I’ve promised to do a write-up of MachinimaNight III to all who attended – share the links to the films and artists. I’m going to do this back to front and start off at the last part. Mostly this is for Scott and Jill who had to leave early. I appreciate your interest and support! Thanks!
So in the course of the night I had introduced the audience to different genres and types of machinima, mostly concentrating on form and not about the creative communities within machinima making communities.
This is the ingredient of machinima that fascinates me the most and there’s one group that I’ve been paying attention to and just downright adore. So first – let me introduce you to Olibith.
Olibith is what we might call a machinima superstar. He was initially created on a WoW role-playing server, but has become so famous that he cannot roleplay anymore – he has become a machinima superstar and his sole purpose in his little avatar life is to create machinima. It is far from a lonely life.
Olibith is a member of a machinima artist gang. I usually call them the Never Stay Tuned gang – or NST gang. But upon reflection I find the word “gang” stupid and will have to come up with a cooler name. They’re a network of machinima artists who help each other out with skills and inspiration. Let me introduce you to some of them (I did not have time to show all these on Machinima Night III – but taking the freeedom to do so now):
The avatar, Little Nikita was made in collaboration with Pink Hair. I’ve only seen here in a few of Baron Soosdon’s machinima – he tends to vary with the use of avatars – or shall we say modelled avatars. He’s much more focused on giving the audience an aestheticly impressive atmosphere than telling a story from beginning to end. I still think there’s a lot of narrative in his machinima films – but my definition of narrative is rather wide at the moment.
Olibith and Baron Soosdon meet in Warcraft Movies after having created machinima by themselves.
Maybe you recognise someone in this machinima film? It was made in collaboration with Baron Soosdon with a little help from some others, like Olibith – see where I’m going with this?
Dopefish has made one of the best machinima pieces I’ve ever seen. He’s an excellent storyteller. I’m asking for permission to upload Among Fables and Men onto YouTube so I can share it with you here. I’ve often wanted to do a longer review of it, but felt that my gaming skills were inadequate to give it a proper analysis. I’ve always thought it expressed the way that World of Warcraft is “just” a game. That underneath all the beautiful 3Dishness – there’s a story and there’s gamescript – but I’ll get back to that another time.
Dopefish created a machinima IRC channel at Quakenet, which has been a resource for the collaborative nature of the machinima that these artists are creating.
Here’s an absolute favourite of mine:
(YouTube’s very frequent in taking stopping machinima on YouTube (music copyright) – so you can download it here if the embedded video doesn’t work.)
This is a collection of seperate shorts by several machinima artists and I feel that it clearly exemplifies the way that each artist has their own style and expression. The style of Never Stay Tuned is also a mockery (and appreciation) of other media entertainment, which works so well in machinima. The way that avatars in a gaming world are imitating the ‘real world’ media – just works so well! And this group of machinima artists are smart in their creative storytelling.
It’s also evident that they keep helping each other and you see that by their uniqueness in style and technique. The most obvious is Olibith, who keeps making guest appearances. He’s easy to spot. Have a look at the film again and see if you can spot him in pictures on the wall, in the background a.s.o. The technique and aesthetic footprint of Baron Soosdon is very evident in his music video or does his musical taste give him away? Would I be able to recognise it as his work and not Pinkhair’s if it weren’t for the darkness, editing and futuristic aesthetics? And then inbetween all the hillariousness comes Dopefish’s beautiful recreation of the Sony colour balls commercial, which just takes my breathe away.
Together, this group of machinima artists are creating a collective narrative. And we’ll get more into that another time when I figure it out myself – hehe! I really should be reading, writing and researching this full time, huh?! I promise to get back to it soon but real life is knocking on my door.
While I work on that enjoy the latest Never Stay Tuned which also has contributions from AFK pl@yers, Ian Beckman (he was also in nr. 3) and Goldskin.