And Now For Something Completely Machinima

Completely Machinima 3.2 Film Discussion April 2021

April 08, 2021 Ricky Grove and Phil Rice
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
Completely Machinima 3.2 Film Discussion April 2021
Chapters
0:42
Phil's Film Pick
9:30
Ricky's Film Pick 1
14:18
Ricky's Film Pick 2
19:11
Tracy’s film pick
22:30
Phil on Copyright
39:32
Damien's Film Pick
44:31
Phil on Let's Play Machinima
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
Completely Machinima 3.2 Film Discussion April 2021
Apr 08, 2021
Ricky Grove and Phil Rice

CM Episode 3.2 Film Selection Show Notes

And Now For Something Completely Machinima is a long-form podcast devoted to machinima (movies made in game engines), real-time technologies, and virtual reality. This month (April 2021) we are splitting our 3rd podcast into four sections which will post once a week: Machinima News (April 1), Machinima Films (April 8), Machinima Discussion (April 15), and a Special “Build a Machinima PC” podcast (April 22).

Episode 3 was produced by Ricky Grove joined by hosts Phil Rice, Tracy Harwood and Damien Valentine.

Summary:  All four podcast hosts present their machinima film picks with Phil going first followed by Ricky then Tracy and closing with Damien’s pick. General discussion of each film follows its presentation. Film discussion leads to a general chat on copyright and youtube. There is also a brisk discussion of the satirical “Let’s Play” machinima genre. 

Contact and Feedback for this show: https://completelymachinima.com/#talk

Machinima Film Selections

  • 00:42 Phil’s film pick: “Paws” by acagnoroprod 

https://youtu.be/t3GmLQeoCtM

  • 9:30 Ricky’s first film pick “Ghost Bois” by Spooktergeist 

https://youtu.be/Phx0fdT96DU

 Spooktergeist’s Youtube channel

The Spooktergeist - YouTube

  • 14:18 Ricky’s second film pick “Justice.exe” by Oddboy_Eman

https://youtu.be/Am_41wM5FQU

 Oddboy_Eman’s Youtube channel

Oddboy_Eman – YouTube

  • Nightmare Puppeteer Machinima Creation Application

Nightmare Puppeteer on Steam (steampowered.com)

  • 19:11 Tracy’s film pick “ SONS OF SKYRIM: PART II (ELDER SCROLLS V SKYRIM MACHINIMA)” by Egrif

https://youtu.be/VYMY8jzSEVE

 Egrif’s Youtube channel

Egrif - YouTube

  • 22:30 Phil on copyright and fair use

39:32 Damien’s film pick “The Worst City Ever” by Kilian Experience

https://youtu.be/8o1AEzn28j4

 Kilian Experience YouTube channel

Kilian Experience – YouTube

  • 44:31 Phil on “Let’s Play” machinima and satire


Music Credits

Opening Theme

Composed by Phil Rice from music segments @

Closing Film Music

Midnight Chill by xcreenplay (freesound.org)








 













Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

CM Episode 3.2 Film Selection Show Notes

And Now For Something Completely Machinima is a long-form podcast devoted to machinima (movies made in game engines), real-time technologies, and virtual reality. This month (April 2021) we are splitting our 3rd podcast into four sections which will post once a week: Machinima News (April 1), Machinima Films (April 8), Machinima Discussion (April 15), and a Special “Build a Machinima PC” podcast (April 22).

Episode 3 was produced by Ricky Grove joined by hosts Phil Rice, Tracy Harwood and Damien Valentine.

Summary:  All four podcast hosts present their machinima film picks with Phil going first followed by Ricky then Tracy and closing with Damien’s pick. General discussion of each film follows its presentation. Film discussion leads to a general chat on copyright and youtube. There is also a brisk discussion of the satirical “Let’s Play” machinima genre. 

Contact and Feedback for this show: https://completelymachinima.com/#talk

Machinima Film Selections

  • 00:42 Phil’s film pick: “Paws” by acagnoroprod 

https://youtu.be/t3GmLQeoCtM

  • 9:30 Ricky’s first film pick “Ghost Bois” by Spooktergeist 

https://youtu.be/Phx0fdT96DU

 Spooktergeist’s Youtube channel

The Spooktergeist - YouTube

  • 14:18 Ricky’s second film pick “Justice.exe” by Oddboy_Eman

https://youtu.be/Am_41wM5FQU

 Oddboy_Eman’s Youtube channel

Oddboy_Eman – YouTube

  • Nightmare Puppeteer Machinima Creation Application

Nightmare Puppeteer on Steam (steampowered.com)

  • 19:11 Tracy’s film pick “ SONS OF SKYRIM: PART II (ELDER SCROLLS V SKYRIM MACHINIMA)” by Egrif

https://youtu.be/VYMY8jzSEVE

 Egrif’s Youtube channel

Egrif - YouTube

  • 22:30 Phil on copyright and fair use

39:32 Damien’s film pick “The Worst City Ever” by Kilian Experience

https://youtu.be/8o1AEzn28j4

 Kilian Experience YouTube channel

Kilian Experience – YouTube

  • 44:31 Phil on “Let’s Play” machinima and satire


Music Credits

Opening Theme

Composed by Phil Rice from music segments @

Closing Film Music

Midnight Chill by xcreenplay (freesound.org)








 













Transcript for Podcast 3.2 Machinima Films (April 8, 2021)

Tracy Harwood  0:08  
And now for something completely machinima.

Ricky Grove  0:16  
And welcome to the and now for something completely machinima podcast. For this episode we're going to be talking about our films of the month. We have selections of film myself, Tracy and Damian, we've broken up the podcast into separate sections instead of having a long one. The last one we did 3.1 was the news. This is films.  Let's start with Phil's monthly pick. What is it?

Phil  0:42  
Mine is a film called paws pa w s. Actually, the Italian version of the title is I hope I'm pronouncing this right XAMPP Zappa I have no idea. The the maker, the film, uses the name, a CAG, no prod. present? I don't know. I don't know. Do you know I don't know. It. Basically, anything that I attempt to do to pronounce this is just gonna come off as like a really offensive Italian stereotype. So you know, forget about it. So pause is made in Grand Theft Auto five, but it is unlike any Grand Theft Auto five film I've ever seen. Mainly because the, the protagonist of the film, I believe, is a some kind of a mountain lion. And there's no dialogue. It's just this mountain lion running around causing trouble. people fleeing and whatnot, and then getting chased. Not just by, you know, you'd expect them to be chased by 100 dogs, but chased full on by a police car, breaking through barriers. And it's just the craziest, weird little three minute film that I've ever seen. And it was totally unexpected. For Grand Theft Auto five, even though if I had when I first watched it known more about the capabilities of the built in editing tools, I really shouldn't be surprised that the fact that you can take control of basically any, any model that's active in the game, you can you can take control of and be that character. And I don't know anything about you know, what was involved in producing this film, if it was done in multiplayer or single player, it could very well be that, that the the actor was solely that, that mountain lion, and the police were computer controlled, chasing him down as if he were fleeing on foot, I don't know. But it's it's bizarre film, very interesting sound use of slo mo. And it's this action sequence mostly, but of a of a mountain lion. And I don't know, I just found it. Interesting. There's some amazing stuff that's coming out of GTA five. I mean, it's been around for years, of course, but it feels like in some ways, it still hasn't even peaked completely because that people are just getting more and more creative with it. That same site that Ricky mentioned, last episode, Nexus mods, you're going to be hearing a lot on this show, I'm sure in the future. They have mods for this game as well, many, many, many, many, many mods. And I'm sure that some of those were employed, maybe some of those were employed to make this grand theft auto five, kind of has the it's in the position that many consider it to be kind of the king of game machinima platforms right now, because there is such flexibility to be able to cut and edit footage, right there within the game to sequence events happening and things like that. So this is a really neat example of someone just using that in a very unconventional way. Did you guys get a chance to see it? And

Ricky Grove  3:59  
Oh god, yes, it was fantastic. In fact, I think Rockstar Games is well ahead of the curve when they came up with their editor at something that I think other game companies follow through and, and it's such a good editor, that even with no mods, you can create a really interesting machinima game with that end of the world since it's an open world, you can go to all kinds of different places and things to do films now. In the genre tends to be cop crime movies that you see a lot, which is fine. There are some really good ones. I think it was a feature length film that was released and it was excellent sort of mafia style. But I think that that world has a lot more to offer than just cop dramas. And I think that's one of the things that made me excited about this film, is that somebody use their imagination. Hey, hey, they use their imagination. God. Isn't that incredible? Right Ricky.That's great.

Yeah, so they use their imagination. And to center the film on the which is, which is a deal here in LA they occasionally mountain lions come down and they go into urban areas and people just go nuts, you know. And they rock in in Grand Theft Auto though they these cops. I love the animals, the other animals reacting like the cows. Oh, well, hey, you'll see that every day. It was just beautifully made strange and poetic. And I just loved it.

Tracy Harwood  5:39  
I really liked it too. But But I thought it was, you know, when I when I was looking at it, I thought what exactly is being referred to here because it was like it was a story about a marauding beast. But in the end, I wasn't sure whether the marauding beast was actually the lion, or the cops. It was kind of playing with that it

Phil  6:00  
was ambiguous that way. Yeah.

Damien  6:03  
I picked up on that as well. 

Tracy Harwood  6:05  
It was really cool. Really, really well done, and the sepia style of it as well, which was, you know, that was that? Was that part of the game? Or did they layer that into it?

Phil  6:16  
That? No, I think the Rockstar editor has some filters in there. But they're probably put through some post work. I mean, it's it's got some nice polish to it.

Damien  6:25  
It does have filters

Ricky Grove  6:26  
to do it in editor.

Tracy Harwood  6:29  
Sorry, Damien.

Damien  6:31  
It's is it does have some filters, because I did play around with it at one point just to to see what it could do. And it was a very impressive tool set. But I was kind of lacking in story ideas. I could tell just when the game was launched, so there were no mods yet. And I was lacking in story ideas that we work in that sort of modern day setting. So I never released any films with it. But I did play around with it. I wish more games had this kind of toolset, because

Phil  7:00  
I think we're all waiting for that to come to Red Dead Redemption, the PC version? I sure hope it does. Because that game is just gorgeous. I think a similar thing would be very intriguing and popular in in cyberpunk as well.

Ricky Grove  7:17  
From what I've been reading, it is coming to Red Dead Redemption. Two, it just isn't good hasn't been released yet. I'm really intrigued because I love the cemeteries in that game, Red Dead Redemption two there. There's such a variety of strange and interesting, some cemeteries, I'd love to do a sort of pseudo documentary on the cemetery history of the cemeteries and Red Dead Redemption. It'd be fun to use that as a tool. But I'd

Phil  7:42  
  I'd love to do that with the record, because I'm actually location scouting for a cemetery scene. So maybe, cool. I can pick your brain on on some ideas for that. All right. All right. No, seriously? Yeah, because you guys are getting murdered by a drifter?

Tracy Harwood  7:55  
It's gonna come into? Oh, good.

Well, right. Before we move on what I think I wanted to ask you about the soundscape. And that was really interesting, as well as the sounds of the animals. Does that come from the game?

Phil  8:10  
You know, I'm not sure I have not delved into. I've played previous many previous Grand Theft Auto games, but haven't really delved into that side of it, the natural world which this, this fifth iteration of the game here, has just taken that to a whole other level. So I really don't know. If I had to guess I'd say that that. Because the sounds were so precise. That that was done in post, but I really don't know it could very well have come from the game.

Ricky Grove  8:43  
Perhaps when you contact the filmmaker on that page, I think it was YouTube. Did you did you find

Phil  8:50  
that was YouTube? Right?

Ricky Grove  8:51  
Yeah. Well, we notice maybe you can ask the question about that. mentioned there were the podcast and say, Hey, we were wondering what how much post production you did on that. We interesting to follow up on it. Do

Phil  9:01  
you think that I'd have to do it kind of like a? Hey, we were wondering if you would like to tell us how you sound Italian right?

Ricky Grove  9:12  
You could you could because I think if you use the name tampon insertion? Definitely.

Phil  9:25  
That channel will be claimed by the time this episode. Oh,

Tracy Harwood  9:27  
absolutely.

Ricky Grove  9:29  
All right, let's move on. I've got a couple of choices. My first one is ghost boys. spelled boi s. It's a spoof shot in unity. About the ghost hunter phenomena that has been sort of hitting the airwaves, television airwaves for the last Oh gosh. 10 years at least. My, my partner Lisa Morton, wrote a book on seances, the history of the seance and so she ended up watching a lot of Listen, I watched them with her and they're just, they're almost self parodying at it. They really are, you know what I mean? And but but there's something strangely fascinating about that disasters of their investigation. I mean, you suspend your critical thinking and you go, Well, that doesn't make sense, you know, or, well, they're standing next to an electrical conduit, of course, it's going to affect your, your gauge, you know. And so the ghost boys is done in a really interesting style in which they take, he's got sort of blocky 3d figures. And what he did is he took pictures of the people's faces. And then he used that as a material to wrap around these 3d sort of pudgy clay like characters with these real human faces. Yeah. Which, which made me even stranger. And then the performances by these guys is really, there's so much slow for comedy, I wish they would have sped it up. But what he was trying to do is capture that inanity of the pausing in those things where they're, you know, they're really being serious about the discovery that they've just made, you know, but unfortunately, it kills a little bit of the comedy. So if I had a criticism would be that they, they needed to speed some of that up. But still, it's it's very, very funny at 1.1 of the guys looks at a window at this house that they're exploring and sees an alien, typical alien. He goes, Oh my God, that's it. That's true. It's really true. The other guy whose role in the entire thing is to slap down the enthusiasm of the first guy. He's very funny, guys. This is a show about ghosts. Want to do another show about aliens? Let's do that. No, it's, it's just got such a great, great sensibility. And in fact, the filmmakers whole sensibility is just great. And what did you guys think?

Damien  11:58  
I really enjoyed it as well. And as you were saying about the alien, as a shot just before that, of just the forest where they're talking, but you can't see them. And if you look really closely, you can see a little flying saucer come down as a little creative.

Ricky Grove  12:15  
Miss that,

Damien  12:16  
you have to look really closely to see it. I was just watching it. Wait a minute. So I went back and watched it come down.

Ricky Grove  12:24  
A lot of those a lot of us shot and POV because in unity, it's very easy to switch the camera to a POV. So I think that these funky light, you know, it's a really bad flashlight thing. And they're going around and they're doing as POV with the voiceover very amusing.

Phil  12:39  
The lighting was my favorite element of this in addition to the, like you said, the the comedy of that just comes with that parody. But lighting was just it was just right, you know, that kind of washed out night vision type of light in most of the scenes, just just wonderful.

Ricky Grove  12:59  
So yeah. Now this was Episode One, there's a second episode in which they get involved with Bigfoot and some other Ghost Hunters that they have a big conflict with, I think they get into a big fight with the ghost hunters. And it's a little bit longer, a little more elaborate. I think they've worked out their workflow of working in unity, which I'm surprised there aren't more people doing cinema in unity. This was a really good example, if you want to see the kinds of stuff that you can do the amount of control you have in a camera and things like that. What did you think, Tracy?

Tracy Harwood  13:28  
I thought it was a great parody of, you know, folks that just watch those kinds of shows and just sort of tapped into that. You know, that whole kind of genre of sort of soft horror really, it was it was it was it was seriously weird. It's not a sort of thing. I've watched all that freaks me out living you know, living out in the middle of nowhere. I don't I don't like watching things like that. But yeah, I could see I could see the fun in it. And the way that they were doing it was just really interesting.

Ricky Grove  14:02  
Yeah, they caught that amateurs sense of bravado, you know, yeah. Oh, we're really on a really just cut it perfectly. Love that film director. He's got many other interesting films on his YouTube, we'll make sure we link those in the show notes. And my second film is called justice. It's just 180 degrees opposite of ghost boys. It is a film shot and nightmare puppeteer. And it has that crazy, almost surrealistic collage of animation and action. And yet it has a strong political subtext. In some ways. It reminded me a bit of that wonderful French democracy. But the French democracy because of his inexperience in Mr. Chan's inexperience, and in filming He's sort of went by instinct. And it has this rough kind of quality. You don't I mean, add that to the poor, rendering quality from the movies game. And you have this odd weird looking thing with a heavy political subtext. I felt the same way with this one, although the visuals were much stronger, and the person was much more in control of the various scenes, which are strange and interesting, and dynamic and short. That's one of the big things that I think happens with a lot of experimental films, they just go on way too long. You can only take so much change in form and change in reading because the effort becomes finding a comfort zone and watching something experimental. And if you're left having to do that for 40 minutes, you just get exhausted. You're not going to do that. So I appreciated the film was short. I was just really impressed with it. And I'm, I really want to me It made me want to dig into nightmare puppeteer even more. So it was just a lovely film, and I was really glad to come across it.

Tracy Harwood  16:06  
What did you think about the music? Because Was it a music video as well?

Ricky Grove  16:11  
Well, that's the thing it kind of was. It was an amalgam of different kinds of things. A creative mixture of political commentary, surrealistic experiment, metal, film, music, video. All those things, I think.

Phil  16:29  
You know, I was surprised. Go ahead, Tracy. Sorry.

Tracy Harwood  16:32  
Yeah, you carry on you carry.

Phil  16:34  
I was gonna say I was I was very surprised to learn that this wasn't artists formerly known as m dot strange. That dude wasn't his work. Because the sound of the music is kind of homebrewed electronica sound very eight bit elements to it to some of the sounds in there. And then yeah, the visuals, the just some of them very jarring. And very, very vivid. It's, it's, I think what was coming through is that his he put himself into the tool, nightmare puppeteer. And so there's a little piece of him and every single piece it's made with it, you know, to some degree because it's got his his weirdness, you know that I mean, that in a positive way, his his unusual way of looking at the world. That's what ends up coming out of it. And this was just was just wonderfully done. And yeah, I thought it was was, if you did, if I'd had to guess I would have thought it was made by him. himself. Like, it's, it's, and I mean, that is the highest compliment I can. Because I think that nobody does. Whatever you call this genre is I don't know what the name of it is. But Nobody does it better than him. So for somebody to have Yeah, to produce something that has that same very unsettling. And yet, I couldn't take my eyes off it. Like from beginning to end. It was like when is over? You're right, Ricky short is good. This is the perfect length. Because when it was over, I was like, Ah, that's it. You know, that's what you want to do. You don't want to be where? Geez, how much time is this gonna take you know? So yeah. Which is great. I loved everything about this.

Ricky Grove  18:20  
I'm so glad we do include an interview with Slava strange Vich, who's now who was the artist name and strange. That's what he's calling himself now. And we have an interview in which he talks about the development of nightmare and puppeteer right after the this film session. And also, he talks about some really interesting things that he's doing with supporting other artists that that I don't want to reveal here he'll, he'll tell you all about it there. But it's, it's just really terrific. He made quite a haul on the cryptocurrency and he sharing that benefit with other artists, which is nice. Another aspect of his personality, which I just adore. So those were my two films. Tracy you've got a really interesting one that's very different from the three we've mentioned

Tracy Harwood  19:11  
completely different and not Halo this is this is called sons of skyrun Part Two by a Griff and it's a 17 minute long story which is a which is a basically a lead up to a battle. Not really sure what the what the what the battle is, how to go back and watch episode one as well. Which is, you know, so this is the follow up to the episode one. It's kind of Roman and medieval in in style. There are one or two little technicals in it, I think, and it in a couple of places to me, it felt just a teeny little bit long, like the mark thing went on for a little bit long but but generally speaking, I think the pacing was really good for for what what you've got here, which is a, which is sort of a semi long form machinima. And what I particularly liked about it was these interesting perspectives, the camera positions that the creators put on to the, to the film, including some great first person perspectives. And also some, you know, some more distant shots. And there's a really great reveal at the end, because, you know, the tropes in the in the in the story arc are really quite familiar. And, you know, the sound, of course, is one of the things that makes it familiar, because it's using major Hollywood productions like Gladiator. And maybe there's a bit of Robin Hood in there as well, which helped to you know, sort of push the story along with it with these kind of, you know, hollywood soundscape to it, including the the musical side of it, only some of which is credited, by the way, but but the reveal at the end is distinctly Skyrim. And overall, I kind of feel it's a really good homage to the Skyrim modding community itself, because, you know, it's clear that there's a lot of stuff that's being brought into it, that have been created by modders. In the game as well. So, yeah, what did you guys think?

Damien  21:31  
I have, I don't actually watch that much. Skyrim machinima so when I watched this, I wasn't really sure what to expect. And I was really impressed by the amount of detail that was put into the scenes to animate them, because I didn't know that Skyrim could do any of these things. Like you mentioned, the soldiers marching along. Yeah, a little bit long. But I didn't know the game was even capable of giving the player that kind of control over. I mean, obviously, must have been monads, quite extensively for that. So I was quite impressed just by that, and the way the the battle scenes halfway through it. And, again, there's the soldiers kind of thick up formation, and they do like the Roman shield, tortoise formation, and just having the characters can take to, you know, to actually form to perform that was to take a lot of effort. And so I enjoyed all of that.

Tracy Harwood  22:28  
Fell Ricky,

Phil  22:31  
you know, I know that everything has, has changed. With regard to copyright material, or at least on the surface, it seems to have, especially with regard to, to the way YouTube's attitude is toward the presence of copyright material, it's, it's less about, less about takedowns. And that and more about, you know, giving the copyright holder the chance to go ahead and monetize your use of it. So I know that that and i'm not i'm not downplaying that, but I'm still old fashioned. And I'm, this is my grumpy old troll. Because I just I couldn't, I'm watching it. And I'm very impressed by it. And like Ricky, I'm a sound guy. So I'm really like, goodness gracious, some of the soundscape on this is just amazing. And then I hear this, like vocal call that I only recognized because I've watched Ridley Scott's Gladiator like I don't know, 1500 times. You know, it's one of my all time favorite movies. And it's this scene from very near the beginning, or one of the bar leaders of the barbarians. shouts out this thing. And I it's unmistakable, like the tambor and everything. And I thought, well, that's weird, because there's no way somebody got it that right. And so I listened to it again. And then I went back and listened again, and I start hearing the voice actually, while you were talking, I was scrolling through this, there's a voice actor in there, that was one of the lesser secondary supporting actors in Game of Thrones. I know who it is, I could see his face, I just don't know his name. I was trying to find it. There's like 17,000 cast members in Game of Thrones, I've never gonna find it. But there was this line that just out of the blue amidst all these other fairly competent voice acting kogod and all sudden, there's this line with this, this very well known British actor, you know, saying this line about, you know, go tell him to pull up the line or something like that. And so then it's just it's like that I couldn't stop seeing it or hearing and I should say, all these instances of and by the end of it is just like, I don't know, I don't know if I had I don't know if I'm happy about this or not, you know, that you can't deny that there was craft in putting that in but I watched the the credits and maybe I do Just missed it. But I didn't see any mention of these sound sources in the in the quite extensive credits that were in there. No, maybe I missed it, you know, but

Tracy Harwood  25:10  
no, I don't think you did. I don't think you missed it, I think.

Phil  25:14  
Okay, if you're going to use that, then at least at the very least, say, so, you know, if you're confident enough to go ahead and use that, and you know, you won't get in trouble for it, that if you don't mention it, then it leaves this question of you trying to trying to pass this off as your own work or not, you know, and it's one of those things where, well, maybe all this stuff, so well known people will know that stop me and I don't care about that, or maybe not. And it just, it's like, Why leave that question. So I don't know, I, I ended up getting all distracted by that. And I couldn't tell you how the movie ended. To be honest, I got really aggravated by that. So I don't know. And again, I know that my attitude on that is old fashioned. I certainly don't have any dog in this hunt in terms of it's not, you know, my IP being used. I don't, you know, nothing personal. But it just I think, because I cut my teeth in the era where you get your butt kicked for doing that, you know, and now it's like, these young whippersnappers, you know, they're getting away with it, kind of thing. So I don't know, I'm a mess from it. And it's, it's not the film's fault, necessarily, but it just, it ended up bringing up a lot of issues that I have with that I still have with use of copyrighted stuff, especially uncredited. I'm sure that most of the people watching the film will not have such a hang up about it, but I didn't,

Tracy Harwood  26:42  
they wouldn't have the history of of dealing with the issues that you have filmed that that's that's interesting, that you know, the episode one only came out in October, and Episode Two, only a week or so ago. And the the creators of it seem to be quite new to to creating machinima. So I think that's, that's the lesson back to them really, you know, learn from the old guys, on you know how to deal with copyright or, or at least learn how to think about how to deal with it, even if you don't fully acknowledge it.

Phil  27:17  
Yeah, like I said, I recognize too, that to to do a soundscape like what they're doing here is like some of the stuff that we had to do for blood spell. And, and, which was a lot of these big, you know, large action sequences and stuff. And, you know, it would have been very easy to just go, you know, pull up the battle scene from Kenneth Brno's, Henry, the eighth film, and just grab that and layer that underneath. And just, it was just unthinkable to do that at the time. But it's, it's tons of work. And I recognize, it's really hard to put together an internet team of competent people, it really is, if you can get two or three people that are going to actually deliver what they say they're going to deliver. You've beat the average, you know, and so to get some team of competent people who are going to come through for you, is sadly, really, really hard. You know, that's why there's so many solo creators out there, I think, is I think, you there's all kinds of people who love talking about doing stuff. Love it. Oh, yeah, I can help with that. I'd be good. Oh, man, I want to be a part of this, I can do that. And it's like, come on. So for anybody that's serious. It just gets really discouraging, because there's a lot of people with big mouths and tiny hands. That's like really mean to say, but I mean, it's, I think anybody who's been doing this for a while knows that that's the case, that it's just it's hard. So I say all that in their defense that I understand that they've clearly got some people with some some skill sets involved, and they've got a team together. And that's awesome. That's an achievement, to have gotten them to produce something like this. It's amazing. But in my heart of hearts, it I keep coming back to. Yeah, but this isn't the solution for that, you know, there's got to be somebody who can put together a soundscape and it's not that hard. If the person has the right software and you just get a sound, get a library of sound.

Unknown Speaker  29:23  
Go to freesound dot org

Phil  29:24  
align the sounds. Yeah, look on free sound or just buy Sony has some five volume library you can get for a couple 100 bucks. It's got every sound you can imagine in there. It's amazing. Get something like that, you know, but so I say it all with the caveat that I understand. It's easier said than done. I really, really, really do understand that. I've had a lot of quote unquote team members. That just life that's just the nature of working on freelance and emphasis on the word free lance stuff on the internet. It's You're gonna get what people couldn't give if they can. It's not like hiring a team. You know, I understand that. But it's just it's just I don't know. It's highly personal. It's, and it's nothing personal against them. This is me that I, I reacted that way to it. And I still don't fully understand why. But hopefully I Well,

Ricky Grove  30:21  
I think it's partially has to do with modern notions of remix culture. Yeah, the more modern notions of remix, which is everything is usable. Yeah. And they don't really think about it. And it's only when somebody comes after them, do they go? Okay, well, you know, I'll change that. It's a completely different attitude. And I'd give you a brief story about em.at YouTube, and they're inconsistent method of policing copyrighted material. Here, they didn't catch any of that in this film, all of those copyrighted materials. And yet, one day, m dot gets a takedown notice from YouTube. And it says he's using a sound effect that someone else has in their sound effect collection. And he goes, What the hell is that? So he goes to the file, and it's the sound of wind.

Phil  31:18  
That's not a euphemism. I assume it's

Ricky Grove  31:20  
No, no.

And he says, I went to Japan. This is a samurai related film, he went to Japan and recorded wind in a bamboo forest. It's his when it says the sound recording of when, and yet their algorithms when all know this wind is just like this one and this other collection, so they have to take it down. I had to share that notion of copyright policing. So I think remix culture oftentimes reacts to that absurdity by saying, well, I'll just do what I want.

Phil  31:57  
in a weird way, I can respect that. Second hand, I can respect that stick a finger in there. I yeah, mentality? I really can. I just wouldn't do it. Yeah,

Ricky Grove  32:09  
I agree with you. Yeah, no, I

agree with you. I think it's a better, it's a better thing to do. It also pushes you more towards creativity, to do your own sound design of that. It takes more time, but it's yours. It does. And I admire that. And overall, you know, I enjoyed this movie. I like Skyrim a lot. And there are some really good machinima tools in Skyrim, and mods to create this incredible atmosphere. In fact, that was a recent thing using Skyrim machinima where Snoop Dogg was going to go in and battle a giant. And so he goes in, you know, he's playing one of these tough guy characters, and he walks up to him. And the giant just takes this big club and just smashes it. Here, Snoop, and the bottom, there's a little picture of him going to the airport, you know. I just put that in

Phil  33:10  
that put a link to that in the notes.

Ricky Grove  33:13  
It's very funny. And you know, the mother mods where you can have character mods where you can go anywhere in Skyrim and somehow summon up any character and place them together. And because of their AI is they'll interact with each other, depending upon what their AI response. That's neat. Yeah, so you can actually, it's sort of a Sims thing. You sort of figure out what their psychology is, and then you put them together, and then they'll react that way, which is a very interesting way to do filmmaking. It's certainly you certainly don't do filmmaking in standard Hollywood productions. You know, but I like that. And I'd like that I, I like the look of the production. I love that. You write the sound effects. I didn't get all the connections you did, Phil. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention. So it didn't it didn't bother me as much. Although hearing it now that it's troublesome. What bothered me about the film a bit is that it reminds me of a kind of trend in machinima, which has always gotten my dander up. And it's an attempt to not do machinima as machinima. But do machinima as a way of recreating a much loved television show, or a much love film? And the problem with that, which I understand the the impetus to that I mean, it's fanfiction. I mean, 1000s of people are writing stories that take place in the Star Trek world and all of that, I get that. But the problem is, is that their source is so much better than what they come up with me while they're trying to copy that form. What what really bothered me in this was the animation cycles in the in Skyrim, it caused people to be able to stop and have that little stutter when they turn in order. Now in a community, you accept that and you just go, Okay, well, that's just the way the game is. And it doesn't bother you. But you accept it when it's when it's when it's made as a machinima film, not as a recreation of a game of thrones or, or Gladiator scene or something like that. Because all the rest of it, the voice acting is great, the script is really good. But then you got this stuttering crappy animation cycles. Plus, the rendering of the skin textures on all the characters is like wax. So it's difficult to take, it takes you out of your suspension of disbelief is what I'm saying. And that's that was my trouble with that had they come up with their own original story. Rather than trying to recreate a story that we've seen 100 times, they may have been able to be more be more convincing. That being said, I did enjoy the film and I love that reveal at the end. I thought that was really good.

Phil  36:05  
Well, let me go on let me go full on schizophrenic here Ricky then and and say that kind of speak a little bit in defense of the film on this point. And that is, is there something to be said for imitation of an existing show to kind of be a way to to learn the craft, but we talked about the the guy first or second episode, who created the town that dreaded sundown?

Tracy Harwood  36:38  
Oh, yeah, right

Phil  36:38  
trailer. And when we talked about him using audio from that, as, as kind of a way to subdivide the work, you know that if by by relying on that audio, it kind of takes the burden off of Okay, now I can just focus on synchronizing the visuals and doing this part of it. And the audio is all taken care of. I realize how ironic it is that now I'm taking this position, but it in a way is that maybe what's attractive about recreation efforts like this is you don't have to worry about character development or story. I mean, these are things that I would never dream of skipping, I wouldn't think I hope not. But it is a hard thing to do. Well, you know, so maybe they're just using the story that and the world that's already been created by another show, as a way to focus on learning how to produce generally, you know, trying to get as close to it, I don't know

Damien  37:47  
how I got started with my mission, because I was doing a lot of Star Wars stuff. I wasn't retelling an existing Star Wars two air cowboys story, but it kind of it referenced all the stories that the official stories that are taking place. And plus, the reason I was doing that was I didn't have to create this world is already there. And it gave me a chance to play around with it and learn storytelling and filmmaking. So once I finished my story, I thought, Well, that was fun. Now I'm going to take what I've learned and make my own thing, which ended up being Chronicles if humanity is humanity,

Phil  38:17  
right? Yeah.

Damien  38:18  
Yeah. Yeah,

Phil  38:20  
I guess. I wonder if that may. And Tracy said that she she got the impression that they were relatively new to this. So in the same way that that honestly, I should cut them some slack on the audio thing for that reason. We should probably cut them a little slack on the the imitative form, let's call it I don't know what the word would be. to, to get started with it, and maybe, you know, down the road, now that they've as once they master these elements of production, then they'll start Well, maybe we'll tell our own story with this. Yeah, I think that's, that's a really good we need to keep open minded about that myself. First and foremost,

Ricky Grove  38:59  
I thank you for for making that point. Because a lot of this is just personal preference, right? I find myself attracted to more original work than derivative work. Absolutely. Um, although I do watch it, you know, I like satire. So so some of these choices. Some of these comments we make or are have to be looked at for the lens of it's a personal preference. Absolutely.

Tracy Harwood  39:26  
Yeah. All right. Let's

Ricky Grove  39:28  
move on to Damien's film. What did you come up with this time, Damian. So

Damien  39:33  
this time, I came up with a film called The worst city ever. And so a friend of mine A while ago, sent me this I said, I need to watch this video. And then go and watch the other guys who made it. This is a mega course. The Killian experience, that's his YouTube channel. And so I watched the video and it starts off it's Christmas or what whenever it's Christmas when I think about his dystopian mega cities, and he sets out,

he sets out using a city building game. He calls it Sim City. And that's obviously but the jokes. He's actually using the city's skyline skylines. Yeah. And he wants to build a dystopian mega city from scratch. And his whole purpose of this video is to do that. And he kind of, he has a dystopian mega cozy village. That's the first step of it. He just kind of goes on through it. And I've really enjoyed the sets a few because he's taking so much fun. He's having so much fun with it. He's making fun of himself doing an end game and the whole concept of dystopian mega cities. And it's just, I don't know how to describe it just amuse me so much. Of course, I then went and checked out this is other videos he's done. He does a lot of other works. A lot of it is machinima. Some of its live accurate, some of it some hybrid mixing of the two to tell whatever story is decided to do this video, he does a wide range of different games. So yeah, what do you guys think?

Ricky Grove  41:15  
Oh, I just loved it. You know, when I was talking about how I admire originality, this is a perfect example of that. It I think he would fit it into the Let's Play type of video. Who Tracy would you?

Tracy Harwood  41:28  
Yeah, I was gonna say for me, it was a kind of little bit like we talked about with Phil's choice last

Phil  41:34  
places what it made me think of to

Tracy Harwood  41:36  
us kind of a version of Let's Play, isn't it. But with very many stereotyping jokes about regional cultures, which were absolutely hilariously, the

Ricky Grove  41:47  
guy's got a magnificent sense of humor. And, you know, I think it's a let's play, but it's not a traditional, let's play because let's play in the PewDiePie senses, you go through and play the game, and you react and you're, you make quips and things like that, but you're legitimately playing the game, you know, in this, he's actually using the game as as, as a kind of platform for him to talk to do a comedy routine. And to be ironic about the creation of the game to begin with. And that sort of thing is like a personal essay, a stand up comedy essay, where the comic talks about his own personal life, and you just, you can't believe that they're actually he actually did any of that, or she actually did any of that they great sense of, I thought this was a wonderful film, and, and I really admire that person's creativity and being able to put it together and have such a droll sense of humor about the whole thing.

Tracy Harwood  42:45  
You know, I got a real sense of, you know, forecasting through it as well, because although that film is 2016 it was it's really reminiscent of what our current cities are, like, you know, with Coke, certainly here in the UK anyway, at the moment still in lockdown. I mean, just hilarious, dystopian kind of, you know? Yeah, I ended up sort of saying, Well, no, it's not the best city ever. We've got some of those. But yeah, really, really interesting.

Ricky Grove  43:19  
It also fits really nicely into the sort of postmodern, sort of bringing that term up, but it fits nicely into the postmodern sensibility in that rather than literally playing the game and then showing that real experience, you step back and point out to the viewer that this is a game and you're a person who's watching the game playing the game and commenting on the game. So it fits nicely into that very modern framework. You could never in the height of machinima dot coms. machinima submissions ever see a film like this? Because everybody was trying to do their thing. The the Ozymandias the realistic world, you know, like a, like, you've got like a world and then the fourth wall is taken away and you're looking at this real thing that these filmmakers and these let's let's play filmmakers are saying Oh, fuck all that. Oh, sorry. They're, they're going to hell with all of that. We're gonna This is a game and we're gonna make it and I'm having fun with it. And here's what I think. And I just love that it's such a fascinating and interesting thing. I'm I'm searching them out on the internet to try to find more.

Phil  44:31  
Yeah, I love this too. I this this style of comedy. The parody infused let's play I found that since I found that gray still plays film last episode. Just that stuff's been coming up in my feed like crazy and there's a lot of very talented people who you're right. You're exactly right, Ricky that it's it's this is essentially a comedy routine with In this case, infused with, I think, some genuine political sentiments that he has about the reality of life, the reality of urban life in particular. And yet it's all in encased in this this comedic persona that he's adopting for the video. And it's just, it's just wonderful. I'll also mention real briefly that it's not without irony that I noticed that also in this video, there were little blurbs of copyright audio, but used in more of that kind of that meme style that's very popular today, which I mean, even gray still pleases us where all of a sudden, you'll hear the we were joking about it earlier, you also hear the Curb Your Enthusiasm, you know, music theme for something silly that happened or is very, you know, the Wilhelm scream, which is in almost every movie ever done. And you know, these these identifiable little pieces of audio from current pop culture very recognizable. In fact, I think they're recognizability is part of the reason for selecting them not they're not just random, funny sound. It's Yeah, this is funny, because this is Michael Scott from the office, US losing his mind over something and you know, it's him. It's just a little bitty clip, you know, and he employs these. They're sprinkled all throughout the video, and yet, I found myself I watched these in the order. We discussed them today. That I wasn't bothered, I noticed it. But I wasn't bothered and I thought well, why is that I just I just got finished writing a whole paragraph about how ticked off I was with sons of Skyrim for years and copyright audio, and here I am just yuck yuck in it as long as this guy employs it to great effect. And I don't know I there is something different about for lack of a better term, that meme usage of, of audio and sometimes video clips, you'll see youtubers use where they'll all sudden just insert a scene, a three second scene from, you know, some popular movie or television show a reaction shot of, you know, Thor going on, you know, and everyone knows what that is. And yet they're not getting takedowns for that. So whatever it is that that these people who do this are doing. It apparently

Tracy Harwood  47:19  
the context.

Phil  47:21  
And yeah, the context so small. And also, there's no attempt. I think that for me, the big difference was there was no attempt in the copyright audio uses in the worst city ever. For him to make it out like it's his creation. Like anyone who would hear it almost anyone who would hear it knows it's borrowed, and that it's being employed for for comedic effect.

Ricky Grove  47:49  
Well, isn't there a fair use thing for satire? There is in satire, you can use pieces of other people's stuff, because it's satirical. There is but

Phil  48:00  
i think i think that the literal way that satire and fair use works is that like, the perfect example I can think of is Weird Al Yankovic, you know, and so he does a song, like a surgeon, you know, which is a parody of Madonna's Like a Virgin song from the 80s. And it uses the same melody, and this is borrowing all this stuff. And it's, it's using it in satirical context. But the satire, the stuff being borrowed is from the thing being satirized. Whereas I don't know if you could make that case for the worst city ever. That is just this random scream or, you know, funny sound effect or something that's from television that has nothing to do with cities or this video game, or what he's actually, you know, making a social criticism about, but yet, it's still tolerated. I think a lot of it's the duration. And also that just, I think, to some degree that that usage is so pervasive now, there's not, there's not, there's not a single top youtuber that doesn't use that technique in some way. Yeah, it's so pervasive, that it's one of those things of as good as YouTube's audio detection software is, it's like, how in the world are we going to regulate this? You know, I think at some point, everybody involved just says, Yeah, let's just let it go. You know, so

Damien  49:26  
Killian does a lot in his other videos as well. There was one I think he was playing something King King, Crusader Kings as a Crusader Kings too, and he was not playing around with any decent. He traveled back through time, but I don't remember the context for it. Because he had that time travel element he used a little bit the doctor who theme as he was going back, and it worked there because you know, if you're going to try About free time, you need some kind of reference to something that is time related. And he obviously decides, Doctor Who would be the thing to use, or we could go back to the future or something but doctors we decided to go with. And it's something he does a lot in his videos and it it kind of works and doesn't feel like he's it's more like he's referencing it rather than saying this is what I'd made myself. Sure.

Phil  50:25  
Well, I think some of this is to just the the free availability of this stuff, if you try to imagine being in 1989, and saying, hey, I want to, I want to include an audio sample from Back to the Future. In my, in my little audio production, I'm doing this, this is not easy to do. You know, I mean, I guess you could go try to rip it, you rent it from blockbuster, and then go rip it from that somehow. And whereas nowadays, you can just go and just find it, you know, it's just there. And, and, and also, I think there's, there's this, it's the remix culture. You mentioned Ricky, too, that that has become a thing. Look at the show Family Guy, if you don't watch that, the whole, like 50% of the show is a parody of and borrowing from other things to enhance the comedy of the show. Now, of course, they're probably having to jump through all sorts of hoops to be able to do that, because they're on television. But on the internet, it's wild west, you know, so Sure, sure. Yeah.

Tracy Harwood  51:29  
It's I mean, I was just, I was

just looking to see, you know, do you remember the film, we talked about baby outlawed Star Wars? I was just looking to see if that had been taken down. Because obviously that's using the music from Le King, l King. And it's real. It's the you know, it's obviously the real song. Yeah. But it's still up. And I'm just wondering, why is that still up? Because it is very good, isn't it? Well, yes, you would think that she would be benefiting from that surely.

Phil  52:06  
The artist,

Tracy Harwood  52:07  
the artist? Absolutely.

Phil  52:10  
I would think so.

Tracy Harwood  52:11  
But in theory, it is taking copyrighted sound. It wasn't an official music video at all. And yet, the only way it seems to have been captured, if that's the right word is that there are no adverts overlaying it. So YouTube has included it in its algorithm. So yeah, that's okay. But will monetize it?

Phil  52:33  
That's right. That's, that's the key difference is that YouTube, that the person who produced it upload that video cannot monetize it themselves? Yeah. It's not even an option once it's been flagged in that way. But whoever the owner of the copyrighted material is, if they're part of that network, they can. So that's, that's the win win that YouTube negotiated. Goodness, I don't know how many years ago, it's been now at least 10 years ago. Remember, originally, when YouTube came about there was all kinds of controversy about Yeah, a lot of takedown, a lot of talk of lawsuits and federal regulation and all this stuff. And whoever it is that you've negotiated that they're brilliant, and probably very, very wealthy from it. But they they basically made a piece with all the record companies and all the audio producers. And there's been some interesting stuff that comes from that. There's a video that I made 2007 or so I want to say it was wasn't unlike it was on like any video I've ever made before. It had nothing to do with machinima. It was a series of photographs. From news sources, basically, of the the revolution that was well kind of revolution, the uprising that was going on in the country of Iran at the time. And then I found a on the Internet Archive, marked as public domain. Mind you, I found an audio recording of a woman reciting this poem from a from the the Indian revolution in the middle of the 1900s. Soft furoshiki temana was the name of the phone, and she's reciting it in the native language with this really rhythmic sense to it. And then I took that audio of her again Mark's public domain and created a music track that synchronized with it because she was so on with her rhythm I was able to line up and do this thing. I played it live because I couldn't use a sequencer. It wasn't that exact but basically it it created this new piece of music a derivative piece of music, with her doing the audio, and then my video and it was up for years. And then all of a sudden one day I got a notice from YouTube that up your your This video has been flagged. I had never tried to monetize it myself. But this video has been flagged, and the copyright owner of the song is going to monetize it from now. And that's still that that's still that way today, that video is still that way today. And the monetizer of the song was someone who had written and produced a version of that same song for some movie in India that I'd never heard of. It's not the same audio, but it's the same song. But somehow they got YouTube to see that this was the same, even though the audio is the original audio was a public domain. You can tell very low quality someone into like a dictaphone, basically doing this, this performance this this, this female poet is beautiful. But like distorted and just just awful quality. I had to clean it up a lot. And then I put my own music underneath it completely original. But still, it got picked up for that. So yeah, for anyone using actual, you know, recorded audio from a corporate recording. Yeah, that's gonna get picked up right away. And that's probably what happened with this, this video with the grabouw. Is that? Yeah, the songwriter or the rather the record company that owns rights, that audio recording is monetizing it. Yeah. And that allowed and they allowed to stay up.

Tracy Harwood  56:22  
Yeah. Which is really for machinima people, isn't it? Yeah.

Ricky Grove  56:27  
I do. Although, again, YouTube is inconsistent. I make videos every week for renderosity.com. And I almost always use music from the YouTube Audio Library that they have already approved as being able to use right so I use all those that one out of every 20 that I use gets a takedown notice. Yeah. Is it possible that they it's their music that they have licensed? And yet the person who owns the rights comes and says now they shouldn't use my stuff? Now, I first thought well, I'm I was under nominal contract, you told her I'm gonna work this all out. And I thought, you kidding? Do you want to walk into the middle of that bureaucratic buzzsaw? No way, fine, take it away, you do whatever you want to do. That's fine. But it is strange that they're inconsistent their algorithms, I think there's a percentage, whatever it is, of algorithm mistakes that they just live with.

Phil  57:33  
You know, some of it's the algorithm and some of it too, is that there's a little bit of behind the scenes warfare that goes on between original composers, and let's say unscrupulous third party music publishers, who will go and basically try to make a claim on a work that the music distributor that I'm a part of, with Kevin MacLeod, film music.io, which we used a lot of in last last episode. Yeah, several of the the artists on there have had situations where it's their own original composition, and they've put it here, but some company from overseas, downloaded their song, put it up on their own website, and then made a claim to try and monetize themselves on YouTube. just bizarre. Yeah. And I, and almost always, when those have come up, it's been from an international source and people taking advantage of the fact that international copyright is hard, hard to enforce, you know, within the US always been, you know, or within the UK even. It's, it's not so easy to get away with that. But now across national borders. Yeah, there's shenanigans.

Ricky Grove  58:46  
That's an interesting topic. Maybe we should look at that for some, that'd be great question thing, I think, once we do a little more research on it, as well anyway, that that's going to wrap up our films of the week, where I'm going to include a, an interview with Slava strange of itch, and his nightmare puppeteer creation at the end of this. Thank you guys for another invigorating discussion and great films. I would just love the films you guys come up with. And I hope everyone else listening is enjoying them as well. We'll put links in the show notes. And let's close with Phil, you reminding us of ways to contact us.

Phil  59:20  
Absolutely. We can. We can accept your feedback via email. Via voicemail we do through reverb chat. We've got a Discord server, you can even text us right on your phone. We would love to hear from you the listener to find out what you think of what we're doing. What you'd like us to talk about, if you've got questions, if you got topics, you got something that you think Ricky and I will fight about on the air, we would absolutely love to do so. So all of those contact methods are listed over on our website, which is completely machinima.com. And please, we would love to hear from you or we will have to resort to more blog spam comments and nobody

Ricky Grove  59:58  
has nobody wants That nobody wants that. I want to thank the three younger and more forward looking members of this host and the one grumpy old man. Thank you appreciate we always like that perspective from outmoded and antediluvian way. That's

Tracy Harwood  1:00:23  
next time.

Ricky Grove  1:00:24  
Okay.

Damien  1:00:25  
Well that's it.

Ricky Grove  1:00:26  
Thank you, everybody. We'll be our next podcast. We'll be on discussion podcast. Look forward to week from this one. Thanks. Bye. Bye.

Music for this episode is composed by a fell rice for the intro outro music is midnight chill by x screenplay from freesound.org. Thanks for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai