The Internet is not without its fair share of Zelda fan films. The series, one of the most revered for 25 years now, has inspired some genuinely epic fake trailers and some really awful videos over the years. This year, things appear to be on the upswing. In late May, a group of young filmmakers attempted to decipher what almost no fans can agree on: the Zelda timeline. Though Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto has continually insisted that all of The Legend of Zelda games fit together in some sort of logical pattern, neither he or anyone else at Nintendo has ever been willing to share precisely how. With the time travel elements introduced in Ocarina of Time, it has only gotten more confusing, with broken timelines and split universes. Knowing that only one man could decipher it all, the guys had Doc Brown from Back to the Future explain the Zelda timeline in “A Link to the Future.” To view it, you may want to check out our original post or watch below.
Fascinated as I am with all things Zelda, I caught up with Director of Photography Sean Keller, Matthew Gunther, and Director/Actor Grant Duffrin (Link), who call themselves GMS Films, to poke their brains about the filmmaking process and their general Nintendo knowledge.
DT: So what inspired this? Why tackle the most convoluted storyline in gaming?
Grant: Because it’s the most convoluted storyline in gaming.
Sean: The Zelda timeline has always fascinated us, especially the idea of the split timeline, so we thought that making this film could somehow set the record straight, but also acknowledge how confusing the timeline can be.
Matt: The one timeline has always been of gaming’s more interesting puzzles and we really took off and ran with the challenge.
DT: How long did it take to plan out and film this? Was there a lot of research involved or are you guys hardcore enough to know most of the timeline already?
Sean: Grant had a lot of research to do because he wasn’t as familiar with the games as Matt and I, but he picked it up quick and I wouldn’t argue with him about the timeline now.
Matt: It took about a month and a half from conception to shooting.
Grant: And a little over a month of editing.
DT: It looks like you managed to fit almost all of the Zelda games in there. Are they actually all represented? Even Minish Cap, the Oracle Series, and Spirit Tracks?
Grant: The Oracle series are, but a few were left out for a couple different reasons, mainly because they were too straightforward to add any confusion to the timeline.
Sean: Most games are represented preceding the events of Ocarina of Time. We didn’t include Minish Cap because the theory is that it takes place before Ocarina and wouldn’t apply to our Link.
DT: Did you get stuck anywhere in the timeline? Any part really trouble you or make you wonder what the hell Nintendo was thinking?
Grant: Trying to connect the whole series was just a matter of finding the combination that created the least paradoxes. The most confusing part was trying to figure out which Links were the same Links, which I still have no idea about.
DT: Typically Link doesn’t talk in Zelda games, yet he seems a bit whiny in your video. Was there a debate on whether to make him talk?
Grant: YOU seem whiny.
Matt: I think there was a very brief one, but we decided the Marty McFly reference was too good to pass up.
Sean: We all knew that he needed to talk and shot some dialogue with Link saying “Excuuuuse me.” Having Doc show up at the moment where Link talks, and having Link sound like Marty Mcfly, makes it work.
DT: I’ve seen other videos from you guys about a real-life version of Smash Bros, etc. Are you hoping to continue to spoof games in the future?
Grant: Absolutely, you can expect to see more game videos very soon.
DT: Is there anything you’re working on now?
Grant: A gentlemen never tells. ;)
Sean: I’m collaborating on various writing projects, but nothing video game related, yet…
DT: Did I catch a Hook reference? (Descendants, descendants, descendants…)?
Sean: No, unfortunately it’s not a Hook reference, you’d have to dig a little deep for that to be. I think I know the moment you mean, when Hook says “Children’s, children’s, children’s.”
Grant: Link to the Future Part II: Hook to the Future.
DT: What’s your favorite Zelda game (or some of your favorites), as a gamer?
Matt: Gun to my head? Ocarina of Time.
Sean: Definitely Ocarina of Time, although Link to the Past and Twilight Princess are up there on my list.
Grant: The original Legend of Zelda. Why not?
DT: Have a 3DS? Plan to get Ocarina of Time 3D or Skyward Sword?
Matt: No, but I plan to get one some day. Yes, there are most definitely places to play OoT3D and Skyward Sword.
Sean: I don’t have a 3DS yet, still debating whether or not it’s for me. I may cave and get one just to play Ocarina of Time.
DT: Before we go, what are your thoughts on the Wii U?
Matt: Nintendo just keeps making the right moves. They’re pretty much solely leading the industry by the nose at this point.
Sean: I’m actually really excited for the Wii U. Nintendo knows how to make quality gaming for the family and hardcore gamers alike and this system follows that trend with some really cool features. Also, they announced a new Smash Bros so they can just take my money now.