Samson's Quest is a feature film about love and video games. Part romantic comedy and part coming-of-age drama, it's set in an alternate 1995 and is about trying to beat the world's hardest game in one night. The premise: Olga is a gaming athlete on the cusp of breaking into Japan's professional scene -- everything depends on her performance in the upcoming Tokyo Invitational. Samson -- an aimless youth with his college graduation looming -- accidentally deletes the saved game Olga cannot compete without. Now, with the help of his friends, Samson must complete the game before dawn.
Samson's Quest is set in an alternate 1995, one that has been amped up to capture the essence of the period: kaleidoscopic palettes, grunge fashion, and tasteless graphic design. Our production is putting a high priority on set design and wardrobe, aiming to transport the viewer back twenty years.
In 2014, e-sports is a rising phenomenon. Professional cyber athletes are battling in tournaments with six figure prizes and viewership in the hundreds of thousdands. E-sports has been increasingly discussed in mainstream American publications such as Time Magazine and Forbes, further expanding the fan base. All of these fans share the same humble 16-bit beginnings. The alternate timeline of Samson's Quest presupposes an early birth of e-sports, centered in Japan, where electronic athletes compete in the classics today's gamers know and cherish.
The surf town of Santa Cruz, with its iconic Beach Boardwalk and sandy coastline, is the ideal location to shoot our exteriors. Santa Cruz is rich with visual metaphors that resonate with the themes of our film: memory, childhood, and a yearning for the golden years.
Leader of his trio and a friend to many, Samson is at the top of his game. But with graduation one day away and his longtime companions about to vanish -- possibly forever -- Samson doesn't know where he'll go or what he'll do.
Olga is is quick-witted, confrontational, and intimidating. Practicing tirelessly by night and working a grueling food-service job by day, she leads a Spartan life with only one goal in mind: playing video games professionally in Japan.
Tom and Taylor are Samson's lifelong companions and first recruits in salvaging the game. Unfortunately, neither of them are avid players. Taylor spends most of his time thrashing in the mosh pit and pouring over band merchandise. Tom is more familiar with the Greek Pantheon than the workings of a controller. Keiko is an estranged friend who'd rather eat broken glass than spend one minute with either of them -- but she's the only one around who speaks Japanese.
The retro gaming community is a huge and diverse group, hailing from all over the globe. We've received help from donors in Australia, Malaysia, Scotland, Germany, Denmark, and Greece -- just to name a few. Classic game fans are anxious to see a film that is relevant to their interests and features artists from within their circles. We've enlisted the help of just such contributors for our score and artwork.
Chipzel and Disasterpeace
Chipzel and Disasterpeace are two of the most popular musicians in the 'chiptune' genre -- 8-bit electronic music crafted via classic gaming hardware. Chipzel's hard-hitting, melodic dance tracks were a cornerstone of the the smash hit, Super Hexagon. Disasterpeace was the mastermind behind the meditative FEZ soundtrack.
Final Form Games
Final Form Games is the publisher of the critically acclaimed Jamestown, a retrostyle arcade shooter that was featured on The Humble Bundle.
HELM and COCEFI
HELM and COCEFI are talented pixel artists hailing from Greece and Malaysia respectively. Helm is a master of the 8 bit form, while Cocefi paints detailed and colorful 16 bit images. Both have been featured on the Pixel Joint hall of fame.
Writer and Director
Christopher Rosenberg was a child of the SNES generation and has long been trying to express what games mean to him. In 2010, he began writing a screenplay about love, videogames, and the 90s. Two years later, he relocated to Los Angeles in order to pursue its production and, ultimately, his long time dream of filmmaking. His previous work includes offbeat fictions like The Adventures of Whaley and Birdface, an existentialist children's book, and The Atlas Fugue, a short film about dissociative amnesia.
Chris works as a film editor and as an on set electrician. As a writer/director, he is influenced by Wong Kar Wai, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, and Luc Besson.
Director of Photography
Wey Wang is a visual storyteller who is constantly honing his craft. He is one of the busiest DPs in the Los Angeles independent film industry. When he is off set (which is seldom), you'll find him devouring movies at your local multiplex or snapping photos with his rangefinder.
Stylistically, Wey is a devout romanticist. He believes in creating larger-than-life images and, when appropriate, using bold cinematic techniques. He is influenced by cinematographers like Janusz Kaminiski, Robert Elswit, Robert Richardson, Jordon Cronenweth, Roger Deakins, and Christopher Doyle.