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Is DEEP The Future of Animated Filmmaking?

It’s not always a big deal when a new film is announced.

Yes, the movie Deep, being produced by Brown Bag Films and directed by Shane Acker (9) sounds really cool.  It’s a movie taking place in a world where humanity has moved under the sea to survive – kind of a Blue Submarine No. 6 deal from what I can gather.

And yes, the designs are cool (featured above).

But what makes Deep exciting is how it’s being produced.  Entirely in Source, Valve’s video game engine.  Really.

Previously, fans have seen films from Valve using the Source tools to promote the characters from the game Team Fortress 2, but this is the first such undertaking for a theatrical release.  What’s very cool is that these exact same elements (character models, environments, etc.) can be used and reused for the creation of tie-in games.  If the games have enough fan support, I can’t see why they also wouldn’t consider opening the game and its elements up to fan creation and editing tools, which could result in (besides some odd fan fiction), further creation in the Deep universe.

Above all else, this also immensely reduces the cost of development, allowing the film to be created at a fraction of the standard CG film rate ($18 mil, versus 9‘s cost of $30 mil).

There is no set release date for Deep, but I will be keeping a close eye on this project moving forward, if only because of how it could change the landscape of animated filmmaking.

Source: Animation Magazine.