Half-Life: Rise and Shine – short film

Bringing the Half-Life universe together one last time. And by universe, I mean ALL of it. Half-Life, Opposing Force, and even Portal. There’s even a couple of new characters.

I loved the game and got pretty damn good at some deathmatches back in the day (even made my own levels), and wanted to make a short based on the Half Life game since the turn of the century. I guess it’s a good thing I waited, otherwise there’d be no Chell to throw in there.

I kinda wish I would have seen that they were going to make a virtual reality game about Alyx, maybe I would’ve included her as well.

This live-action rendition was shot over one weekend by me and some friends. I then disappeared into a cave high in the Himalayas and did everything else (editing, FX — which I’m not that good at, music, foley etc). I had a blast making this, but we were on a tight budget as these things go so there are some parts I would have liked to have done better, like more accurate clothes, better FX, things like that. And for those that are like “Chell has a gun! Nooooo!” Of course she does. She came to the surface, and IIRC, she didn’t have her portal gun anymore. She would have picked up a gun eventually. And for me anyway, I thought Chell with a gun would be badass. Besides, if I tried including that bit of tech in this short, it would’ve never been made.

When I made this, there was talk about J. J. Abrams and Disney getting involved in making a film in this universe. I don’t know whatever happened to that, but man, I’d love to see it! I’d even come make coffee on set, or pull staples from scripts, anything.

For those haters and game-purists out there, I make no apologies for anything other than not having enough money to see the vision to full fruition. The story itself is what I wanted and matches my sensibilities and influences as a filmmaker, which happens to NOT be mainstream fare… not that there’s anything wrong with that… I love those films too, it’s just not where I cut my teeth. So if you enjoy things with layers and lines to read between, then you’ll probably like it, if you only like spectacle level films like Thor with straight-ahead plot chains, maybe not so much, and that’s okay too.