Rockstar Games producer and voice of Grand Theft Auto, Lazlow Jones, paid a visit to his friends at the Opie and Anthony Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio to talk about his latest travels, some politics, the death of comedian Patrice O’ Neal, and how a trip to São Paulo, Brazil for Max Payne 3 was one of his craziest adventures.
What’s a producer of Max Payne 3 doing in São Paulo? Adding an extra layer of realism by recording São Paulo natives speaking Portuguese since this is the city where the game takes place.
Lazlow starts his story about how he was advised that he and the other producers on the trip would need a bulletproof car in São Paulo because they would have $10,000 on them. He then continues that a security consultant sent him a picture of their driver when setting up the trip because kidnapping is a problem in São Paulo. Right before he leaves, the security consultant says that the driver has been changed causing a major safety concern for the team. When he finally makes it to São Paulo, Jones immediately noticed that the car has a thick bulletproof glass, and then is told by the driver that the undercarriage of the car is reinforced to prevent his legs from being blown off if there’s a bomb on the road.
The first stop in the city for Jones is a bank where he can do a currency exchange. It was there where he is introduced to the bank's unique metal detector that’s built-in to the revolving door, forcing him to remove all of his metal while stuck in the door. Things get scary when Jones is approached by a bank employee that said “There’s a man outside looking for two Americans.” Jones then finds out that the man was his driver who was worried that they were taking too long for the exchange. After that escapade, Jones was on his own to travel the city in a Ford Focus, but he made sure to keep a low profile.
When asked by comedian Jim Norton on whether he visited one of the local favelas, which are shanty towns rife with crime, Jones said he didn’t, but other game producers did so that they could take some pictures that would be used to create a virtual version of the favela in the game. In order to do so, the producers had to pay local gangs to give them access.
During his time at São Paulo, Jones did say that he enjoyed it there even though he was working in the recording studio from 10am to 11pm. Show co-host Anthony Cumia asked if Jones was constantly paranoid all the time while in the city. Jones then explained that as the son of a drug NARC, an undercover police officer that works drug busts, he is used to being aware of his surroundings since he was a little kid.
So when you play Max Payne 3 this coming May, take a moment to think about how the producers of the game put their lives in jeopardy in order to make the game more realistic for you.
You can listen to the full interview below. The Max Payne 3 talk starts at 1:48:28.