Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Master Chief Chili

Master Chief knows how to cook! In a documentary with the famed voice actor and radio host, Steve Downes, the fans get the chance to imagine the Chief off duty. In the Master Chief documentary, we follow Downes on a regular day and experience what it’s like as a hero of the suburbs. Throughout this blog, I will elaborate on what aspects the director focused on capturing to make up this killtacular documentary.

            Last Thursday, my professor lectured on what aspects make up a documentary.   One of the elements she expressed was the fact that a documentary must never be staged or re-enacted thus destroying its credibility.  In the Master Chief documentary, the director took the approach on making the film as familiar and simple as possible. In fact, the documentary literaly starts off with static shots of inside Steve Downes’s own home. Continuing to familiarize the film, the director takes the approach on filming Downes simply doing everyday regular things around the house. This includes him cooking and blowing off a telemarketer. I believe this was done to simply tell the story about a regular person could still be regarded as a hero to millions by just being him.

The structure on the documentary takes a very mediocre style which I also believe adds to the simplicity. The documentary begins with a few inserts of family members and Downes himself; simply discussing about his life and the reactions they have had since the halo games. After the introduction we start with Downes heading off to his job at a local radio station where he hosts. While there, we are given short interviews of Steve Downes’s colleagues about their personal relationships with him. Later we are back at his house, where again, we experience Downes as a simple man making his famous Master Chief Chili. The documentary ends with a medium shot of Downes in chair, possibly in his house, giving his final thoughts on his experience with Master Chief Character and how honored he is to give the chief character.

The message in the documentary may not be as clear to those who have not necessarily played the game. For me, however, I have been the Halo games since their release and have clear understanding of the message. If you are fan, then you know how it important the Character Master Chief is to you. All your life you know Master Chief as this stone cold invincible hero and the director knows this fact. He wants to show the Halo fanbase the voice behind the mask. That Steve Downes is still just as human as the players. In Downes final message, he lets us know that he wants the player to be the Master Chief and he will provide the voice. To quote Steve Downes, “I’ll do the talking, you guys do the shooting.

In conclusion, there are many important aspects that make up a documentary. The way the director structured and styled this film allows for more credibility with its more humble simplistic approach. As for the message of the documentary, I believe it was to show the irony of seeing the voice behind the mask and who he really is in the world.

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