'Prey' Director Dan Trachtenberg Started His Career With A 'Portal' Fan Film

It turns out that a background in gaming really can help one make good movies.
'Prey' Director Dan Trachtenberg Started His Career With A 'Portal' Fan Film

Everyone should watch Prey right now – or at least as soon as they're done reading this possibly spoiler-filled article (spoilers: it's spoiler-free). Don't take it from the critics trying to hype it up by hailing Prey as the second-best film in the Predator series – that's not the great achievement they think it is. That's like saying that The Force Awakens is the best Star Wars film since '83. Not a big compliment, even if we exclude the movie with the weird priest-like Luke and useless Han and Leia Ewoks. Prey is a great entry in the Predator series, yes, but also a surprisingly gorgeous moviegoing streamgoing experience filled with performances good enough to make it shine on its own. We know we sure do tend to clown on film-to-game adaptations, especially when they're shameless ripoffs, but it really does seem like Hollywood directors can actually learn quite a few things from video games.

Despite what the usual weirdos on Twitter will claim, Director Dan Trachtenberg did a great job casting and directing Amber Midthunder, who plays Naru, a smart and resourceful wannabe predator (of predators). And that's not even the first time Trachtenberg had his films helmed by badass women. Hell, the guy began his career with Portal: No Escape, a surprisingly neat low-budget short in the world of Portal.

Trachtenberg then went on to direct Playtest, an episode of the sci-fi series Black Mirror that's also about a video game, and then he directed 10 Cloverfield Lane, another successful sci-fi thriller starring a resourceful female hero. It's genuinely cool to see we're already living in a time when directors are no longer afraid to admit they were inspired by video games. Trachtenberg's career had a similar start to that of Neil Blomkamp of Halo shorts (and unofficial adaptation) fame, but Trachtenberg actually got better when he moved to big films whereas Blomkamp, well, Blomkamp has a cooler-sounding name.

We kid. Even though his feature-length stuff is horrid, his shorts, new and old, are still damn good.

Top Image: Valve

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