Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Philosophising (some people call that rambling)

So, I've been reading a lot of blogs and articles on machinima lately.. and found some very interesting discussions, especially about the meaning of the words "machinima" and "anymation" (a word I first read on the TMU blog, where Ricky Grove mentioned it.)

I liked the word immediately - and decided, after further reading, to use it in the title of this blog, rather than the word "machinima".

When I started out making movies with "The Movies", I didn't really spend time on how to classify those movies, but the more I got into it, and the more I started talking about it to my rl friends (boring some of them to death, no doubt) the more a need arose to give this child a name... so I started calling it "machinima" (well knowing that the purist machinima makers, who demand that every footage for such a film is shot in a game in real time; and really you are cheating, everything you use is pre-fabricated! would object very much to me calling my films that).

My, that did help a lot.

I ended up explaining just as much, or even more, than before - the reaction to the word "machinima" was all mildly interested, blank stares. So after a while, I just went back to saying that I make films on my computer, using engines built for that purpose... kind of like... animated films... but not really.... you know.... no......? (insert a rueful grin and a heartfelt sigh here)

I don't know if this is specific to Germany, or if I just know the "wrong" people or live in the wrong place, but nobody in rl I talked about it to so far had any idea about machinima at all. Which makes me very sad, because I've seen loads of anymation films which I would prefer watching to bad rl movies any time... but it's still not easy to get people around me interested in it (=take it seriously), or interested in the ability to make movies themselves if they're willing to spent time on learning how to. Which is for me the most exciting thing - being able to bring your stories to a visual life, without the need for a big bugdet!

So will me calling my films anymation from now on help me?

Not sure at all... especially not with people who have no idea about it in the first place - but I like the definitions that have been given.

Story oriented.
Using all the means you have available to tell that story.

As for me making movies is all about telling a story - yes I do like special effects and breathtaking graphics, but what are they worth if the story is bad? - only if it all comes together, works as a unit, it's what I call a good movie - so anymation is just what I want to make.

3 Kommentare:

Killian said...

Ahhh labels... dontcha just LOVE em? :P

As our "hobby" (I use the word advisedly :P) expands, and the long-standing barriers between different engines and mediums start to break down at last, the line between "machinima" (which you point out above has long been used by those "in the know" to describe game-rendered footage captured and edited) and "real world" movies (the traditional kind, using actors, etc) is becoming more defined.

One thing I have always enjoyed about "anymation" is the potential it has to tell ANY story (even those that RW Hollywood wouldn't touch with a 10 foot barge pole, for fear that it would lose them money), and the freedom writers, directors, modders, musicians etc, have in the way they TELL these stories.

Traditional machinima has always been seen as a "geeky" pastime (i.e. spotty computer nerds creating Halo movies showing "kool stuntz" or making short "comedies" which plague Youtube); as we progress further into the 21st century, hopefully we will see the start of anymation being accepted a little more as a form of film-making in its own right, rather than just an "offshoot" of gaming (which is how it's always been traditionally viewed).

I'm still waiting for the "big break" anymation will get, which will display it in all it's glory to the general public (and no; I'm not talking about Red vs Blue or any of the other game orientated movies out there; I'm talking the likes of Intermediate, Valentine's Day, Cleopatra, etc); then maybe we will get some of our many talented community members the credit they deserve for all the hard work they have put in, completely gratis, over the years...

Norrie said...

Now Sisch, please make up your mind.
Are you philosophising, rambling, reflecting, or musing? :D & :*

Like Killian, I'm not fond of labels, but we can't seem to escape them. I disliked the term machinima before I knew of their prejudices (I still have no idea what red Vs. Blue is)

I prefer "anymation", but I'm an old, grumpy, pedantic, lover of words.
I like "storyteller".

sisch said...

I agree very much with you, Killian - the freedom you have to tell any story you want to is priceless!

I'm also waiting for the big break - maybe waiting is not the right approach, maybe one should actively try to raise the awareness for this artform - because for me, it is an artform. The bad thing about this is, I for one have always been extremely bad at "selling" myself - I just have no idea how to do it. I know that's a big flaw in our marketing oriented world!

Norrie, no, I don't want to make up my mind. I'm sure that I'm capable of philosophising, rambling, reflecting and musing at the same time! :p

I like "storyteller" too - that's essentially what I feel most of us are - but that doesn't quite encompass the visual part of our story-telling...

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