I'm a week or two late on getting this out, but in case you haven't noticed, my comrade-in-arms Jun Falkenstein led another team for the machinima segment of the 48-hour Film Project this year ... and they won! Head over to YouTube and watch their entry: The Lake!
This is the first Warcraft film to have placed in the contest, and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact this is the first year I was too busy to contribute to Jun's 48-hour project. (I'm only being sarcastic for humorous effect; believe me, I'm really actually certain it has nothing to do with that.) Congratulations to Stone Falcon!
Meanwhile, keep an eye out here on Filmcraft.org for a countdown to BlizzCon 2010. More details soon!
In case any readers are attending DragonCon in Atlanta this weekend, be sure to check out the machinima presentations which will include the award-winning Warrior's Dream. Head on over to the Savannah Room at 8:30 on Friday!
Special thanks to Romily (who happens to be the voice of "Nimshe" in Redshift!) for organizing and making me aware of the festival!
I tweeted the winners of Blizzard's recent "Rise to Power" contest about a week ago. Congratulations again, guys! I was sincerely enthused to see new names receive recognition from Blizzard and the machinima community.
Now, I'm proud to finally announce the release of the <slashdance> entry.
Maybe I didn't win because I didn't read the instructions carefully enough. I guess the assignment was to make a move about a rise to power. This one's more of a quirky rise to ... um. Enlightenment? Tranquility? ... early retirement?
We made a little film called Redshift: Pursuit. It has now been annotated with all kinds of behind-the-scenes director's notes, and you can watch it here on YouTube.
Amazingly, something else happened about a year ago, when I teamed up with Ms. Jun Falkenstein and Ben Covi to create a machinima film in 48 hours or less. Wow, I don't think I've ever fit so many hyperlinks in a single sentence. Anyway! They did it again this year, and again, this year, I was obliged to help out! Sadly, we didn't quite make the deadline, but the end result was marvelously campy and fun. Watch for yourself!
Not only are there shiny new segments and inserts to fill out the extended and polished soundtrack, there's an unbelievably fancy pants credits sequence complete with outtakes.
(Yes, Mazzranache did indeed dare to crash our film set. Stupid bird. And the reason for choreographed mass dancing female tauren sequence is due to the fact that we filmed on the 3.2 patch PTR... aka new druid forms patch. The tauren druid premade was female... and we rolled a lot of them. >_> )
I'm extremely pleased by Sedrin's additions and polish here. (so much so that I'm posting this all for him, omg see? >_< ) The three minute time limit on BlizzCon submissions was incredibly frustrating... even with this relatively simple story, it was a struggle to squish it all into the required time frame. The pacing on the extended version is much better... you are eased into the story, rather than thrown in on your ass. ;x Even something as simple as extending the final three chords of the instrumental by a couple of seconds goes a long way in completing the experience.
We had no intentions of posting the BlizzCon cut anywhere, since the extended version would have all the vitals of the original entry and then some. So you can imagine my surprise as I just went to check the BlizzCon contests page and noticed that Blizzard had actually gotten around to uploading torrents for each of the winning machinima films!
This led me to search "Warrior's Dream" on YouTube. Well, dammit. ;x
So there are a few stray copies on YouTube, which we're not going to do anything about. Hopefully the extended version will make the rounds and become more prominent.
Thanks for the eloquent update there, Kirlune. Really, I just got tired of seeing my old Sedrin Head dominate the log ad infinitum. But I digress. Blizzcon!
Our three-minute fantasy music video won 3rd place! It was so heart-pumping to hear my musical score piped through the massive convention hall. There were two other "music video"-style winners as well, and the grand prize went to the young machinimator X-Cross; I was very excited to see him in the spotlight (see previous post's comments). Without further ado, here are the winners!
Now, regarding Warrior's Dream: Much like I did with Redshift: Pursuit, my entry for this year will be getting some additional work and polish before I release it. Right now, it plays like an action movie trailer. The final version should end up being quite a bit longer than three minutes. Watch my Twitter feed for updates on that process, and you'll find the final product here, and on all the usual distribution channels.
Before the raid on Anaheim: Heroic Laguna Art Museum
Not all that heroic, actually.
Our 5-man drove into Laguna Beach earlier this morning to partake of the exhibition offerings at the cozy Laguna Art Museum for 15g each. The majority of the space featured large prints of official artwork, as well as fan art and material for related products like books and comics. There were several vaguely WoW-inspired installations, which the docent strained to make relevant to us gamers. And then, at last, we came across the machinima screening room: more on that after the break.
What was most disappointing about the visit, though, didn't hit us until long after we'd left. We trekked north thence, to the convention center in Anaheim and beheld an indoor sea of bodies, snaking like an immense coil amidst white plastic chains. Naturally, we flung ourselves into it. A few hours later, we were each gifted with large boxes entombing chibi space marines, various glossy advertisements, the requisite Blizzard-label hand sanitizer and authenticator. But what, oh what, in such delightful set of gratuities caused our disappointment? Two-for-one coupons to the WoW exhibit at the Laguna Art Museum.
I nevertheless thought the visit was well worth it, though not all my guildmates agreed...
It came down to expectations, I guess. We were going to an art museum, and being an uncultured city boy, I was not surprised to see an awesome collection of stills on the walls. A few sculptures here and there. Even some videos. (And the most unique: one of the original AMD servers that WoW was developed on.) But at least one of us (cough) had different ideas for an awesome exhibition: one that focused less on the game as a medium, and more on WoW as a subject.
This was most apparent when we got to the machinima screening room (a nice and dark little room secluded just beyond the fan art room) where we saw that pretty much all of the non-Blizzard machinima selections were things like music videos and more abstract films. Dopefish and Olibith were well-represented, and we suspected that the museum may have stuck to European machinimators to avoid intellectual property issues. I don't mean to disparage those artists in any way, and it was awesome that machinima was included in the exhibit at all. But the selections focused on things you might see in any other kind of indy short (sex, drugs, music) and nothing that really included WoW or fantasy as a necessary component of the piece. I suppose it did feel like somewhat of a missed opportunity.
The bags are packed. The boarding passes are printed. The guild shirts have been received. And most importantly of all....
The machinima contest has been entered.
In three days, <slashdance> will send a five-man group into the cavernous dungeon of the Anaheim Convention Center. We'll be trying for quite a few achievements, and may just come away with some real-life phat lewtz. I'll try to update a few more times before and during the con itself, keeping news relevant to our films and the WoW machinima community.
See, what happened was, I receive this mysterious email saying someone new is following me on Twitter. Except ... I don't have a Twitter account! It turns out someone used my email address to create an account (why do people do this?). I promptly hijacked the account, changed the email on file, and left a nice note for the owner. And then, of course, it was necessary--quite necessary--to claim my own email address with my own Twitter account.
"Spontaneous" isn't perhaps the best word to describe the project, since it took me a few weeks to gather footage, then a few more to... well, you can read all the details on the film's own page. This is probably the first purely "for fun" machinima I've slopped together. Hope you enjoy it!
Oh. And some people are wondering, since this is essentially a trailer, when is "the movie" going to be coming? Well for that, I think I'll pull a Blizz and say, we will provide additional information as it becomes available.
You guys don't really think I plan this stuff out, do you?
Creating any sort of film in 48 hours is not easy. Jun and Ben's work, I think, ended up campy and hilariously insane as a result. I certainly think my music arrangements could have been much better, but part of the fun is the mad rush to produce something--anything--that will work. I'll definitely consider participating in a more major way next time the contest rolls around.
A little disappointed returning from Blizzcon. Machinima was officially on the docket for all of about five minutes, which was during the contest segment (of course), to announce winners. Here are the results:
My crew was a little bitter about Blizzard's categorization of all the nominees, which pitted Jun's (always) amazing work against our own, but I'm perfectly happy with the three winners. They definitely deserved it for what was clearly some very hard work. I only wish Blizz gave 'em a little more than five minutes and a statue (not that trophies aren't awesome).
All the other machinimators have been kicked out! Bow to your new overlords!
... well, not really. We've archived the site's old content, but from now on Filmcraft.org is exclusively the official home for the <slashdance> machinima team. The old site wasn't getting any use whatsoever, and there are manyothermachinimacommunities we can recommend to new and veteran machinimators alike. In the meantime, expect some exciting new announcements to surface soon right here; there are a number of projects <slashdance> has in the pipes.