BAFTAs 2011; as the hangovers wear off…

March 18, 2011, Author: Bryony Stewart-Seume

The dust is settling on the excitement of Wednesday night; the annual GAME British Academy Video Games Awards. There were cheers, laughter, almost some tears and there were even some awards handed out. We all know now who the winners and losers (sorry; ‘runner-up’) were, but were there any surprises?

This year; our second at these awards, we had full red carpet access. Faithful readers (especially those with a good memory) will remember that last year I spent a reasonable amount of time sneaking about trying to listen in on people’s interviews, etc, while also trying extremely hard not to get thrown out. The experience was quite the opposite last night; I was shown to a spot behind a velvet rope, in full view of the doors through which the great and the good would be arriving. We even had some of the events organisers running around asking if there was anybody in particular we wanted to speak to, including nominees. I yelled for Russell Shaw, nominated for his original music work on Fable III and instantly panicked that I might not have anything to ask. I reminded myself that I love his work, so it ought be be like chatting to a friend. The thought kept me going, anyway.

Anyway, that aside; I may be wrong, but I did notice the previous year that the nominees were largely ignored when compared to the non-industry celebrities, which at the time I thought was wrong. It may sound slightly holier-than-thou, but I would far rather ask someone in the industry where their inspiration comes from, or what they are working on, etc, than someone who, however nice they happen to be, is attending for other reasons. So the point is that I am glad that the actual stars of our industry are getting a bit more recognition at their own awards show.

Assassin’s Creed led the nominations with a total of seven, and were looking understandably happy but nervous on the red carpet. When asked about their current project, they were tight-lipped; when pressed on the subject (not by me) the lips were noticeably tighter. The tension was diffused by one of their delegation smiling a winning smile and saying that telling us anything would be like spoiling Christmas. Revealing games (or even minute details) is an art; do it to soon and you run the risk of over hyping it; do it too late and people might not pick up on it in time. I feel sure that the date of the reveal is already set; if it wasn’t set for the BAFTA awards, no news would be forthcoming. Anyway, here is a nice picture of the Ubisoft delegation to make things a little better.

No news on the next game; all in good time, chaps.

I felt a teensy bit sorry for Reece Ritchie of the Prince of Persia movie, as no one seemed to really know who he was. He seemed pleasant and if anything a bit shy, I didn’t manage to get any words with him and nor did I hear him speak with any one else, but here he is in his tux. Not the most flattering of pictures, though, so my apologies to Reece.

Reece Ritchie; a star for the future?

Danny Wallace also came by, and I managed to snatch a few words with him. He is a friend of this website; he remembered where he’d run into some of us before. He was kind enough to give us a special message, though I feel I put him on the spot, somewhat! He told us that he likes this site because it has a nice personal feel, and that delighted me because I think that is something that we strive for. We are people, and we have our own opinions, and we are encouraged to express them. If this is what we are trying to do, and people have noticed that, then I am a happy person. Here he is, with someone who drives very fast.

Danny Wallace and Ben Collins; or 'The Stig' to the likes of me.

It sounds a tad sycophantic, but none of the celebs said anything to annoy me this year. One in particular last year (whose name does not need mentioning here) got up my nose by implying that gamers were sad, sweaty men with no social lives, and no social skills. I felt that was a tad tactless at an event designed to celebrate the achievements of the gaming industry. Anyway, I am very sorry that I am unable to launch into a scathing attack on anybody.

The Stig. Or is it? How can we tell?

I decided to stick on the side of non controversy (I might have joined in if other people were doing it, though) and not ask Ben Collins about that lawsuit. I meant to call him ‘Ben Collins’ but silly me called him ‘The Stig’. I had to remind myself that The Stig is actually a character, and one who is very different to the man in the photo above. Both drive very fast, and they are probably about the same size (I’d guess Collins’ head is a bit smaller) but otherwise they are different men. Ben Collins came over as being well spoken and polite, although he did lose me a bit when he went into detail about his current setup for his upcoming Le Mans 24hr job. I am not stupid, but I didn’t follow everything. Stig; if you read this; it was a pleasure being baffled by you. Oh, and best of luck with the race.

The only man to get away with an open collar at a black tie event.

Finally for this article, here is Sir Ben Kingsley. I wrote down most of what he said in our Live Feed, but I wanted to share this picture with you. Being the arguably the most important of the non-industry types at the award show he arrived last, and as such did not have a great deal of time to chat to us. Although being ushered by one of the event organisers he was more than ready to stick around and chat for longer. I think he would have answered all our questions, had fate and Father Time not intervened.

So that, for the most part, is my report from the Red Carpet. I will post at least once more some in-depth transcriptions, so this article is a taster for you. I am already looking forward to next year’s event; I feel even more prepared now, and ready to take them all on.