It’s amazing how far you can get simply by just asking nicely. People will volunteer their time and skills, give you lots of free publicity - even send you money sometimes. BloodSpell, for example, would not have been possible without the insanely-enthusiastic fan community that built up around the film, who did some can’t-put-a-price-on-it grassroots publicity as well as some can’t-quite-believe-it fan remixes and artwork.
We’ve said all along that, when it comes to casting your movie, if you have a specific actor in mind for a role, it’s always worth asking them to do it. Even if they’re, y’know … famous. You never know.
We’ve been proven right several times over. Machinima pieces featuring some very famous names have started appearing recently. Bathtub Production’s The Chronicles Of Humanity features internet superstar Felicia Day in a minor role, and we hear rumours that The Aventures Of Luke And Joe will soon see an appearance by a very well-known actor.
For Strange Company’s current project, Death Knight Love Story, Hugh has taken the “just ask nicely, you never know” approach to the extreme. The cast list includes Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings And A Funeral, St Trinian’s), Brian Blessed (I Claudius, _The Phantom Menace_1), Jack Davenport (Pirates Of The Carribbean, Flash Forward) and Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous, The New Avengers).
Machinima (and anymation) has always been inovative, but it’s only in the comparitively recent past that the external perception of machinima (and knowledge of its existence!) has become sufficiently strong to attract actors this serious. Fame doesn’t automatically imply talent of course, any more than lack of fame implies lack of talent, but the wider world is now starting to realise what we’ve known all along: Machinima can produce movies that hold their own against any other type of film-making.
It just goes to show: you never know who’ll say “yes” until you ask.
Disclosure of bias: I’m a creative consultant on Death Knight Love Story, and Hugh is the writer/director. We’re as biased as can be, and we’re not pretending otherwise!
1 Oh alright. Flash Gordon, too.