Ego Central to Machinima Filmmaker Ken Thain

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Play the Movie, Experience the Story.

Oh man. This site is like an onion. The more code I pull back the more the site falls apart. Wait.. thats not the saying about onions. Well whatever. The point being I've been plugging away at a new layout for 3dfilmmaker.com for a few minutes here and there over the last few weeks (could it be months? I'm loosing track of time. Omg it is months...). Really all I want to do is post stuff but I can't stand the sight of this site anymore. I'll keep at it with the 5 minutes a week I find myself with.

But with this week's 5 minutes I'm posting. I started reading an early release of the recent Mass Effect book. I find it amazingly cool to be reading this full fledge novel that is a precursor to the game we're working on. I don't know if there is a precedent on a full book being available before a game, but I find it very cool that one can choose to deeply immerse themselves in the mythology of the story before starting their hands-on adventure.

Even though I am eating, sleeping and ... drinking Mass Effect right now I still keep a close eye on whats up with the Machinima scene. Lots of cool things going on with MovieStorm, Georgia Tech, etc. But what I'm continuing to see is a strong surge of interest in what is building to be one of the next big steps in 'entertainment' (and I'm obviously biased because I feel I'm working on one of the biggest testaments of it). Interactive Storytelling.

Machinima has always been the convergence of film, animation and video games but interest in this convergence is going far beyond a tasty and experimental mix into a full fledge fusion. Many Internet voices within the gaming community are discussing the role of storytelling in games, and many Internet voices in the film industry are discussing the role of games as cinema. So one strong focus point that is bubbling to the surface is the idea of Interactive Storytelling. I think over the next few years we will see some fantastic examples of this becoming a very real and tangible entertainment venue. And the amazing thing is this method of 'experiencing a story' can be busted loose in an unlimited number of ways.
As foreshadowed by the studio's "Mad World" Gears of War TV spot, Digital Domain won't be using game engines for just games. Also on the agenda will be a series of teen-targeted animated features, which will utilize machinima er, a "new" cost-effective animation method.
Now Interactive Storytelling is not a new concept, and its definition can be as vague as that of machinima's. But what I'm seeing first hand is an incredibly exciting new era that the two are bringing about, and machinima is very key to this. People may argue why you should or should not make films using machinima over traditional 3d apps, and you'll always have people on both sides of the fence, but as soon as you change the game (no pun intended) where you have a medium that changes in real-time to respond to the audience, there is no alternative. That is the core, untapped power of Machinima and it quite possibly will usher in a new era of storytelling.
“Halo 3” will set a new standard for interactive storytelling and social gaming by engaging consumers worldwide in Master Chief’s epic battle to save humankind.
As machinima continues to explore itself in all its new and different forms, I truly believe that Interactive Storytelling (aka the Interactive Machinima branch) will take everyone by surprise. And I can't wait to show you why.

My 5 minutes is up. More to come. Stay tuned.

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