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Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn – Interview with the Executive Producers

by on 10/05/2012
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Halo 4 is almost exactly a month away. It is the first Halo title from Microsoft’s 343 studios that is filled with high-end senior talent and ex-Bungie employees. The hype has slowly been building and it is looking to be the best Halo yet.

To get people excited, Microsoft and 343 decided to create a live-action Halo series that will launch 15-minute weekly episodes up into the games release. Essentially you will be getting a Halo film that is an 1 hour and 15 minutes long (if you pre-order the Legendary edition of the game you get an extra 15 minutes).

The first episode launched today and you can even watch it below right now:

To further highlight the release of the first episode, I sat down with the executive producers of the series, Josh Feldman and Lydia Antonini. These two share their thoughts on the halo universe, translating this console classic into a live-action series, and their thoughts on a Halo movie or TV show.

What was your background (if any) on Halo / the Halo universe before taking on this project?

LA: I am not a player so my fascination and admiration is more focused on the incredible devotion that Halo inspires and the incredible characters the Halo franchise has built along the way.

JF: I came later to Halo fandom, but my enthusiasm was completely rejuvenated with the Anniversary Edition of the original game.  It’s a great reminder of where Halo as a franchise began, how far it’s come but also the strength of the foundation on which the entire franchise was built.

Gamers are used to being in the driver seat for their adventures in Halo, did this translate over into Forward Unto Dawn?

LA: I think if we tried too hard to replicate an experience that is unique to the deeply interactive experience of a console game, we would have fallen terribly short.  Instead we focused on what linear narrative does best taking the viewer on a singular journey with a group of characters who have to confront great struggles.

JF: Hopefully we are giving fans everything they wanted to see in a “lean-back” experience.  They’re so used to piloting the action, we hope Halo fans get some new insights that make playing the games more exciting.  For non-Halo fans, there is a great character-driven drama that unfolds in the Halo universe but is completely accessible as an entertainment experience unto itself.

Watching the trailer it seems like it has a little bit of everything, what emotions did you try to convey in the production? Should we expect an action packed “Michael Bay Presents: Halo”?

JF: Look, there are certain things that fans expect from Halo: great action, amazing battles, etc… Our director, Stewart Hendler, and our stunt coordinator, practical and visual effects teams did an amazing job of ensuring that there is no lack of action.  Working with our writers, Todd and Aaron Helbing, and the teams at 343, we have a carefully designed narrative focusing on cadets in a military academy on the verge of adulthood, their adolescence shaped by war.  Exploring these themes through the lens of the Halo let’s us explore some great dramatic territory without sacrificing the adventure and excitement that has come to define Halo.

The now infamous Halo movie that was in development all the way back in 2006 was ultimately cancelled. Neil Blomkampf and Peter Jackson were tied to it, and went on to make the Oscar nominated “District 9″. After doing this project, do you feel like a Halo movie would work? Would you advise Microsoft to do so? Would you be up for the task to bring it to life?

LA: The Halo universe is filled with amazing characters and wonderful stories, a movie would work, a tv show would work, the possibilities are endless and hopefully Forward Unto Dawn will prove that there’s an audience demand.

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us. Obviously today is a huge day and it’s time to see what the future holds for Halo outside of their game.