Kickin’ it with Tommy Tallarico – Video Games Live Volume 3
If you like videogame music then this week’s interview is for you! We talked with Tommy Tallarico about his Kickstarter project for Video Games Live Volume 3
4cr: Hi Tommy! Thank you for joining us here at 4cr. Can you tell our readers who you are and what you’ve worked on?
I’ve been a video game composer and sound designer for over 23 years and have been privileged enough to have worked on over 300 games including such franchises as Earthworm Jim, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Prince of Persia, Disney’s Aladdin, Spider-Man, Metroid Prime, Sonic the Hedgehog, Madden Football, Blitz Football, Unreal, Pac-Man, James Bond, Knockout Kings, Mortal Kombat, Test Drive, Scooby Doo, WWE, Lineage, Twisted Metal & Time Crisis. I also co-created, produced and hosted 3 worldwide television shows about video games including the Electric Playground (started in 1995) which is the longest running video game television show in history.
I’m the founder, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.), which is a non-profit organization educating and heightening the awareness of audio for the interactive world (www.audiogang.org). I’m an Advisory Board member for the Game Developers Conference, a Governor for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS/GRAMMY’s), a spokesperson for the Entertainment Consumers Association, a proud member of the International Game Developers Association and a nominating peer panel leader for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.
In 2002, I created the first world touring symphonic video game concert… Video Games Live. My whole life, my two greatest loves and passions were always music and video games. That was all I ever thought about and dreamed about. It’s been an amazing honor and journey to be able to work in this industry for so long and I feel very fortunate to be able to continue doing it year after year.
If you want to read more, you can check my full bio here.
4cr: Video Games Live has done wonderfully in the past in terms of the live concerts and the merchandise offered to go along with the show. Why go to Kickstarter for Volume 3?
I put every cent we make directly back into Video Games Live to keep it going. I’m only ever interested in covering our costs. We spent over $750,000 to self-fund the PBS Special & DVD/Blu-Ray as well as our 2nd album. It was a GREAT victory for the video game industry to have something so artistic representing the game industry on such a prestigious and well known platform (90 million households in the U.S.!); so it was worth the risk, even though we never made back the investment. I would still do it the same way because of the massive positive exposure it brought the industry. I want to keep producing content, but no record company will spend the money these days and they feel that gamers are not willing to pay for music (they feel they will just steal it on the internet or listen on YouTube). So we’re hoping to prove them wrong! Kickstarter is really the only way to bring the folks more content without taking the risk of having Video Games Live go away forever (a risk I never want to see!).
The other reason is that we can offer SO MUCH MORE value for money by doing it this way. If you look at our tiers and rewards… I don’t think anyone has ever received more value on any Kickstarter! My goal was to at least QUADRUPLE the amount that people donate! You can’t do that by just doing it the traditional way where you just sell one album for $15 and that’s it. Folks who are spending $25 – $35 are getting $125 – $175 worth of music!! It’s pretty incredible. Again… we’re not interested in making money… just getting as much game music into the hands of people as possible!
4cr: All rewards tiers $5 and up include a digital copy of “VGL Bonus Rounds”. Can you please elaborate on what is included in this album?
These are songs that were either in video games (that the composers own) or are written by game composers and they never made it into a game because the game or level was canceled, etc. There are 20 songs from 13 different professional award winning video game artists!
4cr: Stretch Goals are always something that most backers look forward to since they love to get more out of their pledge. Have you considered any stretch goals for the Video Games Live Vol. 3 Kickstarter?
Yes. We have 2 right now. One for a mini documentary and the other for a full length feature film and concert.
4cr: You talk a lot about value for the money, but the KILL SCREEN reward (available for anyone with $1,000,000 to support Video Games Live Vol. 3 — includes one magic genie in a bottle, one Pandora’s Box, a slightly overweight Unicorn that poops rainbows, a Fairy with A.D.D., a slightly pregnant Mermaid and a Leprechaun with bad breath)? That sounds like way too much value for such a low pledge.
A lot of those beings have been hit hard by the recent economy and are willing to work VERY cheap.
4cr: What was it like working on the music for such an esteemed game as Aquaman?
Nothing compared to working on Color a Dinosaur!
4cr: Would you like to say anything else to potential backers before we wrap this up?
For sure! PLEASE check out the Kickstarter… I think you’ll be amazed at the HUGE value that is being offered. People are saying it’s the most value they have EVER seen in ANY Kickstarter. And even if you can’t pledge… it helps even more if you could post the link on Facebook/Twitter, e-mail gamer friends, etc.
Thank-you for the support!