The BBC has done something pretty impressive with their latest interview on Watch Dogs: Legion, they’ve conducted the interview in the game. This isn’t an easy thing to do, because the presenter and any props they have, which is a BBC microphone in this case, all have to be rendered within the game. To do this the presenter, Marc Cieslak, had to be photographed in detail, then have mo-cap dots painted on their face, and finally get dressed up in a mo-cap suit just to even get to the recording stage. From there, everything needed to go right just for the interview to even be rendered within the Watch Dogs: Legion version of post-Brexit London, but developers Ubisoft Toronto managed to pull it off. Check out the interview below and read on for more details.
Is This The Future?
Okay, yes I might be asking you if you think that Watch Dogs: Legion is an accurate representation of a post-Brexit Britain, but what I actually mean is ‘is this the future of game interviews?’ I really enjoyed the way the video portion of the interview played out, because it wasn’t like any other game interview I’ve ever watched. Usually an interview with a developer starts as this video does, with B-roll footage of the developer’s location, the city, and maybe some shots of the developers doing some coding or artwork. When it actually comes to the interview section though, most don’t stray far from two types of shot. The first is a mix of straight on and side on shots of the person or people talking, mixing things up a little to make it feel less intense. The second is gameplay, which can either be new gameplay, in the good interviews, or old gameplay we’ve seen before.
This BBC interview is different. It puts the interviewer and the interviewee, in this case Creative Director for Watch Dogs: Legion Clint Hocking, in the game’s world. This is pretty harmless, because unless literally nothing has been shown about a game, you aren’t going to spoil it just by showing shots of the world that can be carefully chosen. Whilst they’re talking, the game footage switches from the pair, who are walking and having a conversation, to various shots of the game that haven’t been seen before. The key difference here is that all of these shots are relevant to what is being said, showing an aerial shot of London when London is the topic, and showing NPCs in a bar when people become the subject.
The best and most-underrated part of the interview is the way that the scene has been crafted to include shots of what is being talked about around the interview. When drones and drone laws are being talked about, a drone flies over and stops on its route. This looks like part of the drone’s routine, but because of the way the interview has been crafted, it adds relevance to the conversation. The same is true of the driverless vehicles when they’re discussed, as well as a few other points within the interview.
This is a really expensive way of doing interviews, but I for one would watch every single interview if it looked like this. There’s a lot to be said for the subtleties of how these videos are crafted, and this nails it all on the head.