While Star Wars continues to dominate much of the conversation about big-ticket sci-fi film, the outcome of the DICE keynote talk between filmmaker J.J. Abrams and game-master Gabe Newell of Valve Software was even more stunning: the two are likely to collaborate to make games and movies. The stated movie interests are adaptations of popular Valve games Portal and Half-Life.

“We’re making a Half-Life movie” is not quite what they said, but the door was certainly left open to Bad Robot and Valve collaborating on projects. And reading between the lines and taking a few other tips into account, it seems that one film is all but certain.

After the break, we’ll give you the proper quotes from the creative pair, and start to figure out just what they’re planning. Are the two hatching a scheme for something bigger than a simple game to film adaptation? I wonder if the very long-awaited conclusion of the Half-Life game series might take on a new sort of life thanks to this deal.

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Why don’t game developers make their own movies based upon the video games they create? The first answer to that question should be: “they’re busy making more games.” But there are a few cases where very high-profile development studios might be able to pull together the resources to make a game-based film, and do so in a way that stays true to the spirit of the original title. But is that the best way for it to happen?

Valve, the company behind the award-winning game series Half-Life, has seen a lot of interest from producers and studios. But during those pitches no one kept the spirit of the games properly in mind, and Gabe Newell, CEO and co-founder of Valve, has come to the conclusion that if a Half-Life movie is going to be made, Valve might have to do it themselves. Read More »

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Last month we posted a 9-minute first-person short film which appeared on YouTube titled “What’s In The Box?” The special effects-infused short gained traction online, with many of the impressed viewers trying to unlock the mystery. Could this be a viral marketing campaign for a movie? a television show? a video game? a cell phone? Many speculated that the film might to promote the video game Half-Life, as it featured some imagery from the series.

The use of Michael Giacchino‘s Lost score lead others to believe that the short might be connected to the JJ Abrams-produced television show. Websites connected with the video (or possibly fan created add-ons to the experience) also featured Lost-related Easter eggs like a pass code using the famous numbers 4 8 15 16 23 42 and a link to The Hanso Foundation website, the company which finances the Dharma Initiative.

Lost producer Damon Lindelof has finally gone on record to confirm the the video is NOT connected in any official capacity to the popular sci-fi television series.

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What’s in the box?

What’s in the box? We’re honestly not sure. This 9-minute first-person short film has appeared on YouTube this week and is beginning to gain some traction in the Alternative Reality Game world. What we do know is this: The short was shot in the Netherlands, Nijmegen to be exact, using a bunch of assets taken directly from Half-Life, and music from the television show Lost. The YouTube page says that “This is a early temp version. Will be deleted soon” and the video’s title is What’s in the Box? – Test Film 2009.” The informational sidebar also provides the following url: www.whatsinthebox.nl. When you go to the site, you will find a box with a blinking question mark which sporadically glows red. Many people think it’s the start of a viral. Some have even suggested it is for Half-Life 3… but I think it might actually just be a very well put together special effects demo. Either way, it seems to me that whomever created this, put a lot of time and effort into it. Thanks to /Film reader Zach for the tip.

6 More SXSW Movie Trailers

SXSW Film Festival

We’re back with another batch of movie trailers for some of the smaller independent films playing at the 2008 South By Southwest Film Festival: Barry Jenkins’ meet-cute drama Medicine For Melancholy, Jennifer Phang’s cosmic family saga Half-Life, Kevin Ely & Beau Leland’s rock opera Rainbow Around the Sun, Harmony Korine’s celeb-impersonator fantasy Mister Lonely, Marco Ricci and Michael Canzoniero’s comedy The Marconi Bros., and a scene excerpt from Liz Mermin’s Bollywood gangster documentary Shot In Bombay. We have also have included the huge growing list of links to all the SXSW movie trailers we’ve posted thus far.

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