August 2, 2008
I am starting off this update to HIGH SCORE talking about one of the video game world's most important locations - LucasArts Entertainment, which recently relocated from Marin county, California to San Francisco's Presidio (virtually the only spot in California not engulfed in the smoke of uncountable Summer fires). This incredible campus is also home to the effects company, INDUSTRIAL LIGHT AND MAGIC and a portion of LUCASFILM LIMITED. I start here because, if you haven't started talking about their next game release, THE FORCE UNLEASHED, you will. For some of you, this groundbreaking game's score will also be a popular topic.
Back in July, my gracious host for an afternoon's lunch and tour of just a small segment of "Lucas-Land" was Vice president of Sales for LucasArts, Mary Bihr. Props and costumes from the Lucas empire adorn the foyer (the only place photos are allowed) and within the halls and offices are gobs of original conceptual art pieces and models from countless ILM projects. Echoing off of the paintings, models, and sculptures was positive buzz over the recent worldwide launch of the new Indiana Jones Lego video game. Having just spent the day previous at "The Ranch," where the other half of LucasFilm remains located, as well as SKYWALKER SOUND, and seeing original props from the Indiana Jones franchise like "the fedora," "the whip," and newly added "Crystal Skull," I have to admit that I felt a little Indiana Jones buzz myself.
There, at Skywalker Sound, I met up with composer MARK GRISKEY where he recorded his score for THE FORCE UNLEASHED. Visiting the incredible scoring stage, it was bewildering to think that THE FORCE UNLEASHED was the first LucasArts video game to have its score recorded there! In the mixing room, I met Dann Thompson, audio engineer who mixed Mark Griskey's THE KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC: THE SITH LORDS score. While still in the mixing suite, I briefly met the Director of Recording and Scoring, Leslie Ann Jones, who worked on THE FORCE UNLEASHED with Griskey.
"LucasLand" is indeed "Disneyland" for the film and game geek in all of us. (Ok...in me, then.) A large portion of this update to HIGH SCORE revolves around the release of THE FORCE UNLEASHED. You'll find a full review of the promo soundtrack as well as an exclusive interview with MARK GRISKEY. In addition you'll find full reviews of KEVIN RIEPL's HUXLEY and WINIFRED PHILLIP's SPEED RACER: THE VIDEO GAME. Finally, we've added two new SCOREFRONT profiles: COLIN O'MALLEY and DUANE DECKER, both of whom have a number of significant video game projects under their belts. And don't miss the new music above from titles such as: PRINCE CASPIAN (Mark Griskey), SUPERMAN RETURNS (Colin O'Malley), HEROES OF MIGHT AND MAGIC V (Paul Anthony Romero).