This afternoon, my pal Rafi alerted me to a Halo 4 promo that is currently running before trailers in US movie theaters. I went to look it up and found two versions: an official one without voice-over from Microsoft’s official Xbox YouTube account and a bootleg from this year’s Comic-Con posted by the Little English Halo Blog featuring the narration that plays in theaters.
I don’t know why Microsoft is only playing the narration publicly, but for the sake of simplicty I cut the higher quality video with the Comic-Con voiceover and uploaded it to YouTube. Here it is:
The transcript is below, but before that, some perspective:
Arthur Miller’s first and, I think, only novel, Focus, was, in my opinion, every bit as good as his first produced play, All My Sons. I once asked him why, if he was equally talented in both forms, he chose to write plays. Why would he give up the total control of the creative process that a novel provides to write instead for communal control, where a play would first go into the hands of a director and then pass into the hands of a cast, set designer, producer, and so forth? his answer was touching. He said that he loved seeing what his work evoked in others. The results could contain revelations, feelings, and ideas that he never knew existed when he wrote the play. It’s what we all hope for.
I never thought about pitting movies against video games, but I’m thinking about it now. So, good work Microsoft?
Creating Halo 4, in many ways, is a little like making a movie. There are a lot of the same components, a lot of the same technology, a lot of the same kinds of artists and musicians and designers.
On Halo 4, a significant portion of the game studio’s staff had movie backgrounds; skills and talent they’ve honed and polished in Hollywood on major theatrical productions and blockbuster movies. This game has motion capture specialists, people who capture fluid animation and occasionally, alien movement.
Halo has a sweeping, soaring, cinematic score that pulls audiences into the emotion and action on the screen. They record that soundtrack with a sixty piece orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, the recording venue for Star Wars, Prometheus and The Avengers.
Halo 4 has artists whose sole job is to create beautiful, compelling environments, worlds that, like the matte paintings from the golden age of cinema, make you feel like you’ve entered another world.
Halo has prop builders and set designers, people whose mission is to craft incredible weapons and build legendary vehicles.
So yes, in some ways, making a video game is a little like making a movie, but, a movie, like a game, is a collaborative process with millions of moving parts. A movie is a singular vision, experienced in the same way every time. It’s a journey that the director takes you on, but in Halo 4, you’re the director. You are the star.
We’ll give you the tools to blaze a new trail and allow you to experience and inhabit worlds and heroes in a way a movie never can. It’s your journey. You control your own destiny, and there’s no magic quite like it.