After a sold out sneak preview screening in Brisbane and Melbourne, Play to Win - co-directed by Sue Swinburne - premiered on ABC TV Artsville on the 22nd November. The documentary focused on the Brisbane based entertainment games company Halfbrick Studios.
Spencer Howson of 612 ABC Brisbane interviewed Sue ahead of the Brisbane premier and The Age published an article highlighting Sue's initial interest in the project.
Ms Swinburne said that, after a short residency at the studio as an artist, it became clear to her something big was going on in the company.
"From the time I was there it became really clear to me that Halfbrick was a place that was about to go through a really significant transformation," Ms Swinburne said.
"Fruit Ninja and Halfbrick Studios' turbulent journey to gaming stardo" http://www.theage.com.au. Acessed December 13, 2016. http://www.theage.com.au/queensland/fruit-ninja-and-halfbrick-studios-turbulent-journey-to-gaming-stardom-20161113-gsobad.html.
PLAY TO WIN - DIRECTORS STATEMENT
Play to Win is about a man whose passion and single-mindedness earned him extraoardinary wealth and success. But success always comes at a price, and this a story of the loss of innocence, and of the pain of growing up.
Shainiel Deo is the CEO of Halfbrick Studios, and his life parallels the contemporary history of games culture and the games industry: he was born at the height of video arcades, when games were beginning to come into their own as a craze, and consoles were finding their ways into homes around the world.
Now games have become a ubiquitous, global cultural past-time – and a multi-billion dollar business experiencing meteoric growth. Within this, the games industry embodies one of the core dilemmas of our time: how can we preserve the spark and the joy of creativity in a commercially-driven environment? As creative industries becomes increasingly ‘demand-driven’ and decisions are dictated by data, where does it leave the artists and dreamers?
Halfbrick has a wonderful sense of fun in their history, richly documented in-house with photos and videos over the last 16 years. The Film draws on this material to highlight the dry humour and quirky antics of the characters in this world. Their singular and at times hilarious way of being provides a wide streak of comedy, as we revel in the joy of the creative process of making games, and the esprit du corps that was so integral to this merry band of nerds.
Against this backdrop of fun and hijinks, the film explores the theme of growing up, and underneath that – to understand the nature of entrepreneurship: what it actually means to be able to risk it all for a crazy idea, and to relentlessly pursue success in a tech-driven industry.