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A poster of Red vs. Blue

Red vs. Blue, often abbreviated as RvB, is a machinima series created by Rooster Teeth Productions. The story centers around the adventures of two teams composed of simulation soldiers. The series is primarily produced using the machinima technique of synchronizing video footage from a game to pre-recorded dialogue and other audio. Footage is mostly from the multiplayer modes of Halo: Combat Evolved and its sequels and prequel, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and other Halo titles.

The series is published by Rooster Teeth Productions, originally available for download per episode at their site and later released on DVD. Praised for its originality, the series has won a total of four awards from the Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences. Although mainly a satirical and absurdist comedy, the show often touches on deeper philosophy about the meaning of war when it comes down to individual soldiers; as well as other more serious themes such as human morals in the face of extinction and the humanity of artificial intelligence. The characters occasionally question the validity of their mission and whether or not it accomplishes anything, a common theme in commentary about the ethics of war.

Development History[]

Rooster Teeth stated that they were inspired by Randall Glass' Warthog Jump video, which made them realize that they can create a web series with a video game.

The writing process for the series has changed over time. Early in season 1, Burns wrote the episode scripts from week to week, with what appeared to be minimal planning in advance; major plot events seemed to have been conceived shortly before they were filmed. For the second season, Matt Hullum became a main writer. A rough plot outline is now written before a season begins, although the actual content of an individual episode is still decided on a more short-term basis. Shortly after episode 2 was released, Rooster Teeth was contacted by Bungie Studios. To their surprise, Bungie loved the series. A deal was made to allow Rooster Teeth to make the series without licensing fees. However, contradictory to this, Burnie claims that the major plot ideas were decided by episode 6, the episodes just didn't contain much information - they originally went for comedy rather than depth. Because Red vs. Blue is loosely based on the Halo universe, Rooster Teeth encountered some difficulties when trying to synchronize events in the series with the release of Halo 2.

Aside from a few scenes created using Marathon Infinity, Marathon 2, and Halo: Combat Evolved for PC, Red vs. Blue is mostly filmed with interconnected Xbox consoles. As the series title suggests, the original chronicles are largely set in the multiplayer map Blood Gulch and the later series are set in Blood Gulch successors in Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo: Reach. Within a multiplayer game session, the people controlling the avatars "puppet" their characters, moving them around, firing weapons, and performing other actions as dictated by the script, and in synchronization with the episode's dialogue, which is recorded ahead of time.

The "camera" is simply another player, whose first-person perspective is recorded raw to a computer. As the recording occurs within the game, a few different bugs and post-production techniques have been exploited in order to achieve desired visual effects. In particular, Adobe Premiere Pro is used to edit the audio and video together, impose letterboxing to hide the camera player's head-up display, add the titles and fade-to-black screens, and create some visual effects that cannot be accomplished in-game.

By Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction, Rooster Teeth has retconned the events in the past five seasons, integrating the plot into the Halo canon, turning Red vs. Blue from a comedy to Halo fan fiction. The key comedy remains in the series, while actions scenes were added into the series. In 2009, Rooster Teeth remastered the first five seasons, removing the traditional HUD camera and combined all episodes into one single video. As of Red vs. Blue: Revelation, Rooster Teeth had hired web-based animator Monty Oum to implement completely animated scenes into the series. The newly animated scenes uses in-game assets from the Halo series and allows much more storytelling possibilities.

Related Links[]


Halopedia page on Red vs Blue