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Press Start: 'The Last of Us Part II' and the exciting struggle of narrative in gaming

Published January 22, 2021

By Perrin Smith

Buzzword? Yes. But ludonarrative dissonance can take storytelling in games to the next level.


Press Start: 'Red Dead Redemption II' and the storytelling power of extra details

Published February 5, 2021

By Perrin Smith

Rockstar Games created a world chock-full of detail. It’s a world that pushes the boundary on how stories are told in games.


Press Start: 'Dragon Age' and the exceeding importance of representation in games

By Perrin Smith

Published April 8, 2021

In a medium so reliant on over-the-top stories where elves, dwarves and warrior-mages are the norms, what’s stopping greater LGBTQ+ representation?

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Press Start: 'The Walking Dead' and the unrealized depth of the short game

By Perrin Smith

Published May 12, 2021

Over the past decade, unhindered by disk space requirements, video game stories have been growing steadily longer. Is that a good thing?

Film Reviews (Selected)

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'Your Honor' finds complication through drama

By Perrin Smith

Published February 6, 2021

Courtroom dramas are nothing new. They’ve become one of the cornerstones of television and movies through “Law & Order,” “The Good Wife” and “12 Angry Men.” So, when a series promises to try on a new suit and do things differently, we should take notice...

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'Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man' is the grandfather I'm losing

By Perrin Smith

Published November 6, 2020

One of my earliest memories is of sitting in the dirt. I was between long, narrow stalks of corn. My legs were caked in speckled dust. I was 4. The cornstalks, whenever the wind would blow just right, would reveal my grandfather. He was almost 60 then. Tall, lanky...


'The Good Lord Bird' finds an important place for comedy

By Perrin Smith

Published October 28, 2020

There are far too many historical figures who have their stories told on the silver screen with a tone and mood that’s downright dreary. Far too often, figures like Abraham Lincoln in “Lincoln,” or Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown,” have their lives adapted so as to place...


'Booksmart' perfects both comedy and drama

By Perrin Smith

Published October 30, 2019

The title “Booksmart” flashes on-screen. It’s fast, sudden, but it’s not at all what has my attention. Up until this moment, when the title illuminates the screen, it’s been pitch-black dark. What has my complete focus isn’t the word in front of me, it’s the booming...


Melissa McCarthy effortlessly tackles drama in 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?'

By Perrin Smith

Published October 31, 2018

“Well, that’s batshit, Marjorie!” exclaims Melissa McCarthy in her portrayal of Lee Israel in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” This is a line that would not be out of place if spoken by any number of her...

News Articles (Selected)


'In Conversation with Ethan Hawke' delves into success in the arts

By Perrin Smith

Published October 28, 2020

“Kids don’t know,” said Ethan Hawke. He was speaking about the first time he remembers being interested in the arts. Whether or not, as asked by Variety’s Deputy Awards and Features Editor Jenelle Riley...


Daniel Poler insists on preparing for success

By Perrin Smith, Photos by Nick Thomsen

Published October 19 2019

It’s quiet inside the Pei Ling Chan Amphitheatre. Rain pours down on the roof as Daniel Poler, a creative director for Condé Nast, begins his presentation. Over a dozen students lean in, poised to hear his insights on filmmaking and the fashion industry. Poler starts with...


City of Savannah launches plans for new Canal District and Arena

By Perrin Smith

Published October 19 2019

There is an area of Savannah that goes commonly unnoticed. It’s an area steeped in history and culture right at the doorsteps of downtown. It sits right across the old railroad bridges that connect...

Published Fiction


Fireflies - Published in The Port City Review

By Perrin Smith

Published March 24, 2021

Johnny twiddled the straw sticking out of his cup. We were in the window booth at the diner. His head was turned, and his eyes glazed over, looking out the window at the oak trees across the parking lot. "What d'you want to do tonight?" he asked...

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Back - Published in The Port City Review

By Perrin Smith

Published March 30, 2020

Walking behind you I notice the loosely formed oil stain on the back of your shirt, shaped like a half-formed Dalmatian, it runs and barks to the wind in rythym with your steps as you weave in between growths...

Podcast (Selected)

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'Bookmarked and Dogeared' Episode Eight: Halle Hill

By Perrin Smith

Published March 27, 2021

“I live by this rule that I think everything is sacred, everything gives me information, everything has something that’s powerful. So, I wake up knowing I’ll find something that’s inspiring,” said Halle Hill, a writer. Hill earned her M.F.A. in writing from SCAD in 2020.

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'Bookmarked and Dogeared' Episode Six: Kenneth R. Rosen

By Perrin Smith

Published February 13, 2021

“It’s cathartic, but it’s also relieving,” said Kenneth R. Rosen, senior editor at Newsweek. Rosen, who is currently promoting his new nonfiction book “Troubled,” previously earned a B.F.A. in writing from SCAD and served as District’s Editor in Chief in 2013.

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'Bookmarked and Dogeared' Episode Five: Ariel R. Felton

By Perrin Smith

Published January 29, 2021

“Growing up, no one talked about writing as a thing you could do. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I took a yearbook class and I got to write a lot that I realized I can do this as a career,” Ariel R. Felton said. Felton is a SCAD grad, who earned her M.F.A. in...

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'Bookmarked and Dogeared' Episode Three: Madison Hamburg

By Perrin Smith

Published December 11, 2020

“My parents told me they were getting a divorce the day before Christmas. I was 11 years old. And on Christmas day, they gave me a Handycam and I just totally lost myself in that — just filming whatever I could. But [filmmaking has] always been a thing that I...

Unpublished Reporting


The Ballad of James Rogers

By Perrin Smith

Written October 2020

He was about to retire. Locked into his decision in June 2013, James Rogers stood backstage at The Celebrity Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. He had just played one of his final shows. curtains had closed behind him, his Martin guitar was packed away in its case...

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