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Video: This Is The Star Fox Movie We Want Hollywood To Make

Posted by Anthony Dickens

Behind the scenes on a fan-made masterpiece

We've already seen how Nintendo games can get the Gritty Reboot treatment, but this latest fan-made video is going for a truly epic feel — and makes us wish that Pixar and Nintendo could join forces to make Star Fox: The Movie with Joe Morrisseau, George Hernandez, Jesus Martinez, Jeff Barruga and Jeremy Alvarez — the super-talented team behind this slice of CGI brilliance:

Joe was kind enough to talk to us about the production of this short film. Sitting comfortably?

Nintendo Life: Can you tell us a little more about yourselves? How do you know each other?

Joe Morrisseau: I graduated from the Art Institute of Los Angeles eight years ago. I had split majored in 3D and Film. Afterwards I had been bouncing to all kinds of different video, 3D, special effects jobs for the first four years after I graduated, and I’ve been a teacher at a for profit school for the last four. George Hernandez and the others were either recent alumni or students of the same school.

NL: How long did it take you guys to create this film?

JM: The film took about a full year of working 20 hours a week every week. My work as an instructor had to come first. I logged in about 1400 hours, maybe even 1600. That’s not a long time once you factor in everything it took to make it, not just what you see. I had to write the script, do the storyboards, animatic, all kinds of conceptualizing…there was tons of research and development and testing to get everything to not only get things to look just right, but I had to make choices on the visuals so I could get this project rendered — there's about 2300 hours of rendering. There was also compositing, editing of the film and sound, which is another animal entirely, so this was a project that took on all the aspects of a feature length film. So the 1400-1600 hours timeline is really not bad at all.

NL: What made you choose Star Fox?

JM: Things weren’t looking good at the school I’m currently employed at; the student population has been dwindling. I decided to work on a demo reel showing my artistic and technical abilities. I was creating some modest pieces including a fighter cockpit but I became bored halfway through it. I figured I should learn something new so I decided to teach myself Maya fur. As a joke I said “hey, maybe I should put Star Fox in my cockpit!” Then everything started to kind of snowball into a short film.

NL: Would you like to see a feature length animation of Star Fox in the future?

JM: I’m not sure. One of the problems with making a film from a video game can be best described by something Ridley Scott once said: “This (points to his brain) is always more powerful than (points to his eyes) this.” Meaning that our imaginations are more powerful than anything that we could ever see in the flesh. When you’re playing a game — not just Star Fox, mind you — not only are you wondering which corner the enemy is coming from, but you’re also wondering who those characters are, and as a result you develop your own concept in your head that no film could ever live up to.

NL: Do you have any plans for similar films for any other Nintendo franchises?

JM: Other Nintendo short films? Forgive me when I say that I’m still trying to recover from this last one! Currently I am putting together a website demonstrating my work. Several pages will be dedicated to the Star Fox project. It will be almost a “behind the scenes” if you will. If I’m going to do another short based from Nintendo, I have a cool idea for The Legend of Zelda.

Thanks to Joe for taking the time to talk to us!

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User Comments (32)

RantingThespian

#12

RantingThespian said:

It's quite impressive. The voices didn't fit too well (maybe because I am too used to the voice actors from the other Star Fox games), but the tone, the pace, and the visuals were very impressive. Also, the less Slippy, the better! :P

DarkNinja9

#16

DarkNinja9 said:

it was alright the whole fur/yarn type effect was a bit weird and made it a bit creepy but other then that it was good to me :o made me actually feel that i suddenly was half way in a movie O: the fight was good the only thing i hate or made me go wtf was that fox keeps shaking his head like hes confused like chill out xD

lol at the end slippy so sounds like a girl but he got left alone at zector X

have to agree on the metriod one but plz post the zelda one if they do make it (:

aaronsullivan

#17

aaronsullivan said:

It's a big task to put something like this together and every viewer sees ridiculous production quality every day by huge experienced teams so it's easy to dismiss something like this. It has some nice elements.

My advice to the creators is to focus on story and character more. A good story and good character arcs along with real voice actors can elevate ANY visuals. This crew at least had an idea of reaction shots and keeping the viewer mostly aware of the "geography" of the action, but there were a few too many ambiguous shots and a lack of reasons to care if you weren't already a Star Fox fan.

Even with a short video like this, there should be a beginning middle and end and most importantly tension over whether a character will make the "right" decision or the "wrong" one in the context of the story. To heighten this story I would have played up Fox's tendency to make rash decisions based on a feeling that his skill has no limit. The tension could build as he goes from risking only his own life to realizing that he could be endangering others, it could ratchet up to the point where we are dying to know whether he'll risk everything just to prove he can handle it himself (it'd be even better if we knew something about the futility of that decision that he didn't like a leaking fuel tank or something) or whether he'll lead the thing into a trap and rely on everyone else even though he doesn't get to be the hero.

Peppy and Falco were just sort of there, where in the scenario above they could have played up both sides, their basic natures already work nicely with it.

Anyway, good effort and I'm sure we'll see improvements as more experience is gained.

GN0LAUM

#20

GN0LAUM said:

I don't think Star Fox needs any more attention. The cast of characters and the mythos of the world is uninteresting to say the least. Miyamoto and company just threw this together as window dressing for gameplay. It was fun to see the anthropomorphic creatures back in 93 but ultimately, they're nothing special.

Donjwolf

#21

Donjwolf said:

@GN0LAUM;

You make me sad!!! I don't think Nintendo gives Star Fox enough love. I want a port of Star Fox on the 3DS, or at least a brand new game that is similar to SF's gameplay.

As for that 'movie,' I didn't like it that much.

GamerZack87

#22

GamerZack87 said:

The only thing that bugs me about this short film is that the members of the Star Fox team are mercenaries-for-hire, meaning they're not actually part of the Cornerian Army; Fox even turned down Gen. Pepper's offer to join the Army at the end of Star Fox 64, stating that they "prefer to do things (their) own way". Other than that, it's a brilliant animation. Kudos to its creators. ;)

KAHN

#24

KAHN said:

meh. starfox on SNES was the only game in the series i enjoyed.

antdickensAdmin

#25

antdickens said:

I was really impressed by this, I'm amazed at some of the 'meh' comments... these guys spent a year to make it, that's ALOT of effort and kudos for it. Great job and great example of how to showcase your skills in creative industry.

Ichiban

#26

Ichiban said:

I just want a new Starfox game, for the love of god Nintendo!! Announce trash like wii u party and sing party, yet leave us hardcore nintendo fans sucking our thumbs in.the rain! Bah!

Jukilum

#28

Jukilum said:

That really wasn't very impressive. It was pretty boring. Nothing really happened. Space ships flying around is one of the easiest things to do in computer animation and that was pretty much 95% of the short. If Pixar teamed up with Nintendo to make a Star Fox movie (which they wouldn't because Pixar works exclusively with their own original IP) I would not want the guys who made this involved. Was there even a story in there?

SCAR392

#32

SCAR392 said:

I didn't really like this, and these are the reasons why:
The characters didn't have the spunk, smarts, and aggression they have in the games. The animations were slow and audio detail was poor.
Fox shook his head like he was on something like 3 times during the video. The enemy was just toying with Fox and won.

I'm not a pro at this sort of thing, but I know I didn't enjoy it.

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