The difference between a video game and a feature film is immersion. Video games with cinematics and excellent mattes and backgrounds approach the scale and grandeur of film - well, not really. What film does excellently is almost a cliche but it puts your characters in a super dramatic backdrop that expands the emotions conveyed by the actor. I think of Audrey Hepburn in the empty luxurious apartment in Charade. I think of zooming into the car chase from the aerial shots of John Frankenheimer in Ronin. To get immersion, where it's your own emotions experiencing the narrative AND scenic drama is a holy grail which has not yet been found. Yet the days are approaching when the narrative drama of video game immersion and scenic drama of film are used in tandem in order to portray a universal story. By universal, of course I mean epic scale drama with key cores of protagonists taking their audience through multiple stories over the course of years. Halo is, of course, one such universe. This is the future of fiction. It is the medium for our children.
ViHart is one of the people to whom I subscribe. I like the way she thinks. I know the way she thinks because she understands the new media. Like hiphop, her youtubery incorporates its metadata into its content. She reflects the wisdom, newly discovered by me, of Edmund Snow Carpenter who says:
If you address yourself to an audience, you accept at the outset the basic premises that unite the audience. You put on the audience, repeating cliches familiar to it. But artists don't address themselves to audiences; they create audiences. The artist talks to himself out loud. If what he has to say is significant, others hear & are affected.
So 343 is making, at long last, the Halo movie. Their aim is to complement the Halo universe with the kind of live action drama that cannot be accomplished in video games. They continue the very grabbing human drama in the live action shorts that preceded Halo Reach. I especially liked this one:.
What will come into being is the next installment of the video game franchise, continuing drama in the Halo universe accompanied by that thing the movie studios could not manage to accomplish, making a Halo movie. As much as I admired the sneak previews of the movie that was proposed several years ago, I now see that the new digital series: Forward Unto Dawn, will be more suited to those of us who have heard & been affected by what the artists of Halo have already said. It will put faces, in particular, into focus.
Every one of these external forays into media other than the game itself has been, in my view, a success. I still have vivid memories of the serialized audiobook of I Love Bees, which came out in between the original Halo and Halo 2.
The preview trailer of Forward Undo Dawn, just released over the weekend, has already had over 2 million views. The Halo Movie is already a success.