A few years ago, we covered Steven Spielberg’s Director’s Chair, a 1996 full-motion video game meant to help players learn the movie director’s craft by playing around with footage of Jennifer Aniston, Penn and Teller, and Quentin Tarantino acting their faces off in grainy pre-recorded clips. Now, thanks to Paolo Pedercini’s efforts, Director’s Chair has returned as an interactive movie you can enjoy in full through your browser.
Rather than give players the impossible task of trying to wrangle a fully customizable performance—or a scene that doesn’t play like a fever dream—out of a digital Tarantino, Pedercini’s version works more like a movie with branching paths. In his slightly renamed Steven Spielberg’s Director’s Choices, players watch the original game’s raw footage and, at certain points, pick between two options. Jennifer Aniston watches Penn and Teller do a magic show in a tiny, dimly lit bar, and, once she volunteers to come on stage, we can direct the show to get either “Creepy Magician” or “Appropriate Magician” (which seems like sort of a false binary in our experience with magicians).
Later on, we get to pick whether we want “Serious Tarantino” or “Comedy Tarantino” in a scene where he (wearing a black and white striped cartoon prison uniform, of course) digs through a cake shaped like a gun in hopes of finding an actual gun for a jailbreak. The difference between these two options, as the clip below shows, are very important to get right.
Pedercini unpacked his process on Twitter, describing how he pulled the original game’s videos from CD while adding in sound and upscaling everything to make it look better on modern computers. He ends the thread by writing, “Very stupid project, I don’t recommend.”
Ensure Pedercini’s work wasn’t in vain—and enjoy watching what could very well be Tarantino’s hammiest performance to date—by watching/playing through Director’s Choices for yourself.
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