This year marks a new history for the Indonesian gaming industry. The DreadOut movie has been released nationwide and becomes the first movie title adapted from Indonesian popular PC game IP.
The reactions to the movie are so far so good. Only one week after its release, the movie can attract more than half a million viewers from across Indonesia to come to the theatre and enjoy the movie. Measuring the popularity of the game, we’re pretty sure that the number will continue growing in the future.
Originally, DreadOut is a horror PC game developed by Bandung-based studio, Digital Happiness. When talking about the PC game history in Indonesia, DreadOut should be on top of our mind because it’s one of the first Indonesian games that can successfully be released on Steam. Not only that, DreadOut is also the first Indonesian PC games that succeeded in its crowdfunding campaign via IndieGoGo.
The game was also successfully sold around half of a million copies on Steam. From that milestone, Digital Happiness then collaborated with other creative industry’s stakeholder to brings DreadOut into other media such as webcomic and movie.
Recently, we had an interview with Rachmad Imron, the founder of Digital Happiness, DreadOut game’s creator. Rachmad told us much about how the movie’s development, what his take on that, and also his plan for the future of DreadOut.
Collaboration to bring the project comes to life
In the beginning, Rachmad told us about how the movie started. “We’ve received many offers from Production House and producers to develop DreadOut movie,” said Rachmad. “But maybe, we don’t have the same vision until we meet Kimo Stamboel, and then we trust him to adapt our game into a movie under the Mo Brothers banner, ” he continued
Mo Brothers is a nickname for Indonesian director duo Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel that are usually known for their slasher/thriller genre. After being collaborated in Headshot, each of them chooses his own path. The last project in which that they collaborated was The Night Comes For Us when Kimo was credited as the Producer and Timo as the Director.
For the DreadOut movie, Kimo formed a new studio called Goodhouse with Wida Handoyo from Nimpuna Sinema and Edwin from Angkasa Sinema. “Long story short, under Goodhouse, then, they tried to find the right investment partner for this project. And Lyto (one of the Indonesian biggest game publisher) was the first partner who had a commitment to support this project,” said Rachmad.
Digital Happiness’ role in the movie
As the original creator of the DreadOut, surely Digital Happiness has a vision for the movie. But Rachmad said that it didn’t have any strict rules on how the movie would look like. “In the beginning, in fact, we gave creative freedom for Kimo to adapt DreadOut to the big screen. But along the development when they had CJ Entertainment on board as a partner, CJ Entertainment had some input for the script,” said Rachmad.
Turns out, one of CJ Entertainment people was a big fan of DreadOut. He had played it and thought that the script draft was actually not a DreadOut anymore. The script was good, but they thought it wasn’t like the real DreadOut.
Rachmad also explained that the first script was budget-wise by eliminating some details from the game. “The script was only focused on the soul of DreadOut. The DreadOut universe is very big and CGI-heavy, so the budget will increase if they try to put it all into the movie. So that’s why Kimo eliminated some details from the game,” he explained.
But when CJ Entertainment came on board in this project, they wanted to include more elements from the game. So Kimo updated the script to make the movie has more elements from the game like we can see today.
So, what is Digital Happiness’ main role in this movie? “We only gave the universe and lore details. We also gave some feedback about the game’s element in the movie such as the character’s ability, why the protagonist uses the smartphone, etc,” said Rachmad.
“The production house always sent us the updated script to consult with us. After we gave the feedback, it’s up to them whether they can implement it in the movie or not,” he ended.