Legendary Edition Marks Return engagement for 5D Spectrum
November 16, 2007 (North Hollywood, CA) The September 25th release of Halo 3 marks one of the most significant game openings in history. Fueled by huge consumer interest and high profile media attention, opening day sales of the game pushed $170 million. While the game broke all records, the original content packed Legendary Edition broke out of the box by adding an incredible DVD to the outrageously successful game. The Legendary Edition was created and produced by FilmOasis.
North Hollywood-based design and web development boutique 5D Spectrum was instrumental in helping FilmOasis successfully produce and deliver the Legendary Edition release. With a run of 500,000, it’s loaded with extras including more than three hours of additional material and compelling packaging: a Master Chief helmet. The Legendary Edition was delivered day and date with the game release. 5D Spectrum, led by founders and partners Concetta Halstead and De Eldrige, provided all DVD production services for the worldwide release of the Legendary Edition DVD.
FilmOasis developed and produced The Legendary Edition DVD as part of the Legendary Edition release of Halo 3. Two teams work side by side at Bungie; the game team and the DVD team. Jim McQuillan, owner/president of FilmOasis and staff producer for Bungie Studios, commented on the DVD project and its inherent challenges, “Creating the Legendary disk is a rigorous endeavor with incredible pressure. We are maniacally focused on creating something great, something of fantastic quality and technical sophistication. But, production of Halo 3’s DVD isn’t like a feature film where the disk comes out months after the theatrical release; this DVD comes out on the same day as the game. The release date of the game is an absolute, rigid target that cannot change and cannot be affected by anything we do. So, while we are creating a DVD with hours of content and extras, with extraordinary design and technically exact production, the schedule is unmovable and fantastically tight. The DVD has to be as good as the rest of Halo, but Halo does not wait.”
McQuillan’s team created three hours of content including remastered Halo 1 and Halo 2 Cinematics, The Cortona Chronicles featuring Jen Taylor, the voice of Cortona, exclusive Machinima episodes from Red vs. Blue, an interactive Halo 3 “Bestiarum” guide, and This Spartan Life and a novel “mockumentary” voiced by Sgt. Johnson himself, David Scully. Finding partners that were up to the artistic task and able to execute technically was of paramount importance. McQuillan noted “During Halo 2, we discovered that 5D Spectrum delivers, they simply never let us down. I’ve worked with Concetta on Halo 2 and on Halo 3, and our experience with her has made her my go-to person for DVD production.” Dedication to detail, technical expertise, and care for clients are qualities that 5D Spectrum shares with FilmOasis. Halstead noted, “We are very much aligned with Jim and his team on these projects, and we are in sync with how they work. We’ve worked with Erik Bertellotti at Perhapsatron, the team at Halo and closely with Jim on two projects and we know the drill, backwards and forwards.” McQuillan concurred. “Ultimately, they get it. They are like us. Concetta and De have the sensibilities of artists but have the technical skill to execute. And they act like they are part of our team. I’ve been in the trenches with Concetta when she fought hard for us; it’s been made clear that they have our best interests in mind.”
Halo fans are adamant about the games, the community and the design and the Legendary disc had to keep up. Halo 3 offers its fans a great, epic story and the Legendary Edition disc contains remastered, high-res versions of the Halo and Halo 2 cinematics; an expanded interactive digital “Bestiarum” to the game’s species, civilizations and cultures of Halo 3; The Cortana Chronicles; and exclusive machinima episodes.
The Bestiarum is an expanded 112 page digital guide to the game’s species, civilizations and cultures of Halo 3. The workflow included animation, menu design and art direction from Perhapsatron, who then delivered the concept art to 5D Spectrum. The team at 5D Spectrum includes designers, animators and a QC team, who applied it to 154 screens, and then conformed the English disk to 10 international territories. Given the schedule, it was a major undertaking. Halstead noted, “The concept art for the Bestiarum was beautiful, and we were able to combine it with music, animation, interactivity and additional content. We also worked very closely with Technicolor DVD services that authored the disks. Halo 2, The Limited Collectors Edition, was produced on a DVD 5, The Legendary Edition required a DVD 9.”
5D Spectrum’s team has extensive experience working on studio DVD releases, which made the technical execution of the DVD familiar territory. Numerous projects for Universal, Warner Bros. and MGM have honed their DVD production skills and expertise with deadlines, technology and the artistic process. De Eldridge noted that “5D Spectrum has been involved with DVD for over 15 years, and have a deep understanding of what works best. We are also completely comfortable with the deadlines associated with studio releases. Our collaboration with FilmOasis is rooted in our shared desire to do something great and an understanding of the realities of executing creative vision.”
After all the technical and artistic concerns have been resolved, McQuillan believes that there is a more human element to the relationship with 5D Spectrum. “They get the work done really well. And, all along the way, they grasp the concept that we are trying to do something that is great and go right there with us. Concetta and De have a quality about them that is special and extraordinary. It’s just always a pleasure to work with them.”