Variety is reporting that Brown Bag, an indie European film producer, is going to partner with Valve, the creative geniuses behind the immensely successful Half Life video game franchise. Brown Bag plans to use Source, the software engine running underneath Valve’s games, to produce a dystopic SF movie.
Deep is going to be set in a post-nuclear holocaust where the survivors live under the sea. According to Variety, “The action adventure turns on Sullivan, a captain of a nuclear sub. He makes contact with a splinter group of superior scientific intelligence, the Wayfarers, which has the power to save the earth. But that could come at a terrible cost.”
As interesting as this story is, it’s not terribly new. Fans of World of Warcraft have been using it to make indie films inside the games for years now. What’s more, if you consider how the storyline of the HalfLife games are scripted, you’ll see that they are at best half a step away from being a movie anyway. In fact, I would bet that most of the tools needed to create a movie scene by scene have probably already been developed by Valve’s developers.
The working budget for the film is €15 million ($18.7 million), high-end for Europe but low for the U.S. It’s also significantly less than what Pixar spent on any of the Toy Story movies. Of course, Brown Bag is managing to produce this film on the cheap because they chose to partner with Valve; that saved them the vast development cost that Pixar sunk into their technology.