A year and 30+ hours of interviews and recorded footage edited into a 2-hour film later, the DAEMON documentary promised to backers was finally finished. Featuring footage from the creation, playing, and aftermath of the game, extensive interviews with the creators and players, and brand-new glitch effects, explainers, and titlecards, the documentary was burned to DVD and recorded to VHS and shipped out to the most loyal fans.
- Interviewed all team members & several players
- Edited 15+ hours of footage and 10+ hours of interviews into 2 hour documentary
- Created 3D & glitch art transitions, lower 3rds, explanations, and titlecards for every section
- Narrated documentary
- Created packaging and labeling for DVD & VHS editions of documentary
I edited the entire documentary myself, and personally interviewed 10+ participants over the course of 6 months during 2016 - 2017 to gather material. I created all the glitch video transitions using a Tachyons+ analog video glitch processor. I also created all the packaging for the physical releases myself. Footage primarily came from Sam Bishop, Jon Springs, and Dima Dubodel, with some ancillary contributions from friends of the project.
This project presented an interesting problem - how do you make a documentary about a game that happened two years ago, in a town you no longer live in on the other side of the country, where many of the locations in which it occurred have since been demolished? Rather than scrap the documentary or rely purely on photos and video, we made use of photogrammetry scans of the area from Google Maps and 3D models to recreate the play areas from the game, including flyovers and cutaway wireframes of buildings to map out where this all happened.
For transitions, a massive moodboard was assembled to help establish a visual style for the documentary that matched the retro cyberpunk vibe in a way that properly paid tribute to the source material the game was based on - 80’s scifi, anime, synthwave, pioneering video art, and video games. They also had to explain who was playing the game and how it worked well enough to fit into the space of a few seconds, which meant making graphically strong work that could also withstand being put through a TV signal and glitched to get that warm, fuzzy VHS feel.
Packaging: DAEMON Documentary
As part of the physical release of DAEMON: The Documentary on DVD and VHS, we had to design a proper sleeve and interior labeling, which meant creating a unified aesthetic that matches the content of the documentary. Drawing from the Japanese covers of the Sprawl trilogy, as well as old VHS movie and game boxes, we applied faux-weathering to give it a proper 80’s vibe.