I Did an Ender’s Game Set Visit Last Spring


I don’t usually make a habit of linking to previous work, having felt from day one that I should earn my spot here, for good or ill, with whatever I write here. However, the complexities of embargoes are elaborate things sometimes.

Last spring, under a previous employer, I was flown out to the set of Ender’s Game in New Orleans, and wrote extensively about what I saw there. It was not permitted to be published until just now.

I don’t think it would be too out-of-turn to link to it. I wrote a lot, so it’s being released in three parts. The first focuses on director Gavin Hood.

“I was in the military; I was drafted when I was 17 years old,” he says, “and it had a profound effect on me. And when I read Ender’s Game, many of those feelings, a lot of those feelings – that you were very much a number in an organization with strong authority figures that you were not supposed to question, and yet feeling that you wanted to rebel against it – I connected with this book in many ways, based on feelings and experiences that I’ve had. And I also really think that the ideas and themes of leadership in the book and (hopefully) in the movie are timeless and classic, and what makes good leadership? What makes bad leadership? What makes responsible leadership? So what I love about the book is that it’s both an epic adventure, it’s a fantastic (for me) coming-of-age story…and I’m interested in those, if you like, defining moments in a character’s life, where they choose a path, or are compelled to reflect on a path they’ve chosen, and maybe change it.”

No, the author himself was not there, which makes it easier to focus on the talented folks who were.