A lovely interview with The Lord of Catan director, Stuart C. Paul, about the film short itself and how Amy & Fran got involved. :)
Articles & Interviews The Lord of Catan
Games can bring out both the best and worst in us. One minute you’re stealing fictional resources from someone, and the next you’re arguing about every mistake and disagreement you’ve ever had. It can get ugly. Stuart C. Paul’s Kickstarted short, The Lord of Catan, captures the passionate feelings on both ends of the spectrum that go hand in hand with gaming. The black comedy stars Amy Acker and Fran Kranz as a married couple who face off in “epic struggle for dominance” as they play the Settlers of Catan mobile game.
The Lord of Catan is funny, endearing, bizarre, and dark. It hits a lot of notes during its 13 minute run time, and all too many of them are relatable. We spoke with Paul about how the short developed, the challenges of filming with a limited set, and the surprising ending (I’ll keep it as spoiler free as possible).
Nerdist: Settlers of Catan is clearly a part of the short so I’m curious: was it an obsession or hobby of yours, or did it just happen to fit the bill for the story?
Stuart Paul: Usually the things I work on are from crazy whacked-out universes that populate my head, but every once in a while the universe slaps something right in front of you. It happens. You don’t need to put a lot of bells and whistles on it. I found out about the game through a friend who had it on her iPad, and that just got me hooked. I played the board game and then ended up getting the app for my iPad, and my wife and I would play it a lot. Then one night I was getting into it with her and we were just – it was just one of those perfect storms of screwing each other over [in the game] that escalated. It was funny as it was happening. And I realized, well, here is a contained movie about two people playing this game that I could make, and I didn’t really see much point in changing what the game was.
I wasn’t trying to make any statement about the game itself, but the way you try to teach someone the game – because I’ve been through this a number of times with friends – there’s an initial period of silence and confusion. Eventually the tide breaks, and they start to get into it and enjoy it. It’s a game that encapsulated a lot of, in a very simple concise way, a lot of the mind boggling rules that if you throw them out really fast can overwhelm people.
N: Tell me how Amy Acker and Fran Kranz got involved.