A well-trodden path in alien encounters, this week’s short is Genesis by Edy Recendez, filmed in Unreal Engine. From the very beginning the film is such fun, with great editing and sound design – right up to and including the ending ‘rap slash dance’ credits. Ricky, Phil and Damien also talk about the upcoming Diablo 4 release.
From AI to sci-fi to dystopian world stories, this week’s selection demonstrates creative tools and processes being used to realize these shorts.
Our first selection this week is a beautifully rendered morphing AI film called The High Seas, made using 60fps/4K by Drew Medina (released 9 Apr 2023) – one of the few we’ve seen so far. Embedding has been disabled, but please do follow the link here.
Constelar is by Oskar Alvardo (score by Lee Daish), released 4 Feb 2023. This has been made using Blender and an interesting approach to storytelling, with an almost 1970s noir feel to it –
The next film is a cinematic tribute to the makers of StarCraft, called Judgment Cinematic by Nakma, released 23 Mar 2023. The music (which we note is uncredited) adds much to the story telling but it also needs some understanding of the StarCraft world to fully appreciate the nuances in the plot which is vaguely Star Wars-ish. Nonetheless, a great effort, especially since it took just three months to make this machinima – there are some great shots and editing is well done –
The dystopian world of Valve’s Half Life, made using Source Filmmaker, has been used in our next two film selections. The first is called Combined and draws on the lore in the game. It is quite violent but does well to ‘humanise’ the characters. The animation looks surprisingly old-style, even if it is only 2021 – a reflection on just how quickly the cinematic aesthetic has changed in such a short period of time. In Perimeter (our feature image for this post), which also portrays the Combine, there is quite a different aesthetic finish to it. What’s interesting about this film is the inspiration it drew from: concept art by Vyacheslav Gluhov. Both these films are great examples of how a game inspires creators to take one aspect, in this case the Combine character in HL, and extend the narrative into new and interesting directions.
This week, Ricky, Phil and Damien discuss Torn Seas – a feature made with Unreal Engine, by Richard Boisvert. We don’t often review feature-length films on this show, not least because few are brave enough to make them, and we talk about that aspect a bit too. Overall, we were impressed by this film but we also have a few suggestions to consider.
YouTube Version of this Episode
Show Notes & Links
Torn Seas – a feature made with Unreal Engine, by Richard Boisvert, released 26 March 2023 –
Dynamo Dream – Salad Mug by Ian Hubert, Episode 1 –
This week we share with you a couple of notable RTs (of the UnTwitter kind) and a Dynamo Dream or two. Enjoy!
Who can believe it but Rooster Teeth is now 20 years old. Its come a very long way from its RVB days, not all of it good, but its still rolling. Indeed, RT is now also in the same stable as the final remains of Machinima.com (RIP). Ben Grussi and I dedicated a chapter to the RT story in our book Pioneers in Machinima (2021) and one thing we noted was its resilience to change over the years, so here’s wishing them all the best for the next turn on their roundabout too –
Another long-time favorite on our podcast is the RT Music (formerly RT Machinima) team. This month, I’d like to share their Elden Ring Rap with you (released 12 Mar 2022). Its definitely worth watching the video, not only are these guys great at writing some toe-tappers but they also do a pretty good job of showing off their machinima skills too –
Finally this week, Ian Hubert has released two episodes of his Dynamo Dream live action/VFX series (our feature image for this post). We covered the first episode of this stunning series on the podcast back in August 2021 (audio only) but what’s quite incredible about the release of Eps 2 and 3 in such quick succession is frankly the speed at which he’s been able to release them… and of course they’re very good if ever so slightly absurdist.
A Single Point in Space – Dynamo Dream, Ep 2 (released 23 Mar 2023) –
A Pete Episode – Dynamo Dream, Ep 3 (released 6 Apr 2023) –
Next week, we have some more selections to share with you too but if you find something you’d like us to do a full review of on the podcast, do share it.
Made in the still developing game Star Citizen, this week’s film is a large-scale production showing 97 players creating a complex battle scene. The film is called Sandstorm by Wailander. In this episode of the podcast, Ricky, Phil and Damien discuss the extent to which machinima is about showing off the game vs telling a story, what the role of the director is in game-based machinima productions and, of course, take a deep dive into the history of machinima in the process. They also reflect on just how wealthy (with in-game currency) the creators of this work actually have to be!