Well Ain't That Something
by Jay Scott

I play a lot of video games. A lot. How much is a lot? Well, for the past few years I have probably bought two a month like clockwork. Last year I picked up a game and then before ever installing it, went off and got wrapped up in something else. Well a few weeks ago, I went ahead and started playing it. The game? Lionhead Studios “The Movies”.

The link takes you to the online community where you can watch the films people upload, look at the charts, etc. etc. So, in a nut shell, its one part Sim, one part movie maker. And its pretty freakin' cool. It’s a game where you have pretty much unlimited options to make little movies with, well, any story you want. You start with either the normal sim game option, which means like most games, your goals are to expand, grow and build. In this game it’s a Hollywood studio that starts in the very beginning of Hollywood. You hire actors, build sets, hire writers, etc. It’s a really good sim that even comes with the drama that talent will put you through. Yeah, ya gotta stay on top of those pesky actors, or they might drink too much, eat too much and not show up for work. Then there is the sandbox mode, which just lets you run with it and make any movie you like from any timeframe.

Now, for a sim game to capture the essence of being a director, wells that’s something. You have thousands of choices, and with a zillion preset scene options, the ability to move the camera any way you like, with sweeping dolly moves and crane fly bys, to using greenscreen, bluescreen, tons of special effects, sets that vary from a full on Western location, to a major city, to a creepy graveyard, to whatever, even a alien planet. It pretty much covers everything you could want to do. The costumes vary from the cheesy sci fi look of the 30’s to the slick zombies of the 90’s. Western, Action, Romance, Comedy, Drama and Horror are the staple genres.

The game's only failing is in post production where they could have made a better editor and interface. But nonetheless, it can be managed. The website for the game allows you to upload your movies free and let them be seen and reviewed by others. And with a good film comes perks, like custom downloadable content.

click each screenshot for bigger image.

It's a lot of fun. So, if you're low on cash, but want to make that big budget action sci fi pic that you always dreamed of, here is your chance. I have seen a few of the films on the site, and some are pretty good. Watchable good. Next week, I think I will interview a few people who make films on the site, ones that I like and, well, lets just say it might be interesting.

Over all, I think ya’ll should check it out. Totally worth it. Now I gotta run cause I'm off to make a movie before lunchtime.

Jay swears he is not making Barnyard Babes, Volume 7



My friends and I got into The Movies right when it came out, and had a lot of fun with it.

The funny thing was, nobody I know played the "sim" part of the game - everybody got the cheat codes online and went straight to the movie making part.

I made an action-shoot-em-up-buddy-cop parody called "Action! Movie" that featured an old veteran, a young rookie, and an evil Asian guy. I had a lot of fun writing the dialogue to make as much fun of bad action movies as possible.

Great game.


I wish I had a computer powerful enough to play games like this. That's why I stick with the consoles.


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