Broadcast Beat Magazine 2017 NAB Show NY/SMPTE Special Edition - Page 55

GEARS OF WAR: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH CHAD WILLETT By BRETT INESEN film for sometime and came across an inspiring true story about the beginnings of Greenpeace and it’s co-founder Jim Bohlen. In order to retain the rights and start developing this bio-pic, I needed to form a company, thus StoryLab was born. We caught up with the talented Gears of War producer and actor, Chad Willet, to hear about his journey from acting to producing and into the world of mo-cap through his company StoryLab Productions. Discover Chad’s full journey below. Q: Can you tell me a bit about your background? A: I have been working as a professional actor throughout North America and Europe for mo re than 20 years. I’ve been fascinated with all ele- ments of the industry and found that my years of experience offered me a natural transition into producing. I have always focused on how to tell the best story possible and discovered that it doesn’t matter what medium I am working in – if the story isn’t there, then the project doesn’t have legs. This was how StoryLab Productions was born. Q: Can you tell me a bit about how Storylab pro- ductions began? A: I had been developing ideas for both TV and During the initial story meetings, development of a full draft and search for international partners to help produce the picture, another more boutique project came to my attention called, Becoming Redwood. Knowing the size and scope of Jim Bohlen’s story might take many years to come about, getting a locally based film into produc- tion helped StoryLab grow its relationships and collect more full production experience. StoryLab took Redwood through all aspects of produc- tion, film festivals and then ultimately selling and distributing the film throughout Canada, with the support of Michael Kennedy at Cineplex. Q: How did you first get involved with Microsoft? A: I received a call from the Director of Production of the newly formed Black Tusk Studios, which was Microsoft’s production arm in Vancouver. They were looking for help with the physical side of production and asked if I could come in for a meeting. At the time Black Tusk was developing a brand new IP and needed help with the per- formance capture and motion capture shoots. With StoryLab’s priority of telling great stories and Black Tusk’s venture into a strong narrative based IP, the partnership was a natural fit. After almost two years of work on the new production, the Black Tusk team was honoured to get the nod from Microsoft head office, to take the helm of their new ‘Gears of War’ franchise acquisition. The original IP was put on hold, ‘The Coalition’ studio was formed and we all got to work on mak- ing sure that the next installment of the ‘Gears Broadcast Beat Magazine • • 55