15 October 2010 | Gonzo_Knight
A superb look at all aspect of movie making. Way ahead of its time.
First, and foremost, this is an educational simulation game, and a unique one at that. While it does have some aspects of a management game, the focus is clearly on showing you what it takes to make a film in Hollywood.
While it not meant to replace a film school it is pretty successful as an overview of all the major steps of the filmmaking and marketing processes.
The game doesn't tell you what to do because it's limited. Rather, being a pretty in-depth educational tool, it guides you through all the correct stages of pre-production, filming and post-production. Being a big film fan, I really appreciated this aspect as well as the fact that I was able to edit both the footage and sound effects in any order I wanted. While the game is obviously dated by the technology that was available at the time of its making - this is most obvious at the times when the audio content starts to repeat, overall it's kind of impressive how much they were able to accomplish. The scope is great and the editing tools are quite sophisticated. Despite the fact that it's not fully interactive and has its low points I really felt like I learned a lot about the filmmaking process through this game and that's a pretty big complement.
Seeing actual film professionals and film stars make appearances is a lot of fun too.
Actually, having played through and finished this game I have to say that it is nearly impossible not to notice that Lionhead Studios' "The Movies" game really ripped off many aspects of "Steven Spielberg's Directors Chair". They've obviously played it which is evident in the fact that both games rely on financial, pre-production, production and even post-production aspects of filmmaking. Seriously, once you get really deep in the game some of the similarities become quite uncanny.
I also would like to warn the users that getting this game to run on later version of Windows may be difficult. You have to switch to 256 color mode and enable Compatibility Mode. After that if the game starts crashing after the intro movie you may have to play around with the settings for a bit. Pretty soon, though, the game should run without much giving you too much trouble. Just to be on the safe side, remember to save your progress after you've made significant changes to your project - good thing that there's nearly an endless number of save slots that are available to you.
Once you get this game running, however, I'm sure you will enjoy all that it has to offer.