Make Something Unreal

Completely Machinima History with Ben Grussi (January)

Tracy Harwood History, Machinima, Podcast, YouTube January 27, 2022 2 Comments

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.



youtube version of podcast

Operation Bay-shield (1997) by WendCA

Eschaton: Darkness Twilight (1998) by Strange Company

First Quake 2 Movie: The Mad Bomber (1998)

Rematic (1999) tool created by Anthony Bailey (Quake Done Quick Team). The tool enabled reshoots of existing Quake (1) demos from new perspectives

Father Frags Best (1999) by Phil Rice aka ZS Overman

Quad God (2000) by Tritin Films

A Warrior’s Life (2000) by Donnovan

Ozymandias (2000) by Strange Company

Anachronox: The Movie Part 1 (2003) by Jake Hughes

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?!

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

Completely Machinima History with Ben Grussi (october)

Tracy Harwood History, Machinima, Podcast October 30, 2021 Leave a reply

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.



Notes and Links –

The Rangers released their first Quake movie, Diary of a Camper, https://archive.org/details/WinQuake919201632722P

Ranger Gone Bad, https://archive.org/details/ranger-gone-bad-1996-winquake

Circus Life Part 2 released by Donnovan, https://archive.org/details/cirus2_202110

Strange Company released the first of 4 shorts titled (commercial machinima) Matrix 4×1: Control Room – https://archive.org/details/Matrix4x1 

First commercial machinima: Strange Company’s Matrix 4X1: Control Room

Dark Age of Camelot released (several machinima produced), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnQgqkymgtE

The Scott’s Man, https://archive.org/details/scottsman_202110

Strange Company kills The Lithtech Film Producer project due to its massive size and lackluster tools, compared to newer tools already now available – open letter https://web.archive.org/web/20061011145541/http://www.strangecompany.org/lfp/cancellation.htm

ILL Clan released Sorry Mrs. Ioco, a quick production that was created as a test to see how fast they could produce a short film, https://archive.org/details/sorrymrsioco

Starfury posted his first edition tutorial on how to use UT2003’s Matinee tool that is used for re-camming and cut-scene production, http://www.snipersparadise.net/machinima_tutorial.html

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne released, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkBbLqgcQco

Leo “Dr-Nemesis” Lucien-Bay released a teaser trailer for his film Dragons, which premiered at the 2003 Machinima Film Festival, https://archive.org/details/BPS-Dragons-Teaser

The Winners of the 2nd Machinima Film Festival Awards were Fountainhead Entertainment’s In The Waiting Line, https://archive.org/details/Zero_7_In_The_Waiting_Line and Red Vs Blue’s Blood Gulch Chronicles

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

OC3 Entertainment Inc. released a machinima movie of Abbot & Costello’s famous Who’s On First routine. The movie was created using UT2004 and the Impersonator Mod Tool which creates highly realistic facial animation from a WAV file, https://archive.org/details/elvis-and-costello-whos-on-first-skit-filmed-in-unreal-tournament-2004

Rooster Teeth Productions (Red Vs Blue) released their first episode in a new series made in Sims 2 entitled The Strangerhood – Why Are you Here?, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipNPktZPkVg

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)

The games industry website Gamasutra reviewed The Art Of 3D Game-Based Filmmaking by Paul Marino,  https://www.gamedeveloper.com/art/book-review-i-the-art-of-machinima-i-

Neverending Nights released Episode 01: Heroes!??!, http://neverendingnights.com/nenvideos/season-01-episode-01-21-1080p-hd 

Riot Films released their Max Payne 2 based film Only The Strong Survive, the first episode in a 3-film trilogy (by Jason Choi and Ricky Grove),  https://archive.org/details/only-the-strong-survive-machinima

MrVH released his second IL2 Film entitled I Promise, an emotional journey into a pilot’s promise to return home, https://archive.org/details/i-promise-Mr-VH – first film is Brother

Strange Company’s epic Neverwinter Nights machinima Bloodspell’s first trailer, https://archive.org/details/bloodspell_trailer_2005

In celebration of the Bloodspell Trailer’s release, Bioware posted the first of three interviews with the Bloodspell Team examining different components’ (writing, filming, hacking, etc), https://web.archive.org/web/20110611110434/http://nwn.bioware.com/players/profile_makingof_bloodspell_p1.html

Binary Picture Show (Dr Nemesis) released the first episode of Bouncers entitled Prologue, https://archive.org/details/bouncers-please-prologue

P.E.D.S Season 2 Premiere, Episode 14: Welcome To Liberty City, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CJcrvn1_fM

Xfire announced the winners of the World of Warcraft Summer movie contest. The grand prize winner was Riot Film’s Edge of No Remorse, https://vimeo.com/channels/riotfilms/76501160

Other notable events:

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):

  • Sparked Memory
  • Scrap
  • UTConfrontation
  • botMovie
  • The Everseason
  • UTXMP Matinee Movie 1
  • The Editor Has You
  • Cancers – A UT2K4 Machinima Film
  • The Infiltrators
  • Damnation (Single Player Mod)
  • MOV-TorlanHero MSU4
  • The Journey
  • Real-Time Non-Interactive Movie Honorable Mentions:
  • Robin Hood & The Kings Ransom (single Player Mod)
  • Neosaka: The Forgotten (?)
  • The Bank Job
  • The Unreality HAS YOU!!
  • Lawdogs (Multiplayer/SP? Mod)
  • Testimony of a Paraqeet
  • Intelligent Life
  • Blade Runner
  • Piddly’s Chance (Single Player Mod)
  • Antechamber
  • Hollow Moon (Single Player/MP?) Mod