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Halo 3 Trailer - Behind the Scenes is a short documentary, 7min 18sec long, about the making of the Halo 3 Announcement Trailer and Halo 3 itself. It was created by Film Oasis, the same company who did the making of for Collector's Edition DVD for Halo 2.
Marcus Lehto: We wanted to create something that stood out from the crowd a little bit.
Curtis Creamer: This is the reveal of the big mystery that Halo and Halo 2 have been driving toward.
Martin O'Donnell: Where are we? Who is this? What's happening?
Marcus Lehto: The Covenant have uncovered something that is immense.
Curtis Creamer: It's this gigantic Forerunner structure that just looks...
Lee Wilson: Huge.
Marcus Lehto: Now that he's looking out over this massive thing the player is going to say what is that?
Martin O'Donnell: The other part of the story that's important of course is that Cortana is in trouble.
CJ Cowan: Cortana has been left, away from John.
Jason Jones: She's in the clutches of the Gravemind.
Marcus Lehto: We don't know what has happened to her since then.
Martin O'Donnell: We don't know if Cortana could be any sort of bizarre, almost satanic sort of voice.
Frank O'Connor: Something seems wrong.
Hao Chen: I think the expectation's huge, everybody I talk to, if you mention Halo everybody's immediate reaction is: "How's Halo 3?"
Stephen Scott: I think that what's going to strike people is the scale.
Marcus Lehto: That's real stuff there, we pushed it as far as we could possibly push it.
Hao Chen: We always wanted to have that epic field, but due to the limitations of technology we always fell short.
Stephen Scott: When you're working in high definition, it's a very unforgiving environment.
Frank O'Connor: Look at John-117's armor. You see cool things about John-117's armor, you see that he's self-shadowing, you see that the textures are very high resolution, there's real-time reflections on his visor but if you look closer he's beat up, he's scratched.
Marcus Lehto: He has been through some horrific battle and we're actually showing that on John this time round.
Jay Weinland: Now if we show a pre-rendered movie then there is always going to be speculation about well yeah, sure yeah your render isn't going to be able to do that. And I think what we're trying to show firmly is that our engine can do the stuff that we say it's going to do and it's doing it right now.
Marcus Lehto: What we're building here is our bar for what we're going to shoot for in real gameplay.
CJ Cowan: It's great, there's 90 guys here. Half of them are artists, half of them are engineers, and it's like boiling water. All the left-brained people and all the right-brained people, both groups think that they are really in charge.
Lee Wilson: Apparently engineering is quite important.
Hao Chen: Ah, of course there are signs.
Lee Wilson: I like to draw pretty pictures, um, so I get to do that I suppose.
Jay Weinland: It's all about the lighting, it's all about the additional detail, the bump-mapping and I can't remember all their terminologies. The huda-hadda and the triple specular shields and so-on and so-forth.
Hao Chen: In Halo 3 you have, you know like, a high definitive range available for you so things that are bright are bright, things that are dark are dark. You have the whole contrast there. For example the sky, it's a new way of doing our sky from Halo 2.
Marcus Lehto: Every now and then it will catch my eyes still and then realizing how I can't believe that we were able to pull that off.
Curtis Creamer: For the announcement it has gone really well, um, it hasn't been as much of a, you know, monkey shit fight as it could have been.
Jay Weinland: Hmm, people make decisions that affect us that they don't really worry about, they're like, 'Aw, it's alright because some guys will figure it out at the end of the chain' and we do always, sometimes you have to feel a little, aw, we got shat on a few too many times.
Martin O'Donnell: Everyone else is prolonging my part of the job. I'm actually just making it better. So that's how it works. *laughs*
Jay Weinland: I think Marty's pretty diverse in the way that he composes and the styles he composes in.
Martin O'Donnell: The fanfare is actually a new theme and I don't know if it's ever going to show up ever again.
Jay Weinland: At times he is pulling out, uh, you know, enya. Oh no, I didn't say that. Um, at times he's paying homage to other artists
Martin O'Donnell: There are no monks of evilness, the only hint that I want to give anybody that this is Halo is that I'm going to be in edorian. I actually just play an octave on the piano, just straight E's. When I played the back I realized that it instantly got my attention.
Jay Weinland: For this one we really had a great session with a live orchestra which is a bit above and beyond what we have done in the past
Martin O'Donnell: Master Chief is coming out of a desert blowing, heat, wind. Completely obscured. So I wanted it to sound almost ethereal, just to bring some tension in and have it opening up slowly. The music and the sound is all about the drama, I'm just trying to absolutely score the drama of this moment.
Jay Weinland: I have to give a hand here, you're absolutely going to be able to play exactly what you watch in this trailer.
Martin O'Donnell: Well, we has such a great ending to Halo 2 where Master Chief said 'I want to finish the fight'
Jay Weinland: Which had most Halo players universally screaming and throwing their controllers at their TV's because they didn't get to finish the fight.
Martin O'Donnell: *laughs* I didn't say anyone threw their controller, they might have dropped it in amazement.
Curtis Creamer: You won't just finish one fight, you will finish all the fights you started in Halo 1.
Jay Weinland: I think we're trying to raise an awful lot of questions about what on earth is going to go on in this game. No pun intended.
Martin O'Donnell: We want this to be The Return of the King. We want this to be the final chapter in an epic trilogy
Jamie Evans: It's coming, and part of its already here.
Jay Weinland: It's going to be cool.
Curtis Creamer: This is the game, this is the engine. This is what Halo 3 is going to look like.