Thanks to Ubisoft, we had the chance to sit down for a chat with Assassins Creed’s II and III Production Manager Julien Laferriere, who visited Australia for the media preview launch of Assassins Creed III.

 

The venue started with an introduction and Q&A, followed by the chance of testing the game on Play Station 3 and Ps Vita, and let us tell you it`s fantastic and features new amazing things, such as the capability of hunting animals to survive in the middle of the forest, mini games and some epic navy combats where you have to command your own ship and defeat enemies in the middle of the sea in order to protect your allies.

 

 

The game is set against the backdrop of the American Revolution in the late 18th century, and introduces a new hero, Ratohnhaké:ton, of Native American and English heritage. Adopting the name Connor, he becomes the new voice for justice in the ancient war between the Assassins and Templars.

 

 

Check our interview with Mr. Julien Laferriere below:

 

 

SR: First of all, thanks for your time, man.

 

JL: Pleasure.

 

SR: First question is how does it feel to be involved in one of the greatest video game sagas ever?

 

JL: (Laughs). Wow! I mean, it’s… I feel like it’s an honour, honestly. It’s really a privilege, and I think everybody on the team sees it like that. A lot of people love that game and look forward to it, so we’ve put a lot of love into it. Fans and players in general? We love to hear what they have to say. We read all the comments on the blogs and the forum posts and we just want to make a good game that players will like.

 

SR: When did you first get on board with the project, and how did you react when you got the letter saying “We are doing another Assassins Creed Game”?

 

JL: (Laughs). I’ve been on the franchise for 5 years now. I started on AC 2, and then I did Brotherhood.  After doing Brotherhood, there was already a team working on AC 3, prototyping some stuff like the forest and the naval battles. Then the senior producer, Francois Pelland, asked me if I wanted to join the team. Obviously I said yes. (Laughs).

 

SR: What would you say is your favourite character of the franchise?

 

JL: That’s a good question. Um. It might be a cliché, but I’m very happy about what we did with Connor. I feel that he’s a very complex and rich character and you get to live key moments of his life and really understand where he’s going. So, I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m working on the game so he’s very close, but I really like Connor. In the Ezio trilogy, I was a big fan of Leonardo da Vinci. I liked the way he was portrayed. I really liked that character a lot. So yeah, it would be a close call between Leo and Connor, but I think Connor wins.

 

 

SR: Are you guys concerned with moving to another main character and not keeping with the Desmond story?

 

JL: We are continuing the Desmond story. Like the metaplot of Assassin’s Creed is a lot about Desmond as well. So we’re following the Desmond story exactly where we left it off after Revelations. But to answer your question… I mean, Ezio was such a popular character, right? Fans loved him. And that’s why we made three games with Ezio. People were loving that guy, so coming up with a new character… obviously there’s always butterflies in your stomach…when you’re gonna introduce that guy. And so far the response has been pretty positive. We’re very happy with the way things came out with Connor. I think he feels very different but very true to the Assassins in the same way. So, we’re pretty happy now, but I can tell you that when we first introduced the character, we knew we had something interesting, but we hoped that players would think the same thing.

 

 

SR: Which one is your favourite feature of this new game?

 

JL: My personal favourite feature is the addition of the forest, it’s true. For me, the forest was the first thing that we prototyped…the first thing that we said we had to do, you know? We have to do the forest. We also have a lot of new stuff in the game. Like – the map itself is really big, really fresh, really new. But all the game play that we have…all the new ingredients come from the forest. Like the hunting, for example, the free running, the climbing.  All of that comes from the forest and we transpose those ideas in the cities. So for me, it’s really the forest that’s my favourite.

 

SR: The Internet buzz says there’s a film adaptation in the works. Do you know anything about that?

 

JL: Ah, honestly – and this is the real answer, it’s not the ‘PR’ answer – I’ve been so busy with working on the single player portion of the game that I can’t really comment on anything going on around the game, unfortunately. I’m so focused on making this game.

 

 

SR: Do you have any favourite actors you’d like to see play them?

 

JL: I don’t know. I mean, there are a lot of good people out there. I just hope that it’s somebody who fits the character, you know, and that it’s true to the story that we’re telling. I wouldn’t necessarily want to see a big name actor. I would just want to see somebody who would play the role right, you know? I don’t have any examples, but for me that would be important, you know? To have somebody who stays true to the character – who doesn’t try to portray him differently from what he is.

 

SR: So, after Assassins 3, what is next for you guys?

 

JL: We’re all gonna be on vacation. A well-deserved vacation, for sure. I mean, we’re all gonna take some time to rest. What are the future plans for the franchise, the next stuff coming up or whatever? You’ll have to wait, and you won’t hear it from me because my job here is to talk about AC3; I can’t really comment about the future.

 

SR: Well, thanks so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.

 

JL:: Thanks to you and enjoy the game

 

Assassins Creed III will be available in Australia on October 31, 2012

Interview thanks to The Spotlight Report

 

 

by Joelene Pynnonen and The Spotlight Report

Event Cinemas at Garden City was all glammed up on Thursday the 30th of August in preparation for the foxy ladies from Fountain Lakes. Hot pink balloons served as a guide up the staircase to where the crowd awaited. Even an hour and a half before the event the atmosphere was charged with subdued excitement that spiked a little with the arrival of every new Kath, Kim or Sharon look-alike.

 Fluffy blond perms and netball outfits abounded, as did skimpy frocks and outrageous bling. While the costumed fans waited for the stars they paraded on the red carpet. Having their photos taken by friends and media alike, they looked good enough to rival the real thing.

It was not to be. Kath, Kim and Sharon arrived amidst a chorus of cheers; dressed in their usual splendour. Their presence caused such a furore that for the first five minutes of their arrival, I could see no more than an occasional elbow from my place on the red carpet.

Despite the commotion, we did get the chance to speak to the Kath and Kimderella stars briefly. In her leopard-print onesie, Kath seemed well-qualified to point out the finer points of Italian culture.

SR. So you’ve had an all-girls holiday, how was that?

Kath: It was great! I mean Sharon and Kim aren’t the best travelling companions, because Sharon’s always sick and catching things and Kim is just a life-denying misery-guts. But I made the most of it. I tried to get away and have my down-time. A bit of me time.

SR. So how’d it go?

Kath: Oh, I just tried to run away from them as much as I could. But travel and me go hand-in-hand because I’m a very…I look around and I see. I’m very cultured. You know, I’ve done a lot of Tafe courses; I speak Italian, I’ve done art. In Rome we saw the Sixteenth Chapel, went to the Trevis fountain.  So we did the culture thing as well, so that’s me.

SR. So as far as the speaking Italian thing goes, were there any language barriers?

Kath: I did learn ‘neanco persono Jose’, which means ‘no way, Jose’. Because I got so many offers, you know.

Kim spoke of the difficulties faced by princesses like Kate Middleton and herself.

SR. Now we hear you’ve been having some lessons in being a princess. What would you say would be the most important one as far as that goes?

Kim: You know, I think being mean, I want to bring back capital punishment and ‘Off with your head’ because I want to say that as a princess. And I think K-Middy and me are on the same page with that one.

SR. Do you feel like maybe your rights are being violated because you don’t get to say that on a regular basis?

Kim: Oh, that’s right. I think people need more control. You know, I think people want – I think they want to be scared of their monarch so I think I’d be a pretty tough…Yeah, I’d be a tough monarch.

SR. What did you love most about Italy?

Kim: Well, I loved the guys ‘cos they all loved me. We did travel a bit. We went to Trevis fountain, the Colosseum, the Sixteenth Chapel. Yeah, it was really noice.

SR. How did Brett feel about all this?

Kim: Oh, Brett was ropable. He was left at home.

While Kath and Kim had been giving interviews Sharon was wowing the crowd with her gold-sequined netball uniform, posing for photos and signing signatures. Eventually she was persuaded to abandon her fans for a very short interview.

SR. Now we’re running a little bit late, so I’ll just ask the question on everyone’s mind. Holiday flings: did they happen?

Sharon: Ooh, look, I don’t pash and tell. Let me just say I had a fantastic time in Italy. You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

After some more photos, that was exactly what we did.

Red Carpet interviews by Joelene Pynnonen for MDPWeb and The Spotlight Report

Jupiters Casino was buzzing with energy last night as the stars took to the Red Carpet for the Gold Coast premiere of P.J. Hogan’s new film Mental.

The venue was busier than expected with fans lining up to see stars, Anthony LaPaglia, Rebecca Gibney and Lily Sullivan. Plenty of local celebrities attended the event, among them, Surfer’s Paradise band, Nine Sons of Dan and rockers Mental as Anything. Chai Romruen from the upcoming Secret of Mako Island was there for his first Red Carpet experience, along with co-star Ivy Latimer.

By the time the Mental cast arrived, fans had been gathered for close to an hour. They were not disappointed. Surrounded by the chatter of the crowd and flashing lights, the stars were relaxed and affable. They signed autographs, gave interviews and posed for photos, smiling throughout.

Though the event was running a little behind, we managed to ask P.J. Hogan, Rebecca Gibney and Lily Sullivan a few questions about the film and what it meant to them.

Director, P.J. Hogan, was warm and approachable when discussing his passion for Australian cinema.

Spotlight Report: Obviously this story’s is really getting back to the Australian culture and the Australian way of life. Why is that important to you?

 P.J. Hogan: Well, why isn’t it important to you? I mean, we’re Australian. I want to see Australian stories on screen. Especially comedy. I love Australian comedies, particularly if they’re irreverent and truthful. Well, which I hope this film is.

 SR: You also have a tendency to involve incredibly strong female characters. Where does your inspiration for them come from?

 P.J. Hogan: Well, I grew up with sisters. A lot of them.

 SR: Older ones?

P.J. Hogan: No, I was the oldest, so I got to boss them around. You know, up to a point. Once any girl reaches seven you really are their slave. But what can I say; women really are a big part of my life.

Packed to the Rafters star, Rebecca Gibney was all smiles as she arrived. She has a gracious manner that immediately sets those around her at ease. We talked with her about the challenges she faced acting the part of the Moochmore matriarch.

SR: You’ve said before that this was one of your most challenging roles, in what way was that?

Rebecca Gibney: It really made me go to places that I haven’t been to before. I’m playing a depressed mother of five so I have to so I had to go to some dark places. It was challenging, but wonderful.

SR. So was it that there was too much comfort in that or was it completely out of your comfort zone?

Rebecca Gibney: It was out of my comfort zone in the fact that P.J. Hogan is basically very specific to…Even if you think that you might have got it he’ll say, ‘no, do it again, do it again, do it again’. He’ll make you do it a thousand different ways and, end of the day, it’s the most fulfilling job.

Newcomer, Lily Sullivan, was very open and natural, joking and laughing with the media as she admitted that she was still new to all of this. Recounting her experience with the film, she was pensive without losing the humour that seemed to be a part of her.

SR. Was it daunting having so many big actors around you?

Lily Sullivan: Incredibly intimidating. Yeah, but amazing. What opportunities to have so many incredible talents.

SR. So not something you would do differently if you had it to do over again?

Lily Sullivan: Well, I think to think how I started and how I ended…I think I learnt so much over the process. I had basically four mentors; P.J., Rebecca, Toni and then Anthony. It was absolutely incredible.

SR. It’s a really whacky movie so what was your favourite scene in filming?

Lily Sullivan: Ooh. This one’s always really hard. Probably I would say the eating scenes because we got to eat solidly for about three hours, and it was a roast. I’m a massive fan of roast.

The cast went on to sign autographs and pose for pictures before attending a screening of the film.

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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