We were contacted by the Hospital for Sick Children’s Garron Family Cancer Center, home to the largest pediatric oncology department in Canada. They asked us to come host a private screening of the film and make a demo of the game available to play for their clinicians and medical staff while we’re in Toronto for Hot Docs, with the goal of providing staff with valuable insight into the experience of the families of cancer patients. So we’re looking forward to the conversation we’ll have with the medical staff there.
Before we went out to Loveland for our first shoot, Ryan sent us their current demo of the video game: a single scene that brought the player into a hospital room, standing in Ryan’s shoes, trying to comfort a distressed and dehydrated Joel. It was a very difficult scene to “play” and immediately convinced us that Ryan, Amy and their co-creator Josh, were working on a fascinating piece of creative non fiction that truly pushed the boundaries of what video games can portray of the human experience.
We filmed with Ryan, his family and the development team for about 36 days over the course of 14 months. During that time, we were lucky enough to get to know their young son, Joel, as well as their other children, and became very close with the whole family. So it was of course a very difficult process to continue filming with Ryan and Amy during the months when Joel’s health started to deteriorate. And most definitely some of the hardest moments either of us has ever gone through.
The inevitable question regarding the appropriateness of attempting to convey a story so profoundly personal through the medium of interactive entertainment is not ignored. It’s perhaps best answered during a trip to PAX – a game conference open to the public – where the filmmakers capture the deeply emotional, tear-filled responses of some of the first people to play the game. We’re left with little doubt that what Ryan is creating is art, that his game is a wholly valid means of communicating and reflecting upon the human experience.
Whenever I am having one of my really bad days, I lock myself away in my room and put on Cabin Pressure. No matter what I am going through it never stops making me smile and laugh. I cannot thank you enough for creating this and for finding the most incredible cast to bring it to life. I was very lucky to see X and Y being recorded and to meet you afterwards. You are a lovely man and I think that is why you have such fantastic fans. Thank you. x
You are lovely, and an absolute joy to read and hear. My kids and I have been having a very rough couple of years, and Cabin Pressure has become an important part of our lives. I think the three of us can quote considerable portions verbatim, and we use lines from it in normal (?) conversation. Thank you, John and crew, for your fantastic work.
Cabin Pressure and Souvenir Programme are the only radio shows I have aggressively forced on people and every one of them think they're great. If I'm ever down, I can pop an episode on and it will always cheer me up. I was in a minor car accident last year (I wasn't injured but my car looks like it's been through the apocalypse now) and I decided I would marathon Cabin Pressure at work that week and it made me forget about what a huge mess my life was at the moment. Thank you so much for being a great writer and for bringing so much joy into people's lives.
Thank you so much for all the hours of laughter! I missed out on going to a recording every single time I applied but it doesn't matter because the Martin, Douglas, Arthur and Caroline I see in my head are different to the owners of their voices anyway! "Thank you" really can't express how much your show has meant to me over the years but I think I can best explain it by the fact that through Cabin Pressure you have unknowingly, genuinely, saved a life. Thank you again!
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