By now every gamer and indie filmmaker has watched the Half Life inspired fan film, Escape from City 17.
Produced by a couple of Canadian commercial directors, the Purchase Brothers (who obviously know a thing or two about VFX) Escape from City 17 has already reached well over a million hits in the four days it’s been on YouTube.
Reported to have been made for $500 with no time and no script, it’s like a modern day El Mariachi, albeit shorter, where they used the people, resources and locations they had at their disposable. Valve, who make Half Life have apparently already been in touch with the Purchase Brothers and one can only speculate that future episodes of this series will be endorsed if not backed by them.
In the past when I’ve watch sci-fi or action shorts/webisodes online I’ve found them lackluster but I quite enjoyed Escape From City 17. It’s lean, tense and visually engaging. It knows it’s target demographic and serves them well with equal parts action, visual effects and, let’s face it, violence. I’m keen to see more.