Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Have you ever been playing NBA Jam with your friends and used the characters to act out scenes by moving them around and adding your own dialogue? Have you ever moved Mario around and up and down to make him look like he is breakdancing? Have you ever played Grand Theft Auto and have taken matters into your own hands? If you have then you can be a movie director!

A new phenomenon has swept the internet in the past few years called Machinima or Machine Cinema. It is the process where a film crew uses a video game to make a movie. Usually a first-person shooter style game is used where the main player is the camera man. The other players in the game move around and 'act' out the scene. The footage is recorded, edited and then dialogue is added.

This new genre of film making has been made popular by internet shows like Red vs. Blue, using footage from Halo, and Strangerhood, using footage from The Sims (see photo above), which have been running a few years now and have grown quite a large fan base. Now, it seems that Machinima is becoming popular in the mainstream market with everyone from Lonely Island to Robot Chicken to Coka-Cola ads jumping on board.

Overman from Zarathustra Studios has created a short film called Male Restroom Etiquette using Sims 2 for his graphics. The film has been featured on youtube and has become an internet hit. I present it to you now.

As this film proves, Machinima isn't just kids playing around. It is definitely an art piece with a solid script and decent directing and editing.

What do you think of Machinima being considered an actual genre? How about an actual animation genre?

1 comment:

Stagenoise said...

I'm sure it could be considered a genre. Arguably not a legitimate one, but still... And I'm sure copyright issues would make it a pain to deal with for people like you and I.

So I imagine you could get really complex movies from these things, especially if one knows how to use a map builder. A lot of 3D games include their own map builder program, which would allow for someone to build their own set. That's really cool! I might try doing this sometime :)