Ego Central to Machinima Filmmaker Ken Thain

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oddworld Feature Film

Was checking out this article over at Gamasutra about the combined movie and game development happening over at Oddworld Inhabitants. It sparked my memory to this article on VFX back in 2004 (see page three of the article for the real machinima meat) where I made a mental note to keep an eye on these guys in relation to machinima. Even back then they spoke of 'the realtime CG technologies that will change gaming along with movies and TV'. Well it looks like they are following through.
The video game version of Citizen Siege, according to Lanning, will be simultaneously developed alongside the movie, reportedly utilizing the same collection of art assets.
I look forward to see how this comes out since the video game and movie are being developed from the same creative source, including content. Enough of this retrofitting each way. This type of development has a strong future in the new cinema.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Happy Suhnder Day!

How much luck can one guy have? Who cares, it doesn't matter if you have talent. Like Jason Choi. Not only has his film 'Edge of Remorse' been nominated for multiple awards at the 2006 Machinima Film Festival, but it won the XFire World of Warcraft machinima contest for Best Overall Film -- Drama/Action. And to top that off with cherry et al, hes been picked up by Shiny Entertainment as a junior cinematic animator. As released from Machinima.com.
I've been picked up by Shiny Entertainment as a junior cinematic animator starting November. I think that makes me the fifth machinimator to be hired by a big company this year alone! I'll bet it'll be even better next year, and more companies will be looking towards our community for talent. So get those films made, guys!
Not ready to come to Edmonton, my ass. ;) Can I have my horseshoe back now please? Big congrats dude on some well deserved success.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Red Vs. Blue Makes Green

Good article up over at 'The Escapist' highlighting the success of Red vs Blue compared to other media outlets such as Cartoon network. The article has a good call to arms for creative types to give Machinima some thought if interested in independent production.
"Often, by the time we hear of fortunes being made in a new way, it's already too late to get in. But in machinima, the barrier to entry remains absurdly low, the need for professionalism desperate. If you're funny or interesting, can voice-act well, and produce reliably over the medium term - and you don't quit - there's absolutely nothing blocking you from success."
I think the key words in that quote is 'and you don't quit'. It's a huge understatement and something that is really taken for granted in these types of articles. Yes, ANYONE can make a machinima, but very little have the dedication and persistence to see a quality project through. That's the bar which separates.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Peter Jackson Is Making Machinima?

Interesting news article from Times Online in the UK which links Peter Jackson to making machinima. But I guess this is what happens when you talk of interactive storytelling at a game conference. ;)
Two weeks ago, Peter Jackson, director of the box-office-busting epics The Lord of the Rings and King Kong, announced: “I’m getting a little bored with films.” More and more, he said, he was looking forward to the release of computer games, not movies. “I do not have to keep delivering stories as movies. There are other things I can do,” he added, then announced he would be creating a series of tales based on the Halo video-game franchise.

To the casual cultural observer, this sounded like the hysterical laughter of Saruman just moments after he had finally accepted the dominion of Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor. Yet Jackson’s decision was influenced by a strange and growing trend in which film-school graduates, hardcore gamers and cutting-edge design studios are pulling apart the programming code of high-street video games to create a whole new style of movie-making. This new genre even has a name: machinima.
Overall, the article is a good machinima overview though.

On another note, the Academy has posted the bios of the judges for this years festival over at Machinima.org where you'll find yours truly hanging out at the bottom - alphabetically speaking only ;)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Beyond Machinima

Fantastic article up at Gamasutra: "Beyond Machinima: Rudy Poat and John Gaeta on the Future of Interactive Cinema". Its a great overview of some work that is being done today toward the future of real-time interactive cinema.
Finally, you have John Gaeta and Rudy Poat - these guys want to get you off of the couch and into an interactive cinema experience, and who better to do it? John and Rudy both worked on The Matrix - John won an Academy Award for his effects which include "Bullet Time," and then went on to work on What Dreams May Come. John is currently working on a few projects and Rudy is a Creative Director with EA Vancouver. We sat down with Rudy first, to talk shop about the new process they've created.

...They could all be chatting with each other on a mic, at the same time, and the camera could be recording all of that data and streaming it straight to film. It's pretty neat. I know the machinima guys are using game engines to make these little movies. They all log in and do these stunts while recording them. We're actually building it that way from the ground up. The big thing for us is the content and not the engine.
Working on Mass Effects has me thinking a lot about what the Next Gen of Machinima is. You see people like Peter Jackson, ILM and John Gaeta doing serious exploration into this and with their headway a big picture starts to become clearer. Remember, these 'little' machinima films made by the community are the cutting edge of this grand new medium. Everyone who brings their machinima work outside the surface limitation of the game engine are helping lead the way to a greater world of cinema and entertainment. We all inspire each other toward something greater.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Wow! On WoW Machinima

IGN reporting on XFire releasing the WoW Contest Finalists.
"We are absolutely astounded by the quality of the submissions that we have received this year," said Mike Cassidy, CEO of Xfire. "It has been extremely difficult for us to narrow it down to just 20 finalists in four categories, and I expect it will be just as hard for our members to select their favorites."
I watched all the films in the Short Feature and Action/Drama categories. Some really talented and amazing stuff there. My favs being among 'The Island' and 'Edge of Remorse'. All the Short Features were really well produced and pretty nutty, in the really funny way. LOL! LOL! LOL!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

WoW Machinima primetime

Best UberPwnage evar.

I almost can't believe this is legit machinima (vs pre-rendered with WoW assets). But anyways, Southpark + WoW = funny as hell mashup. Good story too.

EDIT: As expected Google downed the episode online, but check the comments for other places. Also drop by Paul Marino's blog to see how machinima vets were actually involved in the project!