New Blizzard trailer pushes the boundaries out for Machinima drama

If you haven’t seen the new Ulduar trailer for World of Warcraft, you really should, whether you have any interest in WoW or not. (If you don’t, you need to know that for various reasons, the Orcs and the Humans are recently at war after an unstable peace broke down, and the wizards aren’t involved. But that’s it.) It’s made by, amongst others, Terran Gregory, one half of the team that won a Mackie for their WoW movie The Return, and it really pushes out the boundaries of what you can do with both World of Warcraft and Machinima as a whole.

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Has anyone ever received film festival permission from Blizzard?

A quick question for the assembled masses - has anyone ever corresponded with Blizzard via their [email protected] address, and if so, what was their response? In particular, has anyone received permission to embark on commercial activity with WoW, or to enter or show Machinima made with WoW at a film festival? We’re about to do a roundup of Machinima licensing in 2009, and I’d be really interested to know how responsive they were.

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Women Who Have Changed Machinima

It’s Ada Lovelace day - the day for blogging about influential and generally cool women in tech. Now, various people have in the past claimed that Machinima is a male-dominated artform, so I thought it was worth talking about some of the women who have shaped the artform to what it is today… India Drummond - as the maintainer of Sims99, she has supported and grown one of the largest sources of Machinima on the Internet, equivalent in size to Machinima.

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Johnnie has (another) new job

A brief announcement, in the interests of journalistic disclosure: I’m now employed as Product Manager for Short Fuze Ltd in the UK (I was previously employed by the same company as Technical Author). Short Fuze are the guys who make Moviestorm, which we’ve mentioned more than once on this blog and in the book. My job now is to be a ‘champion of the product’, which is a rather pretentious and buzzword-laden way of saying that I have to ensure that Moviestorm remains great, and co-ordinate the input of the whole team to decide what exciting features we’re going to work on next.

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Three Manifestos

I’ve come across a few manifestos in the last couple of days - lists of attitudes, approaches, thoughts. All of them have relevance for the Machinima producer, so I thought I’d post them here. The Cult of Done - Cory Doctorow describes this as “like finding a name for my disease” Bruce Mau Manifesto - 40 tremendously helpful and inspiring ideas about creativity - of the lot, this one’s my favourite

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Nyhm calls it a day

It’s a sad day for fans of WoW parodies of rap music. It appears that Nhym, creator of numerous WoW hip-hop parodies including MfD favourite Hard Like Heroic, has had to quit playing WoW for reasons unknown, and has posted his last video as an encore. No big story here, just a pity to see a fun Machinima creator go.

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Machinimods - useful nascent site

If you’re using a non-game platform like iClone or Moviestorm, you may well have started to feel that compared to the universe of mods available for UT, The Sims, or Half-Life 2, your content choices are a little limited. Well, this isn’t going to solve your problems, but it might help. A new site called “Machinimods” is aiming to collate The Movies, Moviestorm and iClone mods. Whilst it comes out of the Movies community, it’s already built up a modest collection of Moviestorm mods, and I’m hoping we’ll see a lot more in the near future.

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Yes! The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the US advocacy and defence group for digital rights, is on the case of the recent YouTube takedowns. If you’ve had your Machinima video taken off YouTube in part of the Big Sweep, they’d like to help you - they’re experts in this stuff, and are looking to get these decisions reversed. Do call them!

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ZenCub3d on pause, not on the way out

ZenCub3d’s Billy Chang has just posted an announcement in which he states that We will be putting the ZenCub3d project on-hold indefinitely. After the recent loss of Antics3D from the Machinima scene, your reaction to this is likely to have been the same as mine - panic. There’s no need for screaming and wailing just yet though. Billy’s post makes it clear that this is not the end for ZenCub3d.

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Grrrraarrrrgh! Takedowns kill first-in-engine Machinima

I was very excited when I heard from Bilius’s [Machinima Info Barf] that the first Little Big Planet Machinima film had been released, and surfed on over there PDQ. To be met with “This music video has been removed because of a copyright claim from Warner Bros”. That’s REALLY bad. A pioneer film going missing in the early stages of an engine could kill an entire genre of Machinima. This is really not acceptable.

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