If you’ve got a spare 20 minutes, I’ve got the best documentary on Aperture Science you’ll see today.
In fairness, “documentary” doesn’t really describe this video. Created by Synthetic Picturehaus, Aperture: A Triumph Of Science is more like a mockumentary in the style of This Is Spinal Tap, only instead of Michael McKean and friends mocking Judas Priest, it’s a group of actors essentially fleshing out the fiction that Valve Software already created in Portal 2.
If anything, it’s like a filmed live-action roleplaying session centered on exploding lemons and a surprisingly inoffensive J.K. Simmons analogue.
The really impressive bit though is how much detail went into this clip. As the film rolls on, sharp-eyed viewers will notice little background touches (diagrams of Portal 2’s multiplayer robots on a monitor, for instance), that seem to indicate that the film’s creators are dedicated fans of the game.
Plus, the film’s 20+ minute run-time is almost unheard of in the realm of fan film. Remember Outside Aperture from earlier this year? That was considered quite long at 8 minutes, 38 seconds.
Of course, this length (and the added production effort that must have gone into it) also makes me wonder what exactly a group like Synthetic Picturehaus gets out of creating something like this. Does it serve as a demo reel for future acting gigs? Are they hoping Gabe Newell will see this clip and buy them all scones?
I’d posit the idea that maybe these people just want to entertain their fellow Portal fans, but I’ve spent too many years on the ‘net to fall into that kind of starry-eyed naïveté. Everyone’s after something, and the moment you think they’re you’re pals, that’s when they swipe your wallet and throw you in a ditch.
Life is pain, kids.