Youtube VideoGamers usually like to escape reality. But, as part of a YouTube campaign for Turtle Beach, a company that designs, manufactures and markets high quality audio peripherals for video game consoles and personal computers, Droga5 NZ has reversed that scenario and taken a 24 year-old Kiwi gamer named StatiC (real name Phil) on a journey through a real warzone, Iraq.
Droga5 recently won the Fiveight business, which represents Sega, Ubisoft, Warner Brothers and Turtle Beach. Droga5's creative partner Mike O'Sullivan says Turtle Beach is all about 'taking you there', so that's exactly what they did, with a crew of four and a host of fixers to ensure things went smoothly—and safely.
"The interesting thing about this is that no amount of planning could help prepare us for it," he says.
Originally, he says they wanted to cast for the role, but instead decided to go with a young, ballsy gamer who has done a bit of travelling and was able to keep a secret. 'StatiC' says rather bluntly in the clip, "yeah, I just like running around, shooting people, killing them", and while O'Sullivan says the gaming guinea pig enjoyed his experience in Iraq, this version of war certainly wasn't quite as enjoyable as a night on the couch surrounded by Red Bull cans.
"This really shows the difference between the real world and the gaming world and we'll see that throughout the project," he says.
The trailer has just gone live and he says the rest of the episodes, which were filmed by Corrie Jones of GoodOil Films in Sydney and edited by The Butchery, will be released on the YouTube channel over the next week.
"Gamers play in virtual warzones every day and night, and they want the immersive feeling of combat so we thought we’d take that experience one step further," says Fiveight's managing director Ben Ward. "The whole project has been an experience. Though there was a huge amount of planning, it’s fair to say the journey proved ... interesting.”
Ben Ward – Managing Director (Fiveight Distribution)
Kieran Morris – Marketing/PR Executive (Fiveight Distribution)
Creative Partner – Mike O’Sullivan
Creative Director – Guy Roberts
Creative Director – Corey Chalmers
Business Director – James Polhill
Digital Partner – Jose Alomajan
Digital Creative – Anna Rose-Kerr
Executive Digital Producer – Andrew Simpson
Director – Corrie Jones
Executive Producer – Juliet Bishop
Editor – Mike Lutman (The Butchery)
Sound Designer – Shane Taipari (Franklin Road)
Animation & GFX – Jonny Kofoed (Assembly)
Setup Editor – Alex O’Shaughnessy (Fatboy)
Grade & Online – Jordan Dodson (Fatboy)
TV Producer – Tanya Haitoua-Cathro (FatBoy)