"Creepy Magician" or "Appropriate Magician"
August 8, 2020 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair, made during the heyday of PC CD-ROM "interactive media", purported to talk a beginner through the art of filmmaking using clips from a fictitious movie starring the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Quentin Tarantino, Katherine Helmond as well as magicians Penn & Teller. Meanwhile, in 2020, developer Paolo Pedercini had the idea to take the video clips and create an interactive movie on the web, which you can now enjoy(?) for yourself.

The first prompt is "Manic Tarantino" or "Calm Tarantino" which should give you a sense of what you're getting into.
posted by selfnoise (8 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Tarantino acting is - oof - a hard ask in the first ten minutes.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:07 AM on August 8 [5 favorites]

Hoo, yeah, that's what being a competitive high school theater kid in the '90s was like: watching that monologue. How can I refuse more Acting! from Penn and Teller?
posted by Countess Elena at 11:19 AM on August 8

They should put this on Youtube for a bigger audience. You can do interactive videos on Youtube.
posted by eye of newt at 11:25 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]

How can I skip straight to Katherine Helmond?
posted by jzb at 11:41 AM on August 8

"Creepy Magician" or "Appropriate Magician"

This is the captcha where I just give up and become a robot.
posted by oulipian at 12:06 PM on August 8 [7 favorites]

This is the captcha where I just assume that Google has moved on to the trolley problem stage of autonomous driving.
posted by phooky at 12:51 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]

Holy cow. I was one of the programmers on this project. It was my first job out of college.

I still have several boxed copies of the game, named one of the worst interactive projects of the year in an issue of Entertainment magazine that I probably also still have a copy of.

Even with Microsoft’s dedication to backwards compatibility, it probably isn’t fully playable on a modern Windows because it required the installation of a special sound driver that was used to mix the final soundtrack for the movie you edited together from all the footage that you could access.

I haven’t poked around in the links, but I’m guessing it doesn’t include all the game footage of Spielberg and his various department heads of the time.

Here is an audio outtake from the recording sessions for the game.
posted by jimw at 9:11 PM on August 8 [25 favorites]

Oh my gosh. A friend of mine picked up a copy of this and we played through it for a couple of nights back when it was released. We had been working on some short films at the time, and I remember it feeling a little corny, but interesting... but I liked FMV titles anyway - I'd roped the same group of friend into playing Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective and Night Trap on my Sega CD.

I had completely forgotten the title of this game, but remembered Penn & Teller, so my brain just lumped it in with something else that was on that unreleased game they had produced with Desert Bus.

Thank you so much for this.
posted by phong3d at 10:39 AM on August 9

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