An update from Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit of Thank You For Playing in October 2016:
Deleted scene: Creating "The Park" scene in That Dragon, Cancer
What has happened in the Green family's life since the end of the film?
Since we completed filming for Thank You For Playing in June 2014, the Greens finished the video game That Dragon, Cancer, and released it on Mac and PC to critical acclaim in January 2016, and just released it on mobile devices this October. Ryan and Amy have also been busy raising their four other children, including their first daughter Zoe, who was born during filming. They've started a gaming studio called Numinous Games and they're hard at work on several new projects.
What kind of response has the film garnered from the gaming world? How has That Dragon, Cancer been received by gamers and non-gamers?
We've been thrilled that the film has received an enthusiastic response from the gaming world, with technology and gaming publications such as Ars Technica and Unwinnable describing it as the most important and memorable film about video games ever made, and gamers and non- gamers alike leaving some very thoughtful and touching reviews. That Dragon, Cancer, the game, has been extremely well-received by gaming and non-gaming press, and since its release on iPad/iPhone a couple of weeks ago it's now reaching an even larger community of people who wouldn't necessarily consider themselves gamers but have come to see the game as an example of innovative art. Visit the That Dragon, Cancer blog.
What kind of response has the film garnered from audiences?
We've been floored by the great response to the film ever since it premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival in New York, up through our theatrical release and ever since then. People have been so profoundly moved by the Green family's story, just as we were moved filming with them, and we're so grateful that we've been able to share their story with audiences, some of whom have gone through a similar experience and might feel far less alone after getting to spend eighty minutes with the Greens. We've also been thrilled to learn that the film has contributed to the current debate around whether video games can be art, with a resounding answer: yes.
In what ways have you seen or hope to see the film contribute to conversations about terminal illness, grief, and the role of video games in society?
Ryan and Amy chose to share their experience publicly, through their video game, which documents each of their complex emotions with incredible honesty and courage - it's been really remarkable to see how that openness encouraged other people to open up about their own similar experiences, to discuss typically-taboo topics such as death and terminal illness. We have a tendency in society to run from grief, to minimize it, but we think Thank You For Playing is a testament to how grief really can be an experience shared with other people, even with strangers. We've also seen a great response from medical communities, who see the film as a way to encourage medical staff to reassess how they interact with terminally-ill patients and their families.
What are you both working on next?
David is currently editing and co-producing a documentary about the Oregon militia standoff produced by Morgan Spurlock. Malika is currently in development on two new directing projects.
A New York Times Op-Docs by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit, featuring Thank You For Playing