The Machinima Revolution

Digital hotshots are taking over video games and turning them into
strange little moviesJust as digital video is making it cheaper and
easier to capture real-world images in movies, digital insurgents
have found a way to create computer-generated movies–mini-versions
of Toy Story or Lara Croft: Tomb Raider–for practically nothing.
The key is to use the programming platforms of video games–Doom,
Quake, and the like–and, with editing software, alter, adapt, and
otherwise tweak the game backgrounds and characters in accordance
with an original script. Add sound and music, and presto! You’ve
got your own movie, which can be distributed and enjoyed online.
It’s called machinima–‘machine cinema’–and a growing number of
devotees are producing quirky short films using the
medium.Fountainhead Entertainment, a production company based in
Mesquite, Texas, clubbed together with some machinimists to
organize the first Machinima Film Festival in August 2002 and has
begun work on a feature-length animated science-fiction film made
entirely with machinima technology. With more sophisticated games
debuting all the time, and better and better editing software too,
the little films may become as vital and influential as zines and
underground comics.Anjula Razdan

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