Escape from City 17 Part 1, a short film written and directed by The Purchase Brothers who are only ages 23 & 25. The Purchase Brothers are Directors with the Toronto based agency Sons & Daughters. Escape from City 17 is based on the Half Life computer game saga by Valve Corporation.
The Purchase Brothers, a two man film directing team from Toronto, caused a YouTube sensation this weekend with the release of the first in a series of shorts based on the well known Half-Life video game. The short, entitled "Escape from City 17" was posted last Friday and zoomed to over 1/2 million hits in a 24 hour period, achieving the number one top-rated video of all time. By the end of the weekend the film had surpassed a million hits with no signs of slowing down. The video yesterday registered No. 1 top viewed in the world. The internet community, and gaming sites all over the world were abuzz with news of the film and the Purchase Brothers' website crashed Friday due to the overwhelming volume of traffic. "Half-Life Escape from City 17" was initially conceived as a single 5 minute piece for the brothers' demo reel which includes other spec projects. The brothers were such avid fans of the Half-Life game that they developed "Escape" into episode 1 of a series and are currently working on episode 2. They worked with a budget of $500 for costumes and props, but the film has the look of a big budget action movie. The two brothers did all filming and post production themselves. Valve Corporation, the developer of the original game, flew the brothers out to Seattle for some face time after viewing the film. Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve , stated, "After seeing some of the dreadful ways that Hollywood has attempted to turn videogames into film, it was great to see how well The Purchase Brothers have brought our game to life. Hollywood could learn a lot from these guys." A sentiment echoed by many fans all over the world in over 10,000 posted comments on YouTube. David and Ian Purchase are represented by Sons and Daughters for commercials.The above is the official press release on February 17, 2009.