Los Angeles-based production company Logan contributed 12 minutes of original content to the recent release of videogame METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS (MSG4). Under the direction of Co-Founder Alexei Tylevich, the studio completed the entire project, from concept development through post work, expanding the gamers' universe that has developed across the series' 20-year span.
The METAL GEAR family has become one of the most popular game series in history, pioneering the stealth game genre, and Logan has helped make this one of the most robust releases in the industry.
Brought in by renowned game creator Hideo Kojima of Kojima Productions at the very beginning of the development period, Logan began an organic collaborative process involving creative concept, storyboards, character, and storyline development. Tylevich co-wrote, directed, shot and designed the ten unique long-form pieces, which provide depth and support for content directly tied to game play.
Alexei explained, "The initial idea grew from producing a fairly conventional title sequence introducing the game characters, to creating a self-contained preamble to the game, providing a glimpse into the world of 2014. It's filled with subtle references to the METAL GEAR series which the hardcore fans will really enjoy, but it also has to work well on its own, for people less familiar with the background and all the nuances of the story. Since live action played such an important role in this, my main concern in directing performances was to make sure that, aesthetically, the material didn't break the reality of the game."
Logan contracted all the graphics, vfx, editorial, and finishing for the project to their sister post division, Mork & Lys. The 12 minutes of content were shot in high-res HD video, using Red Digital Cinema Cameras to create complex and visually-sophisticated pieces.
Tylevich added, "We were able to control every step of the process from pre-production through final online-an important aspect of our approach that protects the creative integrity of the original idea. In such an intensive process, each member of the team develops a unique relationship with the content as it comes to life on screen, and this type of intimate artistic commitment really drives the intricacy and quality of our work."
In the pieces, which range from ultramodern TV shows and commercials that parody present-day programming to unique action sequences, Logan further develops the futuristic environment, enhancing the user experience to extend the game's alternate reality. In one segment, an intrusive television host (Lee Meriwether) interviews key actor David Hayter, the voice of the games protagonist, adding a level of depth and intrigue to the character.
The tech-heavy, visually-engaging commercials advertise the worlds emerging Private Military Corporations (PMC's) with violent sequences showing enemy fighters and monstrous machines wreaking havoc. All the original content, set in 2014 in a visually-advanced version of the present-day, draws from and alludes to the prior storyline of METAL GEAR series and also supports the MGS4 plot.
MGS4 is the seventh title in the METAL GEAR series, a gaming institution that spans two decades, achieving a massive fan following. In the game, protagonist Old Snake must stop the amassing nanotechnology-controlled private army from destroying mankind by defeating their sadistic leader Liquid Ocelot. The creators brought Logan at the very beginning of the process to help build a revolutionary experience for gamers, delivering a movie-like experience both in and outside of gameplay.
MSG4 employs innovative camouflage, motion sensors, and camera manipulation techniques to enhance the stealth action experience. The highly-cinematic, intricately detailed graphics and ground-breaking imagery that mark Hideo Kojima's work align perfectly with Logan's talent and ability to create innovative visual experiences. The game package, which released June 12, has already sold more than two million copies in its first three weeks and received nearly perfect ratings in dozens of the industry's top publications.
Logan offers the entire range of talent across concept development, writing, directorial, design, animation, and post production services, also worked on the highly-acclaimed Apple iPod SILHOUETTES campaign, as well as major projects for brands including Nike, Casio, Infiniti, Volkswagen, Toyota and Kohler.
Original Concept: Alexei Tylevich & Hideo KojimaWritten by Katya TylevichDirected by Alexei TylevichProduced by Frederic LiebertAssistant Producer: Tina ChiangDirector of Photography: Roman JakobiEditor: Volkert Besseling at Mork & LysMusic: Michael Kadelbach and redCola
Production Company: LoganExecutive Producer: Kevin Shapiro
Design/Animation/Vfx: Logan/Mork & Lys:
Creative Director: Alexei TylevichArt Direction/Design: Alexei Tylevich, Kevin Stein, James Wang
Lead Modeling/Animation/Compositing: Josh Cortopassi, Shige Mizoi, Sei SatoLead Modeling/Animation: Trentity DeWitt, Johnny LumLead Modeling: Emil PetrovLead Design/Animation/Compositing: Sean Starkweather, Kevin Stein
Modeling/Animation/Rendering: Mike FisherCharacter Animation: John Musumeci, Erik LeeRendering: Adam Newman, Eli GuerronAnimation/Compositing: Evan Parsons, Brinton Jaeks, Joseph ChanParticle Animation: Chris Soyer, Matthew RotmanDesign/Animation/Compositing: James WangModeling/Animation: Terry Wang, Norris HoukModeling/Roto: Rumiko Yokoyama, Kaori Takahashi
Additional Animation and VFX: Ryan Alexander, Theo Alexopoulos, Julien Brami, Matthew Encina, Kevin Ferrara, Karl Fornander, Ryan Gibson, Josh Herrig, Bill Higgins, Erica Hornung, George Katz, Daniel Koenig, Stephan Kosinski, Randy Little, Zach Lo, Mathew Maners, Ryo Mikai, Andrew Parris, Kaz Sato, Yuta Shimizu, Adam Smith, Benoit Vincent, Vincent Wauters, Shannon Wiggins
Final Online: Mork & Lys:Flame Artists: Jan Ciellers, Carsten Dietz, Brandon Sanders