While typical video game advertising is done with CG animation, Team One took a different approach through the emotional power of film, and created a series of seven live action shorts set in 1962 during the height of the Cold War. Over the course of five months, the films were released to unfold a story line that pulled the viewer along by challenging them to read between the lines and piece together clues.The Mill was involved during the entire process.
The final chapter, 'The Aftermath,' takes gamers through a journey of the previous films, tying them all together in the aftermath of a climatic battle in small town America. It resolves the questions raised over the five-month campaign while saving the most tantalizing answers for those who play the game which launched on August 20, 2013.
The Mill CG supervisor Felix Urquiza says, "This was by far one of the most complex and exciting projects that I have been a part of. Having a small team in place was challenging in creating a project of this magnitude, in addition to the expectations of the gamers, but the process was seamless as we had the director here everyday to provide feedback and creative direction.
"One of the most rewarding parts of this job was working on the alien alongside cg / lighting artist, Chris Bayol. We spent many late nights strategizing how to improve this character in the most realistic way possible. This project helped set a benchmark in my career, and was thrilling to work on."
Team One's executive creative director Alastair Green says, "We love the idea of games being bigger than just games- it's entertainment so why not cross over into the film world and work with directors like Henry and FX shops like The Mill, and be able to bring that to life in the most beautiful way that we can."
Says The Mill managing director Ben Hampshire, "We are never prouder than when we're allowed to fully play our part in a project - seeing all aspects of the creative, production, editorial and vfx come together to form such great work and Aftermath is such a project - it scares the hell out of me, but I love it!!"
Survive, adapt, win. Words to live by in The Bureau:XCOM Declassified.
The Bureau:XCOM Declassified Series Includes:
THE BURN ROOM: This film told the story of an unknown organization involved in the cover up of an alien invasion. This piece was filled with hidden dates and clues including a filmstrip, which was found in the box as well as several mentions of Pima, NM.
CH2 KNOV "ORBIT & The ASTEROIDS": This teaser acted as the prologue to the "Burn Room" while setting the stage for the second wave of trailers. We use the boy from the Burn Room to tie the films together and teased out the date of several other films that dropped in the days following.
ENNIS COLE: "THE CHOICE" AND "THE DECISION": Lord of the Rings and Lost star, Dominic Monaghan, wanted to be part of the campaign after seeing "The Burn Room". Leveraging his rabid Twitter following, we created an open-ended film featuring Dom as a Bureau agent tormented by the recent death of his son, the young cyclist from "Burn Room." His fans then voted for an ending, which was released the following day. These Twitter videos acted as a prelude to "The Chase" trailer released later the same week.
THE CHASE: In this teaser starring Dominic Monaghan, we see Carter in the house from "The Orbit Show" giving orders to an agent in pursuit of an unknown assailant only to discover that he is being lead directly into an ambush. Again, this film teased out the date of the next film with an Easter egg hidden on the radio in the kitchen and the radio backpack worn by agent Cole.
THE INTEROGATION: This film builds off the momentum from "The Chase" with Agent Carter brutally interrogating an unknown enemy. It takes place in the same house as the "Orbit the Clown" trailer and even features the same saccharine kids song playing in the background. As with all the previous trailers, numerous XCOM references are hidden throughout, including the release date for the final trailer.
THE AFTERMATH: The final chapter in the Bureau campaign. It takes us on a journey through all previous films, tying them all together into the aftermath of a climatic battle in small town America. It resolves the questions raised over the five-month campaign, but saves the most tantalizing answers for those who play the game.