5 Spectacular Game-Inspired Short Films You Should Watch Right Now / by Andreas Kopriva

Hello everyone, and welcome to today's list of awesome things you can (and should!) watch right now. Today, we're looking at a small collection of game-inspired short films that we found to be quite amazing. There are a ton more out there - check out the list here for example - but I was drawn to these five because of their overall quality and my own personal fanboyism!

So without further ado, in no specific order - 

5. Assassin's Creed Unity meets parkour

Devin Graham has been making real-life Assassin's Creed parkour shorts for the past 3 years approximately and they've all been pretty spectacular in terms of their directing and the sheer acrobaticism exhibited throughout. This one has been shot on the Red Scarlet and a simple hand-held steadicam (seriously Graham, I salute your constitution) throughout the streets of Paris. Be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes video as well to get an idea of what went into making the above piece. 

Besides the free flowing camera movements, what I liked most about this piece is that it has a tiny bit of a story as well. Even though one may not be familiar with the Assassin's Creed franchise (though at this point, who isn't?) there's a self-contained narrative to contextualize the fantastic and fearless acrobatics on display. 

4. Mirror's Edge Parkour POV

This one is brilliant simply due to how close it comes to the source material's aesthete. There may not be an overarching storyline, but due to the POV and generally monochromatic locations, interspersed with splashes of color from Neil Contet's (the runner) gloves and sneakers and a couple of brightly colored window sills, it succeeds in being very faithful to DICE's brilliant game. 

Be sure to check out their Youtube channel for more and their official website, as well. 


3. Portal : No escape

Though almost 4 years old, Dan Trachtenberg's short is still spectacular today. Everything, from the narrative, to the world-building, the pacing, the ingenious usage of the portal gun as an evasion/combat tool, the sound design, compositing and general visual effects is of a stupidly high quality, making this, not only a glorious homage to a brilliant game, but an excellent short film that can stand on it's own. 

Be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes for a glimpse on how they pulled it off. 


2.Half-life : Raise the Bar

The first of two Half Life homages featured in this list, the Joe Miale short stands out because it focuses on an unexpected star of the franchise : the crowbar. During the introductory events which open Half Life's story, we are presented with an alternative take on how that most iconic of weapons ended up in the mute protagonist's hands. 

Cleverly paced, with solid production values and a slight dash of twisted humor, Raise the Bar manages to stand on its own as a narrative short, while paying tribute to what is considered one of the greatest single-player games ever made in a very subtle and reverent manner. 

I'd like to thank Andreas Kyriakou for the share - check out his site, Splashin' Turtles Films here!

1.Half life 3 : Unannounced

Fencepost Productions' short, directed by James Hope, toys with the wait (almost 11 years Valve... come oooooon) for the next volume in the Half Life franchise, by showing us what the wait has done to silent protagonist, Gordon Freeman (excellently portrayed by Noel Nostron). 

It is absolutely brilliant. Noel becomes the embodiment of the weariness that a decade plus of waiting does to the mind. As in reality, where the mere mention of the name leads to rampant speculation and the rejuvenation of hopes long considered gone, so here, through Noel's portrayal we see those flickers of nostalgia, of what was and what may never be. 

Well, maybe next year? Half life 3 via Portal? Please? 


Honorable Mention  

Yep. 'Cause kittens in hoods.