New Half Life Series, Escape From City 17, Filmed For $500!

Feb 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Internet TV, Video
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The Escape From City 17 short film series is based on the Half Life computer game saga by Valve Corporation.

Originally envisioned as a project to test out numerous post production techniques, as well as a spec commercial, it ballooned into a multi-part series. Filmed guerilla style with no money, no time, no crew, no script, the first two episodes were made from beginning to end on a budget of $500.

If the $500 figure is close to true, Escape From City 17 represents a big leap forward in guerilla filmmaking, and means that we’re going to see an explosion longer-form indie content.

Note: the embed above is NSFW and includes graphic violence.

Additional Notes:

  • Valve flew the team out to Seattle last year, and the brothers have been in communication with them since.
  • David and Ian Purchase are commercial directors represented by Sons and Daughters in Toronto. They are working on an unannounced feature film. Not HL related.
  • They have been huge fans of HL since the days of “ivan the space biker’
PurchaseBrothers via Warren Ellis
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6 Responses to “New Half Life Series, Escape From City 17, Filmed For $500!”

  1. arjun says:

    This blows my mind – sort of like the video quality of the Canon EOS 5D camera – it hits you that things are really changing.

    The content of this doesn’t do much for me – I’m not a gamer – but the quality of this is equal to most TV shows.

    Amazing!

  2. arjun says:

    This is amazing!

    I’m not a gamer – so the content doesn’t do much for me – but the video quality looks as good as what you see on TV.

  3. msbpodcast says:

    This is a “wow” moment.

    It is now possible to produce (create, write for, shoot, edit, distribute,) content digitally for under $1,000 (+ equipment of course.)

    Makes the “Dr. Horrible” business model look realistic doesn’t it. By scaling down, you can see how it can be scaled up as well.

    If enough people make it known (email address,) that they would support the project (PayPal auction, scene by scene) it could conceivably be possible for the project to be realized WITHOUT ever needing involvement by “the studios.”

  4. [...] as cool as this looks, the story gets even better: Originally envisioned as a project to test out numerous post production techniques, as well as a [...]

  5. Matthew says:

    How incredible. Sure, the acting is slightly cheesy, but be mindful of the fact that the two filmed this improvisation-style with no script and a cast of friends. The quality of the visuals is stunning, and it shows how seamlessly in-game footage can combine with live-action content to create a video masterpiece. Long live the Escape from City 17 series!

  6. Andrzej says:

    This is pretty good. Looks better than some million dollar movies from Hollywood (Transformers).

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