Ricky Grove is a bookseller, animator and voice actor. He also writes technical reviews for Renderosity.com. You can usually find Ricky reading a book or having fun with his partner, Lisa Morton, and 3 wonderful, crazy cats.
Machinima (real-time computer graphics filmmaking) is celebrating its 17th birthday this year. Communities of filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the US are using it to express ideas about politics, gender, and virtual identity, just to name a few.
The filmmakers come together once a year to share films, listen to panels of filmmakers, and hand out awards to the best films. The online event is The Machinima Expo, now in its sixth year. On November 17, 2013, from 10am to 4pm (PT), the Machinima Expo will share presentations on such subjects as "Experimental Machinima" and "The SketchUp to iClone Pipeline," along with a panel discussion featuring machinima.com founder Hugh Hancock, author of Machinima for Dummies. The Machinima Expo 6 will also be handing out three Jury prizes and a Grand Jury Prize to the most outstanding films out of the 130 films submitted this year.
The Machinima Expo is a 3-day, virtual film festival devoted to screening and celebrating machinima, a form of 3D animation that grew out of the video game and hacking community back in the late 1990's. This the 5th year of the Expo.
The festival, which takes place live in Second Life, has expanded to 3 days and will feature over 12 hours of film screenings and 10 hours of machinima-related panels, discussions, tutorials and an awards ceremony on Sunday, November 18th.
150 films were submitted this year from filmmakers all over the world. The Expo received films from as far away as Taiwan and Kenya this year. From those 150 films, the Expo screening team selected 10 to compete for the Jury prizes and 51 films screening 24/7 in Second Life and via our LiveStream channel.
You can watch all of the films chosen for the Expo this year (except for the Jury nominated films which start this weekend) right now at the Machinima Expo LiveStream channel.
Center of the Netherworld in Heart String Marionette
[Video Link] In 2007, We Are the Strange opened at the Sundance Film Festival. It was self-taught, underground animator, M dot Strange's first feature-length 3D animated film. Half of the midnight Sundance audience walked out, but the half that stayed were treated to one of the most original, disturbing 3D animated films ever made (seriously). That film went on to win several awards and provide M dot with opportunities to tour around the world giving lectures and workshops and screening his strange film.
Now, after 5 years of intense work in his computer-stuffed San Jose basement, professional weirdo, M dot Strange, is releasing his second feature-length 3D animated film, Heart String Marionette, on June 15, 2012. The obsessed director has been chronicling every step of production on his popular YouTube channel and his very frank blog. Collaborating with experimental musician ENDIKA lengthened the production process a bit, so while he was waiting he created 8 episodes of his “BADassery” series, wrote several books about his DIY film philosophy and started a new animated sex series, Darksided.
Machinima (real-time animation in a 3D engine) grew out of the gamer-hacking community who, back in the mid-'90s, took games like Quake and figured out how to hack the game's pod camera to create a new 3rd person perspective camera. Death matches and speed-runs were some of the early “films” using this 3rd person camera hack. Quickly, aspiring animation filmmakers realized they could create films using the new camera hack. They created real-time videos with stories and characters, using the assets of the game and some judicious scripting.
The flood of film-making since early machinima efforts like “Diary of a Camper” and “Father Frags Best” hasn't stopped. Now, game companies such as Rock Star Games and Bioware are releasing impressive machinima tools with their games and stand-alone machinima applications like iClone and Moviestorm have become very popular. In fact, there's never been a better time to create machinima (the term coined for this new art form) than the present.