Halo: Nightfall Second Stories
343 Industries . Halo Nightfall . November 2014
resilient unto the night.
Halo: Nightfall second stories were created along side the main narrative. Production of these stories began while the script was being written and then adapted as the production naturally shifted.
Early in the production of the Halo Channel the guiding principal was to create an interactive platform that extended linear television series. The challenge was to create a reward mechanism compelling enough to drive people to this new Halo Channel platform. The question was, "How do you reward someone who only cares about the television series and never plays the game?" Imagine you are a fan of Game of Thrones, what is the greatest reward you could get for your viewership? Ideally, more of the thing you already like. More Game of Thrones. And what if that new story that we give you has bering on the actual television show? What if what we created gave you better insight into the parts of the show that the main narrative does not have time to explore? These questions were the guiding principals that lead us to create second stories. We wanted to reward people with more of the thing they already, ostensibly, love. More show.
Directors: Dan Chosich, Terry Loane
Executive Producer: Ridley Scott
Executive Producer: Kiki Wolfkill
Executive Producer: David Zucker
2nd Unit Producer: Ingrid Goodwin
2nd Unit A.D.: Keith Browett
Director of Photography: Mark Garrett
2nd Director of Photography: Dan Chosich
Editor: Dan Chosich
Sound Editor: Dan Chosich
2D Graphic Design: Christopher Abbas
3D Graphics: Dan Chosich
Writers: Dan Chosich, Frank O'Connor, Jeremy Patenaude, Terry Loane
The way the second stories, and eventually their counterpart--ONI Eyes, were written was by examining versions of the main narrative's script as they game in. In the script, I would search for places where it would make sense for stories to branch. Areas where more story could be told and where it would be logical for more stories to be told. The nature of Halo: Nightfall created a boundary in that the first 30 minutes are located on a colony much like earth. The next 60 minutes is spent in a location where no electricity is supposed to exist. This segregated most of the stories to the first 30 minutes. This limitation was good because it allowed us to explain the inciting incident in greater detail.
Second Stories had a few ground rules. They had to use the main cast. They were more cinematic, featuring multiple shots from multiple angles. For the lack of a better term, they could be thought of as 'Deleted Scenes.' The hope was that they were meaningful enough that they didn't feel like deleted scenes but like rewards unto themselves that extend the viewers knowledge base of character motivations or happenings in the greater world.
ONI EYES GUIDANCE
Moments that tip the scale. Stories that inform beliefs. Told by the people that live through it. These are the events on the periphery.
That is the most succinct way to think of them. They also had 'rules' though. They were all supposed to seem like intercepted transmissions. They operated with two separate storytelling mechanisms. One, the direct address format, think of any FaceTime call or MTV's Real World confessionals. Two, there was an omni-present computer watching along with the viewer. This computer would flag and record moments where the actor was saying something deemed hazardous to security. This unknown element raised the question as to why the government would classify some of these messages as sensitive and delete all record of their existence.
Voyeuristic + Found Footage Tone
ONI Eyes feels like stumbling upon private files. They have ONI case numbers and on-screen graphics that report time and location. Why ONI has kept them may not be understood. ONI Eyes does not need to answer questions but it should seed mystery, provide levity, or deepen and allude to concepts in the main linear or a future game.
Not Bound by Style
The approach is what can make this interesting.
• Who are the people telling these shorts and what do they care about?
• What is their perspective as to how the world works?
• Are they a willing participant or a victim of chance, environment, or desire?
- Seed of Honor - Terry Loane
- Soldier Within - Terry Loane
- The Path of Belief - Terry Loane
- Exposure - Dan Chosich
- Compliance - Dan Chosich
- Trade Barriers - Dan Chosich
- Indebted Travelers - Dan Chosich
- Unit-54 - Frank O'Connor
- Quartermaster - Frank O'Connor
- Walk the Path - Frank O'Connor
- Rhoen Border Security - Jeremy Patenaude
- Cooperative Protocol - Jeremy Patenaude
- Recon-14 - Jeremy Patenaude
- Cargo P1 + P2 - Jeremy Patenaude
Indebted Travelers Storyboards
Behind the Scenes
The storyboards were created in Cinema 4D. Some include virtual camera placement since we literally had 3 hours to try and shoot 4 pages of the script.