Blindlight

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Blindlight, LLC
Private
Industry Interactive entertainment
Founded 2000
Founder
  • Lev Chapelsky
  • Matt Case
  • Rich Dickerson
  • Dawn Hershey
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Website Blindlight

Blindlight is a Los Angeles-based company providing Hollywood production services to the videogame industry. Notable properties the company has contributed to include the Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider, Destiny, and Halo series.

Background

Formed in 2000 by four managers from Icebox.com, Blindlight sought to apply the talents and expertise from Hollywood’s film and television industries to the videogame industry.[1] The company’s initial service disciplines included casting and voice production, celebrity acquisition, story and scriptwriting, music production, motion capture and sound design. While its contractors are sourced mostly from traditional Hollywood industries, Blindlight operates exclusively as a service provider to videogame companies.

Before technological advances brought about the advent of the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox in 2001, many games were written and voiced by computer artists and “programmers around the office.”[2] The newfound potential for delivering richer multimedia experiences through videogames instigated the need for contributions from traditional Hollywood resources such as actors, writers, and composers. Blindlight sought to elevate the filmic aspects of videogames by developing ways for game producers to take advantage of the distributed freelance specialists that comprise the modern-day Hollywood production model.[3]

In December 2003, the company moved its headquarters to its current location on the Sunset Strip. In 2004, Blindlight opened an office in Tokyo, Japan.

Industry Contributions

Blindlight’s filmography on IMDb lists more game credits for voice production than any other company,[4] and according to a GDC profile on the company, “its client list has grown to include 19 of the top 20 game publishers.”[5] Blindlight’s voicework has earned industry awards including Best Dialog of the Year,[6] Best Performance by a Human Male,[7] and Performance of the Year.[8] The company is known for producing the voicework on such prominent games as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which won an AIAS award for Outstanding Achievement in Story and Game of the Year,[9] and Dishonored, which was recognized by BAFTA as the Best Game of 2012.[10]

Other notable achievements include:

  • Blindlight was an early company to advocate using professional Hollywood actors in games. This started a shift in videogame voice-over production that effectively moved the discipline to Los Angeles, CA.[11][12]
  • Blindlight has drafted and brokered over 500 deals for the use of celebrity voices in games.[13][14][15] In 2006, Blindlight signed all Star Trek captains to one game, marking the only time all five have participated together on a single project.[16] In 2009, the blogosphere buzzed when word got out that Blindlight had made an offer to former President Bill Clinton to play the President role in Fallout 3.[17][18]
  • Blindlight has participated in negotiations with the SAG and AFTRA actors unions over the Interactive Media Agreement.[19][20] In 2005, Blindlight assisted in averting a strike and preserving the game industry’s access to professional actors.[21][22]
  • In gamewriting, Blindlight borrowed best practices from the television industry to create an outsourced team-based model for improving the narrative elements in games. This opened new doors for game producers to tap underutilized Hollywood writing talent at affordable costs, and a new source of work for Hollywood writers.[23]
  • Blindlight brought ex-Beatle Paul McCartney on board to create and produce original music for the score of Activision Blizzard’s cornerstone franchise, Destiny.[24]
  • Blindlight created an original mobile app for William Shatner[25] that was rated as the best celebrity app in the markplace by both Buzzfeed[26] and Gizmodo.[27]

References

  1. ^ Strike, Joe (27 April 2006). "Secret Lives of VO Actors". Animation World Magazine. Archived from the original on 2011-06-12. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  2. ^ Gnatek, Tim (4 November 2005). "Giving Voice to Videogames". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  3. ^ Marlowe, Chris (5 November 2004). "Rodgers Takes Shine to Halo 2". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-02-02. [dead link]
  4. ^ Blindlight at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ "GDC Game Writers Summit". Retrieved 2010-02-16. [dead link]
  6. ^ "5th Annual GANG Awards". GANG (Game Audio Network Guild). 2007-03-08. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  7. ^ Surette, Tim (2006-12-09). "Oblivion nabs Spike TV tops honors". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  8. ^ "Golden Joysticks 2015: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt wins five gaming awards". Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  9. ^ http://www.joystiq.com/2012/02/10/skyrim-snags-another-best-of-show-award-at-15th-annual-aias-awar/
  10. ^ http://awards.bafta.org/award/2013/games/best-game
  11. ^ Gaudiosi, John (2004-01-23). "More Than Just Catchphrases" (PDF). Gaming Industry News. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  12. ^ Gaudiosi, John (2002-10-28). "H'wood stars into vid game act". GamePro. Retrieved 2010-02-16. [dead link]
  13. ^ Wiltshire, Alex (May 20, 2009). "Interview: Lev Chapelsky". Edge. Retrieved 2010-02-02. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Chalk, Andy (22 May 2009). "Voice Actors: Show Them the Money". Escapist Magazine. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  15. ^ Powers, Kemp (31 January 2008). "Videogames Give Actors Second Chance". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  16. ^ "All Five Star Trek Captains to Voice Bethesda Softworks Video Game". Business Wire. 2006-08-14. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  17. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2009-05-22). "Bill Clinton Asked to Voice Fallout 3". Kotaku. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  18. ^ Duerte, Dylan (2009-05-23). "Bill Clinton Turned Down Fallout 3 Role". Rip Ten. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  19. ^ Snider, Mike (6 June 2006). "Voice actors to vote on strike". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  20. ^ Yi, Matthew (5 May 2005). "Actors voice their dissent: Screen Guild calls for better pay for videogame work". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  21. ^ Brodesser, Ben & Fritz, Claude (2005-06-08). "Gamers at peace: Rates rise for thesps, but no residuals". Variety. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  22. ^ Morris, Chris (2009-05-22). "Bill Clinton in Fallout 3? Not so fast...". Variety. Archived from the original on 2010-01-31. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  23. ^ Snow, Allen (2004-09-16). "Blindlight's Lev Chapelsky". GameDaily. Retrieved 2010-02-16. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Bungie". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  25. ^ Waxman, Olivia B. "Shatoetry: The Official William Shatner iPhone App Is Here". Time. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  26. ^ "The Definitive Ranking Of Celebrity Apps". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  27. ^ "The Best and Worst Celebrity Apps". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 

External links

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