Have you ever played Borderlands 2 and wondered what goes on at the Crimson Raider headquarters when you’re not there? I bet you thought Claptrap just cries himself to sleep in his lonely alley in Sanctuary while you’re off shoot-and-looting your way around Pandora, didn’t you? These questions and more will be answered in a series of all-new animated short films by the Academy of Art University students titled, “Borderlands – Tales From The HQ” – available on YouTube next month!
Earlier this year, 2K, Gearbox Software, and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco announced Borderlands Cooperative, an exciting partnership that, for the last eight months, has provided students of the university with once-in-a-lifetime career development opportunities. This real-world scenario has challenged students to work together, make the most of limited in-game assets, overcome obstacles, and deliver on deadlines. As part of the career development opportunities, 2K brought two of the Academy of Art University’s talented students on-board as summer interns, and one of those interns stayed on as a full-time employee.
From the get-go, Academy of Art students jumped at the chance to create an original short film set in the Borderlands universe. As participation in the project ballooned to over 100 students, it became apparent that the scope of the project needed to broaden to allow as many creative and collaborative opportunities as possible. It was then that the students, faculty, and folks at 2K and Gearbox decided to expand the project from one short film into a series of three short films. Fourteen different storyboards were created and ultimately three were chosen for animation.
One of those three finalists, “Bride of Frankentrap,” is an episode that was conceived and storyboarded by Leslie Harwood, and is part of the series. In Bride of Frankentrap, Claptrap struggles with being the last robot of his kind: all alone, destined for misery, and with no chance of ever finding his one true love. Leslie’s animatic (above), like the other two chosen, is used as a blueprint by large teams of animation students to create fully animated short films.
The decision to create a series of three short stories instead of just one resulted in far more original and imaginative ideas than anyone could have hoped for, and we’re really excited to share them with you in about a month’s time. You can find additional information, follow the progress of the Borderlands Cooperative project and more at the project’s Facebook page: http://facebook.com/borderlandscooperative.