Saturday, November 9, 2013

Matthew Forcella creator of "One Die Short"

Matthew Forcella grew up in New York where he received his BA in Anthropology. After teaching elementary school for a year, he moved to Phoenix where he began working as an artist, displaying his paintings and illustrations in numerous galleries. From there he moved on to Graduate School in San Francisco where he received an MA in Philosophy and Religion and began teaching middle school. After secondary education, he switched gears again, working as a University Instructor and Scholarship Adviser. It was during this time that he began blogging about Roleplaying games and all things Geek, as well as publishing his weekly D&D Webcomic, One Die Short. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign he is currently in the process of adapting his Webcomic into a live action web series of the same name.

What is One Die Short?

Other than the obvious (a web series about Dungeons & Dragons players), it's about people, friendship and adults learning to how to be adults.  The main intention of the series is to show how roleplaying games, creativity and a healthy fantasy life can actually help a person become confident and successful.

I'm trying to break through the stereotype of the roleplayer and the geek/nerd being a socially awkward and inept person that will be forever doomed to live in their mother's basement.  The show will largely be about each of the characters' individual transformations, and how those transformations are helped along by roleplaying and the friendships forged around the gaming table.

What inspired you to make the webcomic and now the webseries?

The webcomic has existed in one form or another for well over a decade now.  I didn't publicly put it out there until about 3 years ago when I was beginning to reconnect with my geek roots.  Like a lot of geeky teenagers, at some point I found myself straying from all things nerdy because of the many negative stereotypes associated with them.  Some of this was me being insecure, and some of it was a result of the people around me rejecting the things we once shared, and me finding it hard to seek out new friends.

When I finally decided that roleplaying was an integral part of my growth, development, and who I had become as a person, I went full force with it and started a blog and the webcomic.  The web series is the natural progression of the webcomic, and is how I originally envisioned the comic, but at the time I felt I didn't have the know-how or resources for film.

Will you tell us about the actors cast in ODS?

The actors are all local Colorado film and theater actors, mostly from Denver and the surrounding area.  They're all fantastic people (and many of them roleplayers). Aside from writing, producing and directing, I'm also playing the lead role of the Dungeon Master. Though many of the characters might not physically fit their counterparts from the webcomic, we chose everyone based on how much they felt like the characters, and as a result, we've got a really stellar cast that's doing an amazing job of bringing my vision to life. You can learn a lot more about each of the actors on our website:

What's the key to being a good Dungeon Master?

It took me a long time to figure this out.  When I was younger, being a Dungeon Master was about being in control; crafting a world and a story and sharing it (whether the players liked it or not) with other people.  I held lives in the balance and was responsible for the fate of an entire Universe.  I realize now how terrible I was at the job back then.  To truly be a great Dungeon Master, you need to let go (the same can be said of life in general I think).

Roleplaying is about co-creation and collaborative story-telling.  The Players are in charge as much as you are, and that means a good Dungeon Master needs to be flexible, and be able to recognize what best serves the story, rather than what best serves his or her own needs.

Have you seen The Strong brothers short film "Dungeon Master"?

Unfortunately I haven't yet, though I would like to.  There has been so much great media produced in recent years about roleplaying and the geek world; it's tough to keep up with it all. It's nice to see that most of it is well received if not embraced.  I think what that means for One Die Short is that we've chosen a great time to make our series.

What was it like being interviewed by John over at EatPrayMedia?

It was great!  John's a fantastic guy with a great website.  I often say this, but I'll reiterate it again: one of the best parts of making this web series has been experiencing the outpouring of support from the gaming/nerd/geek world.  It makes me proud to identify with the community.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

It's been a long road, and we've got a lot of hard work ahead of us still, but it's been a very humbling experience to see how much work talented people are willing to do to help make my vision come to life.  So, I would just like to thank everyone that has helped bring One Die Short to life so far: the cast, crew, backers, and of course, all of the fans, old and new.


Thank you for doing the interview Matt. I strongly suggest readers of this interview check out Matt's interview over at EatPrayMedia. Also, like the "One Die Short" Facebook page.