Christian Cantamessa

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Christian Cantamessa
Born (1976-10-04) October 4, 1976 (age 45)
OccupationDirector, writer, video game creator
Notable work
Red Dead Redemption
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Christian Cantamessa (born October 4, 1976) is an Italian-American writer, director and video game creator best known as co-writer and director of Air,[1] lead designer and co-writer of Red Dead Redemption and the Manhunt series and level designer on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

He is also the Founder and CEO of Sleep Deprivation Lab[2] which is a production company and video game consulting firm known for work on Rise of Tomb Raider, The Crew, Forza Horizon, Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War.

In December 2020 it was revealed that Cantamessa is working on story, world-building and cinematic direction for the reboot of Perfect Dark with Xbox’s The Initiative studio.[3]


Video games[edit]

Year Game title Role Notes
2000 Disney's Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers Game design
2001 The Watchmaker Game design, original story, quality assurance
2003 Manhunt Lead level designer and writer
2004 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Level designer
2007 Manhunt 2 Designer and writer
2010 Red Dead Redemption Lead designer and writer[4][5] Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction at 14th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards[6]
2012 Forza Horizon Additional writing[7]
2014 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Cinematics director, story[8][9] Outstanding Achievement in Story at the 18th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards[10]
Nominated for Direction in a Game, Cinema at the NAVGTR Awards[11]
2014 The Crew Story[12]
2015 Rise of the Tomb Raider Story consultant[13]
2017 Middle-earth: Shadow of War Story


Year Film title Role Notes
2015 Air[14] Writer and director[15][16] Directorial feature film debut[17]
2018 Awake[18] Writer[19] Premiered at South by Southwest 2018[20]


Year Series title Role Notes
2017 Kill the Minotaur[21] Writer Published by Image Comics[22]


  1. ^ Jaworowski, Ken (2015-08-13). "Review: In 'Air,' Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou Keep Hope, and Themselves, Alive". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  2. ^ "Here's the secret to making a truly cinematic video game". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  3. ^ "Analysis: Who's working on the new Perfect Dark?". Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  4. ^ "How Red Dead Redemption's writer wants Start VR to change storytelling". VentureBeat. 2016-11-27. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  5. ^ "'Red Dead Redemption' writer Christian Cantamessa is thrilled at the opportunities that VR will present". International Business Times AU. 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  6. ^ Graft, Kris. "BioWare's Mass Effect 2 Wins Game Of The Year At Interactive Achievement Awards". Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  7. ^ Purdy, Shawn. "When Worlds Collide: hands-on with The Crew". Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  8. ^ "SDCC2014: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Christian Cantamessa Roundtable Interview | ToonZone News". ToonZone News. 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  9. ^ Times, Los Angeles. "'Shadow of Mordor': Behind the scenes". Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  10. ^ Nutt, Christian. "Shadow of Mordor cleans up at the AIAS awards". Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  11. ^ "Nominations by Year | National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Corporation". Archived from the original on 2018-03-04. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  12. ^ Purdy, Shawn. "The Crew was written by former writers of Red Dead Redemption and GTA Vice City". Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  13. ^ "New Moving Hazard trailer shows weaponized zombies in action - GameZone". GameZone. 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  14. ^ "Exclusive Interview: "Air" Director Christian Cantamessa". Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  15. ^ "'Walking Dead's' Norman Reedus to Star In, Robert Kirkman to Produce Sci Fi Thriller 'Air' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  16. ^ "The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman and Norman Reedus to team for sci-fi thriller Air". IGN India. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  17. ^ ""Walking Dead" Creator Robert Kirkman's Quest To Create The Anti-Marvel". Fast Company. 2015-08-21. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (2017-12-04). "Jake McDorman, Analeigh Tipton to Star in VR Film 'Awake'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  19. ^ McLevy, Alex. "VR is getting very, very good". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  20. ^ "SXSW 2018: Exclusive Trailer for VR Original Series AWAKE". ScreenAnarchy. 2018-03-14. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  21. ^ "Skybound Launches New Comic, Kill The Minotaur - Take A Peek! - Bleeding Cool News And Rumors". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. 2017-03-20. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  22. ^ "Robert Kirkman's Skybound Teams With Universal to Adapt 'Kill the Minotaur' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-03-17.

External links[edit]