Albert Hughes’ long road from beating pimps at NBA Live to filming the Crysis 3 web series

hollywood director albert hughes has a mid life crysis 3 trailer fromhollywood director albert hughes has a mid life crysis 3Director Albert Hughes is the older half of the Hughes Brothers Hollywood duo, although he’s older by only nine minutes. The Los Angeles based siblings hit a home run in 19913 with their first film, the gritty street drama set in South Central LA, Menace II Society, which paved the way for their followup up, the heist drama, Dead Presidents. After working on the HBO documentary, American Pimps, the brothers reteamed for a mainstream Hollywood adaptation of From Hell, based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel about Jack the Ripper. Most recently, the directing duo partnered with Denzel Washington on the Warner Bros. blockbuster, Book of Eli. Most recently, the duo set a small portion of the internet ablaze with the news that they were working on a live action version of the manga-turned-turned property, Akira. After nearly a year and a half though, the brothers announced that they had left the project, which is now in limbo. 

Following from , the Hughes brothers decided to work on separate projects. While Allen has the 2013 Broken City starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, Albert has gone virtual for the first time in his career. He’s been working with Electronic Arts and German game developer Crytek on a Web series for the sci-fi shooter, Crysis 3, which will be released for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on February 13. We spoke with Albert about directing “The 7 Wonders of Crysis 3,” and he explains why both he and his brother had to go cold turkey on video games in this exclusive interview.

What are your thoughts are on what they can create with video games today?

I was pretty blown away because I’ve been away from videogames since like the late ‘90s and early 2000s. When I saw the game engine and the cranes they were using when I went to Germany, I was just like, “Wow.” I saw the Crysis games they’ve done and just the lighting alone blew me away and the detail of all the graphics. Then when I went and saw how they were doing it and they talked me through all this stuff, to me it’s very similar, in a way, to what we do with movies. The only difference is the graphics are way more advanced.

They were going to show me little things like how they diffuse the lighting, where the light source comes from and things like that. Even when I was doing pre-vis (pre visualization), I never saw anything like that. It’s a full-blown thing they’ve got going there. It’s like making a movie, and I compare it to pre-vis in that way, but the most spectacular thing is how realistic everything is in real-time.

hollywood director albert hughes has a mid life crysis 3 directed byWhat impact did the game technology have creatively on allowing you to bring this new Web series to life?

It’s like anything is possible in a way. Sometime it’s a dangerous thing in a filmmaker’s hand, and even a video maker’s hands, when you know you can pretty much do anything you can imagine. If I compare it to an animated movie, sometimes the directors and designers are so excited about technology that they just go ape wild over camera and lighting, and they’re not really using it as a tool.

My whole thing was just let me just look at this like it’s a film and try not to overuse the stuff with a style over substance type of thing by doing all this trickery. Instead, I approached this like it’s a normal cinema camera. Sometimes you’ll get away with more than you will with a camera, but you have to pick and choose your spots and not be heavy-handed about it. That was more of a conscious thing I had to look at when I was doing this.

New Smart TVs offer a big HD screen and online connectivity for Web series.

Yeah. That’s true. I forgot about that because I’m so far behind in my whole personal use of things. I don’t really get into that stuff. I’ve been over to a few friend’s houses’ and I’m like, “Wow, it can actually go on YouTube and watch things on my TV now. But I’m still watching the same 27-inch VCR-TV combo pack that I had back when I was 18.

Finding VHS tapes must be difficult these days…

I haven’t touched the VHS in years, but it’s a TV that had that combination and it’s a mono speaker. My brother is more into the home theater experience. I know how to do it all. I edit in my off time and I know all those tools. But if I want to go see something in its proper format, whether it’s a Web series or a movie, I go to the theater or I go to a big screening room to see it. I’m not trying to keep up to date at home because it’s like trying to keep up with Apple, and you’ll go broke doing that.

hollywood director albert hughes has a mid life crysis 3 liberty domeWhat’s the last memory that you have from when you used to play video games?

When I played video games I was more interested in sports games. Why games are so dangerous for me – and dangerous for lots of people in a good or bad way – is that it took up so much time because I wanted to master it. I did master some games. I mastered them so well, that I retired my friends from playing. I would make playbooks for Madden NFL Live. I would print up massive coach-like playbooks and laminate them. I remember running into the room one day with like 10 of my friends and they saw me do that and they wouldn’t [play] us anymore. Me and my brother – we were doing this documentary American Pimp at the time – and we were going all around the country. All the pimps and hip hop guys were into NBA Live and we beat everybody at that game because we would play with a full-on joystick, not a little hand controller. We would play with the old school joystick and that gave us more control over the movements of the players. We’d do this like 12 hours a day nonstop and that’s probably why we didn’t make that many movies during that period.

What did you learn about gaming from that experience?

What I found is if you’re going to be a gamer – and like most gamers out there it’s a professional attitude – you’ve got to go at it for hours and hours and hours a day to get really, really good at it. And we did. We got really good at it, but it took away from the rest of life, basically. That’s the most searing gaming memory to me and I don’t think I want to go back there.

Speaking of professionals, there are actually pro gamers now who get paid to play games.

Are they hired by the companies or are they just playing each other?

There are leagues and they compete in front of huge crowds while others at home livestream the games.

Oh, my god. What a sick world we live in.

hollywood director albert hughes has a mid life crysis 3What’s next for you after Motor City?

Motor City shut down weeks before I was shooting. It was my late-term abortion, I guess. I was really excited about that one because it was basically everything I learned since I was little put into one movie. It was a movie with no dialog, so it was a strictly visual storytelling. I don’t know what’s next right now because I took a whole month after that. And right now I’m doing this Crysis 3 stuff, which has been going on probably seven or eight months now. At first the involvement was not supposed to be as in-depth. Originally the way it was proposed to me was every week I’d check in and start working on certain things, but what I found out about this Crysis 3 thing, once we started working on it is it’s almost like making a movie. It’s full-on every hand on deck. I didn’t expect that. I thought it was going to be more like a commercial or short film. Right now I’m just reading scripts for the movie, but I can’t really take on anything until I finish this, which I think goes well until after March.

What do you like about working on this Crysis 3 series?

hollywood director albert hughes has a mid life crysis 3 bow hunter

What I do like about this project is how it pertains to movies. In a way it’s like it still sharpens the same skills. I’m able to set camera angles up. I’m able to set blocking, actors, the sound, dialog, the music, and lighting and stuff like that. It definitely hones those same skills.

What’s your favorite piece of technology or gadget and why?

Wow, that’s a hard question.

And it can’t be the TV/VHS combo.

No, it’s not that. It’s for sure not that. I’m learning to really resent that one. It would have to be my laptop. Everybody I know calls my computer my girlfriend. So my laptop and my iPhone, but I’ve got a love/hate relation with the iPhone. I’ve been with Apple since 1982. I’ve been on Mac since ‘89 and Apple is just like crack dealers. I would say it’s my laptop because everything I do when I shoot photos or whatever, I’m in Photoshop or edit with Final Cut Pro or the Web. It’s everything. I’m not a big iPad guy. I think the iPad is like a souped-up iPhone.

What particular Mac do you use?

The one they discontinued, the Mac Book Pro 17 inch. I know I have to upgrade my computer. There’s no CD or DVD drive. It’s just getting crazy out there. I don’t like where it’s going with Apple right now.

Gaming

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Product Review

HP’s gem-cut Spectre x360 15 is the most powerful 2-in-1 you can buy

HP’s 2019 Spectre x360 15 brings this massive 2-in-1 up to speed, literally. It now equips the same six-core Intel CPU as the rest of the 15-inch field, along with a real GPU for some 1080p gaming.
Gaming

How to share your best gaming moments on the Xbox One and its mobile app

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Gaming

Here are the best items a Shinobi should buy in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a brutally challenging game that requires persistent focus and a lot close calls with death. You can make things a bit easier on yourself with by purchasing important items from vendors.
Gaming

Here’s everything you need to know about MLB The Show 19

MLB The Show 19 launches on PlayStation 4 on March 26. If you're interested in finding out what's new in the latest iteration of the annual baseball sim, we've got all the details, from new gameplay mechanics to Road to the Show changes.
Gaming

Newegg slashes prices on PS4 accessories and AAA games like Anthem

Newegg is currently offering big savings on a number of games for PS4 and Xbox One, including Anthem, Metro Exodus, The Division 2, and Kingdom Hearts 3. Accessories including headsets are also on sale.
Gaming

Apple Arcade might be the new game subscription service worth signing up for

Apple Arcade will launch this fall bringing a new game-subscription service with cross-platform support for iOS, Mac, and Apple TV. At launch, the service will feature more than 100 exclusive games, with more added to the service regularly.
Gaming

Fortnite World Cup kicks off April 13 with $1 million in weekly prizes

The Fortnite World Cup kicks off on April 13 with the start of Online Opens for solo play. $1 million in weekly prizes will be awarded during the Online Open Finals, so get practicing!
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Gaming

From fatalities to new characters, here's what we know about Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 releases April 23 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Here is everything we know about NetherRealm's latest fighting game, including its characters.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

PlayStation’s first State of Play event includes Iron Man VR announcement

Sony held the first PlayStation State of Play video presentation on March 25 and it featured the announcement of Iron Man VR for PlayStation VR. The game is scheduled to arrive this year.