On producing the photographic parody of Valve’s excellent zombie game “Left 4 Dead”
Last month the Night Zero team took some time away from the zombie photographic comic book (check it out if you haven’t yet, here’s the first page!)–and produced a special homage to a new zombie video game, “Left 4 Dead“. Produced by the incredible team at Valve, the folks responsible for Half-Life, Counterstrike, Team Fortress, and Portal, this newest team-based shooter pits four survivors against hordes of the undead, in what is possibly the most brilliant execution of a zombie apocalypse game to date.
Unlike most modern games, where players can create their characters from a wide range of bodies, clothings, faces, and personalities, in Left 4 Dead there are only (and always the same) four survivors. This unusual design choice creates a unique play experience, as all players around the world become intimately familiar with these four characters—their voices, their mannerisms, they way they laugh and they way they panic. By forcing the millions of gamers to live as these four survivors, Valve has created a set of universal heroes, instantly recognizable to anyone who’s sat down with Left 4 Dead. Heroes that the team of Night Zero would sit down with as well, in our own special way.
Thanks to the wide networks of the Night Zero production team, getting a cast together that resembled the four characters was challenging but successful. Each of the survivors is very idiosyncratic and different, but none is beyond the everyday person, so pulling together costumes and props was no more difficult than any other Night Zero shoot. For a location with a range of backdrops and settings, we returned to the warehouse where the middle of Episode One was shot, and to match the game’s selection, we pulled together all the weaponry we could get our hands on.
If you’re not familiar with Left 4 Dead, I encourage you to first watch the opening cinematic, a delightful zombie flick in its own right, and a flawless introduction to every character and game element that makes Left 4 Dead so wonderful. Then, click on the image below to visit the Flickr gallery with our first batch of “fan art” photos.
These ten photos are just the first round, so keep your eyes out for another set in the next few weeks. Of course, this wouldn’t be a proper blog post without some behind the scenes photos, and boy have we got some great ones. Enjoy!
Like our stuff? Be sure to check out our post-apocalyptic zombie comic, done in the same style!
UPDATE: More behind-the-scenes info and photos are available on our second Left 5 Dead blog post.