The Purchase Brothers: Escape from City 17


The Purchase Brothers direct the first in a series of shorts inspired by Half-Life (on a $500 budget)

Tags: ,

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



Technically damned awesome, especially given the budget and assumed small crew.

The traditional direction needs some work. Especially that acting.


Looks great, but I’d really love to see a budget break down. It’s easy to say that something cost $500 but in reality I’d really be surprised if they didn’t spend more.

It’s great to embrace cost effective indie vfx – but it’s also misleading.

Josie K

It’s been done a million times on a large budged and event with better vfx and “real” actors it’s boring as f**k.
I think indie projects should concentrate rather on inderesting plotlines and unusual, visual aesthetics rather than trying to recreate something that only a 14 year old gamer kid with ADS would enjoy.
Sorry to sound harsh, because I know this must have been a lot of work, but there is way too much Andrew Kramer in this film for my taste.


Hey Josie, well spoken – (stimme Dir vollkommen zu :)! I was so bored after a few seconds, it was quite unbearable.

To the films makers: Ok, ok!!! We got it!!! Anyone can make something like a movie with a camera and after effects, the magic is to keep people engaged past the 10 second mark – and then it`s a million times harder to do this with people who never played or even heard of Halo.

All of those fan flicks and ripoffs of star wars, batman, nerdy video games like this and so on make me sick – PEOPLE, START BEING CREATIVE!!!

Marc B.

I hope you tell that to Neill Blombkamp too.


I have a lot of respect for Neil`s work in commercials. But Halo belongs to the same kind of movies I was referring to – NOT INTERESTED!
Btw, as far as I see Neil is not assigned to Halo anymore…

Josie K

Glad you feel the same. I was starting to think that I’m just a big old kill-joy. :)


I think this is horrible. I’m surprised it made it onto this site. $500? Camera rental for one day is that much. What about man-hours? $500 is incorrect. Besides the piece isn’t interesting. Maybe game nerds love this kind of stuff but technically it is a very terrible video all around. Just because you know how to open After Effects doesn’t mean you can direct something that is interesting to a viewer. I can’t believe there are more to follow.

On a side note do all the Andrew Kramer minions annoy anyone else? Outside of technical knowledge his design skills are sub par at best. Maybe I’m just an A-hole but all the followers that get paid somehow to use his tutorials all over the place annoy me.


That`s a bit harsh on Andrew Kramer, I learned quite some tricks from him – BUT I never copied things he did , just used em as technical inspiration:-)

But actually you`re right with those copy cats – you`ll laugh, just recently I`ve seen something on German TV Channel “Kabel1” that made my jaw drop down – someone from their design dept. just took this tutorial`s comp from Andrew`s site and used it 1:1 – even the colours were the same.

Comments are closed.