Pick #25: The Dungeon Masters Documentary

Working on documentaries, my own or those of others, is part of my day to day business. And playing and thinking about role playing games, is another part of my daily business. So, I am naturally curious when a documentary is out on role players.

And naturally I'm a bit apprehensive whether the movie maker will get it right. Our own group has been depicted in the news both lovingly and as ... freaks.

I cannot yet judge where the The Dungeon Masters by Keven McAlister lies. It is a documentary about three - as it says - Dungeon Masters. Richard, Elizabeth and Scott. He followed them a year around, and filmed their games, their quirks, and their personal lives. Elizabeth dresses up as a dark elf, Richard has a hard time choosing between his hobby friends and his wife, and Ninja Scott tries to write a book and hide from reality.

Often enough, people one sees depicted in docs, such as those by Theroux or Michael Moore, are not really as freaky in real life as they are in the movie. The documentary works, may even have an important truth in it, but you can wonder whether it's fair. Laughing at someone is not the same as laughing with someone. It's a thin line to walk sometimes. And as I gather from most critics - the Dungeon Masters walks this line. The Dungeon Masters trailer suggests to me that it crossed the border.

I guess I'll have to see the whole thing for myself - since it's out on DVD. You judge too, if you can. Are we freaks? Nah...


  1. :) Hi. This is Elizabeth, the girl in the doc.

    Just an FYI, I'm nothing like the documentary. It was edited and slanted; and I've given several interviews about it. I'm actually quite normal for the most part-- they decided that making it look like I live in costume was the best way to edit things.

    I'd give more detail but I don't feel like getting into it too much. I'm pretty findable on the internet, and it's pretty easy to see that what they portrayed isn't me. Yes, I LARP, and yeah, I did play a dark elf-- but not for the reasons it said in the doc (they actually blended my explanation for "tell us what drow are so the people who don't know understand" and "why do you play a dark elf" together). :P

    At any rate, nice review. I dislike the film entirely and regret

  2. @The Lizu: Thanx for commenting :-) I kind of figured you would be pretty normal... :-)

    Working in the field of documentaries I've seen too often how real people are twisted "for the sake of an interesting story". Maybe one day I'll take revenge and depict documentary makers as freaks ;-)