2018 92 mins OV English Subtitles : English
Hot Docs 2018
“A sprawling behind-the-scenes account”Kevin Scott, EXCLAIM!
“Engrossing, informative, and unexpectedly full of tension and drama”Jessica Goddard, WYLIE WRITES
Montreal is internationally renowned for its video-game industry, especially through Ubisoft, which has its largest division in the metropolis, where some of the business’ biggest megaproductions are created. Much like the Hollywood method, video games today are developed over several years, costing tens of millions of dollars and employing hundreds of passionate people. This is one reason why studios are reluctant to take risks, and would rather keep producing sequels to successful franchises. But sometimes, at the company’s great risk, an artist comes up with a fresh idea that’s never been exploited and attempts to make his mark on the market. PLAYING HARD
primarily focuses on Jason VandenBerghe, one of those dreamers, who has spent years trying to finance an ambitious project that is supposed to revolutionize the combat systems in video games. To help him concretize his vision, he’s accompanied by Stephane Cardin, the director of a recently failed project who is now giving everything he’s got to this game, which will eventually be known as FOR HONOR. Finally, Luc Duchaine is in charge of making sure the game is a hit with fans, a task that is sometimes detrimental to his health and family life. The documentary PLAYING HARD
gives us exclusive access to this four-year undertaking and follows the creation of FOR HONOR from VandenBerghe’s early pitches to its release date, with over 400 people working on the game in between. Filmmaker Jean-Simon Chartier is mainly interested in the human aspect of these large productions, presenting us inspiring individuals who are the impersonation of determination through all the stress and pressure inherent of such a competitive industry. – Translation: Guillaume Desbiens