Week 7 Seminar: Machinima: From Game Platforms to Animation Studio
Machinima (Muh-sheen-eh-mah) artists take the raw materials provided within interactive games and manipulate them in new ways, creating a unique combination of game play, animation, and real world cinematic techniques. By filming within live game space, machinima side-steps the time consuming rendering of each keyframe which occurrs in traditional animation, and costs drastically less than real world filmmaking.
By using game characters as actors, manipulating their behaviours and reccording voiceovers, machinima artists can give their 3D worlds a depth and humanity beyond the usual shoot-em-up mentality of interactive gaming. A quick introduction to the concept of machinima can be found at Machinima.org's FAQ page: http://www.machinima.org/faq.html
The readings this week are:
The Xbox Auteurs -
Machinima & the Filmmaker's Virtual Immersion -
The Machinima Standard - (This reading is a tad long... but hang on, because it's quite specific and I hope it will give a bit of an insight into the technical challenges involved in creating machinima.)
One Word for you Hollywood: Machinima - (Nice and short...:)
Some questions to consider:
- Is this the beginning of the end for the traditional film industry? Or is machinima a fad which will fade after prolonged exposure? (Like reality TV, or Lycra bodysuits)
- What relationship might we predict between game developers, machinima artists and the film industry in the future? Will they be partners or competitors?
- If you were a machinima artist, what would you like to explore in terms of genre, different games and concepts? Would you go for hard hitting political drama or light entertainment? Why?
- How might machinima operate on a deeper level, as self reflexive tool to explore human interactions and community within the game space?
For a great example of a very new machinima series begun just last month, go to: http://www.thisspartanlife.com/ They have taken the talk show format and put it in real time game space with hilarious results! (Makes you wonder where the future of Jerry Springer may be!)
Downloading a few clips from http://www.machinima.com/ could also be fun... although be warned downloading time can be veeeery slow at busy times.