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NAB to Host Creative Team Behind HBO's "The Last of Us" for In-Depth Session on Editing, Cinematography, VFX, and Sound

Adapting a video game into a movie or television series can be quite the challenge. When it comes to condensing a game’s expansive narrative into series the producers must carefully select and trim plot elements, inevitably leaving out certain details or fan-favorite moments. Film and television production require audiences to passively watch the story, making it tough to maintain the same level of immersion and connection to the characters.

The NAB 2023 Show will host a session presented by American Cinema Editors, featuring the creative team behind HBO’s “The Last of Us.” The session will take place on Sunday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and will include discussions on editing, cinematography, visual effects (VFX), and sound in the hit series. Executive producer Craig Mazin, editors Timothy Good and Emily Mendez, cinematographer Ksenia Sereda, VFX supervisor Alex Wang, and sound supervisor Michael J. Benavente will participate in the session, moderated by Carolyn Giardina, tech editor at The Hollywood Reporter.

Striking the right balance between staying true to the source material and appealing to a broader audience is another hurdle. Filmmakers have to walk a fine line, ensuring that the movie stays faithful to the game while also being accessible to those unfamiliar with it. Moreover, adapting the unique visual style and pacing of video games to a cinematic format can be quite the feat. Filmmakers must find creative ways to maintain the essence of the game while presenting it in a visually coherent manner.

Exploring the Commercial Success and Impact of “The Last of Us” Video Game Phenomenon

The participants have an extensive background in the industry, with Mazin winning multiple awards for his work on “Chernobyl.” Timothy Good is known for editing various TV series, including “The Umbrella Academy” and “Fringe,” while Emily Mendez has worked on “The Resident” and “Light as a Feather.” Ksenia Sereda is a renowned cinematographer, and Alex Wang has worked for leading VFX studios on projects like “Deadpool” and “Jurassic World Dominion.” Michael J. Benavente is an Emmy-winning sound supervisor who sits on the Sound Branch Executive Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The NAB Show, held in Las Vegas from April 15-19, 2023, is celebrating its centennial year as a leading conference and exhibition for the broadcast, media, and entertainment industries. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is the premier advocacy association for America’s broadcasters, advancing their interests through advocacy, education, and innovation.

The event, in partnership with Broadcast Beat Studios, will present NAB Show LIVE via a remote-production broadcast that will feature exhibitor interviews, demos, and other on-floor events. The live stream, hosted by industry professionals, will be available on the NAB Show website.

“The Last of Us” Video Game Phenomenon Adapted into an HBO TV Series

“The Last of Us” is based on the critically acclaimed action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony. Released in 2013, the game follows Joel and Ellie in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a fungal infection. Combining action, stealth, and survival horror elements, players must use limited resources strategically to overcome various challenges.

The game has been highly praised for its storytelling, characters, and gameplay. It quickly became one of the best-selling video games on the PlayStation 3, with over 1.3 million units sold within its first week of release. By July 2014, the game had sold over 7 million copies on the PlayStation 3 platform.

With the release of the remastered version for PlayStation 4 in 2014, the game’s sales continued to soar. As of September 2021, “The Last of Us” has sold over 20 million copies across both platforms, making it one of the best-selling video games of all time.

From Pixel to Silver Screen: A Look at Successful Video Game to Movie Adaptations

Several video game franchises have been successfully adapted into movies, garnering attention from both gaming and film audiences. One notable example is the 1995 film Mortal Kombat, based on the popular fighting game series. The movie captured the essence of the games with a blend of martial arts, action, and fantasy. Although it received mixed reviews, Mortal Kombat became a commercial success and developed a cult following over the years.

The 2001 film Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie as the iconic adventurer Lara Croft. This film brought the action and exploration of the popular video game series to the big screen, achieving box-office success and leading to a sequel in 2003. The franchise was rebooted in 2018 with a new film adaptation featuring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, which also enjoyed commercial success.

The Resident Evil film series, based on the survival horror video games by Capcom, is another successful adaptation. The first film, released in 2002, starred Milla Jovovich as Alice, a character created specifically for the movies. The franchise became a commercial hit, spanning six films and grossing over $1 billion worldwide. A new reboot film, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, was released in 2021, taking a closer approach to the source material.

Managing the high expectations of fans and critics alike can be daunting.

With the history of poorly received video game adaptations looming in the background, filmmakers face immense pressure to deliver a successful movie. Navigating these expectations while crafting an entertaining and engaging film is no small task but the HBO team managed it better than almost any other with “Last of Us”.

The game was met with critical acclaim, lauded for its engaging storyline, gameplay, stunning visuals, exceptional sound design, captivating score, well-developed characters, and positive representation of female characters. The show has garnered widespread praise, reflected in its Metacritic critic score of 84. The show’s impressive rating is a remarkable accomplishment.

Exploring the Canadian Connection: The Last of Us Shifts Production Locations

From its initial production in Calgary to its recent shift to Vancouver for the second season, the series continues to utilize the country’s diverse landscapes and locales, showcasing the beauty and versatility of Canada as a filming destination.

The series commenced filming in the summer of 2021 and concluded about a year later. During this period, the production took place at various locations in Calgary, including Mount Royal University and SAIT. Additional scenes were captured in Okotoks, High River, Fort Macleod, and Edmonton, where the Alberta Legislature building was draped in vines.

The show features renowned actors Pedro Pascal from The Mandalorian and Bella Ramsey from Game of Thrones.


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