Chicago Shadows is our current main focus here at Rem Alternis, so imagine our absolute delight when Catalyst Game Labs, publishers of the Shadowrun RPG and perhaps the greatest example of the genre, approached us to do a short marketing video ahead of the release of Shadowrun Sixth World! Our Kickstarter hadn’t even started and our dreams were already coming true!
Of course, Catalyst needed this video quickly… like, just over a week quickly. Of course we did just that, but many of you were curious about how it all went down, so we’d like to provide you with a quick day-to-day ‘making-the-video’ summary!
During the Origins Game Fair 2019, Catalyst Game Labs invited me to meet with the CEO to discuss a project they were considering. He laid out the broad concept, presented upcoming setting events, and asked if we could produce a teaser that would generate buzz for Shadowrun Sixth World. Before we could say ‘Yes,’ they added the final requirement: they needed this in 8 days. I don’t know that I even registered this as an obstacle. The door was open and I walked right on in! To do an official Shadowrun licensed short video was the not only the realization of our deepest desires, but also a validation of what we were trying to create! So, of course, the answer was, “YES!”
We spent the rest of the night putting together the video concept and by Sunday morning had a presentation to submit for approval. Tired, but still very excited, we said our good byes to friends old and new at Origins and made our way home.
Approval granted! Catalyst not only approved it, but let us know that they were as excited by our ideas as we were! With only six days, we knew that there wasn’t time to film new material at the level of quality we demand, so we would have to rely on stock footage, art, and a touch of creativity. The themes we were working with granted us latitude in creating something messy, chaotic, and glitch. We knew what direction we were headed, we just needed to lay out the script.
With five days left, we didn’t have time to go back and forth on a script. We rolled up our sleeves and pounded out the rest of our drafted script, made sure we dotted some i’s and crossed some t’s before sending it to Catalyst for approval. The turnaround was nearly immediate and we were all set begin recording!
Tom took the train to Chicago to begin working the audio tracks. Brianna, our content videographer, met up with us to work out our video needs. We went over the plan and enlisted Kat, one of the many talented artists we work with, to create some new art for the project. Then we put out an open call for vocal talent, picked our voice actors, contracted them, and got to work.
I had committed to the launch of the Shadowcasters Network Steam-a-thon and spent over eight hours with them after a full shift at my day job, and I was concerned about losing a day on the project. Of course, I didn’t have a thing to worry about, because Tom, Brianna, and Kat absolutely smashed it! Tired and dreading a long night to make up for what I missed, I was instead presented with 90% of the project complete. All that remained were the final edits.
We wrapped it up and Tom left for home while Brianna tightened up the video and packaged it up for Catalyst. Getting to see the video in its entirety, even as a first submission, was intense! Our entire team reviewed it and agreed that it was ready for Catalyst.
So, we submitted the video to Catalyst and waited for their response. As before, it came quickly and they had a few minor revisions. Brianna immediately knocked those out and we had the video back to Catalyst, ready to post. They agreed and accepted the product, prepping it for release in two days.
We had a hard time containing our excitement over those two days as we just as eagerly awaited the official push from Catalyst. They posted several interesting changes to their website, including a countdown that actually glitched out when it hit zero, deep Matrix chatlogs from the movers and shakers of the Shadowrun Setting, and finally the video release. The whole event was amazing and it was so awesome to be a part of it. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Catalyst Game Labs. Hey guys, if there’s anything else you need from us, know that we are in!
If you haven’t seen the video, you can view it here:
To all of our friends, fans, and community, thanks for all you do to support us, we can’t do it without you. To our team that did such an amazing job on this project, I could not be prouder of what you’ve accomplished!