Monday, November 06, 2006

Machinima Film Festival 2006

Just got back from the 2006 Machinima Film Festival that took place at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY. I'm quite exhausted (and sick of train stations) but I had a blast and it looked/sounded like a lot of others did too. I'm looking forward to seeing what the community has to say, and more importantly, what the mainstream media's comments will be regarding the whole concept (I got the impression that there was a lot of press there, which is great).

I skipped most of the nominee screeings as I had watched most of them on GameVideos.com prior to the event and instead watched the panel discussions (which were worth the price of admission). Two of the panels in particular were very exciting: one on intellectual property rights, and the second on "machinima with issues". The first panel (consisting of a USC law professors, two students, and a lawyer from the EFF) basically covered the murky legal ground that currently exists around machinima, with a note from the organizers that even though game companies were invited to participate, all of them had declined/ignored the invitation (although there were representatives from Bioware and Linden Labs in the audience). That's unfortunate, and I hope game companies come to terms with the machinima community the same way that they have with the mod-making community. The second panel on "machinima with issues had three participants who are producing provocative pieces, including Alex Chan, the director behind The French Democracy, and Chris Burke, from This Spartan Life, and Eddo Stern (someone I was not familiar with). This was a great panel, and it's obvious that all three panelists were the sort of thoughtful and deeply philosophical artists who's work pushes the boundaries of both the artform, and of the audience.

I'll have more to say in the future, but for now, congratulations to all the winners, who will be posted shortly (some pics from the Second Life event are already up).

EDIT:
A full list of winners is available on the festival site, and links and nominees are available from machinima.com. I'm not sure how the nominations are decided nor how the winners are picked, but I definitely think there were some incorrect decisions made in both. The biggest winner was The Adventures of Bill and John: Ep II which is a brilliantly done piece in the game Lock On: Modern Air Combat (how many machinima pieces have ever been made in this game?). The other big news is the series winner was The Fixer (no, not Bloodspell nor Red vs. Blue).

Personally I think they need to change some of the categories. Or, is it time for the People's Choice Awards for Machinima?

2 comments:

Rohan said...

Had the chance to watch the Fest from within SL.
I managed to shoot some scenes during the fest in SL. If you like to watch some life atmo from the fest please watch at:
http://www.memex.de/machinima/festival.wmv

bllius said...

Thx for the link.
1. The audience was certainly more colorful in SL.
2. The audience was louder in RL.
LOL.