Thursday, October 04, 2007

Next Weekend

The blogging has been a bit slow of late, as I've been chocca on the new sim for work (even in my spare time) and keeping my head down and feet firmly planted on the grid. I've also been trying to have a bit more quality time with the Mrs. Next weekend I'm gonna have a break.

Next weekend, AngryBeth is coming down so we can head to the First European Machinima Festival. Should be intersting. The festival, which is gonna be at De Montfort Uni's campus centre in Leicester, will show case the award nominations and winners, and some of the latest Machinima films and games trailers, and is expected to attract Machinima makers world-wide. The festival is supported by the Academy of Machinima Arts Sciences (AMAS) and will include workshops which will cover many of the aspects of making Machinima and associated legal and technical stuff we all need to know as a rapidly emerging art form.

/sighs. Oh yeah, I was just asked (again) what Machinima (pronounced ma-shin-i-ma) actually IS. It's making movies with videogames, the word being an amalgamation of machine cinema. A fusion of film-making and gaming, which is increasingly being used as one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways of creating animation, has a rapidly growing following, fuelled in part by the enhanced visual quality of many of the most popular computer games. Pay attention, there will be a short quiz at the end.

Anyway. These special features have been selected from the films submitted for entry to the awards as the judges felt were of merit and therefore worthy of a separate screening, i.e., well worth checking out...

Beast - Binary Picture Show (UK)
Code Monkey - The Electric Sheep Company (USA)
Everwind - ARVF Productions (USA)
(G)News from Outland: Crisis at Da Portal! - Blizzard Entertainment (USA)
Inventing Swear Words 3 - Oxhorn Brand Movies (USA)
Morning Run Amok - Fling Films (USA)
New World Wonder - Planet Video (UK)
Obliviously Not Teaser - Frédéric Servant, Bertrand Le Cabec and Sébastien Savine (France)
Only - Zarathustra Studios (USA)
Running Free - Safwan Ahmedmia (UK)
Snacky’s Journal (Episodes 1-3) - Stone Falcon Productions (USA)

A total of 152 films had been submitted, with entries coming from a wide range of countries including: the UK; US; Canada; Belgium; Netherlands; France; Germany; Austria; Finland; Sweden; Spain; Croatia; Slovakia; Japan and Australia.

Professor Andrew Hugill, Director of De Montfort University's Institute of Creative Technologies: "We are very pleased with the number, breadth and global spread of the entries. The enthusiasm out there for the festival is contagious and it has been really exciting to see so many different countries involved in creating submissions." Here, here. Bloody good turn out and I'm looking forward to it :-)

The award categories will be judged by "a distinguished panel including: award winning author and Reader in Creative Writing and New Media at DMU, Kate Pullinger; Martyn Ware, artist and record producer, who was a founding member of the pop group The Human League and who also formed Heaven 17; and, Hugh Hancock, Artistic Director of Strange Company, and inventor of the word "Machinima"." Plus, Burnie Burns and Jason Saldana of Rooster Teeth Productions, makers of the popular online sitcom Red vs Blue (v. funny based on Halo), will perform during the festival. Burnie Burns: "Our plan is to make a hilarious special video for the programme using our world-famous, award-winning Red vs Blue characters and our trademark humility." Could be a laugh, I like a bit of Red vs Blue. I hope they need extras :-)

People wanting to attend the fest should head to http://www.machinimaeurope.co.uk and make with the registering. See you in the bar at lunch.

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