60 Frames is a short-film Super Smash Bros. Melee documentary developed and directed by Nick McDonald that was released on April 30th, 2016. The film focuses on the perspectives of three different players within three different skill levels, those three players being Kenji, Squid, and HugS. The film goes deep into what Melee means to each of the three players and how it changed their life.
The world of competitive Super Smash Brothers Melee is high stakes and cutthroat. There are heroes, villains, and even gods, and everyone is competing to make a name for themselves. 60 Frame follows three players, a newcomer (Kenji), a rising challenger (Squid), and a master (HugS), each looking to climb the ranks and solidify their place in the halls of melee history. The path is hard though, and the competition is fierce. When the game is on the line, your focus narrows, and the world vanishes, leaving only you, your opponent, and the game. The sounds become sharper, the visuals become brighter, and awareness is heightened. It's not just strategy and cognition that wins games, it's the ability to flow in high level situations. In this movie we look at what it takes to succeed in high level competition, and what it feels like to experience the glory of victory and the sting of defeat.
In early 2016, Nick McDonald began working on the documentary with the intention of using it as his thesis documentary film for the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. McDonald went to two Super Smash Sundays tournaments and GENESIS 3 to record footage. At the same time, McDonald also sought out several people to interview including Kenji's mother, Squid's roommate, and a GENESIS 3 tournament organizer. The film was completed in April of 2016 and premiered live on HugS' livestream on April 30th, 2016. On the same day, it was later uploaded to McDonald's YouTube channel. As of July 2018, the documentary has garnered over 200,000 views on YouTube.