In this episode, Ben reviews the notable machinima films made in the early years of the Quake II engine, including skits, a talk show, music videos and some hard hitting documentaries. This ep also reviews the first real-time live performance of a machinima by The ILL Clan at the Florida Film Festival (2003), which was based on their earlier created characters of Cook Carl and Lenny & Larry Lumberjack.
Ben reviews some of the major happenings during the month of January in the early days of machinima. Starting with 1997 there’s Operation Bay-Shield. 1998 has the First Quake 2 movie – The Mad Bomber. Rematic, a machinima tool by Anthony Bailey is released in 1999. Also in this year Phil Rice released his notable film, Father Frags Best – a machinima classic. 2000 sees Machinima.com founded and Quad God film was released along with several other notable films. 2002 saw the Reel-Time Challenge contest along with Psyk’s Popcorn Jungle retiring (a big machinima review site). 2003 Anachronox the Movie Part 1 was released. 2004 Red vs Blue second season launched. In 2005 the first noveletta about machinima was written by Mike Hoefflinger called Moving Pictures. In 2006, Hugh Hancock, founder of Machinima.com stepped away from the site to focus on his filmmaking.
Rebel Vs Thug (2003) by Ken “3DFilmmaker” Thain – a commercial project with Public Enemy’s Chuck D side project
The Gamer’s Benchmark (2003) by Futuremark released a teaser movies for 3DMark03 – the link is to the full movie after release
Bang the Machine: Computer Gaming Art and Artifacts (17 Jan to 4 April 2004) and The Game Scenes exhibition was created by Stanford Humanities Laboratory and the Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University presented on ‘the pervasive influence of computer game culture’, curated by Galen Davis and Henry Lowood.
Lenny and Larry Lumberjack (2004) by The ILL Clan – a video of excerpts from their premiere performance of On The Campaign Trail at Void in New York City
“Moving Pictures” (2005), a novelette by Mike Hoefflinger, published by Packet Switched Press – the novel is about a group of people who start their own machinima production with the desire to make it to the big time!
I Surrender (2005) by Tristan Pope is mentioned on Blizzard’s World of Warcraft main website page
The Los Angeles Machinima Collective (LAMC) announces their first machinima production William Shakespear’s Mechbeth – the film was never produced! Ricky was here?!
Epic Games’ winners of the Grand Finals of the Make Something Unreal Contest (MSUC) for the Non-Interactive Movie Category 2005 –
– The Journey, 1st Place ($25,000)
– Bot, 2nd Place ($15,000)
– Sparked Memory, 3rd Place ($5,000)
– Scrap, 4th Place ($3,000)
– Damnation, 5th Place ($1,500)
Adventures in Dating, first episode (PG13 series) entitled Frustration (2005) by Decorgal
October is a busy month in machinima history! Ben goes back through the archives and digs out some real gems. Many of the links take you to the Internet Archive, where Ben has been uploading old content as we find it – for posterity and future generations of machinima creators to enjoy.
Game On, a promo piece made with live video footage and fused with a custom UT2004 modification, was made for the Volvo V50 car. Nathan “MuNansen” Moller was part of the team, who was organizer of 5M NYC, https://archive.org/details/Game_On_Short_Film
A BDes thesis on machinima was submitted by Cillian Lyons at Institute of Art Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, School of Art, Design and Media, entitled “From Drawings to Code, From Thaumatrope to Machinima – How technology has affected the development of animation” (2004)
On Sunday, 3 October 2004, artist Joseph DeLappe re-enacted the first 2004 Presidential Debate between Senator John Kerry and President George Bush in the PC online first person shooter game, Battlefield Vietnam. The performance/re-enactment involved typing into Battlefield Vietnam online the entire transcript from the first presidential debate. DeLappe switched his profile, or name, during the gameplay from “George Bush” to “John Kerry”, as needed, to recreate, through the instant, text messaging system used in the online game, the entire 14,000+ words. The transcript, used in printed form from the New York Times on the web, were typed into the online gameplay over the course of an eight hour session, visiting multiple game servers in the US and abroad. “John Kerry” or “George Bush” were randomly assigned by the host servers to either the US, South Vietnamese Army or the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) teams during the numerous online game sessions, each lasting from 2 minutes to 1/2 hour. Each game session featured between 14 and 31 other online gamers. There was much reaction from the other players during the re-enactment: from righteous outrage to genuine political dialogue to being kicked several times from multiple servers. The experience was thoroughly exhausting, truly a monumental effort at absurdist, online political theater.
A day later, DeLappe re-enacted the second “Town Hall” style presidential debate in a piece entitled: “Town Hall: Jedi Knight Outcast”, using the “Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast” online game as a platform for recreating this second presidential debate. See the recordings here, http://www.delappe.net/play/the-great-debates/
Epic Games released the $1,000,000 Make Something Unreal Contest Phase 4 finalists (24) from the Real-Time Non-Interactive Movie list (search Internet Archive – when we find the films, we’ll upload them):
UTXMP Matinee Movie 1
The Editor Has You
Cancers – A UT2K4 Machinima Film
Damnation (Single Player Mod)
Real-Time Non-Interactive Movie Honorable Mentions: