Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blomkamp (Part I)

Did you see that?

So, around the time that HALO 3 was coming out, we (the ever-consuming public) were practically assaulted at almost every turn by advertising for the game, and also by its many tie-ins in other media. Some of these tie-ins were pretty poor, and nothing but the horrid byproduct of a marketing meeting conducted by the foulest of all creatures, the faceless, soulless suits of ad agency executives (I’m looking at you, HALO themed slurpee at 7-11). Others, however, had some real merit.

Something called HALO: ARMS RACE popped up on the internet, and on Xbox Live for download. It was a very short “film”, not even 5 minutes long. It was a live action gear-up for the war humanity had to look forward to with the alien race of the Covenant in the upcoming game. It showed a large human battle (space)ship moving through the atmosphere of our planet as it left dock. Soldiers were having their heads shaved, warthog jeeps were on the assembly line, thousands of battle rifles and pistols were being produced, all in preparation of “finishing the fight” in the third game of the successful trilogy.

What was this short, and who had made it? A quick answer would be that it is, like everybody’s favorite folk duo Flight Of The Conchords, from New Zealand. The short was directed by a man named Neil Blomkamp, was produced by Peter Jackson, and Jackson’s WETA studios had done the special effects. Wow. That’s a lot of firepower behind such a short piece …

But wait, there was more! Soon after, an actual short film (more than the first, which was ostensibly an ad), broken up into 2 parts, was released. For the first time, fans of the series got a glimpse of some real action in the HALO universe as it might look like in a movie, with a “story” that helped bridge the gap up to the beginning of the new game.

The film was pretty damn cool – while the sets were minimal, the cast small, and the actual substance of the project slight, it was totally amazing to see the power of the Brute hammer, the speed of the warthog, and Covenant banshees screaming past overhead. Oh, and the fact that a Brute got blown up by a rocket launcher didn’t hurt it.

(to be continued)

Halo's Arms Race, or when live-action is more dead than CGI [Joystiq]

- Goodchild

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