Inside Choices is a weekly behind-the-scenes blog from the Pixelberry team. This week, we took the chance to reflect on our Hollywood U journey.
Not long ago, we released the final quest of Hollywood U (Pixelberry’s 2nd of 3 games), something I’d been a writer, story lead, and producer on. This big moment caused me to take a step back and remember the long journey we’ve made together.
We launched Hollywood U two-plus years ago in December of 2014. What’s crazy is that we did so in a matter of months. The energy in the office then was electric, with everyone scrambling around trying to hit their impossible deadlines.
We seem calm here, but the excitement on launch day was through-the-roof…
After our launch, we celebrated with an on-theme film festival. Several brave souls dug up embarrassing videos of themselves for everyone to watch.
The team has always been passionate about whatever it works on. And that passion comes through in cosplay… Recognize these characters?
…in dedication. Many of our writers wrote quests week in and week out. But we still managed to have fun together in our writing and in our brainstorms.
…and in collaboration. Here we are blitz-writing hundreds of dates for HWU’s Couple’s Corner. It was a very busy lunch.
The best part of Hollywood U was, well, all of you. Your creativity and enthusiasm – expressed through fanart, headcanons, ships, and messages – was what drove us to keep writing and doing our best. Eddie, who you might know from our livestreams, had this to say:
“To all the HWU players, thank you for all the love you’ve given us, thank you for the hours of livestreaming, and thank you for this adventure that was a big part of my life.”-Edward
Some of you have already played the Hollywood U finale and even reached out to us about how the game has influenced you. That means the world to us. The next game update for Hollywood U will be its last, and weekly quests will no longer be released… but the spirit of Hollywood U continues to burn bright.
And for those Choices players who have no idea what I’m talking about… I hope you’ll take a minute to check out Hollywood U and see this awesome game now that the story is complete. There’s literally hundreds of hours of romance, adventure, and Hollywood excitement that we’ve poured our hearts into bringing to life.
When I look around our office, I see the Choices team dedicating the same hard work, creativity, and love that they put into Hollywood U. As we shift focus to Choices, the team will grow and evolve, but our love for storytelling remains the same.
It’s been a long journey, but we’re glad we made it with you.
In a roundtable interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Lena Dunham (Girls), Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) and Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) dished on sexism, racism, performing in comedy and still fighting the trope that women aren’t funny. Their discussion was as hilarious as it was thought provoking.
Hi Sam! Random question I've always wondered about, which I think you might be eminently qualified to answer given what you've mentioned about your research at work: how accurate do you think the net worth estimates of particularly wealthy people are? For example, one site suggests that RDJ's net worth is $240 million. Based on what you've learned in your research of the super rich, is that likely to be way overstated, probably about right, or possibly even under-estimated?
Estimating net worths of people is literally what I do for a living so you are RIGHT TO ASK ME THIS, Anon.
Here’s the short answer: It’s probably not that wrong. If you want to know why I say “not that wrong” instead of “correct”, read onwards! :D
The long answer is complicated. In part it depends on who’s doing the estimating; automated wealth estimations are available for pay through a number of sources (WealthEngine, for example) but are carried out by computer and have no sense of nuance, so they’re not very good. Forbes, on the other hand, has people with financial training doing the estimating, and they are aware of stuff like whether someone’s real estate is going to realistically reflect their wealth (Richard Branson: yes, because he owns an island. RDJ? Probably not, for reasons I’ll get into in a second) but Forbes also tends to base its current estimates on past estimates so you have to tread carefully. Journalism that falls somewhere in the middle – it’s a person doing the estimating, but perhaps not a person with extensive financial research/document training – are usually in the ballpark, but they try not to get too granular. Then again they may have expertise in entertainment earning, which in this case could be a help.
But let’s talk about estimation itself. There are certain things we can never know for sure: bank balances, for example. Journalists who do this kind of work generally have to stick to public record, which can be informative, but is never the full picture. And a lot of people will discuss their net worth, but we have no way of knowing if they’re being truthful. Plus, for the work I do, our estimates are not precise: they fall under “bands” that encompass X value to Y value – net worth of $1M to $4.9M, for example. And after $1B we basically give up because how much detail do you need once someone’s a billionaire?
So, estimation. There is a readmore below! Read more!
Y/N L/N: Hollywood’s Newest Darling? By Zev Darling
“It’s awards season and with the Oscars coming up in two weeks, everyone has been placing bets and predictions on who will win.
So far the nominations have been the usual suspects, but there’s one movie causing a lot of buzz. Whirlwind has been one of the highest grossing movies at the box office so far this year. For those of you unfortunate enough not to see the film, it is a gripping story dealing with themes of family, love, and many social issues facing us today, all cleverly hidden in an action packed science fiction world. The main character, a young woman by the name of Macey, discovers the deep dark secrets of her “utopian” world in the not so distant future, sending her on a journey of self discovery, love, and a few badass fight scenes.
Directed by Brian Falstadht, the visionary behind the cult classic, Look Up, critics set the bar high, and were not disappointed. The film was written by Katie Callaghan, who is likely guaranteed more contracts for her screenplays in the future after Whirlwind garnered a Best Picture nomination. Y/N L/N plays the heroine, her stellar breakout performance gaining her attention and even a good shot at winning Lead Actress at the upcoming awards. She starred opposite fan favorite, comedic dreamboat Robert Reid, best known for playing the titular, fourth wall breaking anti-hero, Killswitch. Reid is confirmed for Killswitch 2, to be released next summer.
Meanwhile, rumors have been flying since the film’s premiere about what Y/N will be doing next, from an action franchise to rom-coms to her own television show. Whatever Miss L/N picks to be her next project, she’ll have fans and critics waiting with baited breath.”