Monday, May 27, 2013

Wastlelander Panda

Hey Folks!

Real life has been strangling me for the past few weeks, and JQ's been doing a great job with his posts on his collections. We will be meeting together in a few weeks, and we aim to produce more high quality photos of collectibles...the original inspiration that brought us together in toyconstruct.

Today, I'd like to share about a rather high quality production I have bumped into thanks to Wasteland 2's Facebook feed.

Over the past decade, we have seen a rapid advancement of technology in our lives. Cellphones/handphones have gone from dot matrix graphics to HD, and video games today boast graphics that smash the quality of pre-rendered cutscenes of our favorites of the past (eg. C&C). Moreover, we have also seen a strong growth of independent films, which are based on popular franchises (eg. Halo, Fallout) or set in environments familiar to us (eg. the post-apocalyptic wasteland).

For those of us who play Borderlands 2, you may have spotted the panda stencil near a jackpot machine somewhere in The Dust...and may have wondered about the story behind the easter egg. Is it a Bansky thing? Or a pop culture reference?

I don't think I've ever gotten a triple 7 in BL2.
The panda is Arcayus, the protagonist of Wastelander Panda, an Australian production set in a post-apocalyptic world. WP tells the story of 2 panda brothers (Arcayus and Issac) and the peers they meet in a bleak and brutal post-apocalyptic world. WP originally started as a joke between university friends (Victoria Cocks & Marcus McKenzie), but the idea gained traction and is currently slated to become a full series.

Arcayus, a bipedal panda that kicks ass.
So far, 3 episodes have been released and boy do they look good. The acting is admirable, in particular the 7 year old girl Rose (Sunny Heartfield) from the 1st episode, who was able to evoke emotion and tension without uttering a single word. The funny thing is that no one explains why pandas and bisons are able to walk on two legs and speak perfectly good english, but the details are easily ignored as the drama and the excellent pacing grabs your attention.

The videos are below and arranged in chronological order. The episodes have gaps between them (the 1st and 2nd are separated by 15 years), and they give a preview of what to expect from the series. If you have played Telltale's The Walking Dead video game or watched Soylent Green, you may instantly know what's hinted at in Episode 2.

If you'd like to find out more, do check out Wastelander Panda's website.

With a quirky backdrop (walking pandas anyone?), artful cinematography, and an intriguing plot that explores ethics of survival, Wastelander Panda appears to have great potential. I would love to see the entire series when it is out.