Photo by Lars Mårtensson (DICE)
”The best shots are always the ones you didn’t plan for”
Video EditorOne of the DICE in-house video editors, Marcus Johansson’s job is to compress the hundreds of man months that go into creating our games into epic 90-second trailers.
“I’ve always loved creating short videos in games, especially the Battlefield series. I started recording my own fan videos back in 2002 when Battlefield 1942 was released. I primarily made stunt videos, showing off my team’s skills with the different vehicles in the game. In 2006 with the release of Battlefield 2, I wanted to create something special. The result was a short video series that we called “Mine”.
The response to the videos was great, and it turned out one of our biggest fans was none other than Lars Gustavsson, Lead Designer on Battlefield 2. The buzz lead to me eventually being hired by DICE. Suddenly, I was part of the three man video crew creating the official Battlefield trailers!
Coming from the community, I think I have an understanding of what people want to see in our trailers, and I get almost immediate feedback from the viewers. It only takes a few days from a video is rendered in its final version until you can release it and read the viewer comments. Reading comments, positive and negative, is always fun and often gives me an idea of what people want to see next.
At DICE, you’re surrounded by creative people. We always try to figure out new ways to present our games, and I love sitting down with the video team to discuss different ideas. There’s a very flat hierarchy — even if you just started working here, people will still listen to all of your crazy ideas.
Creating videos means getting the right mix of what we need to show and what the gamers want to see – often there is no distinction between the two. But the best shots are always the ones you didn’t plan for. The Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Launch Trailer is a perfect example. I had this idea for a scene where a soldier was to shoot down a helicopter using his RPG. The chopper was simply supposed to blow up.
When recording the scene, we had two choppers flying towards the RPG soldier on the ground. He fired his rocket, and there was an explosion alright. But instead of blowing up, the helicopter that got hit started spinning violently and passed just a few inches in front of the other heli. It was a totally epic moment that we hadn’t planned for, and it became the money shot of the entire trailer. We usually have at least one of these unplanned “Battlefield Moments” in every trailer that we create.
A simple idea turned into an amazing shot. A fan made video turned into a job as video editor. Being here at DICE, doing what I do, is a dream come true.”