Enter the Freeman (Fan Film Month)

By: Oberst Von Berauscht (A Toast) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Fan film month continues with this video-game themed entry based around the Half Life games.  Enter the Freeman focuses on the story of an encounter the game’s chief protagonist has with a scientist and security guard sometime during the events of the first game.  The film was created by filmmakers Ian James Duncan and Bernhard Forcher.  Give it a look:

A Toast

With witty references to the game’s quirks, solid special effects, and a creepy atmosphere that hints at a larger danger just around the corner, it is clear that these filmmakers know the source material.  I was particularly impressed by the creature design of the head-crab zombie, which wouldn’t have been out of place in Stan Winston’s laboratory.  The performances are also solid, which helps to sell the horror elements of the film.  The sound design of the film utilizes many effects from the game, without it ever feeling artificial.

The appearance of Gordon Freeman is very satisfying as well, he even has the trademark HEV Mark IV suit, and it looks like it was built with the quality and care of a hollywood costume designer.  The filmmakers even address the fact that he never talks in the games, by writing around most of his dialog with subtle facial reactions, and body language.

Above: Not so subtle

The cinematography is simple, but effectively uses dramatic lighting to create mood.  Each shot feels necessary in the overall narrative.  It is clear the filmmakers spent a good deal of time and effort on this, and I wholeheartedly applaud their efforts.  My message to Valve is to give these guys a budget, they could make some great promotional material for Half Life 3, whenever you get around to announcing it… (And what about Half Life 2: Episode 3? did a barnacle monster swallow the programmers or something? *shakes fist in nerd rage*).

Verdict

This is how a fan film should be, it tells a simple story, and stays true to the spirit of the source material.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every geeky reference.

Drink a Shot: for Crow-Bar™: because pistols are for sissies.

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they’re confused about something) at least a few times a week. I’ve gotten way off track here… The point is, Oberst is one of the website’s founders, so… yeah

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