Tag Archives: chris vrenna

A Living Eulogy for Otherlands

Three days, twenty hours until the campaign is over. It’s led a brief but spectacular life so far. Will this weekend find us celebrating its success or mourning its loss? The numbers are so close it’s hard to say. While there’s still a glimmer of hope, I offer you a recap of what we’ve accomplished so far – and a glimpse at what might be if we succeed:

• The Otherlands animation project is born from the ashes of a sacrificed OZombie campaign.

• Autographed DVD’s, Blu Ray’s, Art Books, Posters and more are added as backer rewards.

• Animation Storyboards and Thomas Edison arrive at the 25% funding mark.

• Stop-motion animator Troy Morgan signs on as we reveal Van Gogh’s mind and hit the 35% mark.

• Motion graphic animator Ed Goin joins us as we unveil a series of beautiful Alice lithographs.

• Alice soundtrack composer and musician Chris Vrenna joins the creative team on Otherlands.

• Legendary Hong Kong film director Tsui Hark lends his creative voice and support to the project, moving Alice one step closer to the big screen.

• Otherlands flies into the mind of Hilda Hewlett as we attain 50% funding altitude.

• At 60% funding we peer into the mind of Oscar Wilde.

• Tons of press coverage lands alongside a drama-inducing glimpse inside the mind of Saint Saens (yes, it was made from manipulated Beksinski art, yes it was offered for sale, then not).

• Susie Brann (voice of Alice) and Roger Jackson (voice of Cheshire Cat) announce their involvement as we zoom past the 70% mark and set our first stretch goal.

• And lastly, we present the mind of Bram Stoker as the campaign bites and claws towards 75% of funding.

It’s been a wild ride! A quick and creative campaign racing towards an imaginative goal. The combined talent, creativity and passion we’ve presented throughout the campaign could deliver some truly amazing animation – and make meaningful progress towards Alice’s debut on the big screen.

It’s all here – the creative vision, the proven animation talent, a legendary writer/producer/director of big-budget action films, the “musical voice” of the Alice series, the literal voices of Alice and her grinning companion… A complete package. A full house.

What more could we ask for?

Well, a lot more. We’ve barely scratched the surface of awareness needed to make this thing a success. Alice fans from around the globe are emailing me every hour to say they’ve just stumbled upon the campaign. They heard about it through a friend of a friend. Or when some drive-through customer shouted “Otherlands!” in response to , “May I take your order?”

This campaign will live or die based on how effective we are in spreading the word over the next 90 hours.

Here’s what you can do right now:

Tweet this: @AliceOtherlands, Less than 90 hours to go #Kickstarter kck.st/16F4yvT

Facebook this: “Alice: Otherlands” is American McGee’s Kickstarter campaign to make a series of animated shorts based on Alice’s latest adventures. Less than 90 hours remain until the campaign ends. Help make it a success: kck.st/16F4yvT

Then do whatever other crazy stuff you can think of to raise awareness. Get CRAZY!

Speaking of crazy… Did you know French actress Sarah Bernhardt slept in a coffin to better understand tragic roles? Well, now you do! And today’s Otherlands adventure is an illustration of Sarah’s beautiful mind, as rendered by Spicy Horse artist Joey. We’ll be adding this to the campaign, as usual, as an add-on at $65 + $10 for international shipping.

From Shanghai with Crazy in my Brain,

-American

American Interview: Chris Vrenna

Continuing with a series of interviews geared towards support of our ongoing OZombie Kickstarter campaign, I’ve asked musician Chris Vrenna a couple of questions. Chris and I met back in the day, while I was at id Software and he was banging drums for Nine Inch Nails. He was instrumental (pun intended) in establishing the tone for the first “Alice” game and I’ve been a fan of his work (Tweaker and other projects) for years. To the interview!

AJM: Let’s start off by getting out of the way some of the basics… Who you are and what you’ve been up to since you made the soundtrack for the first “Alice” game over 10 years ago?

CV: I am Chris Vrenna. I scored your first “American McGee’s Alice” game over 10 years ago. I can’t believe how long it’s been! I have had a pretty amazing post-Alice decade. I released three records by my side project, tweaker. tweaker is primarily a studio collaborative project where I have been fortunate enough to work with many of my personal idols. Robert Smith, David Sylvian, Will Oldham, and Johnny Marr to name a few. I also spent an amazing year or so drumming for Gnarls Barkley. Their single “Crazy” was a massive #1 hit in almost every country in the world. I was honored to play with, and become friends with CeeLo and Dangermouse. And I spent 7 years working with Marilyn Manson. I co-produced and co-wrote the last two records and toured the world as either drummer or keyboard player numerous times. In my “free time” I take on remixing, programming, and/or mixing projects.

AJM: You’re attached to the OZombie Kickstarter campaign as a “Stretch Goal.” Have you ever been a goal of any sort or particularly stretchy? How does it feel to be a Stretch Goal on a KS campaign?

CV: I have never been a goal, “stretch” or otherwise, on a KS campaign. And I am SO excited to once again team up with you (American) to score OZombie. I am the opposite of having any “stretchy” abilities, except maybe time-stretching samples! (Insert rimshot sound effect here.)

AJM: It’s a little early for final thoughts on many things related to the project, but have you had any early thoughts on directions you might take with the music for OZombie? We promise not to hold you too severely to any ideas you might express here.

CV: Wow! It is definitely a little early to talk specifics. But, I am SO inspired by all the early concept art I’ve seen. Like with all your games, the design is so vivid it instantly gets my brain spinning with ideas for both sound palettes and melodies.

AJM: You had a chance to visit Spicy Horse Games in Shanghai back in 2009 (is that right?). Can you share some of the impressions you took away about Shanghai?

CV: I believe it was 2009. It was my first, and still to this day, my only visit to China. I found Shanghai so fascinating and was surprised by how varied the city is culturally and architecturally. The ancient city, the European riverfront, and the incredibly futuristic business district just show the long history of Shanghai.

AJM: What do you do when you’re not creating music? Any hobbies or past-times you’d like to share? Any links between those hobbies and the inspiration you find to make music?

CV: My passion is art. I buy and collect as much art as I can. There is such a connection when a piece of art (whether painting, sculpture, photography, etc) grabs you and draws you to it. It becomes so personal and that’s when you know you just have to buy it so you can feel that connection forever.

AJM: Lastly, do you have a favorite character from the Oz books or films? If so, why?

CV: I have a few favorites. First has to be the flying monkeys. They were the most terrifying creatures as a child. And, at 46 years old, I STILL find them scary. And I have always had a soft spot for the Cowardly Lion. Can’t really put it into words, but I always empathized with him. maybe because I was picked on in school.