Saturday, October 8, 2011

Going Cardboard: A Documentary Trailer

My editor/mentor/hero, Jason Scott, has been a busy guy. In fact, this week we've BOTH been burning the midnight oil editing for Going Cardboard. He's been working on the film itself, and my assignment was: do the trailer.

It was quite daunting at first. Trying to encapsulate the whole film into 2 minutes or so, and doing it in the fast-paced flashy way that trailers do is, I want to say, arguably much harder than making the film itself. Well, the rough cut anyway.

I knew conceptually what I wanted to do. I wanted it to start out slow and peaceful, and evoke the memories most of us have of playing board games as kids. Serene and nostalgic. And then, I wanted to kick off rocking music, and WHOAH, look at board games today! Rawwwr!

So I spent a few days searching for just the right music to do that while I started throwing bits of this concept together. It was quite a struggle, until I hit on exactly the music I wanted. I knew basically right away this was the right track. And once I had that, the rest of the trailer really fell in line. The final result has the feel I wanted it to. I hope you like it!

Going Cardboard Teaser from Lorien Green on Vimeo.

(here's the YouTube link)

Hair of the dog that bit me

So, if you wake up groggy from a precious few hours of sleep after a late, late night session working on your documentary (and believe me, you pretty much look like this), what do you do? Grab a coffee and get back to work!

Last night after working on the trailer and reviewing Jason's latest cut of the film, I went a step further. I've got two bonus sequences (and a bit in the movie) that talk about Avalon Hill. Eric Martin was kind enough to loan me some early Avalon Hill games a few months back, so I have cutaway shots of those. But one sequence in particular talks about Avalon Hill's newsletter, the General. I didn't have supporting images for that one, and though one might argue, "It's just a bonus segment, it doesn't have to be as fancy as the feature film!" I wanted something.

Luckily, the crowd over at came to my rescue. I reached out to two members there, and just my luck, one of them happened to have been a former Avalon Hill employee! They were both happy to help out (as were several other BGG members before them, for random images here and there).

Supporting assets MAKE a documentary. These guys will be credited in the film, of course, but when you're watching the film and its bonus sequences, you have Rodger MacGowan and Thom Denholm to thank for the great Avalon Hill images.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The latest on Going Cardboard

Here’s the latest for you all on everything Going Cardboard.

First, I recently checked in with the Ninja vs. Pirate podcast to discuss board gaming and the film. You can check that out here:

In the past month, the final proof for the DVD packaging (with Reiner Knizia's Shoot-Out board game insert) arrived, and it looks fantastic. Not to be out-done, the proofs for the components to the game arrived a few days later. Did I mention that the DVD comes with bits for the game? There are bullet counters, a D-20, two little cowboy meeples, and the cards you need to play, illustrated by the talented Mr. Rick Schmitz.

A lot of my current efforts are surrounding the Kickstarter campaign rewards. The first box of autographed board games has arrived, and the coasters, of course, which come in two designs created by my animator, Kerry Hutton.

This week I’m looking into the right shipping boxes to buy, for both the different Kickstarter tiers, and the regular retail shipping of the DVD. Editing is progressing on the film as well, of course.

Among other things, I’ve been working with my editor to select additional music for the soundtrack. I can’t be sure how long before I‘m actually holding the finished DVD in hand, but the many parts of this machine are falling into place to support that goal.

In related board gaming news, there’s this nonsense going on with a board game collector claiming a record collection size of just over 1,500 board games.

Needless to say, that’s not even CLOSE to the record. As per my teaser trailer of over a year ago...

Collecting Designer Board Games from Lorien Green on Vimeo.

James and Sheila Davis’ collection was hovering around 11,500. They’ve passed 12,000 since then, and THEY are not even the largest-known collection out there. What‘s up with that, Guinness?!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

SPIEL fair expands to fill an additional hall for 2011 show

I just received the SPIEL 2011 newsletter, and according to this:
Once again the steady growth being seen in the international games market will be reflected at the world's largest trade fair for social gaming. This year a further hall is being added to accomodate the increasing number of people who come to the fair. The additional hall (hall 7) will house the part of the fair where board and card games are exhibited. This will bring the overall total of exhibit halls in use at the fair to 11.

That's right. This one goes to 11! Those who have seen the halls know, this is a BIG addition. The halls are HUGE. If you've never seen them, well... you WILL, when Going Cardboard: A Board Game Documentary debuts. Which should be sometime this fall. Or at least this year. ASAP, believe me.

Notice, they are now calling it "social gaming" which I assume encompasses board and card games, as well as other tabletop games. Interesting way of categorizing it, though I would say video games are often social, too.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The latest

Hope everyone is enjoying their 4th of July holiday! Just a quick update on things...

- The subtitle translations for German and Spanish have been completed. There are a couple others being worked on.

- Editing continues. I've seen some of the updated footage, and it looks GREAT! However, it's looking like the film will not be ready in time for PAX Prime. I'll keep everyone posted.

- The art for the DVD cover, board game insert, and the DVD disc itself are DONE, baby! If I haven't mentioned, the case will be transparent, so the inside cover art will show through when you open it up.

So what's left? Once the editing is done, there's that whole process of building the DVD menu and mastering the DVD. I'm both excited and fearful about that, as I think it represents the largest remaining hurdle/learning curve to getting this thing out.

Until next time, true believers!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Legend Continues

I wanted to share some updates about what I've been doing on the film, as it's been a while. Time flies!

As you know, the DVD comes with Reiner Knizia's Shoot-Out, a 2-player board game. I'm also pleased to announce that all DVDs will come with the components for Shoot-Out, rather than having to pillage them from some other game or buy them separately. A do-gooder from Games on the Brain put me in touch with a great manufacturer that helped make this possible. It's very cool to get a little taste of what publishing a board game is actually like.

You'll also be able to order the movie directly from (even pre-order it once I get them the stuff they asked for). More on that soon, but these are the guys that hosted the Going Cardboard teaser trailer in their booth on the GenCon show floor last year, and I'm very pleased to be working with them.

The DVD inside and outside cover are in final draft stage, and looking beautiful. I don't expect to make any more changes to those, so they are just about ready to print. The movie itself is still undergoing polish, and has a ways to go there. I'm very pleased with what I've seen so far on that, and I'll keep you posted on an ETA as one becomes clearer.

It's keeping a lot of plates spinning in the air at once, but so far none of them have smashed to the floor. :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Legacy of T-Cat

"My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today." - Richard Adams

You may not want to read this one, it's not about the movie per se, but it is something I have to relate.

On Thursday, May 26, 2011 at about 6:00 PM, I lost my best friend and partner in crime, Toes. My cat. I think I've mentioned on this blog before that she'd been diagnosed with lymphoma back last October, and though they had operated to remove the tumor, it was likely only a matter of time. I thought that fact would help prepare me for when the day came. It didn't.

The tumor on her forehead had come back over the past month, and over the past week, her eye had swollen shut. I woke up yesterday basically knowing it was time. Her behavior had changed and she'd started hiding out in the basement. Pretty much the ONLY cue a cat will give you that they are in pain. So when I took her to the vet yesterday evening, I was not surprised to hear him in agreement with me that it was time. I said, "Just do it." I kissed her on the forehead and told her I loved her, and that was pretty much it.

I was fine for a while. But by last night I was not fine, and here it is Friday afternoon and I'm still FAR from fine. So I wanted to write this, to say as much as I could about what Toes meant to me. She was the reason I named my LLC "T-Cat Productions" and she's now my logo for the company, but there was so much more.

I had Toes for 11 years. She was really small, I called her Toes because her toes were so tiny. She talked to me and I talked to her. She rode around the house on my shoulders. Every single all-nighter I ever did for the film, she was there by my side. Or rather, getting in front of the monitor and interfering. She chattered at birds, and she loved eating yogurt. She either slept under the covers with me or in the crook of my arm, and would get so excited to know it was bedtime so she could cuddle. She was also just getting good with Maddy, my 5-year old daughter, to the point that she'd sleep on her too. She had no interest in escaping the house.

Here's a video of her I took while making the Hustream video presentation:

Note how she looks in the appropriate place where the action buttons would later be, and give you a direct look at just the right time. Yes, Toes had screen presence, she did, she was a natural!

And now she's gone and I wasn't prepared for how hard that is. I know I'll get through it, and she deserves some grieving, but right now there's a big empty hole in my life. I'll miss her. I wish I could have had her for another 5 - 10 years, even though I know it wouldn't have made saying goodbye any easier. I will never forget her.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Oh hai

So as I sit here tonight trying NOT to think about the presentation to the board of directors at work tomorrow, it seems a good time for an update. So I start the tea kettle boiling, and think.

Last weekend I finished editing the film, and last Monday morning, left my baby in the hands of the US Postal Service to deliver to my editor. For editing. It was one of those momentous introspective moments one is conscious of, as I got in the car and drove away from the post office. Big milestone.

And I'm happy to report that the package made it safely. The film is now under the scalpal of a skilled documentary surgeon, and I'm thrilled about that. It also lets me turn to other moving parts in need of attention.

The inside cover art for the DVD package is done. It is a menagerie of board game pieces from various board games. According to my count, you will see bits from 76 different games. I did this for a number of reasons. First, it'll be fun for seasoned gamers to try and identify the different games included, and will be an interesting bit of eye candy for potential newcomers out there upon opening the DVD. I also like the parallel it presents to opening an actual board game box, revealing all the cool pieces inside.

I was able to get MOST of them back to their proper boxes afterwards, too. ;)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What's been going on? What HASN'T??

There's the Kickstarter. As of this morning, 300% funded. CRIPES. Almost 300 backers, too. SPARRTAAAAANS! Oh, and 3 days to go. These metrics do appear in 3s they say...

That campaign brought a lot of attention to the film. For one thing, there have been interviews and writeups:

MTV Geek Blog
Cubo Magazine
Critical Gamers

I really need to get all those added to the website...

Now as for me, I was up till 2 AM again last night. This time popping in the final versions of 3 animations. Not actually editing really. After that, I made some tea and went downstairs to do the photograph for what will be the inside cover of the DVD. I think it turned out well, but I'll tell you more later. The basement is a MESS though. I told my husband not to go down there.

As I mentioned to the Kickstarter backers, a few of us have been toying with the #gamersgonewild tag on Twitter. Post something boardgamey and add it at the end to play along!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bonus Footage Extravaganza

I've been fighting with myself for a week now to get the next all-nighter in, and last night it finally happened. I made some changes to the main film, small changes, but in each case I felt like it made the sequence better... even though the film is now at 1 hour 35 minutes. I'm not worrying about that for the moment, though.

I added quite a bit to the Games in Education segment, it's quite the featurette now, because it turned out a lot of people had a lot to say on that subject.

And of course the Kickstarter rages on. I'm really pushing myself as hard as I can to finish this thing SOON, because all the other elements are starting to surface. Packaging, distribution, screenings at cons... all extremely exciting and fun stuff to work through, but I will feel much better about focusing on it when there's a finished film here.

I don't want to jinx things, but I have some pretty awesome bonus segments. Just sayin'...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Going Cardboard on Kickstarter

It's been quite a week, I must say. I finally launched the Kickstarter campaign for Going Cardboard. This happened last Wednesday morning, which also happened to be my birthday. :)

For 15 nail-biting minutes, nothing happened. And then you board gamers did what you board gamers do - support our cause in spades! And within just over 24 hours, the project was fully funded, and it's... Still. GOING.

I am humbled, and deeply appreciative of all the support. I can't express thanks enough, and what was already an exciting time is now just surreal. This is a week I'll never forget. Mind you, life wasn't kind enough to pause during this. I had to take my car into the shop the first day, take the cat to the vet the second day, and then right into PAX East weekend. Holy action, batman!

There's still quite a lot to do, but now I will be sharing it with you as it happens, in greater detail than before.

So, thank you. I just don't know what else to say.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dungeon Twister: The Experience

There's a lot of crossing over that board games do into the realm of electronic gaming. There's Catan on the Microsoft Surface, of course, and the big 3 gateway games (Catan, Carcassonne, and Ticket to Ride) on consoles like the XBox.

Well there's another game that's made the crossover; Christophe Boelinger's Dungeon Twister. Peep this teaser promo for the game's debut on XBox and PS3:

There's a really cool and unusual story behind the making of this video, and you will hear that tale in Going Cardboard.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I just finished watching what will more or less be the test screening version of Going Cardboard, and I have to say, it's almost done!

And while still basking in the glow of that feeling, I checked today's mail to discover my issues of Spielbox had just arrived!

They even sent a nice little tote bag. Spielbox, it's love at first sight! :) Those of you living outside Europe who have wanted a board gaming magazine, FYI, Spielbox appears to be now publishing in German AND in English (oooh, what a fun way to learn German if you're so inclined). Sure, it'll cost you, but it looks like a mighty fine board gaming magazine to me.

You can find out more on their website.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Unity Games 17

Today I spent the day at the Hilton hotel in Woburn, MA playing board games amongst hundreds of like-minded and friendly individuals. This was where it all began for me, two years ago, as Unity 2009 marked the first big filming event for my documentary. It was neat in a way to be so close to the finish line, and to be able to return to this event and reflect on everything that's happened in those two years.

And to play games! That's something I haven't done a whole lot of since I started filming. I actually had the camcorder in my shoulder bag (just in case!), but it never came out, and I'm fine with that. Within 5 minutes of walking through the door, I was learning a new game, Sneaks & Snitches. When that was done, I got up to stroll around the room and get a look at things, and just barely made it to the back before I found myself learning 7 Wonders. And that's how the day went. Like pub-hopping, but with no hangover.

You know, in this whirlwind of filming, chronicling, and planning, I'd forgotten how much fun board games are to PLAY. Every game I played today was for the first time and I played for 7 hours straight. I didn't want to leave, either. :)

Today reminded me why I started this project in the first place, and now I'm ready to tackle editing again with renewed enthusiasm. HUZZAH!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BGG Auction for the Vasels

One of our board gaming brethren, and a positive force to the board gaming cause, Tom Vasel (host of The Dice Tower) has suffered the loss of his infant son, Jack Vasel. I met Tom at Essen briefly, and have worked with him since (he is a part of the documentary), and my heart hurts for him right now.

You can get all the details in the article, but the Board Game Geek community is holding a board game auction to help with medical expenses.

Please take a moment to check it out. This is someone who's given a lot to the community, and this is the kind of community that gives back.

The Latest

As in 2 AM. Which is when I turned off the computer last night. I call it a semi all-nighter. My good friends from the KLF don't consider it an all-nighter unless it goes to the 3 AM Eternal.

Since making the first-pass 2 hour rough cut, I've been hunting for more visual assets, as well as taking footage of various games from my own collection to support the narrative. I also filmed a Catan gameplay session the other night.

Last night, the primary goal was to integrate that play session, which I did. I integrated some cutaways, too, and before I knew it, it was 2 AM.

Friday, January 14, 2011

and look... MORE lembas...

It's 2 AM right now, and tonight my can of Amp and I have trimmed the film down to 1 hour and 48 minutes, from 2 hours. This pass consisted of the low-hanging fruit; the easiest trimming decisions.

The next pass will be harder. It's likely that entire segments will have to go (to the bonus section) to get it down to 90 minutes or so. Granted, it doesn't HAVE to be 90 minutes long, but there's no question it can be tightened up more from where it is now.

Tonight's editing session would have been more productive if I hadn't spent the first hour of it in a panic looking for my notebook. No worries, I'll make up the time tomorrow after we get back from swimming lessons! :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Night time is the right time

Here it is, Sunday night, and another all-night editing session is officially happening. I've already been at it for almost 3 hours, cutting, moving, and tightening the timeline, and I've got the film down to under 2 hours. A lot of bits just got moved to the end of the timeline, where bonus footage lives on in all its glory.

Right now, I'm rendering the film out in 3 parts for reviewing purposes. Burning it to DVD a couple days ago turned out to be immensely helpful, so I'm looking forward to this second pared-down iteration. The Flight of the Conchords Robot song is playing on my iPhone.

Oh man, I still need to update the website! And launch Project X this month. It may be the middle of winter, but things are heating up here in Studio B!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

You're gonna need a bigger boat

As I write this, I'm also burning a rough (ROUGH) cut of the film to DVD so I can watch it places other than my computer, and let my editor review it. Naturally, the minute that's done, I will immediately start making changes. That's just the way it goes.

Last night I started thinking for the first time that I might make this a 2-DVD set. I might need to. I have to talk to some of the guys I know that have been through this, and see what they have to say on the matter. I do gather that it'll make using Amazon Createspace possibly out of the question. Mind you, if I can cram all my bonus clips and the movie onto one disc, I will surely do that, BUT... I'm not sure I can. :)

You know, now I'm going to update the website. It needs it, big-time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

All-nighter Number 3

As penance for not posting in so long, I'm in the middle of an all night editing session. My trusty T-Cat is co-piloting in the chair next to me. I think Vegas is more tired than I am, it has just frozen three times in a row, so while I give the hard drives and the editing software a break I thought I'd update the blog. If they think this thing is over, though, they've got another think coming...

So I haven't been utterly truant; I was working on something during November and December, something in support of the film, but not precisely the film itself. I will be launching "it" this month, so you'll see it quite soon.

The main body of the film is now at 2 hrs. 20 minutes. It's going to get bigger before it gets smaller, but the narrative is semi-solid. Much work to be done now integrating cutaways and supporting elements. And the harder part, deciding which snippets are boring for a viewer when I find them all interesting.

OK, Vegas, Venom, and Deadpool... in the immortal words of Sting, "break's over!"