2012/10/30

Interview with Szilárd Matusik, the director of “Moleman2 – Demoscene”

I did an email interview with Szilárd Matusik, the director of “Moleman 2 - Demoscene - The Art of the Algorithms” (the one I mentioned in my previous post).

…Why did he choose ‘demoscene’ as a theme? …why did he pick that demo? …and most importantly, where is his “must-see” address in Hungary…? J 
Enjoy!

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What is your relationship with demoscene? How did you come across this scene?

I was never really deep into the demoscene. I mean, I never was a member of any groups, or never made any demo. First time I saw a demo was when I was around 12-13 yrs old. There were computer related magazines with CDs, and we found some demos in these. We didn't know what those are, but we just thought, “Hey, these are really amazing stuffs!" :D

In my high school ages, I was interested in 3D graphics as a hobby. I used to live in the countryside, so there were not so many guys who shared the same hobby. I got to know other guys interested in 3D graphics through the internet. There were some guys on a mailing list related to 3D graphics, and they were sceners. That's how I came across the scene.

Around this time, I attended a demoparty in Germany (Mekka Symposium), which was the biggest party in the world back then, I think. I also attended Flag, a Hungarian demoparty in Budapest. I made some 3D graphics for these 2 parties, but these were my only stuffs released in the scene.

Then I moved to Budapest, and studied at the Technical University of Budapest. So it's somehow strange, that I got closer to the scene in physical distance, but my activity got reduced. (I was interested in other things.) I rarely followed the demoscene.


What was the first motivation to make this film? Why did you choose “demoscene” as your documentary’s theme?

We started making Moleman 1 with my friend Gábor Csépai (He is the reporter in Moleman 2) around 2008. It's about the modern subcultures of Budapest, like street-art, underground music, extreme-sports on the streets, etc. The idea of making some kind of TV series about these topics comes from Gábor who has a lot of friends in this underground world. After he couldn't find enough sponsors to make a TV series, I said “why don't we make a documentary with these guys just for fun?” So we started making Moleman 1. 

And when we were at the end of the post production, I thought “if we are going to make a new documentary about modern subcultures, the demoscene can be a really good topic”. Gábor knew nothing about the demoscene, so I showed him some demos, and we started making Moleman 2:D Gábor discovered the demoscene during the shootings.

I thought it will be a good topic because it's a really sub-subculture. People even don't know that the demoscene exist, and there was no such thing as a feature length of film about the demoscene before. So it was a topic with lot of exciting things.

photo: molemanfilm.com
How long did it take to make this film? You’ve been to many places and parties to shoot?

It took almost 2 years. But not the whole time was an active period. We made it in our free time, so there were months when we couldn't make anything due to our busy work schedule.
The active time we spent on could be around 1.5 to 2 months. We shot at 3 parties; Function in Budapest, Arok Party in the countryside, and Main in France. And we shot with the guys who are in the film.

There are some other footages from another parties in the film, but those are archive videos made by other sceners.


What was your impression of demosceners? Were they supportive towards your interview?

I can say that it was a great pleasure to make interviews with these guys. They are super cool and love to talk about the demoscene. There is a great community around the scene, and it was my most important task with this film, to show up at this community and meet the people, not just (seeing) demos.


Opening sequence covers the history of demo works and there are many more sequences of demo works in your film. Was it fun to pick and edit for the film? Or were you overwhelmed by the countless choices? How was the process like?

Murphy (you can see him in the film) made a huge list for me with the names of the most important demos from the beginning of the demoscene to nowadays’. So I started to find demos for the film using that list. And it was a big help for me. I also checked the different top list on pouet.net.

It was a great fun to select demos and intros. Although there are around 150 demos showed up in the film, it was not always an easy question which to select and which to not.

It may be a tough question… what is your favorite demo?

I don't have 'THE ONE' favorite. I like many (of them). I really like the demos from ASD. They make really spectacular and entertaining demos. And I also like demos from Conspiracy, Farbraush, and so on:) But I can say, I can find many-many groups who have amazing demos. So it's hard to choose one.

OK, then what about the most memorable demo?

The first demos I can remember were 'lamer demos'. This was a category in Hungary for simple but funny wild demos. They made some simple cartoon animation with funny dialogues, and I remember one which was a funny tale with “Mulder and Scully” from the X-files series. 

But the most amazing demos from that time were the 64k intros. I really like them. These were made before the 3D graphics cards and don't contain too many 3D objects, but have really cool coded effects.

Do you have any particular message that you want to send through this film?

I just want to show the demoscene to the people. There are so many talented people in the scene, and so many amazing works, and there is this really lovely community. People have to know about it. And on the other hand, I want to inspire people through this film to start making their own artworks.

Addition to demoscene, you have introduced some Hungarian culture in this film. For people who get interested in visiting Hungary by this film, will you recommend your “must-see” address in Hungary?

There are a lot of things you can visit in Hungary. It depends on the people, and what kind of things they want to see. But to say something which is related to the film, they should visit Szimpla Kert, which is a really famous, so called ruin-pub in Budapest. We shot a scene there, where Zioa, Murphy and Gargaj are talking, and you can see computer monitors on the wall. A lot of foreign people visit that place, and that's really cool :D But of course you can't miss the sights of the city and the Hungarian cuisine if you visit Budapest.


Szimpla Kert  Photo: Flickr by currystrumpet


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Hmm…Murphy’s huge list… wonder how long was it:D

Szilárd has been responding my message very kindly since my first contact. Thank you so much for this interview and your work!

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