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|This article is about the short film. For the first Half-Life demo, see Half-Life: Uplink.|
Half-Life: Uplink is a short five-minute film loosely based on the events of Half-Life. It was produced by British marketing agency Cruise Control, and commissioned by a parent company of Sierra to promote the game and give a new perspective on the game and its plot. It was released on March 15, 1999, after its intended release date of February 22. It was held back due to lack of approval from Valve and Sierra.
The film is very loosely based on the events of Half-Life and its expansions. It follows Jaz Meadows, an investigative journalist who has broken into the Black Mesa Research Facility after hearing about the Incident.
In the facility, he begins filming, streaming the footage to his accomplice elsewhere. He is interrupted by a soldier whilst talking, and gets away down a flight of stairs. He soon meets a scientist hiding out behind some equipment, who refuses to move or escape. Whilst he is talking, the tongue of a Barnacle lowers through the grates above. Again, Jaz runs away to avoid being caught. Whilst he is running, an unknown alien pursues him, and he tries to escape through a door. Discovering that it is locked, he runs off again, finding a passage way to crawl through.
Still filming, Jaz reports on the strange creatures he has seen. As he emerges from a doorway, he is stopped by a HECU soldier, who despite Jaz's attempts to convince him that they are allies, readies to shoot him. However, as Jaz closes his eyes, a Black Ops assassin shoots the soldier, killing him. The assassin then informs Jaz that he is to go with her if he wants to live. Picking up the dead soldier's gun, Jaz runs off, and the film ends with the sound of a helicopter in the background.
The film was recorded at a decommissioned USAF base in Bedfordshire, England. It was directed by Jamie Matson of Syndicate Pictures, whose previous works include "several pop videos for different U.K. record labels."
According to Chris Birch, the producer, it was filmed in a "12-hour, non-stop session" using Sony digital Handycams.
- Jaz Meadows - played by Patrick Malone.
- Unnamed Scientist - played by Kieth Hillier.
- Various soldiers - played by Tony Potter.
- Black Ops assassin - played by Phillipa Norman.
- Lighting/camera - Damian Daniel.
- Sound - Nick Stocker.
- Sound dub - Ambience Studios.
- Gaffer - Paul Albert.
- Screenplay - Anthony Potter.
- Assistant producer - Julie Hersh.
- On-line editor - Nick.
- Off-line editor - Yan.
- Producer - Chris Berch.
- Director - Jamie Matson.
- Executive producer - Lisa Humphries.
The film was received poorly by fans of the game. Some reviewers called the script "incredibly cliché and [lacking] dynamic fluidity," calling the film "horrible." However, it was also credited for the effect and insight it created on its small budget.