Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn’s Tom Green Interview
Starship Troopers meets Battlestar Galactica
by : Arthur Kotsopoulos
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
We had the chance to sit down and interview Tom Green, the Australian in the lead role of this top quality web series.
All episodes of Forward Unto Dawn are embedded below the interview for your viewing pleasure, and they are worth watching, even if you don’t know Halo lore.
Arthur: I guess we’ll start by asking how the part came about. You’re the lead role in Forward Unto Dawn as far as I’m concerned. So how did a role like this actually come about?
Tom Green: Well I mean I was in L.A at the beginning of the year doing a pilot season, so basically it’s so busy you’re given a bunch of scripts and you just go in and read different things.
One of them- it wasn’t called Halo so I didn’t know it was Halo... I went in and just kinda put it down, forgot about it and went about my day and then they called me back again a few times until I’m having coffee with the director.
He then just spilled the beans and went “Alright this is what we’re actually talking about right now.”
The funny thing is that there were references in the script that I never picked up because I didn’t own Halo as a kid so I wasn’t to familiar with the whole jargon and language, and the next thing I’m on a plane in Vancouver and I’m just shooting.
It all happened so fast.
Arthur: And transitioning from Home & Away to a Halo webseries, was that an easy transition to make?
Tom Green: The funny thing is that and a lot of people think I’ve come straight to Halo but I’ve actually done a bunch of jobs in between so I’ve been lucky enough to go from Home & Away to do a few things and I think it’s slowly gotten to that point where the funniest thing is the job I did before Halo was Dance Academy, which is a dancing show.
That was a really big contrast to go from wearing pointy shoes to being in a forest with Master Chief with a rifle on a Warthog, like you know that really did kind of blow my mind.
Arthur: Have you ever had to read the novels or play the game to gather a bit of a back story for the scope and the size of the Halo universe?
Tom Green: Well the thing is, I was told to read Contact Harvest. I read it before I was over there shooting, so it was before I was a part of this world.
So I found it hard to get into because I read a lot and science fiction isn’t up there with my top favourite genres, but I read it because it’s the right thing to do.
When I got to Canada one of the Microsoft people was like: “Here’s the Halo encyclopedia” and that to me blew my mind because there were all these photos and pictures, which was just like, “WOW” it’s really starting to grow on me.
But what people don’t understand is that the characters that we play in the series don’t play Halo so we could have done no research and just come in and it would’ve been really organic. I didn’t want to know too much about it and ruin the surprise.
Arthur: Is it a daunting feeling knowing that this web series could potentially be viewed by millions around the world? Going from Australia TV something like this…
Tom Green: It’s pretty daunting, I mean when the trailer came out I was like, “Wow, this looks great” and then a couple of weeks ago a friend of mine was like, “Man, I can’t believe how many views are on the trailer”.
I was like, “What are you talking about?” and I logged on and it was like over 3.5 million views and again I was like, “Wow, I really am a part of something much bigger than I expected”, so it’s daunting but at the same time it’s exciting.
Arthur: So it’s a step in the right direction in the career that you want to pursue as an actor?
Tom Green: I think so. More people can see my work whether they like my work or they don’t and it gets my face out there.
Who knows, man, it could open some doors for me. I’m just going to wait and see.
Arthur: Well at the end of the day you’re a part of something that obviously millions of people have played, read and watched (the anime).
I think it’s a really good platform to launch a series because these days it’s very hard for a show to get picked up beyond a first season.
You have a new show that’s really really good then 2-3 episodes in it gets axed. I think with the webseries it’s a different kind of platform compared to a TV show, definitely?
What you’re trying to draw on is what I’ve been trying to draw on a lot.
This is a new type of medium and it’s exciting. I mean people nowadays are doing everything on their laptops or smartphones. We’re watching TV we’re downloading films, listening to music.
You know I just did 3 interviews with webseries talk shows based on the internet. It really does make you think if we can take something with a small budget and develop something to a feature film production and put it on the internet for free with this, what’s next?
It’s exciting and I think we could be on the brink of something you know? Huge. It could be changing the way and in 10 years time who knows what we could be doing.
Arthur: Even if it doesn’t shoot off the way it should they usually receive a cult following a year or so down the track and then it gets revived again.
I feel there’s more freedom to do a webseries. I know there’s another one called H+…
So Stuart Hendler finished H+ and then went on to do this straight away, so he’s just done 2 digital series in a row, so he’s really the go-to guy at the moment for anyone who wants to start a digital series because this guy know what’s going on.
I’ll tell you the truth- this wasn’t any different to being on a film set that I’ve been on and I have been on a lot, but to me it was like, “I can’t believe they’re only showing this on the internet and not in the cinemas!”
Arthur: Usually they’re just about 10-20 minutes long so they’re just enough to keep you satisfied, but always want you keep coming back for more every week.
Tom Green: It’s definitely going to peak your interest and it will leave you hungry for more I think, and also at the same time by the time they’re all online you can enjoy them a months later and watch them all again in sequence.
Arthur: Well Tom that’s we’ve got to ask really. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to have a bit of chat.
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn: Episode 1
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn: Episode 2
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn: Episode 3
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn: Episode 4
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn: Episode 5
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
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