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Title: Film looks at tabletop role-playing games

Source: The Olympian Online, April 12th, 2007 - http://www.theolympian.com/194/story/80358.html

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Film looks at tabletop role-playing games

Molly Gilmore
For The Olympian

Role-playing games - the traditional kind played with dice and paper - set the scene for "The Roles We Play," a short film by Aaron Andersen of Olympia.

"It's based off the old-school type, where you sit down with your good old imagination," said Andersen, 20. "It dives into this world with these six friends who play together."

The film, though, doesn't stay in the everyday world where the friends play.

"The whole thing about role-playing is it's all done through imagination," he said. "This is providing the viewer a peek into their imaginations. The audience is able to see what they're seeing."

Andersen, who's studying at the Art Institute of Seattle and plans to go to film school, aims to make dramatic features one day, and he's learning by doing.

He also is following the old advice about writing what you know.

"Me and all the cast and some of the crew were actually into role-playing, and the role-playing session we have in the movie is very much like the ones we have in real life," Andersen said. "We thought we'd simulate it and put some story behind it and have fun with it and just act out some of the things."

In fact, although Andersen seems a little hesitant to reveal his penchant for fantasy games, his e-mail address is the name of a character he plays.

"I thought it would be a fun concept to play with," he said. "Not many people know much about the world of role-playing, and most of it is stereotypes. Those are things I definitely play with in the film."

"Roles" is Andersen's second film. His first was made while he was a senior at Timberline High School and screened at the school.

He views "Roles" as a learning experience as well. "The main reason for the premiere is for the cast and crew and everyone else involved," he said. "I wanted to open it up to the public because I love feedback."

The story follows the friends' journey on a night when a new player with a secret joins the game. The group encounters the creature that has been hunting their new companion.

It sounds pretty complicated for a 39-minute film.

"I chunked a lot of story into it, and my scriptwriting abilities weren't all yet evolved," Andersen said. "The movie ended up coming out to be just act 1 and 2 of the entire piece, but nonetheless, it's still fun and exciting.

"The whole purpose of this project wasn't to go out and make the best independent film ever. It was to go out and see what I can do. The point was to learn and have fun."

'The Roles We Play'

What: Aaron Andersen of Olympia debuts his short dramatic feature about six friends playing tabletop role-playing games.

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Capitol Theatre, 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia

Tickets: $7.50, $5 for Olympia Film Society members

More information: Call 360-754-5378 or go to www.olyfilm.org.

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