The Urbanite – Jon Liedtke – Dec. 4, 2013
Battlefield 4 fan videos are being produced in Windsor
You might not know it, but there’s a war going on in Windsor.
Ojibway Park was recently transformed into a figurative war zone by local video production company ApertureVFX, which filmed Battlefield 4: Divided We Stand.
The crew made the Battlefield 4 fan film for Machinima, popular U.S.-based gaming and video streaming website.
Battlefield 4 was one of the most anticipated first-person shooters to be released on video game platforms in 2013. In. the game, players are Sgt. Daniel “Reck” Recker, a member of Tombstone, a U.S. special operations squad tasked with stopping a war.
Jendo Shabo of ApertureVFX said the three-person company first started making short VFX fan films for YouTube and has since partnered with Machinima to produce live-action films based on video games.
Shabo said team members Marcello Morie and Stiven Agoubi and himself are self-taught, with two working solely on post-production and one focusing on preproduction.
“We were looking to get partnered on YouTube, so we were sending out e-mails to different networks and Machinima wanted us to make a video for their main channel,” said Shabo. “From there, we made [a fan film for] Black Ops 2 in Real Life. They really liked that, so they wanted five more of those for their channel.”
The scope of Battlefield 4: Divided We Stand started as a small action scene, but was soon expanded to include a narrative and additional episodes.
“We added a narrative to it because it felt too small,” said Shabo, who explained that Machinima provided the team with a $2,500 budget. “We were given a budget for a small action scene and then we turned it into a four-episode narrative series, which isn’t so good for the budget because it wasn’t really in there for that. But I’m really proud of how it ended up looking.”
Shabo joked that the majority of the budget was spent on food for the cast, which might seem odd, but when you consider that cast and crew totaled 20, the figure makes sense.
According to Shabo, actors from Windsor, Toronto and Norfolk County volunteered their time to the project because of “how fun it was to do.”
Filing the series took roughly seven full days over a one-month period and the editing process is still ongoing.
The first episode of the series has garnered over 40,000 views in roughly half a month, but Shabo explained that views aren’t something that he overly focuses on.
“I just try to focus on the episode itself, make sure that’s as good as it can be,” said Shabo. “I don’t really like thinking [about metrics]. I don’t like getting psyched out by that stuff.””
Shabo did admit that he really likes “that people are enjoying our episodes” and that “people are watching what we make.”
Filming took place at the Windsor west-side docks and Shabo also received permission from Ojibway Park administration to film on location.
The next episode of Battlefield 4: Divided We Stand is set to be released on Dec. 7 at machinima.com.
DEC. 4, 2013
Jonathon Liedtke is the managing editor of The Urbanite, Windsor’s alternative newspaper. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.