As I may have mentioned once before, I like Video Games. I like them a lot. I like Grand Theft Auto. I love Rockstar. I didn’t like GTA IV. For a critic, it was a hands-down achievement. For the gamer it was a clunky, slow, bogged down mess. That’s just my opinion.
BUT! Two things I’ve always loved about GTA in general, and is still very present in the newest additions is their adoration of an awesome soundtrack, and the obvious homages to great films passed. Casino, Goodfellas, Blow, Scarface, Carlito’s Way, name a gangster movie and they’ve made a reference. Boyz In The Hood even.
My brother likes GTA even more then I do, and he especially loves GTA IV. Now, if it wasn’t more obvious that half of the script was torn right out of the existing scripts of various cult hits and Oscar winners, they put in a movie maker. This means anyone with a passing interest in filming their GTA escapades can cut, edit and put music to their own GTA clip. My brother took it one step further. Using Fraps, a video editor and the pure, unbridled RAGE engine (what GTA IV runs on), he has created, and continues to support, the GTA IV Unofficial Series. 18 episodes in and a soundtrack covering Classic Rock to Dubstep, you sir have a winner.
The game covers a lot more then you would think a game could. There’s a lot at play, be it humorous or dark, and there are a lot of characters to fall in love with. Naturally though, this is a video game and it’s going to have it’s fair share of unscripted, uncontrollable variables and the look of a video game. As the series progressed it got better without a doubt, but the opening episodes really set the stage. I personally took the role of occassional producer/cinematographer/director and assistant to the Exec (my brother). He does just about 85% of everything on the show, so the credit goes to him. He does not take money for anything, he does not claim to own any property that may have been used in the project, and he doesn’t expect anything for it. It’s volunteer, complete worship for a studio that crafted his dream game, and gave him the tools to make his own Sopranos (another inspiration on the games).
If you would like to watch, I can link his profile on Vimeo and the first episode. The rest is up to you. Each runs longer then 25 minutes (most often 30+), and each gets better as it goes on.
This is his profile: