Hoodie Highlights… Kory Caldwell & Keaton Slánský of The Players’ Score!

- Posted September 25th, 2014 by

Sup y’all? =) President Hoodie here with yet another special feature of Hoodie Highlights on The ChipWIN Blog! I’ve been on a roll with these lately, it’s true, but it can’t be helped! Too many awesome things worthy of highlighting happening at once.
What a life, what a life…. ;)

At any rate, this time around I’ll be chatting with not one, but two awesome individuals who are producing what looks to be an amazing documentary powerfully relevant to our combined scenes (yes, I’m interviewing the interviewers #DealWithIt 8-). The film is called ‘The Players’ Score: A Videogame Music Documentary‘ and the two folk heading it up are Kory Caldwell and Keaton Slánský! Enjoy!


Keaton Slánský and Kory Caldwell.

Hoodie: So guys, tell me a little about yourselves.

Kory: I’m Director/Producer of The Players’ Score. I’m currently attending college classes while slowly getting involved in the film industry. This is my first feature film and most intensive project I’ve ever worked on!

Keaton: I’m the Co-Director/Producer of The Players Score, among other things. I’ve been involved in film production professionally for about three years, and this is my first feature film in a lead production role. I also play a lot of video games and listen to a lot of music, hence my involvement in this project.

Hoodie: Guess it kinda goes without saying that you’re both pretty huge fans of video games, video game music, chiptune, etc. Since, yanno, you’re making a friggin’ documentary about it all. haha

Kory: Well, we listened to VGM and chiptune for 4000 miles of road trip so I guess you could say we’re pretty fond of it. At this point we really have to be!

Hoodie: I’d say so! This looks to be quite the undertaking after all; not something a casual fan would aspire to create.

Hoodie: Speaking of that, what is it that pulled you both in so deeply that you felt the need to pursue such an endeavor?

Kory: When I found out that there were communities centered around video game music that were more than just fans, that people had special connections with composers and with each other, I knew we had to document it. We’d been fans of game music before that, but being introduced to this subculture and having it described as family really inspired me to get this whole film rolling. I thought the VGM/chip festivals, online communities and composer-fan relationships we see here can only occur if there’s something special happening, so let’s go out capture this however we can.

Keaton: I mean essentially I could list all the same reasons Kory did. Kory approached me with the project and I had only relatively recently been turned onto VGM cover bands and that whole community through our friend Chuck Simpson, who’s the drummer for the LONELYROLLINGSTARS. Game music has always meant a lot to me growing up, and I never realized that there was a name for it, let alone an entire culture around it. The opportunity to document this AND create our first feature together was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Hoodie: Oh hey, Chuck! Love that dude! He’s crazy, in the best sort of way; same as the rest of that band. haha Definitely a great way to be introduced to the scene.

Keaton: For real, they’re a really cool group of dudes. It blew my mind when I found out that my “friends band” was made up of members of Metroid Metal and The Smash Brothers.

Hoodie: Right?? And as you’ve since no doubt discovered, that’s fairly typical for these scenes. haha I think it’s because there’s just so many creative, kindred spirits who are all doers. It’s what addicted me to it all so powerfully, and pulled me inescapably in.

And btw, there’s pretty much no going back for y’all at this point. Once you fall down the rabbit hole, there’s no escape. Only 100 different tunnels to explore & get further lost in at every intersection. ;)

Keaton: Yeah we’ve realized that very quickly, in adding people on Facebook and realizing they’re in all kinds of VGM bands and everyone’s friends with each other. Even composers know some of these guys! We were joking we should play 7 degrees of Jake Kaufman.

Hoodie: hahahaha That’s beautiful, because I have played that game regarding Grant “Stemage” Henry. It kinda works out the same way.

Keaton: I can’t imagine you got more than 3 people deep.

Hoodie: haha Pretty much!

I’ll admit, I’m happy to see y’all spotlighting the chiptune side of this wonderful craziness as well. While chip & VGM are their own creatures, they’re also rather strongly tied together through various points.

Kory: Yeah, we’re trying to capture each of the video game music community branches in all their unique glory.

Hoodie: I think that’s a good call! Definitely makes for more stories, more perspectives, etc.

Keaton: I actually talked about this on a podcast yesterday. I think it’s almost necessary to touch on all aspects of VGM when touching on one as they’re all closely tied. I also think it all comes from the same sort of emotion and spot in that persons heart, which is usually a love or deep appreciation, as obvious as it may sound, for video games and music.

Hoodie: Agreed wholeheartedly. While chiptune has roots elsewhere (demoscene, etc), the modern chipscene is definitely connected to video games and video game music. Whether due to much of it being created via retro game consoles and/or with a similar sonic aesthetic (& some of it even made for new video games such as Shovel Knight!), or the fact that both are often featured at related shows, cons, fests (MAGFest, etc) to receptive folk with shared interests, a deep love of such is the root of it all.

Speaking of MAGFest, have either of y’all been to that crazy party yet? Or will your exodus there to chat with ALL THE PEOPLE be your first exposure to it?

Kory: We’ve wanted to go before, but this will be our first exposure. We were attempting to get to 8.5 as a precursor, but we unfortunately couldn’t afford to. MAGFest 13 will be our first MAGFest. We’ve heard a lot about it, and I think we’re definitely in for an experience.

Keaton: Pretty much what Kory said. It’s going to be an insane experience and we’re going to get INSANE amounts of footage. We’re fully prepared to be locked in our editing cave for many months after that.

Kory: I’m interested/scared/excited for how many hours in a row we will be awake for MAGfest.

Hoodie: hahaha All of those are proper reactions.

Keaton: I’m just going to gaff tape two D800’s to each of my eyeballs and hook up a Red Bull IV drip.

Kory: Good thing we’re filming everything because the amount of caffeine might wipe your memory clean.

Hoodie: The Players’ Score 1.2: The Keaton Slánský Tale.

Kory: A cautionary fable about documentary film-making and the limits of the human mind.

Hoodie: Aka your typical first MAGFest experience. ;)

hahah Seriously, y’all are in for something special. Most likely a life changing event of sorts. ChipWIN + numerous other (mis)adventures never would’ve happened without MAG as a catalyst for me. Hell, I even found a girlfriend, turned fiancee’, soon to be wife from the whole thing. MAGFest = ????

What I’m really trying to say here is BE VERY CAREFUL.
(that’s a joke, hun, I know you’re editing this haha… haha… >_>)
(Editor’s Note: -__- )

Keaton: That’s so cool! We’ve actually heard similar stories from other people. I guess that’s what happens when like minded people get together and do what they love without sleeping for 3 days straight. We’re incredibly excited and a little terrified.

Hoodie: In all sincerity, it’s a very inspiring occurrence to be among such a potent group of kindred spirits. There’s nothing else quite like it for our scenes. You guys will be in hog heaven.

Kory: We can’t wait!

Hoodie: Dare I ask who y’all are most excited to see perform and/or interview?

Keaton: Oh god. We don’t really know who’s performing yet, but I know I’m very excited to interview Stemage and Danimal Cannon. Both have been super supportive and helpful with the film and it’ll be nice to finally meet them.

Hoodie: Good picks! How about you, Kory?

Kory: I’m excited to meet with Travis Vengroff of Random Encounter and Nick Marinelli and all the people who’ve been so cool to reach out to us. And to reunite with those we’ve already met! It’s going to be awesome to get to MAGFest but it will be equally great to finally meet some of these artists and people that have been so kind and supportive. Meeting artists is cool as it is, but when they think our project is cool too? It’s going to be awesome.

Hoodie: Even moreso than y’all can currently imagine. =D

Speaking of that project, let’s get some more detailed info about it! Talk to me y’all! =D

~Psst~ This is the 100% shameless plug tell-all-about-it part so GO TO TOWN YO! ;)

Kory: The Players’ Score is an indie documentary on the impact of video game music!

We’re talking to composers, artists, cover bands, chiptuners, remixers and community organizers to trace videogame music into the scenes and developments its created today. Personal stories from music creators and music fans, effects on the music industry, effects on people and lives!

It a labor of love me and Keaton have been pursuing out of pocket for a while now and we’re on Kickstarter to help us get the rest of the way to MAGfest, and maybe even to Japan with everyone’s help.

Keaton: I think I dropped something… Oh wait! Its the amazing names!
JAKE KAUFMAN on board for the original soundtrack, ARIN HANSON / EGORAPTOR on narration! I’m glad I picked those up. Can you imagine how embarrassing that would have been?

Also, we have a Kickstarter as Kory mentioned that requires $$$ to bring you guys the film! We’ve been crazy fortunate so far and we’re currently at $13k, which is over halfway to our goal. Although to raise $11k more we’re going to need massive support from you guys, so tell your friends/relatives/postmen!

Like, let’s be real: who doesn’t want an Egoraptor narrated documentary?

Kory: And in a world of uncertain Kickstarters everyone can rest assured we’ve already filmed a THIRD of it, and we’re still actively creating the film ALL THE TIME. We’re not waiting around, so join us everyone, and check out this great film project and all the fantastic people contributing to it!

Hoodie: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, guys. This has been awesome. I hope the Kickstarter campaign succeeds beyond your wildest dreams and y’all are able to make this even more amazing than it already looks!

Kory: Thank you so much for having us!

Keaton: Thanks!

Hoodie: See y’all at MAGFest!!

KICKSTARTER | theplayersscore.comFb Page | Twitter | TumblrE-mail

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