Feb 3, 2012
Some fan films are just recreations of their originals. Some are extensions of the universe created by the game. Very few are projects that feature the voice actor of the main character in the series playing a character in the fan film.
Canadian actor Mark Meer, voice of Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series, recently travelled to Arizona to help out a student-made fan film set in the Mass Effect universe. He joined a cast and crew of video game fans and video production students to create the fan film,
“I think it’s a good video game to make a film about,” said art director Ariel Navarrete, speaking to UAT Happenings. “People are going to love it.”
Digital Video Professor Paul DeNigris commented, “Wouldn’t it be great if we did an awesome fan film with all that we can do here and all of our facilities and all of our technology and all of the skills that we have here in the program? Because it would be great to have 7 million views on YouTube for something we’ve done.”
“If you’ve never played a single minute of those games (you don’t even know what those games are)… you’re still going to be entertained by this and still going to be engaging right from the get-go.”
Meer was contacted for the project and became interested in it pretty quickly. “This is quite fun, you know, getting to handle the weapons,” he says. Being able to physically inherit a role similar to Commander Shepard must have been a great experience.
“It’s been very fun working with this crew. It’s a great bunch, and the cast has been lots of fun as well.”
What exactly is the project about? From the film’s Google Plus page:
“Serving as a prequel to the MASS EFFECT game series,”Red Sand” is set 35 years before the time of Commander Shepard and tells the story of the discovery of ancient ruins on Mars. Left behind by the mysterious alien race known as the Protheans, the ruins are a treasure trove of advanced technology and the powerful Element Zero, an energy source beyond humanity’s wildest dreams. As the Alliance research team led by Dr. Averroes (Ayman Samman) seeks to unlock the secrets of the ruins, a band of marauders living in the deserts of Mars wants the ruins for themselves. Addicted to refined Element Zero in the form of a narcotic nicknamed “Red Sand” which gives them telekinetic “biotic” powers, these desert-dwelling terrorists will stop at nothing to control the ruins and the rich vein of Element Zero at its core. Standing between them and their goal are Colonel Jon Grissom (Mark Meer), Colonel Lily Sandhurst (Amy Searcy), and a team of Alliance soldiers tasked with defending the ruins at all costs. At stake – the future of humanity’s exploration of the galaxy, and the set up for the MASS EFFECT storyline loved by millions of gamers worldwide”