Naughty Dog’s Amy Hennig had a chat with the LA Times this week regarding how she went from being a student in film school to creating videogames.
Turns out, the videogame bug bit her hard while working as freelancer for Atari in 1989.
Apparently, the aspiring cinematographer with a bachelor’s in English Lit from UC Berkeley had a “light bulb moment” while working as a freelance on Atari’s Electrocop videogame, and decided that games were the way to go.
“It was purely for pay. But once I started, my wheels began to turn and I had a light bulb moment: that this was a more interesting and pioneering medium than film,” she told the paper.
This lead to a stint at Electronic Arts, where she became the lead designer on Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City after the previous lead quit.
As far as giving advise to others on how to break into the business like she did, she says hard work has more to do with it than luck, and you have to continue to be creatively flexible while constantly learning along the way.
“Everything I learned as an undergraduate with English literature and in film school about editing and shots and the language of film has come into play, but in a way I couldn’t possibly have planned,” she said.
“It’s a meritocracy in the sense that if you’re a hard worker and people see you have an aptitude, you get a shot usually. Then your fate is in your hands.
“This is an industry in which you constantly have to relearn things and almost start over. If you can’t do that, you don’t last”.
It’s a very good read, and it’s refreshing to see that someone as talented as Hennig still harbors a sense of wonderment and appreciation for her field after so many years in the business.
Hennig’s latest game, Uncharted 2 is up for a Writer’s Guild of America award.