Thursday, April 27, 2006

Machinima day

Two noteworthy events: the first episode of the machinima film Bloodspell was released yesterday, and there is a set of 4 short videos of an interview with Paul Marino that were taken at the State of Play Conference last fall available.

Bloodspell is the work of Strange Company, a group that has been doing machinima for longer than most people have been playing games. Their list of films include Ozymandias, and Matrix 4X1. The director is Hugh Hancock and he both coined the term 'machinima' and founded Their latest work has been crafted with the game Neverwinter Nights and an enormous amount of work has gone into creating new characters and new art for their production. Interestingly, Bloodspell has been released under the Creative Commons licence so feel free to mix it up. I was a little put off by the animation in NWN, as it looks fairly old school. It remains to be seen how well Bloodspell actually does in the long run as it will be episodic.

The short interviews (1, 2, 3, 4) with Paul Marino focus on the history as well as the future of machinima. There's an interesting mix of where we have come, including the description of the Warthog grenade jumps from Halo, as well as the use of machinima in Second Life to promote products. Paul Marino's blog, Thinking Machinima, is a place where he promotes machinima (it hasn't been updated in over a month, get cracking!), and he is also the director of the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences (Hugh Hancock from SC is also on board) and the author of the book The Art of Machinima. I wish I could have watched the entire interview instead of just these four short pieces.

Machinima is becoming more mainstream and it will be an exciting time to see what people will do with this new art form, both technically (there are things you can do in machinima that you can't do in real film, or would be prohibitive to do in a classic animation form) and more importantly, artistically.

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