The world of The Division is brimming with stories just waiting to be told, most of which involve surviving in a New York where an epidemic has devastated the population and left chaos in its wake. To tell some of these stories in advance of The Division’s release on March 8, Ubisoft has partnered with Amazon Prime and three talented YouTube creators – Corridor Digital, RocketJump and Devin Supertramp – to deliver a live-action short film that follows four clandestine Division agents as they’re activated and team up.
“We wrote all the pieces,” says Niko Pueringer of Corridor Digital, which spearheaded the project. “But we shared the scripts with all the different channels as we’d do so, and get their feedback and work it in, until the scripts were tailored for what each channel’s audience wants.”
The end result brings together a mix of parkour, comedy, martial-arts stuntwork and top-notch special effects, as the agents take on threats ranging from family drama and thieves to deadly gangs.
“We got quite a bit of input from Ubisoft,” Pueringer says. “We got this huge document, this top-secret document detailing the world of The Division, all the different factions, the agents, the backstories, things we’d get in a ton of trouble for if it got leaked online. This really helped us set the stage. They gave us a box full of ingredients, and the document had all these different recipes and ingredients, and so we just dumped them all into our video soup and ended up making a couple of nice little shorts out of it.”
Fans of the creators’ YouTube channels already know them for polished, professional work, and their expertise shines throughout the series. However, as Pueringer points out, there were a lot of moments that had to come together quickly to fit the tight schedule. “For example, the giant fight scene, we had to choreograph that the morning of, in about half an hour. There’s a lot of that kind of stuff, and it’s flying by the seat of your pants, and relying on your instincts and your skills to make the best videos you can. But at the end of the day, that’s what we do, and it worked out.
“Our channel’s known for making stuff look really cinematic and high-budget on a YouTube budget, and this production was no different,” adds Pueringer. “We’re applying every trick we know, and every technique we have, to make this look big, because that’s just how we do things.”
The shorts are available now for Amazon Prime Video customers as a free, 31-minute supercut with five minutes of exclusive footage, and you can view each filmmaker’s individual short by checking out their channels (linked above). The Division will launch on March 8, and the beta will begin January 28. To guarantee access, be sure to reserve your copy of The Division before then.
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