Batman Begins Designer Diary #4

Lead producer Reid Schneider discusses the significance of the Batman Begins development team's interaction with the filmmakers.

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Scheduled for release on all current-generation consoles next week, Batman Begins is a stealth-based third-person action game that incorporates Burnout 3: Takedown-style driving sequences. The game is, of course, based on the upcoming movie of the same name, and, as lead producer Reid Schneider discusses in his latest designer diary, the development team was fortunate to be afforded access to both the Gotham set and many of the key people working on the movie.

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By Reid Schneider
Lead Producer, Electronic Arts

The Batman Begins game is faithful to the style and tone of the upcoming movie.
The Batman Begins game is faithful to the style and tone of the upcoming movie.
It pretty much goes without saying that if we did not have access to the Batman Begins filmmakers, the game would not be what it is today. The producers of the movie--Emma Thomas, Chuck Roven, and Larry Franco--were very helpful in getting us access to the film's creative resources, and also serving as guides throughout the game's production. They understood that in order for us to make a game that would reflect the style and tone of the film we needed access on all levels.

On the graphics side, Nathan Crowley (the film's production designer) and Wally Pfister (the film's director of photography) went out of their way to help us to match the look of the movie. There was one instance, when we were visiting the Gotham set, where they insisted that we wait around until they took a break from shooting. We agreed, though not exactly sure why they made this request. Once the break started, they lit up the sets of the Narrows (tenements) so we could see how it looked when they shot film there. The difference was really striking. They were using orange lighting to create an eerie mood, and it really came through. This was very inspiring to the team, and it's reflected in the Narrows sequences in the game.

During the course of the game's production we would present work-in-progress builds to get their guidance and feedback. I am happy to say that we never disappointed them in terms of our game's production, but rather they offered us insight as to how we could more closely match the film.

Members of the development team actually worked out of the film's production office for a time.
Members of the development team actually worked out of the film's production office for a time.
In the final phase of production, we began the editing process for the film clips inside the game. For this we had our writer, JT Petty, and video editor, Brice Cox, working out of the film's production office in London. We actually set up a private AVID (video editing machine) in a separate room so we could iterate on the game's film clips quickly. Ultimately these would need to be approved by Chris Nolan (the film's director), so we knew solid editing was key. Brice and JT did an awesome job with this, and players will definitely enjoy the clips when they see them in the game.

This is going to be the last diary before the release of the game. We all feel really lucky to have been given the chance to make this game and to create a title that Batman fans will enjoy. The Batman Begins game project was not without its challenges, and some very late nights and hard work by a lot of people. However, in the end we think it all paid off and we are proud of the work we created. We hope you all enjoy it.

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