Los Angeles-based production company Logan contributed over twelve minutes of original content to the recent release of the iconic video game, 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’ twenty-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 explains, “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, M??rk & Lys. The 12 minutes of content were shot in high-res HD video, using Red Digital Cinema Cameras to create these complex and visually-sophisticated pieces. Tylevich adds, “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 achieved significant success, selling over two million copies in its first three weeks and receiving nearly perfect ratings in dozens of the industry’s top publications.
Logan’s EP Kevin Shapiro notes, “This project represents our company’s expanding capabilities and collaborative creative talent, as we continue to work on more and more integrated projects and are able to take a job from conception to completion.” MGS4 is just the latest in a long line of successful projects for Logan. The company, which 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.
Logan is a Los Angeles-based hybrid production company combining the vision of its directorial talent with the multifaceted expertise of its in-house team of content creators, artists, and producers, to create new visual and storytelling experiences. Known for its iconic work on the Apple iPod Silhouettes campaign and innovative approach to directing, visual effects, integrated, music videos, and commercials, Logan continues to widen its range throughout the entire creative process. Most recently, the firm completed a project that involved the creation, direction, and production of original supportive content for the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Employing a relentlessly experimental attitude, Logan has consistently looked beyond conventional applications and projects to deliver genre-defining content creation for major brands such as Nike, Casio, Infiniti, Volkswagen, QBN, Toyota, and Kohler. The ability to collaborate with its sister design and VFX company, M??rk & Lys, has also enabled Logan to develop and finish from concept through post.
Metal Gear Solid 4 “Guns of the Patriots”
Opening movie by: LOGAN
Original Concept: Alexei Tylevich & Hideo Kojima
Written by: Katya Tylevich
Directed by: Alexei Tylevich
Produced by: Frederic Liebert
Assistant Producer: Tina Chiang
Director of Photography: Roman Jakobi
Editor: Volkert Besseling@M??rk&Lys
Music: Michael Kadelbach & redCola
PRODUCTION COMPANY: LOGAN
Executive Producer: Kevin Shapiro
DESIGN/ANIMATION/VFX: LOGAN / M?‚àö‚â§RK & LYS
Creative Director: Alexei Tylevich
Art Direction/Design: Alexei Tylevich, Kevin Stein, James Wang
Lead Modeling/Animation/Compositing: Josh Cortopassi, Shige Mizoi, Sei Sato
Lead Modeling/Animation: Trentity DeWitt, Johnny Lum
Lead Modeling: Emil Petrov
Lead Design/Animation/Compositing: Sean Starkweather, Kevin Stein
Modeling/Animation/Rendering: Mike Fisher
Character Animation: John Musumeci, Erik Lee
Rendering: Adam Newman, Eli Guerron
Animation/Compositing: Evan Parsons, Brinton Jaeks, Joseph Chan
Particle Animation: Chris Soyer, Matthew Rotman
Design/Animation/Compositing: James Wang
Modeling/Animation: Terry Wang, Norris Houk
Modeling/Roto: Rumiko Yokoyama, Kaori Takahashi
ADDITIONAL ANIMATION & 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: M?‚àö‚â§RK & LYS
Flame Artist(s): Jan Ciellers, Carsten Dietz, Brandon Sanders