Lost the Lead
As a follow-up to our original series "PreGame Lobby"; "Lost the Lead" will explore a group of friends as they interpret what it means to "lose" and "win" in the game of life. We will reveal gaming culture in a visceral and comedic narrative that will be both realistic and highly stylized!
Inclusion StatementAs a half black, half korean gamer I always found it difficult to find others to relate with. By inviting gamers from all backgrounds as key crew members, Lost the Lead will remind fans that gamers and filmmakers come in many different shapes, creeds, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds.
About The Project
ABOUT "LOST THE LEAD"
Mia is a twenty-year-old software engineering student who's decided to take a sabbatical from studying and focus more on her vlogging and casual gaming. She's always been the golden child of the family, certainly there's time for her to take advantage of the irresponsibilities of young adulthood while she can, right?
As Mia hides with her older brother (Rob) at his apartment. She buries her existential depression into gaming and prays that her parents won't discover her abscence from campus. It's a perfect excuse for the two estranged siblings to recapture their closeness only found in their favorite first person shooter game, "BLAM!" - which has been in beta test for the last three months.
But when the pair attend a midnight release of the highly anticipated "BLAM!" Mia is unwittingly entangled in a competition against neo-chauvinist, alpha male and popular video game streamer "imWIN". She'd let his microagressions pass until she becomes the victim of an anonymous SWATTING prank.
Now, revenge is all she tastes - to maintain her brother's honor as a former gaming champion and create an equal space for gamers just like her to exist peacefully online and in the e-Sports league.
About HARABEK (Michael)
In 2004 I was nineteen, depressed, and isolated - searching for a new identity but had a difficult time defining my roots or my future. Back in Aurora, Colorado I eagerly waited for the midnight release of Halo 2 along with millions of other Bungie fanatics. Prior to the launch - gaming was restricted to PC competitive play or LAN parties where we’d lug hundred pound televisions to dorm rooms or friend’s basements. The release of the digital couch and Xbox LIVE changed my interaction with the world. I found friends that I’d soon learn to call family, I’d confess secrets to strangers and learn how a simple slayer session was therapy for kids struggling with school, bullies, abusive partners, or financial debts.
Over the years these online friends became very real and we even organized to rendezvous in New York, Comic Con, PAX, etc… I’ve witnessed friends meet and get married in online ceremonies and watched how video games have saved so many from the brink of suicide. I took these experiences and experimented with a new art form called Machinima. I followed in the footsteps of my influencers; Roosterteeth and Fire Team Charlie and created PreGame Lobby in 2008 with Halo 3.
It was a viral success and attracted a solid following. This is how I learned the basics of storytelling, marketing, cinematography, shot design, and script writing. The laughter and heartache that can be found in an online community is monumental and life changing. I sought to capture these moments ten years ago. I seek to express them even further with Lost the Lead.
I’ve worked through many independent shorts and feature films with friends and I’ve learned many ways to improve my own storytelling. At 33, I’ve gained an incredible wealth of knowledge but I realize there’s still a lot to learn. Fortunately, the best lesson gained so far is to surround myself with crew that’s just as passionate and even more film savvy than I am to produce this feature.
It’s a requirement for me to include and portray the many different kinds of gamers out there. I’m a half black, half korean gamer that grew up in the white suburbs of Aurora, Colorado. I know what it’s like to feel like the odd man out in many different cliques. Lost the Lead will explore these ideas of inclusion versus diversity and how so many different kinds of gamers navigate their online space in 2018.
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About This Team
Michael Hyon Johnson (Harabek)
Michael or "Harabek" is most well known as the creator of the machinima web-series, "PreGame Lobby". This first attempt at narrative storytelling earned the series a cult-like following and eight million unique views across platforms. Many of Michael's strongest friendships started while waiting for online matches to start. He became invested in the lives of strangers and peers online ultimately became a part of his larger virtual community.
With the foundations of a supportive gaming community, Michael pursued filmmaking and has written and directed over dozen short films and music videos including his recent award winning film, "AXIOS". He considers himself a Halo nerd and casually plays online while completing an MFA in film production and cinematography at Chapman University.
Ryan James Lim
Originally destined to become a medical doctor, Ryan discovered his passion for storytelling by making his our scripted Youtube content. Fast forward to 2018, and Ryan has produced several short films such as, Stolen Child, AXIOS, Menage a Terror, and Thicker than Water. Proud recipient of the Katie Weinstein award and nominee for the Debra Hill PGA Fellowship, Ryan ensures productions are running at their peak while still finding the time to play Fornite and Madden.
Growing up on games like Pokemon, Kingdom Hearts, and Smash Bros, Ryan understands the diversity found within gaming fandoms. As a Filipino-American, he's thrilled to bring that to the big screen in a project that will depict Asian-Americans and other people of color in a positive and realistic portrayal that still defies gaming stereotypes.
Nelly is a recent graduate of the Screenwriting MFA program at Chapman University. She got her start working as a production sound mixer in New York after graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
As an avid gamer, Nelly is super excited to write a story about a female POC finding her place in the online gaming community. Lost the Lead gives her the opportunity to portray a group of people not normally seen in the world of gaming. Her favorite game of all time is a tie between The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Skyrim.