Documenting the Past: Behind-the-Scenes With A Few PlayStation Classics

Sony’s film division has been attempting to adapt the Uncharted franchise for the big screen for quite a few years now. In that time, a large number of writers and directors have cycled through the production, and several very different actors have signed on to play Drake at one time or another (Spider-Man‘s Tom Holland is currently slated to play a younger version of the character in a film that’ll serve as a prequel to the game franchise).

That protracted process is likely part of the reason why Sony Interactive Entertainment decided to bring their next set of game adaptations in-house under the new PlayStation Productions banner. The studio was formed earlier this week, and its first task will be to create a television show based on the Twisted Metal series, but that won’t be the first bit of filmmaking to bear the PlayStation logo.

From short films to full-length features, Documenting the Past tunes in to the history of video games through a documentarian’s lens.

In 2014, Sony helped produce Grounded: The Making of The Last of Us, a feature-length documentary that explored how The Last of Us translated Naughty Dog’s unique philosophy into one of the best games of this decade. Featuring interviews with programmers, writers, artists, and actors, Grounded is an interesting look at how a studio builds a AAA game:

Naughty Dog put their heads down after finishing up with The Last of Us, but the developer briefly came up for air to celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2014. And Sony’s documentarians were there once again to produce a short film that rediscovers the team’s unique history.

Speaking extensively with co-founders Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin, the Naughty Dog 30th Anniversary Video looked back at the studio’s early days developing for the Apple II (including Ski Crazed and Dream Zone), before jumping into the PlayStation Era with Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune:

Sony’s chroniclers took a few years off after that, but they came roaring back earlier this month with Raising Kratos, a full-length documentary that discusses the “Herculean effort” that Sony Santa Monica undertook to bring 2018’s God of War to fruition. Game Director Cory Barlog, and many others, are on on hand to discuss how an angry and violent caricature of a hero became a conflicted and complicated father:

Thanks to Sony for producing these videos over the years, and I’m sure there are plenty of fans out there who would love to see more of this kind of documentary filmmaking from the consolemaker (and their PlayStation Productions studio) in the future.

Author: John WZ

John Scalzo has been writing about video games since 2001. He launched Warp Zoned, a news and reviews site, in 2011. He always had an interest in game history, and began building the Video Game Canon in 2017.