The Road to Mithril Hall

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Road To Mithril Hall




Not too long ago my friend Ben Dai found out that someone posted up our student film on YouTube.com. After searching around I was surprised that it has actually been posted 4 to 5 times already by different users. I was also surprised that people have posted many positive comments. It also seems that some people had some questions about this film, so I decided to use this blog to post some facts about it:

-Made by Ben Dai and Bruno Velazquez during the 2000-2001 Fall Semester at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia CA.
-The film was inspired by charcters found in novels written by R.A. Salvatore which include Drizzt(Dark Elf),Bruenor (Dwarf), Wulfgar (Barbarian), and Entreri (Assasin).
-As many of the Drzzt fans have noticed, we took several artistc freedoms in the portayal of the charcters as well as with the actual events as compared to the novels.
-The film was originally posted on Motionzoo.com
-This is a traditional 2-D film and was put together using Pothoshop and After Effects
- Ben Dai works for Blizzard entertainment and is part of the Cinematics team. I just completed work on God or War 2 for Sony Computer Entertainment.
- This film helped my break in to the game industry.

We really appreciate the comments made by everyone regarding our film and if there is more interest we would like to someday team up again and perhaps make a 3-D version this time. Please feel free to post some questions here and I will be happy to answer them.

22 comments:

Jayreiacira said...

I signed up for a blog just so I could comment on your film. I have to admit it took me completely off-guard and since I've been a Salvatore fan for more years than I can count (actually not many, but work w/ me here!) I watched it over and over and over, admiring every detail. I thought it was not only well done, but an ingenious work of art w/ feeling and action and personality behind every movement. Please don't let that be your only one! You've got this amazing talent and I'm glad there are people like you who can put what we only see in our minds on a screen so that we can see it w/ our eyes too. It's very inspirational. Thanks again!

Bruno Velazquez said...

Thank you very much for your kind words and for taking the time to take a look at it this film as well as posting a comment here. Ben and I are big Salvatore fans and we had lots of fun making this in school. We are seriously considering making one more someday specially since so many people seemed to enjoy it. Once again thank you very much for taking the time.

potato farm girl said...

Even after all these years, I can still tell which scenes you animated and what stuff Ben did. But it is good 'cause it is like chocolate and peanut butter. I laugh every time the halfling gives the bad guys the finger! All hail camera shakes!!!
(si, amigo, let's trade the links)

Apprentice2Drizzt said...

I did the same thing as jayreiacira did. I've been a salvatore fan for years and have posted multiple drizzt slideshows on youtube.com (under the name AasimarGarrick) I would like to use clips from ure video to add to some of my own. I was wondering if it were at all possible if you could maybe e-mail me a copy of that video....... it would really mean a lot to me and I promise to give you all the credit..... please? it was soo greatly done. it actually inspired me. (to be honest it inspired me to want to be a film editor/director so I could make an anime series of drizzt. does that make me a nerd?)

Bruno Velazquez said...

Hi, thanks for taking the time to post here. Th film used to be available at Motionzoo.com but I beleieve is no longer there. Try downloading it from here: http://www.gamevideos.com/video/id/5337
I am planning on starting up a web site in the near future an I'll be sure to put it up there as well

Light said...

I don't know what exactly to say.
I am from a small contry in Europe where (to be honest) not many young people read books. When I was a little boy - reading was fun, but when I became 10-11 years old, I spent my time playing computer games etc.
But when I was 8th grade, some realy bad things happened. My school life was a total pain. After I tried my hardest to be good enough on the exams and after a succeeded, the place I dreamed about was I terrible place. My spirit was broken and every day seemed like a big grey hole.
One day, I friend of mine told me about some book. He told me that it's about a dark elf, an exile, different from his people.
And then the love for books returned. Salvatore's books put me back on track. Drizzt Do'Urden's principles became my own.
Uh, perhaps this is looking like a lifestory now ... for which I am sorry. And my english isnt't that great either.

Last year I created a blog so I can post whatever I think or feel about the world. Soon after that my best friend linked me your film. I was amazed. Thrilled. Since then a link to your little film is in my blog. I still watch it from time to time. It is realy great, realy made with heart.

I wish you very fun farewell.
Thank you and may the Light be with you.

Oh, yes. I'll add you to my blogroll now. You have a banner, don't you? : )

chengwhich said...

sweet film! i think i remember
briefly seeing it at work once,
but this is very cool seeing it again. makes me wanna make an epic film now...:) i should look into reading those books, too.

Andy Park said...

Cool animation work Bruno (and Ben)! That was fun to watch. I've seen what you can do with 3D animation and it rocks, now I've seen your 2D work. Great job! I'd love to see more...

EKG! said...

you bruno, you got a fan club going on here. when are you gonna make that one film about the mexican kid that wraps himself up in a flag and sacrifices himself before he got captured? i remebered you telling me about that. time to get back to the 2D brotha!

Bruno Velazquez said...

light- Thank you for posting here. I really appreciate your story. Sometimes we all need something that inspires us in life and I am glad that Drizzt has done that for you too as well. Ben and I liked the characters so much that it inspired us to make the film and I'm just happy that people can enjoy it. Please feel free to add me to your blog roll if you would like. I'll be sure to check out your blog from time to time.

andy- I checked out your blog and web site, very cool! I am glad that they made a concept art to showcase all the hard work you guys did. It really shows in the game.

Bruno Velazquez said...

ekg- Actually I still have that story in mind! It is actually a true event that happened when Mexico was invaded once. Someday I will make it a short film.

CDRK said...

Love the video man. I wish there was more :)

valerie said...

yay, road to mithril hall... it makes me sad that motion zoo is no longer in use. cool blog Bruno!

numb3r_5ev3n said...

Speaking as a fan of just about everything involving Drizzt, I'd love it if there were a sequel to this short, or a series. :D

ColbyWolf said...

I just wanted to say... fine, fine job. I am so VERY gratified to know that both of you have gone on to do great things. :)

FalxEmperor said...

This is incredbly awesome, i watched it and yet again and yet again, it is supurb. I must ask though, who drew the characters? they are awesome, very well percieved. Thanks and hopefully i get a reply.

Bruno Velazquez said...

Hey falxemperor. The characters were drawn by bith Benjamin Dai and I. We divided all the shots in the film and animated them do that they would flow together.

Jacob said...

I also signed up here to leave a comment on your film. I was floored by your work! Both the film here and your works for Sony and Blizzard. I am a huge fan of Salvatore and these books are really my greatest inspiration in my own storytelling and I know I'm not the only one. To hear that a return visit to this story is at least a somewhat possible is just awesome but I have spill my geeky guts a little more. What about a small full-length animated feature? Something along the lines of what Marvel has been doing lately. To finally see these characters in action would be beyond awesome and I know you could really nail it!

Bruno Velazquez said...

I would love to see an animated series of Salvatore's characters. Maybe someday Ben and I will make another one of these and pitch it!

Jeff Robbins said...

I am not sure if you check this anymore... but the music you used in your film was amazing, and I was just wondering you could tell me the names of the 2 songs used. Thanks!

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kalyrules said...


I've know of the existence of Drizzt for years now thanks to D&D, but never actually read the books until this year. And once I started just couldn't stop. Right now I and half way through The Silent Blade and have become completely obsessed with this. And finding your short film has been one of the best things ever. It is amazing looking at all the characters come alive. Have you guys been able to move this project forward? have you thought of maybe starting a Patrion or Kickstarter campain to move this along? you do know that every forgotten realms, D&D or Salvatore fan would back you up right? Come on!! do this please!!!!