Most adults in today’s modern world grew up playing video games. For many children, opening up a gaming was the greatest gift they could possibly receive. A favorite video game often has more of an impact on a child than a favorite book, and people become nostalgic when talking about them.
Producer and director Mariana Wahrhaftig is one of those people. For her, like so many others, Nintendo was the system of choice, and Zelda was the game. But, for Wahrhaftig, she doesn’t have to talk about “the good old days” playing the game, because Zelda is her present.
Wahrhaftig was a producer for the third season of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is a concert that features music and video from the acclaimed video game The Legend of Zelda series where new and exclusive musical arrangements are played by a full live orchestra and choir in sync with vides played on a giant screen. Master Quest is the third season of this concert.
“The Legend of Zelda was my childhood. I fell in love with the games after playing them, and have loved them ever since. The games’ soundtracks were basically the soundtracks to my childhood,” said Wahrhaftig.
As producer, she was responsible for all the new creative content of the show. She supervised the pieces, as well as produced it. She was in charge of the new piece for the Majora’s Mask game, which was a request from Nintendo, since they were releasing a remake of the 2000 game. She also was responsible for writing, and providing direction for the videos they recorded with the game creators. She directed creative content and produced the new videos, and some updates requested by Nintendo. She also worked a bit of tour logistics.
“I loved the fact that I got to work with my favorite video game, and bring life to pieces that would touch the hearts of fans and take them back down memory lane and re-live the moments from their childhoods,” she said.
Wahrhaftig worked alongside Bill Panks, a composer who orchestrated the Majora’s Mask piece under her direction, and Daniel Johnson, the editor of the videos that accompanied the music. Johnson described working with her as a “total blast.”
“We had so much fun on this project, and her insight and fandom for the Zelda games really helped guide me along in the edit, since at the time I had never played any of the games myself,” said Johnson. “Her knowledge and passion for all the little details of the Zelda universe really helped flesh out the final videos to be as rich and specific as possible for all the fans who came to the show.”
Wahrhaftig agrees that the experience was a great one, especially because of those she worked with.
“The videos are a huge part of the show, and they have to be perfectly in sync with the music, and Dan and I spent hours on end in front of his computer getting things just right,” she said. “He’s a star, he truly made the videos amazing. He knows his craft, and he does it really well.
I got to work with some great people who are very talented, and I am very thankful for that.”
The pressure was on for Wahrhaftig to deliver, as Zelda fans have a love for the game that is unlike most other video games.
“You want to make things that are true to the original games, and that are at Nintendo’s standards. You aren’t dealing with your own content, and so, everything you do, you have to make sure you do it right,” she said.
And it looks like she did, as The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest received extremely positive reviews, and is described as something every fan must see. And who better to do this, than a true fan.
Click here to buy tickets at a concert near you.