How This Emotional Xbox Video Made Outside of Microsoft Came to Be – GameSpot
Director John Wikstrom posted an incredible short about a kid, his father, and an Xbox two weeks ago, and now we know the story behind that video, thanks to an article from AdWeek.
“Player Two” starts with a message that says its story is from a comment posted on YouTube. It’s about a kid who finds the Xbox his now-deceased father bought and discovers the racing game, RalliSport Challenge, that he and his dad played together. We don’t want to spoil it any further, so you can find out what happens next in the video below.
Wikstrom had been working as a treatment designer for commercial directors and originally intended to make a commercial of his own. However, after seeing the aforementioned YouTube comment, he changed his plans and started work on the short embedded above.
“It was this beautiful comment, [a]nd I remembered thinking it would be great if there was some way to do it,” said Wikstrom, who used the comment word-for-word. “The comment itself is so beautifully written, and this is that guy’s story. I wanted to be respectful to it.”
He got help from cinematographer Idan Menin and actor Zac Pullam, shooting the video in L.A.’s Angelino Heights neighborhood. The video is nearing one million views on YouTube and has over 500,000 plays on Vimeo. The YouTuber who posted the comment has since reached out and thanked Wikstrom. The director says he even heard from “someone high up” at Microsoft, who praised his work. AdWeek contacted Xbox head of game marketing Aaron Greenberg, who said the short “is really inspiring.”
“Connecting players through gaming is one of the best rewards of creating video games, and stories like this are always touching and inspire us to do our best work,” Greenberg said. “We applaud this fan’s courage in sharing his story and the filmmaker’s artistry in bringing it to life so vividly.”
Xbox head Phil Spencer has also tweeted to share the video, though he did not comment on it.
You can read more about the emotional Xbox video over on AdWeek.