Ralph Smyth embarks on company’s first feature film
Austin, TX - August 22, 2011 - After three years of award-winning narrative short filmmaking, the filmmakers of Ralph Smyth Entertainment are turning their efforts towards documentary filmmaking to launch Ralph’s first feature film, “Star Nation” (working title), teaming up with local director Justin Agnew and his company Hard Ends Productions.
“Star Nation” explores the exploding industry of electronic sports, a.k.a. competitive video gaming, through a game called StarCraft 2. As a very young industry in the Western world, the recent clamor for electronic sports has quickly motivated large sponsors to invest millions of dollars in cultivating a new worldwide culture and moneymaking industry. With this development, more and more of today’s youth have begun eyeing electronic sports as a legitimate career.
E-sports has been a well oiled machine in South Korea for the past 10 years, seeing great responses from businesses and fans alike. Competitive gamers train in team houses where they live and work. Corporate sponsors pay each player’s salaries, some of which reach upwards of $300,000 per year. Competitions are broadcast on two 24/7 TV stations employing sports casters to provide commentary on live and recorded competitions. South Korean video game competitions have seen staggering live audience attendance reaching 120,000 cheering fans at one stadium-filled event.
Recent StarCraft 2 weekend competitions in the United States have seen 20,000+ attendees and with over 35 million online views. The competition weekends offer hundreds of thousands of cash prizes, thousands of adoring fans and opportunities to legitimize a gaming career. The documentary will be looking at this world through the eyes of the people behind the e-sports phenomena, including players, team managers, competition organizers, sports casters and more.
The filmmakers at Ralph Smyth Entertainment have produced several documentaries that have brought them all around the world. Along with “Star Nation”, Russell Groves, Bradley Jackson, David Ward and Andrew Lee are also producing/consulting on the feature documentary “Lord Montagu” shooting in England. Lee is currently wrapping up distribution of his recently produced feature documentary “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” set to release on VOD in October 2011. Andrew Lee will be running point for RSE on “Star Nation”.