The submissions process for this year’s Machinima Film Festival has a small “gotcha” of which everyone submitting should take account. The MFF2008 organisers have decided that films will not be accepted for entry if any part of that film has been entered for competition at the Festival previously. This effectively bans work like feature-length adaptions of series pieces. The ban applies regardless of how much new material is also in the piece.

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Machinima Expo - opportunity for older films (and Canadians!)

Phil Rice pointed out something rather cool about the upcoming Machinima Expo in Montreal - they’ve got a completely open submissions process, meaning that you don’t have to have finished your film in the last year in order to submit it. So this is a great opportunity to showcase your older work! Get submitting - you can submit to the Expo here. In addition, if you’re a Canadian Machinima creator, they’re really, really keen to hear from you - there’s a Special Jury Prize open to Canadian filmmakers only.

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Facial Motion Capture for $99?

Motion capture is getting much cheaper very, very fast. Case in point: Zign Track, which purports to do motion capture of markers on a face for $99 plus a webcam. The demos are impressive, although I’m not sure what Machinima packages aside from MotionBuilder would support imported facial data at present (UT3, perhaps?) Having said that, now the capability’s there, the rest of the software may well follow. Thanks to The Overcast for putting us on to that.

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Doctor Horrible - the follow-up

Following my article on Doctor Horrible and what it means for Machinima creators… It looks like Joss Whedon and company have changed their mind about pulling it from the Web. The entire thing’s now available for free viewing again. Which begs the question - why? What changed? Did the viewing figures suck? Did the iTunes sales suck? I can’t imagine it was the plan all along - people who bought it from iTunes will be feeling pretty rubbish right now.

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The Machinima Film Festival is now open!

Yep, it’s that time - the Machinima Film Festival in New York City is now accepting submissions. You’ve got until September 12th to enter. (Full disclosure: Hugh’s on the board of AMAS, the group that run the MFF.) And the Machinima Expo in Montreal is also accepting submissions for its showcase, with a deadline of October 6th! You wait ages for one, and so on…

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Does Doctor Horrible offer a way for Machinima creators to make money?

It may not have escaped the notice of our eagle-eyed readers that there’s been a small new entry into the world of web-based video, namely Mr Joss Whedon’s Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. What’s interesting about it? It’s a big-name, cult-following director releasing something purely on the Internet - one of the first, actually, after David Lynch (whose projects have been, shall we say, not mainstream). It was produced on a “low” budget, but low, in this case, is estimated at about $250k (Whedon’s said “Low six figures”).

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Vimeo inspires creativity by banning gaming videos

Vimeo, the darling of the current video upload crop, announced a few days ago that they will no longer host gaming videos. The post on their blog which makes the annoucement cites several reasons for the decision, chief amongst them the stated aim of Vimeo to “inspire creativity”. The Vimeo staff have drawn a hard line in the sand here: The Vimeo staff does not feel that videos which are direct captures of video game play truly constitute "

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Call for Entries: Cambridge Film Festival

We don’t normally list Calls for Entries here, but the Cambridge Film Festival looks like it’s going to be this year’s main European Machinima fest, so it’s definitely worth a look. So - the Cambridge Film Festival is looking for Machinima films to be entered into competition. More detail can be found over here. Look forward to seeing lots of entries!

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Ramifications of the WoWGlider judgement for Machinima creators

I’ve now had a chance to talk to Corynne McSherry at the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the recent WoWGlider judgement, and my fears that it could impact on Machinima creators appear to mostly be unfounded. (Obviously, this is US-centric. Creators in the rest of the world, like myself, aren’t directly affected by this.) My biggest worry was that, by making breaches of the EULA into a copyright infringement issue, US Machinima would lose its potential Transformative Use defence, as discussed in Machinima for Dummies the book.

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The Demise - fascinating Machinima/hand-drawn crossover

I always looks forward to the official World of Warcraft Machinima contests. With virtually every one, some sensational work appears and the bar is raised for future Machinima. And this year is no different, with The Demise premiering some fantastic work and techniques we’ve not seen in Machinima before. The Demise from Daniel on Vimeo. It’s a combination of hand-drawn animated stills (a la something like Broken Saints), some of them traced or altered from World of Warcraft frame grabs, and WoW Machinima, often composited together in a single frame.

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