Tech Lives: Warwick Davis
T3: Was there anything in the game, about the way that you are presented that you vetoed or said can we have more of that?
WD: Yeah, I’m presented the way I want to be presented, because it was all coming from me, I have been a director of a film. There was nothing that I stopped and said, “No we can’t do that,” I was usually the one saying “Can’t we do that? Can you put this sound clip I just recorded at home?” I’d been in my office and I’d recorded a few clips and I’d send them in and say, “I want these expressions or these voices to go in.”
T3: So you were never, like, “No not the leprechaun…”
WD: I had to tip my hat to my own life and my own career and people are going to expect that there’s a leprechaun outfit. I’ve thrown in a frog outfit for good measure to keep the fans of my little frog video with Ricky [Gervais], so you can actually get a frog outfit. And then as the game matures through the coming months after its release there will be a link to things I really do, so if I appear in a programme wearing a costume, that costume will become available within the game so you can kind of make Pocket Warwick dress the same as the real Warwick… It’s just a bit of fun. My favourite part is the humour in it. It’s about having fun and entertaining people.
T3: Is this your first foray into the realms of tech?
WD: Technology is gadgets and stuff I like. I’ve worked on the Harry Potter computer games before doing the voices, I haven’t done any performance capture yet as such.
T3: You don’t have your own range of headphones.
WD: No I haven’t. That’d be good because Dr Dre’s got some. I could have my own range of tiny headphones that you sort of lose in your ear: “Where’s my Warwick headphones? They’re right in my brain.” It would have to be small things wouldn’t it? I did a review for the Gadget Show once of tiny projectors… Anything I do is usually mini stuff. If I ever see a mini gadget come out, I know the phone is going to ring
T3: “Oh, that’ll be another couple of grand.”
WD: Well it’s only channel 5 and the Gadget Show.
T3: Oh okay, about £3.50 then. On a semi-serious level; Does the size of technology raise issues for the smaller gentleman?
WD: Yeah I mean I think you want something that will fit in your pocket and my pockets are a little bit smaller than anyone else’s.
T3: Something like a tablet, is that….
WD: That ain’t going in your pocket is it?! Like a tablet for me is, “Great, I feel like I’m carrying around a 42-inch plasma.”
T3: Phones now, generally, are getting bigger. Is that an issue?
WD: What’s that phone, that looks ridiculous phone in someone’s hand…
T3: Some of the Samsung ones, like the Galaxy Note?
WD: It looks like Dom Joly… Yeah things are getting a bit bigger. I think it would be wrong to have a phone that was taller than me…
T3: But it’s only really the pocketability that’s an issue?
WD: Yeah, but stuff can be too small sometimes as well. Some camcorders are too small so they’re wobbly and you can’t keep a shot steady. I think some gadgets have a finite size range and if they get any smaller, there are not as useful. On the other hand, my new MacBook Pro is lighter than my old one and I really do feel the difference when I’m walking around with that and that is really good. Lighter is better, but bigger is not.
T3: What was the first gadget you ever bought or were given ?
T3: How old are you?
WD: The first gadget I remember, I can’t remember what it was called, it was a… It was red handheld game. On it had a screen across the middle but it was like red sort of lines that lit up, under a red screen. There were three tracks, and a little steering wheel in the bottom and a little lever that was the accelerator and you had to drive and you had to move between the lanes before the other dashes hit you. And that was it, that’s what I got, it was amazing. The cars didn’t look like cars, they looked like lines, like little minus signs going down the screen, and you were a bigger one going that way and you had to go left and right to not hit them using the little steering wheel.
T3: Exactly like real driving, basically.
WD: Yes, it’s just like that on the motorway. There was that, then there was the Ingersol console with the paddles and the… *Bee-do-bip!*
T3: That again was really, very heavily line and square-based. So it was like Pong, but they couldn’t call it Pong for licensing reasons, so it was called like Super Tennis or Peng.
WD: Yeah there was that and then I had the Atari, a ZX81. My favourite computer growing up was an Amiga 500… and then the Amiga 1500 with Deluxe Paint and Speed Ball… they were amazing. Did you keep the Amiga for a long time? Some people were real hardcore fans of that.
WD: It was the only computer you could use with video and I started editing video when I was about 14. The synchronisation was correct for video, whereas any other computer didn’t want to work with video at all and that was what was good about Amiga. I could make titles and graphics and things with it, in a kind of primitive way.
T3: What was the last one you have, was it the 1500?
WD: 1500 was the one and I had the big hard drive plugged on the side.