What inspired you to create a short film about Lanius?
I’ve been a Fallout fan since the first two games, of which I’ve played over and over. I enjoyed Fallout 3, but Fallout: New Vegas was something altogether different. I really loved the atmosphere and writing. I loved the characters and voice acting, how the world was put together and fleshed out.
I’ve been wanting to do a Video Game Fan film for years, but I just needed to do something no one had done before. I thought the Lanius origin story was really fun, and that the tribal/Caesar’s Legion dynamic is rarely looked at. I wasn’t really interested in doing the usual Fallout stuff, as I think that ‘Nuka Break’ covered it.
Have other Fallout fan films, like Fallout: Nuka Break, inspired your creative direction at all?
‘Nuka Break’ played a big role in my wanting to do a ‘serious’ toned Fallout film. They’ve done an amazing job at creating a parody/comedy/meta Fallout world. I’m more interested in drama, conflict and the exploration of people in a harsh world. I’ve also seen ‘Desert Story’, ‘Deprivation’ and I’ve been contacted by the ‘Fallout: Houston’ folks, who are fantastic. My primary inspiration however is the tone and atmosphere of Fallout: New Vegas. Nothing can beat that.
As for questions about the title character himself: Lanius is such an enigmatic character, with several origin stories. How will you work to build that aura of mystery around him?
Before I even touched the script, I made sure to contact both Chris Avellone (Creative Director at Obsidian) and John Gonzalez (Lead writer on Fallout: New Vegas). I wanted to make sure I had a good understanding of what Lanius was as a character, rather than just a video game antagonist. The way that I’ve written him, he’s this warrior who only lives for victory. However, he’s not an animal. He has a very particular set of values. Mind you, his people are still pretty freaked out by him because he’s kind of emotionless. He’s a very tricky character to write, but I believe we’ve got the right elements together to make him work.
Will there be any light shed on the Hidebarks, the tribe Lanius belonged to before joining the Legion?
Yes, this will be the first time that Lanius’ tribe, the Hidebarks, will be seen. The idea that our designer Simon Boxer has, was to make them this clash of tribal elements of the White Legs and tribal ideas from Fallout 2. The way I see them, the Hidebark were nastier and smarter than the White Legs (from ‘Honest Hearts’) , but were too small to really continue their campaign against the Legion.
Will Joshua Graham, The Burned Man, play a part in Fallout: Lanius?
Sadly, not in this film. Aside from Lanius, Joshua Graham and The Survivalist (Randall Clark) are my favourite Fallout characters. Depending on how this film goes, I’d love to do a film about either of them next…
Lanius has led numerous successful conquests for the Legion. Will we see what made him such an efficient leader?
In Fallout: Lanius, we primarily explore the origin story of Legate Lanius and how he became the man he is. However, that’s not saying we don’t see him in action. We do also get to see his unrelenting expectations of others. He’s a kind of death before dishonour kind of man, and we get to see that. I’ve also seen him as a fantastic tactician, but in terms of this film we see firsthand why he’s so bloodthirsty.
Lanius appears to be generally disliked by the Legion, with Caesar refusing to call him a “great man”. Will we see what made the Legion dislike Lanius?
Oh yeah. In fact, we see in the opening scene of the film why they hate him- but I won’t spoil it. Let’s just say, when he wants to, Lanius can really make a mess.
Will we get to see Lanius in his iconic armor?
Absolutely. I’ve got one of the hottest Special FX designers in Australia already working on it. It’s going to look pretty damn cool.
Okay, last question–I think I already know the answer, but what faction do you normally side with, and why?
Actually, on my first run through I did the ‘Yes Man’ independent New Vegas ending. I didn’t do a Legion ending until on my second play through! My personal preference, is to play a pragmatic character. Cruel, but kind too. Again, another reason I loved Fallout: New Vegas so much. Very few games give you the feeling that your choices have real consequences.