we really need is kind of enough money for food, gas, lodging, and the will to say no to our corporate commercial gigs, hit the road, get the footage, take it back and make a movie. And it just kind of evolved from there and just kind-of kept on going." Both directors have a background in commercials, with Pajot joining CBC straight out of journalism school, moving into news, lifestyle programming and finally documentary, where she crossed paths with Swirsky. The two joined forces, doing commercial and corporate work, selling their projects back to CBC.
"If you were a big company in Canada that wanted a documentary for hire, that's what we did, we made those,” says Pajot. “We never intended to become commercial producers, but that's just how we were able to get better. We produced a lot of content, that's ten years of work and now...we're making a film."
Adds Swirsky, "You start off as a filmmaker and you find a career doing commercial stuff, but all throughout we were kind of doing fun little things on the side, little narrative, little documentaries on the side, and we knew at some point we wanted to do something bigger.” Pajot chips in, "We just didn't know when."