The making of ‘Melbourne the Next Level’, a PAXAus 2014 trailer


This project is a collaboration between Acacia Chapman & Dann Lewis from Deakin University.

I’m not a gamer. Dann is the gamer. My name is Acacia Chapman, and together, with Dann Lewis, we created a video to capture the experience of the PAX Expo in Melbourne 2013.

Unlike Dann, I was unsure of what I was about to witness. Was the expo going to be loud? Was it going to be busy? Was it going to be stressful? These rhetorical questions may sound silly; but to me, a third year film student, these questions lingered until I witnessed the line—the Ouroboros—or as I’d like to call it, my first boss fight.


I cannot begin to comprehend or understand the hard work that went into bringing the PAX expo to life, but I can, however, digest that the gaming community in Melbourne is alive with talent, and creativity.

Listening to a variety of conversation between Dann and several indie developers, I became mesmerised with the local development of video games. Everyone has that sparkle in their eyes when given the opportunity to test out a new game, or take away a memento of their new gaming experience—and it is that very sparkle that intrigued me about the expo. I wanted to present this special moment in every gamer’s life whereby he/she are brought together in one friendly, and warm environment.


Dann writes—I film, and I wanted to present a personal journey (or invitation to viewers); an expo through an un-identified characters eye—a first person rendition of the common gamer; a concept that captures the journey of someone who visited Melbourne to attend the PAX expo. The viewer is taken through the story, and is invited to see a glimmer of Melbourne, and more importantly, the expo itself through a variety of camera shots.
It was our goal to make this film as real possible, whilst still conveying the overall energy, and enthusiasm of the event. The editing, and music gives a decent indication of the way PAX Melbourne expo 2013 made me feel—I couldn’t help but be transported into an exciting adventure of passionate game-play.


We did our very best to capture the cosmic energy of the event, but in saying that, there were too many fantastic fragments of the expo that one cannot simply export into words, or film. It is an experience, and we hope that you sit back, relax, and enjoy a little of what is to come later this year.


Author: Dann Lewis
Creative Writing PhD student at Deakin University + Writer + Gamer + Cyberpunk
Twitter: @DNN_Lewis

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