Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is a science fiction web series set in the universe of the Halo franchise. Forward Unto Dawn consists of five 15-minute episodes released weekly starting on October 5, 2012, and was later released as a single film on DVD and Blu-ray. The series was produced as a marketing effort for the video game Halo 4 intended to widen the audience of the Halo series and as a stepping stone to a potential Halo film. It was written by Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing, and directed by Stewart Hendler. Forward Unto Dawn was shot in Vancouver over 25 days in May 2012 on a budget just under USD $10 million. It has just under 500 shots with computer generated imagery, approximately a quarter of what a feature film would have, but the visual effects received praise from reviewers. A coming-of-age story, Forward Unto Dawn follows a cadet, Thomas Lasky, at a twenty-sixth century military training academy as it is attacked by the Covenant, an alliance of alien zealots. Lasky is unsure of his future within the military but feels pressured to follow in the footsteps of his mother and brother. Lasky and his surviving squad mates are rescued by the Master Chief and, after the death of his romantic interest, Chyler Silva, Lasky is inspired by the Chief to take initiative and aids him in saving the remaining cadets.