Friday, 16 December 2011

Interview With Dan Wang, Director Of Halo: Helljumper

I recently contacted Dan Wang, Director of the upcoming web series Halo: Helljumper expected to release in January 2012. I asked Dan if it's alright to set up a Interview that I can put on my blog, Halo The Universe. Here below is what he had to say when I asked him the following questions

 Thanks Dan for taking the time to answer these questions 

1. I've heard countless times you use the word "Hope" to describe Halo Helljumper's story, what really inspired you to make the story about hope?

A. That’s a good question. Halo’s universe goes way beyond that of the games where you play a super soldier that essentially gets the job done by blasting his way through hordes of aliens. We often forget about the regular soldiers who don’t have the same advantage. They can’t rely on tremendous strength, ultrafast reflexes, and shield generating armor to save themselves. Often, marines and ODSTs are found on the losing side of the battle and essentially, what people don’t see sometimes, is that cold fact that humans have a grim chance of winning the war. In our case, throughout the project, there were a lot of odds stacked against us in being able to successfully complete our episode. But the one thing that keeps both us and Gage going is that light at the end of the tunnel.

2. What's the biggest problem you had facing while working on the production of Halo Helljumper

A. There were a multitude of issues that we had to address during our production. Some bigger than others, but one of the biggest setbacks was on the first and second days of shooting, where our equipment trucks were delayed from extreme traffic from Brooklyn to Manhattan. This caused us to have to move our schedule for that first day onto the second day which resulted in an almost 16 hour day. That was extremely brutal for everyone.

3. What really inspire you to create and develop the story based from the Halo Universe?

A. I’ve read a lot of the stories from the books. My opinion was that "Dirt" got us a very human feel from the Halo Universe. It also had a lot of potential to be expanded upon, because it gave us critical moments in the Universe and Gage’s own life during the war, there were a lot of holes that could be filled in. In addition, Gage’s character development is very pronounced and for any story, the main character needs to successfully develop otherwise the story falls flat despite how well it plays out.

4. What are your plans for the future in film making?

A. At the moment, everything is up in the air. Obviously, my goal is to continue with the Halo web series and hopefully continue on to shoot a feature for it. Besides that, I’m currently working on a zombie themed web show that should also premiere sometime next year. It won’t be as epic as Halo, but as with anything involving zombies, it will be fun to watch.

5. The Aliens from what I've seen look very promising so far but whats the most challenging thing about developing the Aliens?

A. With technology today, it’s not hard to make aliens look realistic. The hardest part with any animation of a live character is to make the movements fluid and realistic. A lot of times you will see CG that looks good, but just doesn’t move right, and that really takes an audience out of the movie. We’re spending quite a bit of time making sure that the aliens are exactly what we expect them to be.

6. What was your favourite thing on developing the Aliens?

A. Aliens in the game are a little bit comical in a way. My favorite part of developing the aliens in Halo was to make them a lot darker than they are in the game. These creatures are taking over humanity planet by planet with plasma weapons and what not, they have to at least look intimidating. So I had a bit of fun making them evil and demonic looking, as you can see by the Grunt.

7. Who's the star of you show?

A. Bradley Rose plays Gage Yevgenny at the moment who is the main protagonist in the series. But with any episodic series, there are many strong supporting characters. In our case, we have characters like Mingyu Chu playing Gage’s best friend Mason, and Tyler La Marr playing Teller. There are many other recurring characters as well.

8. Do you plan to go further, do you think on developing more stories based on Halo?

A. Of course! If all is well with Helljumper. I wanted to really expand and work on a "semi-canon" series that is based off a Spartan-III. Think of it as something like Halo meets the Bourne Trilogy since that’s what inspired that storyline.

9. How do you think the fans will react to your series?

A. I honestly wouldn’t be able to predict. Based on all positive reactions to the trailer, and during the pre-screening, we are hoping that people like the series and want to see more, so that we can grab Microsoft’s attention. At the moment, I think we are among few Halo fan films to really hit the market since Neil and Peter Jackson worked together on the Landfall short. So I hope that our exclusivity also helps to push our popularity up.

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