Meet The Freeman Chronicles, a six-episode Half-Life webseries currently in very early pre-production, created by Chariotdrive (who were behind last year’s Enter the Freeman) and Infectious Designer (creators of Half-Life: Origins and Beyond Black Mesa), and funded by… well, us, the fans.
You see, The Freeman Chronicles is a fan-funded project being hosted on Indiegogo, with a goal of $75,000 and a frightening number of contribution perk levels. As of writing, it is at 27% with $20,441 already raised… and less than 3 days left on the clock!
But this isn’t just a charity drive, as contributors do receive rewards (ranging from an exclusive downloadable HD package of the series itself, plus special features; to a limited edition Blu-Ray and DVD double-disc release of the series) depending on the amount pledged to the project. Higher perk levels even sign you up for the press, cast, and crew screening of the series, but only if you really shell out!
On the crew’s side; no revenue and no profit will be made from the webseries (a pretty lofty promise, for sure), and all donations received on Indiegogo will go directly to the series’ production and development. Apparently, fans will also get to help the filmmakers move the story itself forward, by voting on story scenarios for future episodes, which is definitely a great idea.
Even if the project doesn’t reach its goal, the crew will still receive all the contributions, and the series will still enter production and eventually be released. However, production will be significantly scaled down, possibly to the point where less episodes may be made. At this point, it’s hard to say whether or not it’ll come to that, but it seems like we’ll still be getting a really competent, impressive and ground-breaking fanmade miniseries. Legendary film director, special effects artist and creature designer Steve Wang (among numerous others, he’s done work on Predator, Batman Returns, Hellboy, Blade 3 and X-Men 3) is even on board to bring Half-Life’s monstrous aliens to life, using practical effects rather than CG – a dream come true, if you ask me!
The story itself will represent a sort of “lost episode” within Half-Life 1’s narrative, taking place during Gordon’s trek in the topside areas of Black Mesa, but before he reaches the Lambda Complex. It’s a solid premise, and if you ask me, just what a Half-Life film should contain: “surface tension”, high-octane action, as well as extra-dimensional horror.
On the whole, it sounds like a very interesting and daring project, with a lot of great potential. Even if it doesn’t hit its goal, it’ll still be something really worth seeing in the future – remember, they haven’t even gotten started yet, so the sky will still be the limit for the foreseeable future. In any case, good luck to these guys!
Indiegogo and The Freeman Chronicles’ official website.