Uwe Boll – The Man, The Legend, The Myth Talks with Michelle

Uwe Boll 2023 Interview

Uwe Boll 2023 Interview

I don’t care what anyone says, I think Uwe Boll gets an unfair amount of hate. It’s one thing not to like someone’s movies or body of work, it’s quite another to spend so much time attacking someone personally. As though they walked up to you and punched you in the face. Wait, Uwe did box some of his critics once, so nevermind. I recently had a chance to do an email interview with Uwe where we touched a bit on his career, what he thinks of critics and more. So here’s his response to my hard hitting questions.

For the record, I was the one critic on Rotten Tomatoes who loved Alone in the Dark. I loved the atmosphere you created and there was one sequence that was straight out of the game and I was like “You did the thing!” I just had to tell you that. I had a chance to tell Christian Slater my Alone In The Dark Story a few years ago and how I was universally hated for my review and he just laughed.

You are one of the most controversial directors of the 90s. Can you talk a little bit about why?

Controversy is an unavoidable part of the film industry. I have always been true to my vision and been willing to take risks, no matter the cost. I never shrank away from defending my work against critics or engaging in a boxing match with them. My love of storytelling is what drives me forward, no matter any potential backlash or controversy.

Personally, I never understood the hyperbolic reaction to your movies from various fans. Can you talk a bit about how this started and the reason for it?

My movies often received enthusiastic and hateful responses. After all, I am known as an unconventional figure within the film industry; perhaps that explains why my movies tend to divide audiences.

I’ve become known for my video game adaptations, which can often be challenging and be intensely passionate subjects for audiences. When a cherished novel is adapted into a film, the pressure of meeting fan’s expectations becomes palpable as their personal connections intensifies reactions and heightens the pressure. My filmmaking style and storytelling choices have always been unique and unconventional. I am known for pushing boundaries and taking risks when it comes to narrative and visual style; this often results in films with abrupt tonal shifts or exaggerated performances that often divide audiences.

I actually admire what you do. It may not always turn out great, but you were attempting to do something no one was doing at the time and that’s bringing video game IP to a whole new audience. Can you talk about how your passion for creating Video related films came to be?

Adapting video games to film represents an opportunity to challenge popular perceptions and stereotypes surrounding video games while also showing their artistic and storytelling potential. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, a filmmaker must have the passion for gaming as well as the knowledge and experience necessary to translate its interactive and immersive experiences into cinematic form. Additionally, a filmmaker should be open to taking risks and exploring uncharted waters when adapting video games, in order to discover new terrain and create unique visual styles.

It seems like after all your attempts at creating Video Game films, Hollywood may be on the verge of finally cracking the “code.” Can you talk a bit about your thoughts on modern gaming and how it finally seems to be breaking through to other media?

I have always recognized the cinematic qualities inherent in video games as a filmmaker. However, mainstream Hollywood has not shared my vision, viewing video game adaptations as mere money-making ventures devoid of artistic merit compared to traditional films. Nonetheless, I have persevered in my efforts to bring video game narratives to the big screen.

However, let us not get ahead of ourselves. While Hollywood may be making progress in accurately representing video game adaptations, I firmly believe there is still a significant distance to cover. Creating successful video game adaptations requires striking a delicate balance between remaining faithful to the source material and employing the art of filmmaking. It is not simply about recreating action sequences; rather, it is crucial to capture the emotional essence of the games.

Back in the day you challenged your critics to a boxing match, are you still in fighting shape and are there any critics/youtubers you’d like to fight today? 

I reflect on my memorable boxing matches with pride. They were vibrant events that showcased my unwavering spirit and determination to protect my work. I’m fit  but older  so lets say the days in the ring are over. Nevertheless, given the right circumstances, I would never shy away from a challenge.

How do you go about changing perceptions of your work and career?

Changing people’s views of my work and career has been a difficult journey due to the many strong opinions and criticism I face. However, I confront this challenge with determination and a firm belief in the artistic worth of my endeavors. Here are some strategies I have employed to try and change perceptions.

  • Changing perceptions can be achieved through consistent output that challenges preconceived notions. This is something I strive for by creating films that showcase my growth as a filmmaker and explore different genres and styles. My aim is to demonstrate my versatility and depth of vision.
  • I actively seek feedback and engage with viewers through platforms like social media, interviews, and film festivals. By listening to their thoughts, concerns, and criticisms, I gain insight into their perspectives. This allows me to address any misperceptions, explain artistic choices better, and create a more intimate bond between audience members and myself.
  • I willingly accept constructive criticism and use it to improve as a filmmaker. I value the opportunity to learn and grow as an artist by acknowledging and acting upon valid criticism.

Changing oneself and one’s ideas can take time and effort. It requires self-reflection and being open to new experiences. Initially, there may be resistance, but with persistence, artistic integrity, and genuine connection with audiences, it is possible to challenge preconceptions and change the narratives surrounding one’s work and career. What makes me happy is that if you check the audience ratings of my films at Amazon for example you will see that overall most of my films are 4 out of 5.

With so much time passed and all the old grudges between critics and you, how do you feel your old work would be viewed today? Especially in a world where suddenly, supposedly, everyone loves the Star Wars Prequels.

Critics have not always understood my vision. But when I see my royalties every year and recognize that my films still have thousands of showings in tv channels and streamers around the world – then I know they age well. In regards to the Star Wars Prequels, I believe people have now come to appreciate them. I have been calling them misunderstood masterpieces for months, just like my own work that was often disapproved of. However, the public’s love for these films demonstrates how quickly public opinion can change. In a world that highly values Star Wars Prequels, my own films would be considered revered classics. The bold choices, deep characters, and revolutionary storytelling would be admired, even if critics failed to recognize its brilliance. Consequently, I believe my previous work would receive the respect and appreciation it deserves in the Star Wars Prequels era. Finally, people would acknowledge my contribution once again, solidifying my vision once and for all.

How do you think the explosion in Streaming and the Streaming wars impacted the industry and you in particular?

The impact of streaming and the “streaming wars” on the film industry has been significant. One major benefit is that streaming platforms have given filmmakers a fresh platform to display their work. This has led to a greater exposure of diverse and independent content to larger audiences, which is a positive development. However, it has also led to an oversaturation of the market, with thousands of films vying for attention on different platforms.

The traditional distribution landscape has been changed by streaming, impacting filmmakers’ finances and revenue streams. Independent filmmakers who relied on theatrical releases for financing have seen their funding and revenue decrease. Streaming rights acquisition has become a bigger focus than theatrical release deals, creating challenges for independent films. Established studios and big budget productions now dominate distribution rights competition, making it harder for independent films to stand out in streaming markets.

The film industry has been both positively and negatively affected by the growth and proliferation of streaming. Independent filmmakers have benefited from new opportunities, but competition has become more intense and distribution strategies have undergone significant changes. I am striving to adapt to these changes while remaining true to my distinctive filmmaking style.

What is next for you?

Allow me to introduce my thrilling comeback with “FIRST SHIFT.” Get ready for an adrenaline-pumping journey into the gritty world of law enforcement right in New York City!

“FIRST SHIFT” is a crime drama that explores the lives of law enforcement officers in New York City. The series showcases their daily challenges and the sacrifices they make to ensure the city’s safety. The cast, led by Gino Anthony Pesi, brings this captivating tale to life. Pesi portrays an experienced detective with a troubled past, while Kristen Renton delivers a fearless performance as a rookie cop striving to prove herself in a profession that lacks representation.

“FIRST SHIFT” is an exhilarating journey into the dark world of crime and corruption. Throughout the story, you will witness the tireless efforts of law enforcement officers as they strive to uphold justice despite the emotional obstacles that constantly test their resolve.

I am dedicated to portraying New York City with authenticity, providing viewers with a realistic depiction of its gritty environment. The film will offer visually stunning scenes, packed with thrilling action sequences and suspenseful moments that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

With “FIRST SHIFT,” I am returning to my artistic origins, tapping into the innate emotions and human dramas that have characterized my earlier work. This film serves as a testament to my unwavering commitment to storytelling, as I strive to engage audiences on a deeply personal level.

You will be fully immersed in the intensity of the film, moved by the exceptional performances, and transported into the dark and perilous world of law enforcement.