Director of The Road turns hand to video game movie

A computer animated short from the director of 'The Road' and 'The Proposition' and starring characters from Wild West-themed game Red Dead Redemption has been released on the internet after its TV debuts.

John Hillcoat made his name working on music videos for Depeche Mode and Nick Cave, before garnering mainstream praise for 'The Proposition' (an Australian western) and 'The Road'.

'The Man from Blackwater' is a 30 minute animation cut together using scenes and transitions from within Red Dead Redemption, the latest blockbuster game from Rockstar, who also made Grand Theft Auto IV.

It first aired on News Corp's US national TV channel Fox on May 29 and then on Five USA, Saturday June 6 in the UK before its internet release in a deal with IGN Entertainment, a News Corporation subsidiary.

The practise of using of video game content to make short films gained traction in 2001 after Red vs. Blue, a comedy spoof of the system-selling Halo games, found success.

Customization tools for the Half-Life series enabled users to set up their own scenarios, leading to a slew of online comics created using in-game screenshots.

One of the most popular was Concerned: The Half-Life and Death of Gordon Frohman, where Frohman is the cowardly and bungling doppelganger to Half-Life's hunky and heroic scientist Gordon Freeman.

Most recently, YouTube user Michael Barnes uploaded his re-shot and re-cut version of the controversial Modern Warfare 2 mission, 'No Russian', in March 2010. In it, he portrayed the episode in a way that was considered to be more cinematic and more subtle than the big-budget game's original sequence of events.

Watch The Man from Blackwater at IGN.com or on YouTube.

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