Chertsey, UK - 7th February 07 - A romantic comedy involving a cheating father, a hot tub and a dog has scooped the inaugural Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) Sims Shorts film competition, and will now be seen by thousands of cinema goers at Vue cinemas this month.
"Wild Christmas" by David Cresswell, beat a host of entries from devoted Sims fans and amateur film makers from the UK who entered the competition, designed to allow people the chance to create their own movies using their favourite video game. "Wild Christmas" will be shown at 58 Vue cinemas and on 175 screens across the UK for four weeks from 2 February, and its director has also scooped a £1,000 cash prize.
"Wild Christmas" film is a 2 ½ minute short created using the video capturing tools inherent in EA's massively popular The Sims 2 computer game. The film is a romantic comedy with a festive twist where a cheating man talks his way out of a sticky Christmas Eve situation involving a naked woman in a hot tub by using the family dog as an alibi.
The competition was judged by film director and photographer Rankin, comedian Ben Willbond, Vue sales and marketing director Mark De Quervain, and a representative from the Sims team at EA, Claire Ridley.
Explaining why "Wild Christmas" was chosen as the winner, Willbond said: "The winning entry stood out for me because it managed to tell a story successfully in a very short space of time. Afterwards you find yourself wanting to see more and for me that is the key. Short film, whether animated or not, is a very tricky medium because you have to be able to keep a viewer interested from start to finish. The opening sequence was excellent and will work wonderfully in a cinema. The editing and choice of shots complemented the subject matter perfectly."
Rod Humble, VP Head of Studio for The Sims Division, said: "David's movie demonstrates how Sims fans are passionate about the game and how fans around the world love to capture the stories they have created with the characters they love or love to be. The Sims Shorts competition also shows that the basic principles of film making can be just as easily applied to a video game and that it can have just the same emotional effect on viewers."
Winner Cresswell, currently a modern languages student, has been involved in theatre and film before, both as an amateur actor and director. He was introduced to the 'machinima' style of animation by his housemate, and both worked on ideas for the script. Cresswell said: "I loved using The Sims 2 to create a fun and original short and am absolutely thrilled and delighted that the judges enjoyed it too."
"Wild Christmas" is now available for available for download on www.simsshorts.com.
About Sims Shorts
Launched in November 2006, The Sims Shorts competition invited the UK public to submit a 2 ½ minute short film created using the popular Sims game as its platform.
Sims Shorts celebrated and introduced to the British public the growing online phenomenon, machinima, an increasingly popular method of filmmaking which combines filmmaking, animation and game development. Machinima allows anyone with a computer to put themselves in the director's chair and create a film with minimal budgets.
The Sims Shorts competition was launched by leading UK comedic talent, Mathew Horne and Ben Willbond who premiered their first machinima-style film, When Romantic Things Happen for No Apparent Reason and Everyone is Happy at the End. The film ran across the 75 Vue Cinema's involved in the competition and can also be downloaded at www.simsshorts.com and www.roosterteeth.com, one of the most influential and highly visited machinima sites online.
About The Sims
The Sims franchise celebrated its sixth anniversary in February. The game skyrocketed to the top of the charts when it began shipping to stores in February 2000 and quickly became a universal gaming and cultural phenomenon. The Sims PC based product and expansion packs were the best selling PC games of 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003. Translated into 17 different languages, The Sims has inspired seven top selling expansion packs. They include: The Sims Livin' It Up, The Sims House Party, The Sims Hot Date, The SimsOn Holiday, The Sims Unleashed, The Sims Superstar, and The Sims Makin' Magic. The Sims 2 shipped in September 2004 with sales already topping 5M units worldwide, it was the best selling PC game of 2004. The Sims 2 University shipped in March 2005, The Sims 2 Nightlife shipped in September 2005, The Sims 2 Open for Business shipped in March 2006. Combined sales for the franchise are approximately 70M units life-to-date. For more information on The Sims 2, visit http://www.thesims2.co.uk and for more information on The Sims franchise titles, visit http://www.thesims.com
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS BIGTM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2006, EA posted revenue of $2.95 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.electronicarts.co.uk. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at www.electronicarts.co.uk/press
About Vue Cinemas
Vue Entertainment is one of the UK's leading multiplex developers and operators of state of the art multiplex cinemas. Formed in May 2003, Vue is one of the fastest growing cinema companies in the country. Having acquired the Ster Century cinema chain at the end of April 2005, Vue now owns 58 multiplexes across the UK and Ireland and it has commenced a programme of building new multiplexes with the next 4 openings being Cleveleys, Lancaster, Exeter and Swansea in the next 6 months. The company has the most modern cinemas in the UK, with over 90% stadium seating and it recently won the prestigious award for International Exhibitor of the Year at Cinema Expo 2005.
Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG, POGO and The Sims are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.