Return to the Lighter Side of Halo with Miles Luna and Gray Haddock of Red vs. Blue (Interview)
Red vs. Blue is a comic sci-fi series that was created by Burnie Burns. The show is on its 13th season. During RTX, the announcement of season 14 was confirmed.
Gray Haddock is not only an animation producer at Rooster Teeth but also the voice actor of Locus and General Doyle in Red vs. Blue. Miles is the director of the Red vs. Blue series and has been since season 11.
GWW got chance to chat with both of them to discuss a creative process on putting together an episode as well as plans for their recently announced season.
GeeksWithWives (Danny Benavides): I had the misfortune of missing the official announcement on the first day of RTX but I wanted to discuss season 14 a bit further.
Miles Luna: Season 14 is what we are referring to as an anthology season. It is a collection of short stories that can take place at any time in the Red vs. Blue universe and about any characters we want. It gives us the opportunity to take a break from this 13-year-old story that we have been doing and just kind of play around in this universe that we know and love.
Gray Haddock: Yeah and it also gives us the opportunity to play with the look and feel of each different piece whether it’s a one-shot or a miniseries. We will still have something that looks like the animation you’re used to seeing but we also want to go for some cool 2D stuff. Whether it’s real abstract or cartoony or if we want to revisit that RvB anime look from a few years ago. So we are really excited to play around with all the different ways and get it out there.
Miles: We also want to be more collaborative this season. We have been talking about bringing in guest writers and directors and having them work really closely with myself, Burnie and Matt and yeah, just seeing other people’s voices in Red vs. Blue and like I said just having fun and playing around.
GWW: Are you able to unveil any of the guests names guest appearances just yet?
Miles: Not yet. It is still very very early on in the planning period. It’s still only a plan. For all we know, we will try it and if it sucks, we’ll do something new. Who knows. It’s too early to tell.
Gray: It’s great. It is really reinvigorating routine where it takes some of the pressure off where we want to make sure the next big story we’ll be excited about and the fans will be excited about. Halo 5 is just about to come out and everyone will be able to pick up RvB season 13 on disc right when Halo 5 hits the shelves. We want to be kicking the tires with it and want to start playing it the same time that the fans are and having this anthology will give us the time to figure out a strategy on how we are going to use Halo 5 moving forward. It’s just all about telling these tales and revisiting these characters we have always wanted to do and meanwhile the background of all of that will be letting this brand new story boil up and determine where we will take the franchise going forward.
GWW: 13 seasons down. About to be 14 now. How do you guys keep coming out with new story lines after all this time without slowing down?
Gray: Well the anthology is going to let Miles and the rest of the team just play. They will be able to have fun with it, loosen up and try some new things and see what sticks or not and then like I said, what excites us from there will determine what RvB 15 turns into.
Miles: Yeah, we’re not going to go forward with another story if we don’t have a story line that we aren’t passionate about and we are excited to tell. So this is a bit of a breather and we are just going to flex our creative muscles and do whatever we want because, yeah, it’s really difficult. I guess, if history means anything, I guess one way we can deal with story lines, i guess is getting a new writer. Haha. I know when Burnie handed the show of to me for season 11, I was completely floored and still to this day I can’t believe that. That actually happened. Creative things like this are always a collaborative effort, there is no one person who made this happen the way it happened. By reaching out and bringing in new voices to the show that’s how you get new ideas moving forward.
GWW: How crazy is it to see Red vs Blue on Netflix? Before, I remember only being able to watch this show online. Now it’s everywhere and not only attracting games but everyone.
Gray: It took a while for the Netflix algorithm to figure out what to do with us because for the first couple of weeks they had us, we were filed under the war documentaries or something, next to Hitler and Vietnam. Now we are one of the top recommendations on Netflix or something which is crazy to see that Spartan helmet up there with everything else up there. It’s crazy seeing us everywhere now, aside from Netflix, RvB has it’s own Youtube channel now if that’s how you want to digest your media. We also have the RvB book coming out this fall, which tells some untold tales there as well, so that’s kind of cool. It’s just all sorts of exciting stuff happening now.
GWW: Will any maps, weapons or features from Halo 5 be incorporated into season 14?
Miles: That’s the beauty of season 14 is that anything is possible. I did have the privilege of visiting 343 [Studios] and getting my hands on the game a little early. I can say that it’s really really pretty, and it has a lot of things that I enjoyed about it. Every new Halo game has its pros and its cons, its blessing and curses. The biggest one in Halo 4 was its inability to move without raising your gun, which fortunately, people just got over it. We were very careful to cut around it in season 11. Then when I first lowered my gun in Halo 5, I was just like “Whoa!” and I can still do stuff. It’s really cool. It’s a gorgeous game. It’s very similar to Halo 3 which I’m a huge fan of. That’s what I’m the most excited about is seeing these maps because those are the sets we get to work with.
Gray: It’s really cool to see how much RvB has turned into live action now. Whether it’s Miles directing the actors in the mo-cap suits or it’s just cool to see Miles pouring into the maps on Xbox, just revisiting Halo generations to see which map would be perfect for which scene, atmosphere and mood. I’m looking forward to see you get jazzed about the new discoveries and exploring the maps in halo 5.
GWW: How long does the production of an episode normally take?
Miles: It drastically varies. For example, the Sargent 2 promo we just released was all done in machinima and done in eleven hours. That was just the machinima portion. Not the sound and writing. Whereas episode 1 of season 13 took several months. It is entirely dependent on how many characters are on screen, how much animation is involved, is it dialog heavy, and is there going to be action. There are so many variables, I honestly couldn’t tell you what our average was for a season.
Gray: When I go back and look, I can tell you that our team is lightning fast.
Miles: They are incredible and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
GWW: Thanks guys. Thanks for everything you guys have done. Love the series and can’t wait to see the new season.
Gray: Thanks and Thanks for coming out to RTX.