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BLACKBERRY KAT ON CRACKING THE WHIP
Copyright 2008 www.tombraiderchronicles.com

[ August 15th 2008 ]

Kathryn Clements, senior brand manager for Tomb Raider, continues our brand new series focusing on a behind-the-scenes look at developing Tomb Raider Underworld. Kathryn has been instrumental in the rejuvenation of the Tomb Raider franchise, and below are her words on her daily activities.

"There is never, ever a typical day when you're a Brand Manager for Tomb Raider. It's part of the reason why I love it so much, keeps you on your toes. Plus it's very gratifying seeing a such a brilliant vision and character coming to life.

"Really though, you don't want to hear about what a day in my life is really about. I know the scoop, this needs to be a thinly disguised way of telling you loads of juicy, secret stuff about what's coming up and how our Lara is faring in Tomb Raider Underworld. So, let's see what happened today...

"First up, my blackberry is my alarm clock. People call me Blackberry Kat at work as it's permanently attached to my fingers. Crack-berry, smack-berry it's all the same. Being a Brit and being based Stateside means I'm hyper aware of what happens over night in Europe so I'm straight on it in the morning answering my Euro colleagues' emails whilst I'm still in my pyjamas, I doubt I make any sense. So this morning, hot topics were; the international synchronisation of the first Tomb Raider Underworld gameplay video and some rather lovely Tomb Raider Underworld Collector edition packs and merchandise that are in the works (give us a month and Keir will have all the details).

"Did you know we were releasing the first Tomb Raider gameplay trailer today? You are so in for a treat. There's been a question buzzing around the forums on the story and you'll find the answer once and for all today...

"Let's scoot through the day. 9 am - 11 am. Call UK about Tomb Raider packaging, confirm that the back of box design is finalised, talk about what the special edition pack will contain and how it will look. Then speak to Kerrin who looks after PR for all the PAL countries that don't have Eidos offices. Discussed what we will show at Leipzig and how we will get lots and lots of covers for magazines in the countries he looks after (basically we'll give the journalists hands on previews of three levels) and when those previews should come out (mid September). Following that walked straight into a meeting to learn all about a Canadian exhibition and some very interesting opportunities that were available to Tomb Raider.

"11am - 1pm. Ran around, lay on floor, made sure everyone was synched up for the launch of the trailer. Check out Gamespot at 4pm PDT. Reviewed and discussed a video that shows the very special Alison Carroll becoming Lara Croft. (It's coming soon, next week hopefully) I'm in it - wish I'd brushed my hair beforehand... hindsight is a beautiful thing. It's been a crazy week for Alison. I spoke with her on Tuesday. She is a wonderful, warm and very beautiful person (in every sense of the word) and is so proud of being the face of Lara. Personally I love her. What a woman!! She can do three back flips in a row without breaking sweat (in a very small space) and still has a smile afterwards. We wanted her so badly as the next Lara and have being training her hard. And she put Tomb Raider in the news... we made the BBC, ITN and Channel 5 news in the UK plus so many papers. She's great.

"2pm - 4pm. We always have a "synch" meeting on a Thursday at 2 (such corporate speak, I know). There's a group of us. Mike Cala (Sr Designer - makes all the ads, packaging - very talented, has a certificate for boxing - don't mess). Seamus (responsible for all the renders, very ,very good artist, likes spam, funny, I have a badge with his head on it if anyone wants it), Rose (singer and dancer and producer, very organised and calming) Matt Knoles (Marketing Mgr in the US, broke his foot playing football and has bionic powers now) Darrell Gallagher (Creative Director for Crystal, a fellow Brit, with an incredible eye for detail and brilliant imagination) Estuardo (captures all our videos, great man, has a problem with biscuits but knows how to make Lara move) and Jae (does all the screens and so much more, an absolute rock and diamond, brings in brownies - what's not to love?).

"The meet is all about making sure we're on track and delivering everything that's needed. Today we talked mainly about the trailer (out today - shameless plug) and the next "Beneath the Surface" video which features Toby Gard and Eric talking all about the Tomb Raider Underworld story... it's just been completed. Keir will have to tell you later when it's coming, we couldn't decide in the meet.

"That actually took us up to 3pm. Can't say what happened after, it was a meeting but what we talked about is all top secret. The rest of the afternoon / evening is a blur. Caught up with Eric on some presentations he was doing the next day, answered emails, looked at the latest version of the game (Thailand level - I didn't know that Lara could rappel and shoot until today). And annoyed people generally as is my job, us Brand people we always want stuff.

"So that's s it. That was my Tomb Raider day. I am now going to sign off, fall into bed (it's late) and send this to Keir so that you can have this for tomorrow. Thank you very much for having me as a guest on the forum. Enjoy the trailer and all the news about the Thailand level that's going to start emerging online."

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