Joseph Kosinski brings the radness with Halo 3: “Starry Night”

Wowee-wee-wow, Joseph Kosinski acted as director on an all-star team of companies to create this piece for Microsoft Xbox. Visually it is stunning, and the content is nice too, especially for a video game trailer. Check out the full list of credits here, kiddos.

Thanks to Seth for passing this on to us.


oscar mar

I saw it 5 times and evry time was better man!


Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!
But, I thought Digital Domain closed few years ago…
I must of heard wrong….


I like the cut on-air a bit better.. the flash frame of white that dissolves for the transistion to the battle scene is almost cheesey compared to the smash cut on the original. anyway go joseph go~

Thumbs up digi domain guys I bet you all slaved on this one..


They’re essentially dead now because Michael Bay and a few partners bought them out….


They’re not dead. Micheal Bay and a group of investors did buy the company, but they did not close it down. Read about it…


Dead as in, Michael Bay does horrible movies, so he’ll ruin them…


/\ I love how everyone is so sure of everything on this site.


like gears of war, kosinski brought this shit HOME!

but the kids in the beginning? not very well thought out dialog, very awkward and pretty forced i must say. and the concept wasn’t very fresh. (for the beginning)

Sir Monkey

Don’t worry about M. Bay wrecking Digital Domain too much because when Transformers flops, he will have to sale Digital Domain and his 30 million dollar Gulf Stream jet. At that point, hopefully some one with talent will take over Digital Domain!

Kosinski, please, save the film industry, bless us with a feature film someday soon. Amazing work as usual.


“Kosinski, please, save the film industry, bless us with a feature film someday soon. Amazing work as usual.”

How gay is that. As if that trailer shows off pure film-story-telling talent.
It’s just a silly little cgi-rollercoaster with explosions & bombs.
And it looks just like all these gametrailers outthere. Except that it’s worse than a Metal-Gear-Solid trailer, which i think is much more cinematic.

Anyone who thinks this is pure story-telling or profound is watching too many game-adapted movies.

Pat D.C.

Have to agree with Rodriguez, its a nice spot no doubt but story telling it ain’t. Even tough I’m always partial to an explosion here and there :)

Sir Monkey

OK, maybe a short film??? Come on guys, have you been to his website? He has done some amazing work and from a directors point of view, it’s very nice work too. I’m not even going by the little game trailers, I was making an overall comment about his work that dates back to his first short that was shown at RES years ago.

My honest opinion, I just think the guy has a great vision and can bring a very unique approach behind the camera, whether it be CG or behind an actual camera.

BTW, nice post roD. If you ever make it past at your internship, I would be a little bit more constructive with your feedback.


Personally the first half feels very awkward and really has nothing to do with the second half…just a formulaic intro to a kinda expected game trailer…that I think only Halo players can relate to. It does visually look very very slick, clean, professional, etc…as it should…and thousands of times better than my stuff.


No doubt he has done some nice eye-candy. But that’s it. CG Eyecandy. Left me cold, maybe i just don’t like his style. But in none of his pieces i noticed real content or storytelling talent. It seemed all about sterile sci-fi cg eyecandy.


Not even art of speed?


I sure as hell appreciated that “sci-fi cg eyecandy”!

Pat D.C.

Sir Monkey, it’s a tight piece and his got some great work (which is what I’m comparing this against). But as a gamer “Mad world” got me more exicted for “gears of war” as at least it used the unreal 3 engine which directly relates to the game – I’ve heard the halo 3 engine wasn’t ready for this commercial (which is why they went cg or maybe the games engine just doesn’t look as good as “gears”) but there is something slightly cold about it & none of it “directly” relates to the game itself. Sure we see a new shield grenade and a few other little teases but it doesn’t to anything to get me overly excited for the “actual game”. If anything it gets me more excited about would have been with the halo film had the studios not pulled out.


its nice to read some criticism on motionographer and not just a stroke fest. BRING IT!!!

Sir Monkey

Pat, as my last post said, my comments weren’t so much based on this latest project that he did, I was more or less looking at his entire body of work and stating that he is ready for bigger and better things. He’s got a natural ability to create very dynamic and beautiful shots, simple as that, that is all I was stating. But yes, you make very valid points, I’m a UT guy myself so I learned something about Halo today!

Xpez, stick around Motionographer for a while, it gets much better than this!!!


Pat D.C.

Got you SirMonkey, I guess I was talking more about this piece. I’m digging these conversations/debates as well, always good to hear another take on something.

Sir Monkey

Yup, definitely agree!


I don’t think it’s fair to say this piece lacks ‘storytelling’.

I instantly made the connection between the child being the soldier in the past, and the noted the difference between their different perspectives. I thought it was interesting, and felt it pushed the ad so that it felt more like a film, and less like an ad.

I think it was both well directed and executed. Kudos to the production team.


I find it strange that the Halo portion is less realistic than the childhood memory sequence. The main problem with a lot of Kosinski’s CG work is that it still lacks realism, which it strives for, while asking for your suspension of disbelief. But it never fully does. So its one level higher than game graphics, but not photorealistic either.

I also think there could have been a less cliched approach to portraying a memory. Especially since its all in the soldiers head. This reminds me of the Terminator flashback sequences which I am sure was big influence on this ad.


I don’t think it’s great at all. The animation is stiff and the battlescene is very low-tech for something that’s supposed to be selling this next gen game.

Sparkly Cobra

I think JeefB is right, as well as the fact that the children were actually live action, and treated to look like CG, i think this is terribly clilchéd, as well as lacking in content. Sure there are a couple nice shots, and good CG, but so what? Gears of war’s trailer really made me want to play the game and i have never played Halo, but this really has not sparked the slightest interest for me. I think partly the game itself is to blame, cos how can you make a dynamic story filled trailer when the game isn’t about much in the first place…

Pat D.C.

Hi SparklyCobra I know this isn’t really motion related but the story in Halo is actually pretty good (especcialy for a first person shooter video game) and would have made a kick-ass film in the right hands (space marines, aliens & zombie “hordes” with heavy artiliery – its like “alien” on steriods with zombies thrown in for good measure). But thats just my opinion :)

Sparkly Cobra

Hey Pat DC,
I guess that was an unfair statement, as i had earlier stated i havent ever played the game, but i think more what i meant, is that i could guess it would be a generic doom/duke3d/ gears of war type story, as they are all similar, but anyway, does actually sound a little more interesting…specially with the zombies, everyone loves zombies, well maybe not everyone, but i sure do…

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