GR Pick: Half Life Short Film ‘Beyond Black Mesa’

By | 6 years ago 

Independent filmmaker Brian Curtin started a project 2 years ago: make a live-action video shot in the Half-Life universe, and make it good. Yesterday, the video was finally released and we here at Game Rant can confirm that it is damn good. Set in the zombie-infested town of Ravenholm, the film – entitled Beyond Black Mesa – takes viewers on an adventure through the eyes of Adrian Shephard, a member of the resistance caught with his brethren between the vicious jaws of the zombies, and the elite Combine sent to track them down.

We’ve already seen the brief teaser of the film, and while it had us clamoring for a live-action Half-Life movie, the finished product is even better.

Running at just under 12 minutes, the action takes you from insane gunfights and bloody zombies to some intense one on one fighting, and sounds taking from the game are put to good use, and those familiar with the universe will also pick up on some great nods to the Half-Life universe with objects placed in the scenery.

The film is incredibly polished, yet the crew were somehow able to piece this together for an estimated $1,200.

Without further ado, let us take you into the one of the best live-action films we’ve ever seen in connection to a video game. Welcome to a world that is: Beyond Black Mesa (be sure to watch it in HD!):

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOrH5tfWorg

The film was shot using just a single Canon HV20, and the entire crew consisted of just 9 friends sharing the tasks. It’s a great example of what a dedicated group of fans can do, given they have adequate time and talent – but with passion, anything is possible.

In the description of the video, Curtin is humble about the production and only says a little bit about the production:

“This film is not HL, HL2 or Opposing Forces. It’s a short fan film that takes place in the Half-Life world. Also, as a completely independent film, we wanted to have a creative voice in the movie and make it a movie that we would enjoy shooting. We took artistic freedoms and liberties, unfortunately most of those decisions were determined by our limited resources.”

Given what you’ve presumably just seen in the video above, it’s safe to say they’ve put what resources they’ve had to good use. The film may have been made on a tight budget, but the group of friends managed to do the impossible all by themselves.

The aforementioned Brian Curtin served as director, Matt Hall and Mat Powell as producers, Nate Quarterman worked as composer, Taylor Robinson as narrator and Grips were shared by Joy Gravel, Walt Thomas and Andrew Gothard.

Keep in mind, acting was split between the group – everyone pitched in a ton of work for the project, and the end result is a fantastic tribute to Valve and their hard work. We don’t know what it is about the developer that draws such dedication from its fans, but it’s clear that the world of Half-Life has plenty of potential where story is concerned.

Heck, we’d even settle for an animated movie if it meant more Half-Life, since valve seems content to keep us waiting for Half-Life 3 well into the next decade.

What did you think of Beyond Black Mesa? Have you seen any fan-made videos that you would compare? Tell us your thoughts!

Source: Beyond Black Mesa