Interview: Jason "Jace" Hall
Most avid gamers are probably aware of the likes of G4 and GameTrailers TV, but you're missing out if you don't tune into the Jace Hall Show on Crackle. Jason "Jace" Hall, founder of HDFILMS, Inc. and Monolith Productions, is already a veteran of both the video game and movie industries. He worked with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment as SVP and General Manager, and The Hollywood Reporter placed him in their enviable list of "Top 35 execs under the age of 35." And now, he has his own show, which consists of 5-minute episodes that focus on the gaming culture and lifestyle, and how it relates to real people.
We love the idea, so we wanted to find out more. Jace was good enough to talk to us, and we bring you the exclusive interview below.
PSXE: For those who arenít familiar, how would you describe the show?
Jace: "It's a show that covers the lifestyle that has evolved out of video gaming culture, and how it effectively permeated other pop cultures to become much more mainstream, in the same way that hip-hop has. No program has really focused on that. Instead of focusing on game products, we focus on people who are relating to games in one form or another. We focus on everyone from game designers like Cliffy B to regular people/cool guys who love games. We all play games or know someone who does and itís a common thing...this show is designed to lightly cover this." [Jace further likened his show to something like "Curb Your Enthusiasm"]
PSXE: This is another example of the gaming industry blending with mainstream entertainment appeal. Did you expect to see this 20 years ago?
Jace: "No, I didn't. But I didnít care if it would become mainstream; I just cared about it myself. I actually feel a little violated because what was once a secret of mine now it's mainstream. Now everyone is doing it. But I also think it has become special in that it has become so mainstream; it's commonplace and relevant in terms of where people are getting their entertainment fix. Itís part of the normal day conversation. Celebrities have these conversations too, so I realized that this is a common denominator starting to apply to everybody. Get the most die-hard gamers, throw them in a room with George Clooney and theyíd have something to talk about that's game-related."
PSXE: How do you think The Jace Hall Show differs from other game-related shows like G4 and GameTrailers TV?
Jace: "Those shows are journalistic, generally; they're trying to provide information about games. My show is not that at all; my show is about people. They (G4, GTTV) will interview Cliffy B and talk about Gears of War, and Iíll take Cliffy and go skydiving or go to a shooting range, and youíll actually see Cliffy B the person. And thatís interesting, and if we do talk about GeoW, it'll be for about 10 seconds, and thatís it. If I show a game, it's just because I think it's cool. Itís a different approach; so my show is more accessible to non-gamers, itís a much wider spectrum than just the narrow band of, 'hey, weíre looking at this game and here are the features.'
This industry has always been so product-focused; it has always been more about companies and less about people. And a lot of other entertainment does focus on people, so we can identify with them. The game industry doesnít have that; weíre missing out on this, and how people relate to the gaming industry and those in the gaming industry. The show is about playing around in that space. I know a lot of people; I know all the top game designers and have met a lot of Hollywood celebrities. What youíre seeing is real; it's part of my life, so the show is like, 'letís roll the cameras and see what happens.' It turns out to be entertaining."
6/19/2008 Ben Dutka