UPDATE 09/21/15: The Fallen is almost done!! They just released a second trailer – get hyped!
One of the most common types of Halo fan-project out there is the fan-film. Probably in part due to the fact that we’ve still yet to get a true live-action Halo movie or TV series, fans have frequently decided to take the matter into their own hands and create their vision of a live-action Halo experience. It seems that every year a new one kicks off with lofty ambitions and enthusiastic crowdfunding campaigns.
Starting one of these projects and actually seeing it through to completion however are two very different things. Luckily for the Halo community, one such project is very close to being completed, and is scheduled to release later this year. Feast your eyes on the trailer for The Fallen: A Halo Fan Film.
As you can probably guess from the giant halo ring in a few of those sky boxes and the references to Reach’s recent glassing, The Fallen takes place on Installation 04, the ringworld from the very first Halo game, Combat Evolved. Instead of retelling the Master Chief’s inaugural adventure however, The Fallen follows a ragtag group of troopers and ODSTs from the Pillar of Autumn, marooned on this strange world and fighting desperately for their own survival against overwhelming Covenant forces.
The project was originally conceived by Xerxes Sangco, who acted as the co-director and cinematographer. Along with several peers with active roles in the U.S. military (Dani Yuan, a costume designer and an Army communications officer, Chris Kraemer, who is active in the Navy, Army Specialist Ryan Valera and others), the creators set out to tell a story from the perspective of the regular enlisted UNSC forces. Most official Halo content focuses on or includes the signature SPARTAN super-soldiers in some way or another, so The Fallen’s choice to give the spotlight to some of the unsung heroes is certainly a refreshing decision.
Because so many of The Fallen’s creators have experienced actual military life, there was great care taken to faithfully recreate that culture within the Halo context. Much of the UNSC’s structure is based off of the modern U.S. military anyways, so it’s a very logical design decision. A lot of service members love the Halo games and play them when overseas; so while the film is being produced for all Halo fans, the creators are especially hopeful that those in uniform will appreciate the authenticity of The Fallen. For a great example of this fidelity, check out The Fallen: Crucible, a short teaser for the movie that finds the protagonist, Private Garrison, reflecting on his training before being deployed on a mission.
That bit at the end gets me pumped every single time.
A non-profit film done by passionate volunteers and funded entirely through crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indigogo, The Fallen finished filming in late 2013. Since then they have been working on post-production and VFX. This step has been a challenge, mostly because most of their VFX crew have had to focus on their day-jobs, with little opportunity to work on the high-quality models this project is utilizing. Recently however, after a few of the modelers had to step down due to external work demands, T.C. De Witt has taken over managing the post-production process and things have kicked back into gear. If you have any experience with 3D modelling or VFX and want to help them out, you can contact them through their Facebook page.
Here’s a small preview of the extraordinary quality of VFX work that’s going into The Fallen.
The Fallen: A Halo Fan Film is slated for release later this year, so keep your eyes open! I have to say that, personally, this is the Halo fan project I am the most excited for. For more information, pics and videos, you can visit their YouTube page and their Facebook page.