eu.playstation.com talks to film director Neil LaBute about why Heavy Rain inspired him to create his short film, How Far Would You Go For Love?
What were your thoughts on Heavy Rain?
I've never really been a hardcore games person, I usually watch my son or my friends play. But what I've seen from Heavy Rain is that it is a much deeper emotional experience [than most other games]. There's always heavy interaction when it comes to games, but the idea of having this emotional component to it was interesting to me, it was something I hadn't seen. There was this sense of responsibility to that universe.
That's always something I've been interested in for my work and part of the questions I ask as I try to write. So to see a person like that [in David Cage] designing games and adding that layer to traditional gameplay was attractive - and I wanted to help get that word out with the film.
So are emotion driven videogames something you'd like to see progress in the medium, and get you more interested in videogames?
Absolutely. I hope Heavy Rain is successful because games, like anything else, are built on reputation, on how well they sell and playability, so I hope people don't find [emotion driven storytelling] intrusive. It's incredibly hard to get kids around the age of my son, who's 18, to watch a black and white film. He can't really understand it, he wonders why you'd ever make that choice to watch or make that. Same with games, I'm not sure people sometimes want anything more than an escape from emotional reality - and that's where games and films cross paths, because sometimes people just want to watch a movie and not think about it.
I think people will be drawn to Heavy Rain for an interesting experience. I hope that it will be a huge hit because for me that is a fantastic element of it.
The father/son relationship of Heavy Rain is something often explored in movies but less so in games, so is that something you'd personally like to see more of?
Yeah, that's absolutely right. The tag line for Heavy Rain is "How far would you go to save someone you love?" Just by having that message, your final destination is asking yourself how much I'll give for someone else, how much am I willing to give up and able to do to save someone. You ultimately say to yourself that you love this kid [Ethan Mars' son] more than you love yourself.
That's not something I see much of in other games, especially ones which essentially work on repeated actions, beating the clock and stimulating various parts of your senses in a refreshing way, which is why you go back to it. But I like the idea you can also go into a game and actually throw these sort of sophisticated questions to people and find interest in a game which plays with all the aspects that makes them fun and actually has some moral responsibility to them - and also the sense that you're always doing it for someone else. I hope that games keep going in that direction.
Would you ever see yourself making a game after seeing something like Heavy Rain?
It would have to be something like Heavy Rain - if it would show interest in a person making choices that would affect them for the rest of their lives. That's an added bonus to me. I still get to shoot people and run around, but every so often I get asked a really deep question.
The only thing that would make me lock into [the time made to create a] game would be if it had all these features with something in the story that makes people squirm, or lean forward from an emotion. That's ultimately the rule of anything I create, as a storyteller. With games, even more so than you do with film, you create something worth capturing and coming back to, and ask some big questions along the way, to make people do things that they wouldn't normally do and ask questions of themselves.
To get a glimpse of Neil LaBute's short film, How Far Would You Go For Love? visit blog.eu.playstation.com and watch it now.
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