Monday, August 07, 2006

The Days After

This machinima piece done with the GTA engine is getting a lot of buzz these days (Machinima Premiere and Machinima.com). The Days After uses some very nice cinematics and some very strong voice acting to tell a a decent story. Similar to what happened in 28 Days Later mankind is devastated by a viral plague (T40-X) . The film starts with one character, who goes by the name Bogart, musing on what it all means. I won't ruin the rest of the story so I highly recommend going and downloading it to see what happens.

The piece was crafted by Apollo Productions. On Machinima.com it looks like GTA is the only engine they use as they've done 3 pieces with that game, The Days After, Sundown, and Midnight. Since this piece was so strong, I downloaded the others to see what else they had done with GTA. The first thing I'll say, they really do like their long intros. The second is that they have obviously evolved as filmmakers with The Days After being their best piece by far. Midnight is what I would have expected from a GTA machinima: hip hop music, gang culture, cops, shootouts, etc. Sundown has more of a music video feel, with some pumping techno beats, what appears to be a B.A.S.E. jumper, and no dialog at all. Both show some nice cinematics and high quality work in the editing department.

It will be interesting to see what Apollo does next. Will they stick to GTA and try to make the most of that engine or move to something else? With their obvious expertise I suspect they will stay in GTA. The more interesting question to ask is where will they take GTA next? Will they push the boundaries of that game, hopefully far beyond what is expected, or go back to their roots? Their cross pollination with some other names in the machinima community (Overman did the music, Coyote Republic was the female voice actor) suggests some big things are in store for them.

3 comments:

Booklad said...

Good post on Apollo and Day's After. I was the person who did the voice for Bogart and created the sound effects/mix for Days After. I agree with your comments about the film. Andre (the director) is really growing with each film. I think his willingness to change and collaborate have really improved the quality of his filmmaking where it needed it (Story, Acting, Sound)

And you are right about the long opening. I think it works in this film, but it is a habit along with cross-fades instead of strait cuts. But working with Andre has been one the most enjoyable machinima experiences I've had. He's very smart and very receptive to constructive criticism.

Quick Background: Andre approached me over at mprem.com and asked for help with his english in his script for Day's After. One thing led to another and I was recording Coyote and myself and helping him with effects. I was particularly pleased with Coyote's work since she was so critical of her acting and yet turned in an excellent performance. Overman came on board when we needed new opening music. He eventually scored the whole film when we realized we needed to remove the Bloc Party songs if we were going to submit the film to festivals (copyright problems).

We plan on continuing with Days After by turning it into an anthology series where each episode is a self-contained story that takes place in the Days After world. We want to continue the spirit of collaboration and are seeking out specific machinima filmmakers to write scripts, record voice overs, etc. I'm hoping we can create a new episode in a few months.

Thanks for your excellent post. Andre's on vacation (damn him) but I know he'd appreciate it as well.

-gToon
(aka Richard Grove)

Booklad said...

Oh, forgot to add that the Apollo site is up as of Aug 9th. Perhaps your link is fishy. Try this:

http://www.apollo-productions.tk/

At least it works for me.

-gToon

bllius said...

Interesting. I wish you luck on an anthology. I have a similar idea I'm working on in some HL2 machinima, although it's far, far in the early stages (a series of shorts set in the same 'universe' but not necessarily linked).

Thx for the tip on the link