Sometimes, when you create something and don’t get all dicky when other people want to build on your work, nice things happen. Consider Beyond Black Mesa, an 11-minute fan short set in the world of Valve’s Half-Life 2, using characters from it. You see a lot of this stuff from fans, like the Purchase Brothers’ Escape From City-17, and the still-hopefully-in-development Black Mesa Source. The common thread among all of this is that Valve has either encouraged the creativity or stayed out of it. In some cases the studio goes on to hire those creators and modders whose work it finds especially excellent.
Beyond Black Mesa lies beyond the jump.
It’s an impressive piece of work for what I can assume was a small crew and smaller budget. Good use of After Effects. Nice lighting. Terrific incorporation of sound effects and chatter from Half-Life 2. Pudgy Asian dude. All in all, an enjoyable eleven minutes of my life.
It might not have killed these guys to thank Valve a little more explicitly – or at all – in the closing credits (the writer/director/editor/star/producer chooses instead to thank his costar, who I assume is also his girlfriend), but hey. I bet someone at Valve is watching this right now, and some complimentary emails are being sent. That’s just how those guys roll.
Learn more about the movie at Beyondblackmesa.com.
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