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Inside HDFilms: Exclusive Interview with Jace Hall, Executive Producer of the New "V"

Jace Hall’s entire career is a tribute to his geekdom, whether it’s the video games he’s produced (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Justice League Heroes and Condemned: Criminal Origins, among them), online content he’s been involved with creating (including The Jace Hall Show, which has him conducting interviews while playing video games with his interview subjects; and the in-development web series Creepshow Raw and the Twilight Zone-like What If?), movies (PVC-1, Brothers in Arms and the forthcoming The Unforgettable) and, now, television, with the all-new “V” pilot for ABC.

HDFilms 01by Edward Gross

“For me,” explains Hall, who serves as the head of HDFilms, “it’s always about being involved in things that I find creatively interesting. When I was growing up, I saw ‘V’ in 1983, and now to be the executive producer of the new ‘V’ for ABC… well, it just feels like I was made to be involved with these sorts of things. I’m always asking myself, ‘Where are those stories that make us want to aspire to be more? That question the human condition in some way and that make you recognize your potential as a person?’ I’ve always been very interested in those kinds of stories and find myself involved with them.”
   In watching the progression of Hall’s career, he’s transitioned from someone who was obsessed with video games and the geek culture to the point where he is in the midst of creating, with HDFilms, projects that are designed to bridge the gap between various mediums.
   “Here’s what it is,” he explains. “If you just forget the specific sort of medium that something comes from, there is just this, in my opinion, gap in consumer entertainment today.  The people who are considered ‘geeks’ don’t watch a lot of television anymore. When they say they watch TV, they mean they watched it online somewhere. It’s not that they have anything against television, it’s just that TV has not been catering to what they want. So to find those stories and that content, they’ve been looking elsewhere. I sort of come from that elsewhere and I find myself in a position surrounded by people who make television and make theatrical films, and they’re very interested in the audience but they just don’t understand what that audience wants to see. So I just try to focus on the things that I’ve seen that are interesting to that culture, that have worked in that culture. I don’t think that a piece of content like Halo is only interesting to people just because you’re running around and shooting things. There are lots of games where you run around shooting things. Why suddenly Halo? Well there are things in that content; certain concepts that are conveyed, certain sensibilities that are being addressed that aren’t being addressed elsewhere, therefore we need to get it there. So I’m more about sharing the wealth.”
Chadam_poster    As an example he points to the forthcoming CG webseries he’s producing Chadam, a character that was the mascot for the rock band The Used that has a subculture that’s followed it. Hall’s notion was to take a video game technology, such as Unreal, which powered Gears of War, and take a concept like Chadam, then reach out to the avant garde art community and Alex Pardee, and put them all in the mix together and produce a story.
   “You’re going to get three different sensibilities,” he says. “You’re going to get people who are fascinated by the video game technology being used . Can you tell you a full story in it, completely cinematically? That’s interesting. Then you have all the music people, the fans of The Used and others who go, ‘Wow, the idea of taking this band’s mascot and producing a full storyline -- that could be interesting.’ Then you’ve got the art community who follows what Alex Pardee does, going, ‘Wow, this two-dimensional art this guy has produced has found its way into this medium.’ So we mix it together and see if we can make something cool.”
   A multi-tiered approach will be applied to various HDFilms projects, including “V” and other TV concepts. “It started from the idea of not a lot of my audience – or who I believe my audience is – watching a lot of television,” Hall details. “So what’s going to get them to watch? We came up with a concept of how all of these other mediums can help support and drive a television program. A lot of times television programs will say something like, 'Go to our website and you'll learn more about the show.' Well, in that situation you’re sending your TV audience to a different medium and they may never come back. What you kind of want is the reverse of that. More like, ‘I’m so interested in these Internet things that they’re motivating me to watch a television program for my own reasons.’ So a lot of thought went into it. ‘How can you create that mechanic? How does it make sense? How can it be exciting for someone so that all of these pieces work together in a way that feels like the total sum of it is greater than its individual parts? “
V-STARTU    A project like “V” , for instance, was designed from its inception to cut across a variety of mediums, each offering a unique component for the audience to explore. “It’s what I would need to watch television,” he muses.
   As far as what those components are….Hall ain’t revealing any of them. “There are plans for different aspects of ‘V’ ,he allows, “but they won’t be in the traditional form that people will expect them to be, which is critical because those tend to be exploitive. There’s going to be a web presence that will be very different from what has gone before. You have to understand that this show is steeped in plausibility and conspiracy and the intermixing of reality and fiction. The tools available to support that kind of entertainment are unprecedented, and we’re going to try and take as much advantage of that as we can to really make ‘V’ something that is fun to be involved with and something that’s fun for the audience to invest themselves in.”

Important Links:
For the Creepshow Raw teaser trailer, click HERE.

Season two of The Jace Hall Show debuts online on Thursday.'s #1 show, each webisode is viewed by about 5 million people. To check it out, click HERE.

A new line of Jace Hall Show T-shirts in concert with the premiere video game T-shirt company JINX.COM has just been launched HERE.

1.)     Look for full coverage of HDFilms projects in the future at Visitors Among Us.

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