Making the Global Game Jam 2014 Keynote Video

General Info, tweeted!

KahoAbe GGJ Video small from Kaho A on Vimeo.

I am honored to have been included as one of the keynote videos shown at this year’s Global Game Jam. I was pretty much blown away to be in the same line up as Richard Lemarchand and Jenova Chen. Humbled indeed! I loved the illustrations by Noji in Richard’s keynote. And what an incredible event to be a part of. I am such a fan of game jams, and the history and reach of the Global Game Jam is huge. It’s like a humongous collective and collaborative ball of game development love. It is no surprise that great games have come out of it!

When I was invited to do the keynote, I was so excited because I knew this was a completely blank slate to say and do whatever I wanted, as long as it was not a talking heads video, I was told. Since I am not very good at video, I thought I would illustrate and animate. I found that out the hard way during the course of making this video that I am by no means an animator! Luckily my friend, former fellow Fellow at Eyebeam and amazing animator, Nick Fox-Gieg, gave me valuable guidance through the process. I used Illustrator to draw the scenes, and used Adobe Flash to animate some things with simple tweening (same skill from 2003, when I last used Flash). Nick had an old version of Kurst SWF renderer which is a tool that breaks down the swf frames into stills, and then with his suggestion, I reassembled it in Adobe After Effects. I added the fade ins and outs as well as my cringe-worthy voiceover, and that was it!

Looking back at the video, there are quite a few things that I would have done differently, but I had a time constraint and I had also gotten sick with a bad cold that came with a very attractive eye infection in both eyes. I wish I could have added sound, and made some of the animation smoother and more complex. There are some parts I actually had to leave out, due to lack of time (and crusty eyes!), but it is probably not worth explaining in detail at this point. However, I did laugh a lot, while drawing the different bunny outfits — my personal favorite is the JCVD one. I hope people recognized that one!

I also hope that the underlying message about pride, diversity and innovation is clear. There are so many things in our lives that can inspire the things we do and make, and it can be a part of our creativity in a very elemental way. And the effects of this kind of creativity can be really wonderful for others as well as the creator.

Ooooor… you could have thought that the keynote was just about bunnies getting dressed up — then I guess, that’s fine too!