Machinima > a new art form

A Japanese ghost story adapted from Hearn’s “Yuki-Onna”(Kwaidan). Directed by Michelle Pettit-Mee. Filmed entirely in the Sims 2, October 2006. Winner of Best Story at the European Machinima Festival ’07.

So, what is Machinima?
From the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences

Machinima (muh-sheen-eh-mah) is filmmaking within a real-time, 3D virtual environment, often using 3D video-game technologies.

In an expanded definition, it is the convergence of filmmaking, animation and game development. Machinima is real-world filmmaking techniques applied within an interactive virtual space where characters and events can be either controlled by humans, scripts or artificial intelligence.

By combining the techniques of filmmaking, animation production and the technology of real-time 3D game engines, Machinima makes for a very cost- and time-efficient way to produce films, with a large amount of creative control.

Archive of Machinima Films is a website, operated by Machinima, Inc., that aims to be a hub for machinima, the art of creating animated videos in real-time virtual 3-D environments. The site features machinima-related articles, news, and Internet forums.

ILL Clan Animation Studios is an award-winning machinima animation studio with over ten years of experience producing original content and work for hire. Called “machinima masters” by Wired Magazine we’ve been a key player in pioneering this medium since its origins in 1997.

The Art of Machinima on Vimeo

Machinima Podcasts

List of Machinima Film Festivals


Machinima Festival Europe

Angela Thomas blogs about Machinima here, with some great examples:
Proposing A Machinima Canon

Paul Marino blog

More about Machinima


Marino, Paul (2004). 3D Game-Based Filmmaking: The Art of Machinima. Scottsdale, Arizona: Paraglyph Press. ISBN 1-932111-85-9.

Kelland, Matt; Dave Morris, Dave Lloyd (2005). Machinima: Making Movies in 3D Virtual Environments. Cambridge: The Ilex Press. ISBN 1-59200-650-7.

Some interesting examples of Machinima, as discussed by Paul Marino:

Diary of a Camper (1996). The very first machinima work by Quake clan The Rangers is somewhat hard to watch (and impossible to hear–it’s mostly silent), but this seminal piece is the foundation of machinima history.

Warthog Jump (2002). Randall Glass exploits Halo’s physics engine to comedic effect, interspersed with sound bites and song samples that make for one of the first truly entertaining examples of machinima.

Red vs. Blue (2003). Rooster Teeth creates the de facto example of machinima, a series embraced by gamers and nongamers alike, showing firsthand that machinima can reach beyond its initial audience, with approximately 1 million downloads per episode.

The Photographer (2006). A lone photographer is searching for his subject through the crowded city. Filmmaker Friedrich Kirschner mixes various media elements in his machinima, thus emphasizing that the medium not only can be devoid of game assets but also can break free of its commonly known framework.

Ignis Solus (2007). This Team Fortress 2-based machinima is the dictionary definition of making narrative stand above the game platform. Zach Scott directed this Pyro-as-Everyman piece, making the locations of the game seem designed from the ground up as places of solitude.

Joseph DeLappe’s Quake/Friends looks at the celebration of violence as promoted through games, and both Eddo Stern and Jessica Hutchison’s Landlord Vigilante and Jim Munroe’s My Trip to Liberty City add commentary about how games symbiotically create and color our worldview.


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