Frank Marshall talks about Margaritaville Online

The Hollywood Reporter has an article: ‘Frank Marshall Enters Facebook Gaming Arena With ‘Margaritaville Online’

Frank Marshall has spent decades as one of Hollywood’s leading producers bringing movies like War Horse, Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Sixth Sense to theaters. Now he’s stepped into the virtual realm as executive producer of the new THQ Facebook game Margaritaville Online with long-time friend Jimmy Buffett.

THR: How did you partner with Jimmy Buffett on Margaritaville Online?

Frank Marshall: Jimmy and I met over 30 years ago and we’ve been good friends ever since. We have a similar background and share a lot of the same interests. We’ve talked about movies, books, songs and just about anything you can think of.

I have always loved the world he’s created and the fact that he really lives in it. Jimmy and I have been trying to do something together for years and when the idea of a Facebook game came along, it seemed like a natural. What people love about Jimmy Buffett is his lifestyle and the world he’s created. Whenever the real world gets to be too much, you can escape to his world through this game, no matter where you are.

THR: Where did the idea for a Facebook game come from?

Marshall:I was actually meeting with Danny Bilson, EVP Core Games from THQ, about The Last Airbender game. We started talking about other things we could do. I wanted to do something fun, so I thought, instead of creating one of these violent worlds, why not go to paradise? Why not somewhere you could go to play games and have a party? Initially when we started talking about it, it was actually going to be made into a Wii game. But as social games increased in popularity, things shifted and we saw great potential of creating a social experience based on Jimmy’s lifestyle.

THR: What kind of input did you have on the gameplay itself?

Marshall: While working with THQ, we found these great guys based in Vancouver, Exploding Barrel Games, who are huge Jimmy fans. This was key because they already knew his world. They came up with a template for the game and then Jimmy took it and “Buffettized” it. I’ve been steering and facilitating, putting everybody together, helping with the storytelling from a movie point of view, picking the camera angles and what the characters can do. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s like a mini-movie for me, combining all the same elements, story, characters, music, visuals and so on.