Hello and welcome to this big reveal and interview with Damian Scott, one of two people in Primal Clarity Productions who are responsible for the upcoming "Jedi Outcast - The Movie" project. For those unaware, this is a project which has been in development since 2013 and is churning out updates regularly. I felt it was only fair that we get in contact with these guys and advertise this as much as we can. Below you will find an exclusive trailer, you will only see this first on JKHub and (JAWA) who Damian has kindly agreed to launch here first.
So without further ado, I present to you the official trailer!
Hello Damian, thank you for agreeing to do this interview, I know a lot of our readers are really excited about what you're working on.
Thank you for your interest in our project!
Could you tell us a bit about Primal Clarity Productions (PCP)? How many people are involved and what is the skillset of the team?
PCP was started up over a decade ago by myself, Damian Scott. I'd just finished working for Team Fortress Software, when Valve bought out the company in 1999, and I wanted to buy back some intellectual property I had developed that Valve had no interest in. I created the company to act as the legal structure that owns all the intellectual property that I create, and I've been adding to it ever since.
At the moment, PCP consists of 2 people - myself, and Chris Reed, who has been with PCP almost right from the start. I'm the machinima guy, and Chris is the technical artist who turns my junk into swank. At our height, PCP was doing subcontracting work specialising in the Unreal engine, and had 13 awesome people dreaming of some pretty awesome products. Chris and I still believe
You and your team are clearly very talented, but to me it seemed like Primal Clarity Productions burst onto the scene out of nowhere. Could you give us a bit of background on your experience in the Jedi Knight community?
Thanks for the kind words! We're proud of what we do, even though these days it's more for fun than anything else. We never really modded *for* Jedi Outcast - we knew how to mess around with, since we knew id tech quite well, and we loved checking out all the cool stuff people made. When the time came though, we knew how to get stuck into it. Such a great engine!
You have been working on Jedi Outcast - The Movie since 2013, I've been following the progress myself for a while now. What inspired you to start this project?
Well, we were enjoying the "Bane of the Sith" machinima we were making, and had done some work for clients using UDK to create cut-scenes (sadly these projects never actualised!), and I've always wanted to make a feature length film using machinima. Bane was a way of taking assets that were handy and good looking, and making something with them. As a way of showing potential clients we could take their art and turn it into something else, as well as stay true to the essence of their intellectual property.
We'd developed a bunch of stuff over the years, and tried to get a few games off the ground, but we found what was most successful for us was the "for fun" work we did with Star Wars - specifically the "Bane of the Sith" videos we created. They were so much fun to make, that when we finally hit the wall and realised we needed voice actors to go further, it suddenly dawned on us that we already HAD great voice acting...Jedi Outcast! It was a light-bulb moment. We did a few quick tests, and we knew this was the vehicle we'd been talking about. Although progress is slow at times, we still believe this *needs* to be made.
Will the plot of the movie be identical to the game script, or will you be adding additional content?
Great question! The short answer is - no, it won't be identical, for two reasons: one, Kyle needs to be less of a killer of we're going to sympathise with him as a *movie* audience, so we're shading him more as a "Jedi Saboteur" than "bad ass killer" - so he's softer is some regards (as seen by his grinning in the shots we've completed), but this softness is only skin deep, and will contrast with his very real brush with the dark side; secondly, there are scenes hinted at in the game, that we can now create. Such as when Desann invades the Valley of the Jedi, only to be run off by Luke and Rogue Squadron. Little scenes, that have big visual potential. We're also limited by voice samples...which makes the script we've put together quite interesting! But it's a great challenge to make it work.
Could you perhaps explain the process you go through when you re-create scenes from the game?
I guess we decide on what shot we want to get - and why. Mostly we're thinking about getting images for a trailer, which means we're choosing iconic moments that remind you why Kyle Katarn is so awesome. We've ported pretty much everything we need from Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy into Unreal, so our next step is evaluate what could benefit from "HD". The answer is "everything!", so we try to reimage the scene, and explore how it could look in 2015. We've applied a deliberate "cell shaded" effect to all of our textures, in order to better justify the 10 year old art assets we're using (though they still look damn good, Raven!).
Usually, I smash the animation together and set up the cameras, and when I'm happy, Chris and I get to work. Chris is amazing - he's a hugely talented technical artist, and can make Unreal do everything it was meant to, and more! Making machinima in Unreal is great - very powerful, and even using models and animation from a 10 year old game, combined with my complete lack of any formal training in animation, we've been able to make some lovely shots.
How long do you predict the run time to be when the movie is finished?
We're confident it would be a standard feature length experience - I'd push to keep it at 90 minutes, and keep it sharp and fun. We toyed with episodic release, but that kinda scared us, because we could conceivably do a lot more than 90 minutes, and we've got other projects we'd like to start on before 2050
What's next for PCP after Jedi Outcast? Do you have any plans to work with Jedi Academy at all?
Well, we've got two games we've been prototyping in Unreal 4 that could use some attention. We've got the broad strokes sorted - we just need to assess the business side of things. As in, can we afford the time away from our real jobs while we make them But I have to say, I'd love to make a trilogy of films featuring Kyle...and given all the artwork we have, the only real thing that would stop us is voice acting, and I'm sure if we put out the call, we could attract the right people...which means we're not limited by the voice samples we have...in fact, we could make Jedi Outcast much better if we re-recorded Kyle's lines, and added in some more stuff. And of course, there's Knights of the Old Republic...great stories that could easily by adapted into movies. But it would have to be a full-time job, and that means money, which means a whole bunch of scary things like lawyers and trademarks and right holders and copyright. We're perfectly happy to do Outcast for fun. In fact, we've come up with a whole bunch of awesome ways we could turn this into a charity project, and raise as much money as we could.
A friend of mine succumbed to cancer in 2014, and to honour his life, we've turned him into a character in the film. He's a Shadow Trooper called Savage, who doesn't say anything, and generally kicks ass, and even gets to test Luke out in the Jedi Academy. Of course, having Savage in the story doesn't alter the story of Jedi Outcast, but it makes it all the more interesting. So yeah, cancer sucks, and we've gladly donate our time and energy to honour our friend. But I'm curious to know if people out there would be interested in having their face in the film on an extra, say a Jedi or a Reborn, and then choose how they die. But they have to bid on the right to have their face in the film, and all proceeds go into the charity pot.
You mentioned that you would like to do this full time and find contributors. What is the best way people can contact you? Do you accept donations/patreon?
We'd be living the dream if we could be doing this full time!
At this stage, our Facebook page is probably the best way to get in touch. We're not really web dudes, so Chris and I are not even talking about a proper web presence for the project - but we know it needs to happen soon. If any readers here want to join us, come visit our facebook and say hi! The trailer we eventually produce will contain information on how to reach us.
I'm not entirely sure about donations and patronage - to my understanding, accepting donations to continue to work on a fan project is probably ok, but I think you can understand our hesitation here. It's more important for us to make this film, then accept money to do so, especially if this raises other issues. We're dealing with some of the heaviest hitters in the entertainment industry here, who are now the rightful custodians of the biggest franchise in history. But, Disney have clearly stated they are ignoring the Extended Universe, so I now consider what we want to do with Jedi Outcast as an act of curation - literally, preserving the story. Even better, copyright takes as one of its four founding clauses the notion of a work being "transformative", that is to say - is it merely a copy, or is the new work something new? Converting a game to a film passes this test, and we're well positioned to pass the other 3 clauses on copyright as well. So yes, we should be ok to accept donations - but ultimately, we'd be also be simultaneously discussing charity options as well. I always loved how the Humble Bundle sales would let you decide where your money went in a totally transparent way. It would be great to have a situation where we could say "the more you guys donate to charity, the more Chris and myself (and the new team members who will hopefully join us!) will donate our time."
We'd love for game developers to see what we've been able to do with a cherished intellectual property, and to see what we could do for them, simply by giving us access to their game assets. There are so many amazing games out there ripe for adaptation away from the demands of Hollywood. I'd love to get my hands on Beyond Good and Evil, or even better, Dark Souls. I'm moving towards setting myself up as a screenwriter, and the challenge of doing these games justice is intoxicating. And nothing stirs my blood more than making Jedi Outcast work as movie.
Now the question on everyones mind, when do you hope to have the movie released by?
Well, our current rate of progress is pretty slow, but we have converted a great deal of the sets and characters we need to attempt a feature length film. We want to release a kick ass trailer first, one that hits you right in the nostalgia glands, and then gets you all sweaty at the prospect of seeing Kyle Katarn live on. Then it's up to you guys, really!
We've recently come to the realisation that we cannot continue much further with just the two of us. So we're planning on opening this project up and seeing if anyone is interested in helping us out. We're still working out the specifics on how such a collaboration could work, but we're willing to accept all kinds of help - from modelling and animation, to web page, forums and community management. First thing is to transition to Unreal4. We've done some tests, and it looks so good. But we want to finish the trailer in UDK. And we're closer than ever to achieving that
I was immensely pleased to read a comment left on YouTube on one of your Outcast videos that said "this could be the greatest fan project ever", and I thought "I'd love to be part of THAT!". Maybe others out there will, too
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