The trip to the Jimmy Fallon Show started Sunday afternoon. Flying in a spacious exit row is the way to go.... especially when Michael Condrey is sitting next to you. You need all the distance you can get. The food was excellent, service good, but Condrey's incessant whining and crying every time we hit a little turbulence drove me crazy. Finally somewhere over Idaho I hit him over the head with my dinner tray. When he woke up three hours later I told him a piece of luggage fell out of the overhead bin.
We landed at JFK around 10 pm EST, waited for Condrey to grab his Hello Kitty suitcase he had checked in and found our driver.
I believe our driver's name was Al, a happy fella with a thick NY accent. After about 15 minutes of driving, Al hated Condrey too. 10 more minutes and Al pulled the cab over and kicked Condrey out. Reluctantly I went too because I knew Condrey would get mugged. Luckily we were only blocks from our hotel.
The next day Monday we headed to NBC in the heart of the city by Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center and 30 Rock.
We went around 2:30 for rehearsals, signed some papers and got ourselves acquainted with the studio. Our great crew of Mike Mejia and Josh Selinger had been there since the morning setting up the equipment and playing the build since we were playing live. We were shown a tiny room that said "Modern Warfare 3 The Jimmy Fallon Show" on the door.
Crazy little room, maybe 7 foot by 7 foot, with cereal boxes on the wall and little toys and trinkets glued to the walls, light switches, whatever and a very ornate paint job. It was so weird that it was cool. This was our own dressing room. There were three blue guest bags for us with a signed thank you note from Jimmy, a mug and tee shirt.
Down the hall was the "Green Room". This is where we really hung out. It was supplied with food and drinks and they even did a special delivery to Starbucks for us. They were fantastic hosts and everyone we met had a smile on their face.
Eric Hirshberg, Robert Bowling, and I rehearsed a few times. We observed where we would stand, where the monitors were and how the 6 or 7 minutes would play out. Then Jimmy came out in street clothes to do a final rehearsal. He’s a great guy in person just like he is on the show; personable, creative and really funny.
As the time drew closer to the actual taping, the halls started getting louder as they filled with people. The producers were running around, the bands were playing and the talent started arriving. Will Smith was there with his wife who was a guest as well. He drew a crowd and Eric had a conversation with him.
Just before we went onstage we had to go to the makeup room. They put some on Condrey, even though he wasn't on air, because he requested it. He was in there for about 20 minutes. He came out looking like a bean pole with a plastic Barbie head glued on.
We all waited in the green room. There was John Rafacz, our senior PR guy who along with Josh set everything up and did a wonderful job with Mike Mejia, Robert, myself, Eric….. and Barbie.
Eric practiced and fine-tuned his lines, but he's pretty much a natural at it as well as passionate about what he's saying so he was just basically doing it for timing.
Time is very precious live so every word needs to be right. We watched live in the Green Room the show and saw all the skits and the guests. It was surreal and very exciting. Nobody was even nervous.
Simon Pegg then went on and we knew we were next. Robert, Eric, and I walked onto the stage. I could hear Condrey in the Green Room crying because he wasn't on the show. We walked out during a commercial, took our places and got a little powder to stop the shining on our faces.
Cameras were all around, the band was playing and the crowd was cheering. Walking onstage was such a cool and memorable moment. I'll never forget it. Jimmy was great and made us feel right at home. Our bit went just as rehearsed. The time went in a flash without a hitch. Immediately after our bit we quickly got a group picture with Simon and Jimmy. And before we knew it our time was up and we walked off stage.
We did a quick little interview for the show's blog just as the show was ending. Backstage after the show was a flurry of people running around, the bands carrying their instruments. I felt bad for Condrey because nobody, not even the security guard, would sign his tee shirt.
We left the building feeling great. We'd had our few minutes of fame on national TV, met some great people and showed MW3 which we're so proud of. And to top it all off, Jimmy loved playing it!
I love being in the game industry.
Highlights of the show's full episode can be found at http://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com
Visit our Facebook page to see more pictures! http://on.fb.me/SHGfacebook
Written by Glen Schofield
Do you have a question for Sledgehammer Games? Want to know more about us, our studio culture, and/or MW3?
Every Friday, a member from the Sledgehammer Games Crew will answer one of your questions.
So for example, if you want to know more about what we do on a daily basis, we just may answer that. If you’re interested in learning about how we’ve been doing our research in developing MW3, we just may answer that. If you have a question about what food we stock in our kitchen, well, I can answer that for you right now, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal!
So if you want your question highlighted and answered, please submit to:
First question will be answered this Friday.
Written by Guy Beahm
Categories Question of the Week
Welcome to Hammer of the Month, June 2011 Edition!
Do you have a YouTube channel? Are you ready to show off your design scheme and talent? We’re looking for an elite YouTube channel that best represents the Sledgehammer Games community.
We want to see you ingeniously transform your channel into a Sledgehammer Games/Call of Duty showcase. We are looking for the ultimate depiction of what the franchise and our studio means to you, the ultimate fan.
Bonus points will be awarded for custom designs, unique artwork, and any SHG specific video content. We had loads of entries for our May contest, so we expect the competition to be high. Bring your A game and let's keep this baby rockin!
Like always, the winner will receive the Tool Box of Chaos.
So send us a link to your YouTube channel to email@example.com
Deadline for submission is June 30th, 2011.
Winner will be announced at the beginning of July’s contest.
Written by Guy Beahm
And the winner for the first ever Sledgehammer Games Hammer of the Month Contest is….
We had a ton of entries in this month’s competition. It was hard to pick a winner. Thanks to all who sent in their unique, crazy, and many times inappropriate submissions!
“Why is my setup the best gaming set up?” Stephen says. “The surround sound means that you're always aware of people trying to sneak around in FPS games and it’s especially helpful in Modern Warfare 2 to combat those using ninja and/or trying to sneak around. Couple this with the big unit devoid of distractions and a big TV makes for quite an immersive gaming experience. Plus the sofas are mega comfy to say the least!” It also didn’t hurt that Stephen sent me a giant box of cash and a poem titled “Ode to Sledgehammer Games”
Stephen’s prize from the Tool Box of Chaos will be in the mail real soon. Maybe he’ll do a prize unboxing for everyone!
Stephen has posted an unboxing video. Check it out: http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/woodpure100/ae2a20fb.mp4
The Hammer of the Month Contest for June will be announced tomorrow.
Written by Guy Beahm
It's official! Sledgehammer Games is working on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 with Infinity Ward! Check out the reveal trailer!
Michael Condrey, Sledgehammer Games Co-Founder says, "This is an extremely exciting time for everyone here at the studio. We built a AAA development team and a state of the art studio, partnered with one of the industry's most critically acclaimed developers, and are now co-developing on the most successful action franchise in the history of video games. We couldn't have hoped for a better start as one of Activision's newest independent development studios."
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/shgames
Written by Guy Beahm
Categories Modern Warfare 3