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CANNES 2024 Marché du Film

Le Marché du Film s'intéresse au chemin consistant à passer "Des histoires qu'on raconte à celles auxquelles on joue"


- CANNES 2024 : La manière dont les jeux vidéo sont devenus des propriétés intellectuelles qu'on adapte dans des films était au coeur de cette discussion

Le Marché du Film s'intéresse au chemin consistant à passer "Des histoires qu'on raconte à celles auxquelles on joue"
Un moment du débat

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

During the Cannes Marché du Film, a panel titled “From Telling Stories to Playing Stories” took place at the Fantastic Pavilion and was moderated by the CNC’s Daphné Lora, head of Film France and Game France. The focus was on uniting various storytelling media, such as film, TV, VR, animation and video games. The discussion explored how these media convey narratives and captivate audiences, addressing their similarities, differences, adaptability and potential convergence, while considering the challenges and opportunities of connecting these platforms to foster new creative endeavours.

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Lora initiated the conversation by delving into the nuances of storytelling across film, series and video games, emphasising the importance of understanding the unique content and structural aspects of each medium. Stéphane Natkin, founder and manager of La Compagnie des Martingales, a French video-game production company, and the author of several influential works in the field, explored the disparities between linear media and video games, particularly focusing on the historical debate between narratologists and ludologists regarding the essence of games as storytelling mechanisms. He highlighted the player's agency in shaping narrative experiences, distinguishing them from traditional linear narratives.

Antoine Cayrol, a co-founder of Atlas V, elaborated on the emerging role of VR as a medium, noting its potential to encompass various storytelling forms, including traditional narratives and interactive experiences. He homed in on the challenge of guiding viewer interaction in VR, underlining the need for innovative approaches to engage audiences in immersive environments. Adrien Larouzée, head of Video Games Production & Publishing Activities at ARTE France, discussed the differences that exist in audience engagement between linear and interactive storytelling media, always considering viewer agency in narrative creation.

Samuel Castro, director of Iberseries, underscored the challenge of appealing to both passive and interactive audiences, mentioning the necessity of finding a formula that resonates with both, particularly given the competition for viewers' leisure time. He noted the similarities in audience preferences across TV, film and video games, suggesting that despite differences in storytelling, audiences seek similar entertainment experiences. Collectively, the panellists addressed the evolving storytelling landscape across media, stressing the need for innovative approaches to engage diverse audiences in narrative experiences.

In the subsequent discussion, Lora explored engagement mechanisms across film, TV, VR and video games. Larouzée explained the evolving nature of engagement strategies, tracing them back to the arcade era, when frustration and the notion of the “challenge” played pivotal roles. He stressed the importance of gameplay loops in maintaining player interest, drawing parallels with the attention challenges faced by both the gaming and the film industries.

The conversation then shifted to the adaptation of intellectual properties (IPs) across different media. Lora referenced past failures in video game-to-film adaptations but noted recent successes like Detective Pikachu and The Last of Us series. Cayrol attributed the increase in successful adaptations to the growing cultural significance of video games, which has led to greater investment and risk-taking in cross-medium adaptations. Larouzée and Natkin highlighted generational shifts and technological advancements as key factors in facilitating successful adaptations, discussing the convergence of tools and storytelling techniques between film and gaming, allowing for smoother transitions between media. The panellists emphasised the importance of understanding the unique strengths of each medium and adapting narratives accordingly.

Castro and Larouzée discussed the challenges of adaptation and understanding target audiences, mentioning the need to utilise appropriate storytelling tools. The latter shared insights from a project that transitioned from a documentary to a video game, zeroing in on the need to adapt storytelling techniques for the gaming medium. Natkin suggested building communities around IPs to facilitate adaptation and engagement across different media. Lastly, Lora underscored the importance of inclusivity and coherence in storytelling across various platforms, ensuring accessibility for all audiences.

Following this, Lora presented a case study on Gloomy Eyes, initially developed as a VR series by Atlas V and later adapted into a video game in partnership with ARTE. Cayrol discussed the decision-making process behind adapting IPs, emphasising the importance of creating franchise potential, and building a strong universe and characters. He stressed the need to gauge audience reactions and adapt accordingly, showcasing how feedback influenced the project's evolution. Larouzée delved into the transition from VR to video-game format for Gloomy Eyes, explaining the shift in perspective from passive viewer to active player. He discussed the decision-making process behind choosing the gameplay mechanics that would best complement the story's pacing and immersion. The panellists stressed the crucial nature of integrating game mechanics with narrative elements early on in the development process.

Natkin expanded on the iterative nature of game development and the differences in production processes between linear media and video games. He discussed how advancements in technology are blurring the lines between film and gaming, enabling more flexibility in storytelling and production. The panellists agreed that understanding the unique strengths of each medium and embracing iterative development processes are crucial for successful adaptation across media.

In the final part of the panel, the conversation centred on the potential convergence of different media, particularly between VR experiences and video games. Larouzée highlighted how the VR origins of Gloomy Eyes facilitated its adaptation into a video game, leveraging existing assets and technical infrastructure. The reuse of assets and knowledge from the VR project streamlined the development process for the video-game adaptation. Castro mentioned exploring new techniques and instruments, particularly those shared between animation and video games, to attract new audiences and bridge generational gaps. He discussed the need for industry collaboration and creativity to tap into the expanding potential of the Spanish content market, especially with the growing interest from investors and the availability of tax incentives.

Regarding the role of AI in the convergence of media, Larouzée expressed cautious optimism, acknowledging its presence in various stages of content creation, but suggesting that its impact on creativity and format evolution remains to be seen. The panel concluded with a discussion about the future of storytelling, with Larouzée questioning the extent to which movies will become video games and vice versa, while also reflecting on the evolving nature of media consumption over the past two decades.

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(Traduit de l'anglais)

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