Since Portal 2′s release in April of last year, we’ve seen the release of a number of terrific fan-films: the poignant and clever “Outside Aperture“; the intriguing but lovely “Portal: No Escape“; and of course, the hilarious “Aperture: A Triumph of Science“. They serve as testaments to the community’s dedication, and appreciation for the world that Valve has so masterfully crafted. But every once in a while, one of those amazing projects comes around that’s just so promising, you can’t help but just be stunned. And this is one of them!
Meet Alex Zemke. Not only is he a pretty cool guy, but he’s also done some impressive animation work on Killzone 3; Uncharted 2 and 3; SOCOM 4; and a number of other film and game projects. Over at his DeviantART page, he’s been releasing stills for a really impressive independent, animated Portal fan-film short he’s currently developing, titled “Companionship“. The first image was released way back in September, while the second and third dropped in January and late March, respectively.
Starring the one and only Chell, her Portal Device, and perhaps the Companion Cube as well - Companionship will be, according to Alex, “a tale of love, loss and cubes”. With an awesome animation style inspired by Pixar’s CG movies, it looks pretty terrific so far. Alex has stated that since the creation of these three stills, the short is about to hit a major production push (literally, as he said that just yesterday), and that things are definitely heating up - in a good way, however. He also says that it’s going to be very character and story-oriented, but that there will be absolutely no dialogue in the short. A very interesting call!
While it’s more or less a labor of love and a project of passion, Alex is thinking of doing a Kickstarter to fund the film. That said, keep in mind that it will still remain entirely non-profit, and that the extra funds will simply be going towards acquiring software licenses, and perhaps stipending the many animators, rigging engineers, sound designers and composers who’ll soon be pitching in to help Alex make Companionship as great as it can possibly be. Response to the possibility of a Kickstarter has so far been overwhelmingly positive, so you might want to get your wallets ready just in case.
Alex says we can expect to see Companionship be released some time around Comic-Con 2013. Sure, it’s a long time away – but as Cave Johnson once said, you can’t release something like this into the wild until it’s good and damn ready. If you think you’ve got what it takes to help him see it through, then be sure to contact him!