And Now For Something Completely Machinima

August 2021 Machinima History with Ben Grussi

August 21, 2021 Tracy Harwood and Ben Grussi Season 7
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
August 2021 Machinima History with Ben Grussi
Show Notes Transcript

This month Ben presents a bumper overview of machinima notables from the archives, including Quake releases, films, appearances, media coverage and the very first Machinima Film Festival that took place at Quakcon.

Full notes for this episode are available at:

August 2021 Machinima history with Ben Grussi

This month Ben presents a bumper overview of machinima notables from the archives, including Quake releases, films, appearances, media coverage and the very first Machinima Film Festival that took place at Quakcon


machinima, august, notable, released, quake, film, note, people, piece, workin, productions, movie, create, interesting, quakecon, creator, poem, hugh, nvidia, cinematic


ANFSCM, Ben Grussi


ANFSCM  00:00

And Now For Something Completely Machinima.


Ben Grussi  00:06

Here's the August history for machinima related events over the years. This is gonna be all over the place, guys, so buckle up. It's a long list, but quite interesting of all the notables over the years. 


Ben Grussi  00:22

First and foremost, the Quake game itself became available to retail shelves in August 28 of 1996. So all the movies yet to be made, this is the starting point. Also, in August, one of the very big events to happen with the toolset that people use for Quake is Key Grip too its first edition, release for Quake II was actually done in August. It was August 1 of 1998. Two years later. Quite a powerful tool, as a lot of the creators will tell you, Phil Rice being one of them as well for his Father Frags Best film, and also his weekends and other projects. 


Ben Grussi  01:07

Another notable is that the Ill Clan, actually in August of 1999 actually released a teaser for their Hardly Workin' project, it was very anticipated. They released a clip called Athena's moths, which showed a clip of the film to come. Quite amazing but not surprising when you consider all the work done that it would be a full year actually, in August again of 2000, when Hardly Workin' would become available for people to watch. 


Ben Grussi  01:40

Another notable is that in August of 21st, of 1989, Strange Company, Hugh Hancock's project, they did a project partnership with Monolith Productions. They are the game developer that made the No One Lives Forever franchise. So the blood as well as the Blood franchise the first person shooters, they went into a partnership to create what is known as the Lithtic film producer, it was meant to be a full fledged machinima production tool. Unfortunately, it did not go to market it but was at least developed to a point where it could actually be used to create a test film that Strange Company produced it was called Ozymandias that is based on the poem from Shelley. Percy Shelley of Mary Shelley, you know, the the creator of Frankenstein, her husband created this poem and Strange Company, basically use the Lithtic film producer tool to create this little technology demo to show what was possible with the tool at the time. But like I said, there's only fortunate that it didn't come to market. 


Ben Grussi  02:58

Another notable is that clean Phantasm released their devils covered in the very first edition on August 2 of 1998. It was a two hour epic that is really well constructed, and still holds up even to this day, actually. So I'm very proud of that being around for people to watch. Another movie notable as well, in August has been Myndflame productions. They were the ones that produced not only the for our major epic, the Sea of Nohara, but they were also responsible for the single player mode add on, that was actually a part of it, which had more cutscenes to it. They were that whole package was released in August of 2000. Quite an ambitious project when you consider it with one guy doing all the voices and most of the scripting. But definitely the level design was also quite an interesting feat of all the people involved in that team production of the Sea of Nohara and its add on. 


Ben Grussi  04:07

The other interesting note is its convention season in August is packed with them, most notably is the Quakecon. As everybody knows, if you're in the gaming community, it is definitely the place to be for Quake related items in Texas. Paul Marino of the American Machinima Arts and Sciences and also part of the Ill Clan group did several presentations in August of the various years. One entitled Machinima: the future, and a roundtable discussion at Quakecon 2001. Another one was done with a machinima workshop at Quakecon 2000. And most notably is when we had our very first Machinima Film Festival was actually held out during Quakecon outside in another venue nearby. And it was quite interesting. It was had a lot of local people in local press and whatnot. But it was our first notable with our partnership with Nvidia. You know, with AMAS, you know, the American Museum of Arts and Sciences in a collaboration with Nvidia to pull that off. So that was the first of a couple film festivals over the years, but that was the first. 


Ben Grussi  05:26

The next notable is that, um, Doom III was actually released to the public in August 3 of 2004. That was a notable. Unfortunately, it didn't pan out for machinima creators, it was done it did very well with making film productions. But unfortunately for the community at large, it was not accessible for ease of use, or it just became, you know, too complex to work in that environment. So unfortunately, there is one or two cinematics done by fans but not really anything of note of worthiness. I mean, they're good but unfortunately, they weren't notable enough to be, you know, resilient over the years. 


Ben Grussi  06:09

Another event was the official selections for the 2004 Ottawa International Film Festival, which is important because it was a professional festival. Machinima was starting to get its legs into the professional community community of sorts. So it was quite interesting of note that they had several selections of note, A Great Majestic Empire, Anna, Fake Science from the guys that did a Dead on Que. The Journey by Freidrich Kirschner, a wonderful art piece, and several other films as well. But again, another notable because again, it's starting to get us into the professional community, little by little.  Freidrich Kirschner's The Journey piece is released to the public in August 23 of 2020 22,004. Apologies. That is a very well done piece in our piece of showing that again, like with Hardly Workin' with the Quake II movie, Quake II engine, you can't tell what engine it comes from. So it just blends into just the production in simply that and not what is running under. 


Ben Grussi  07:29

Another note is the quite interesting film that was done by Short Fuse Productions. For the people in the know or don't they were the ones that are the predecessors to Moviestorm, and they were trained to just do a film to make parodies of James Bond and several other things. It was entitled No License was done in Battlefield 1942 was a short film. And it was released to the public but unfortunately but intentional it was yanked soon after for obvious reasons. 


Ben Grussi  08:08

So further down the line. Some notes that with the announcement of Bloodspell, Hugh Hancock had a notable interview with The Guardian. The Guardian is the UK version New York Times they had an interview with him concerning machinima and Bloodspell. Speaking of Hugh August is actually his birthday month. So this is when he was this month is when he was born. So again, another notable and machinima history because the founder who coined the term was born in this month, so, you know, raising last if you can for that. 


Ben Grussi  08:48

Another note for August, August 23 of 2005 actually posted an article about re mixing or recreating music videos with games such as the Sims 2 with artists like R Kelly's trapped in the closet, this is actually the predecessor to MTV Video Mods that people will know made a big splash when Paul Marino released his I'm Still Seeing Breen video and it was actually the premiere video for their season two.


Ben Grussi  09:23

Some other notables as well. Blizzard actually announced for their 2005 edition of their Blizzcon they are putting on a machinima movie contest. That was one of the first notes of machinima that they were actually endorsing people to make. It actually was the event that actually gave us the return that was made by Taryn Gregory and his his group, and it was quite notable that actually got him a job, as the next history note is in that scene. Year, cheering Gregory and another machine animator, Christian Pope. They're notable in several respects because of their productions that they've made Terran with his the return as it just mentioned, interesting Pope with his several pieces that he's done one of them being a parody of the Atkins Diet with a major and daily bread daily bread. And what's interesting to note is they were hired by Blizzard to work as cinematic directors. Their machinima skills, got their attention, and they were actually hired professionally and they were actually responsible as part of the wonderful group that created and helped out Southpark to create their season 10 episode Make War Not Love Craft. Make Love, actually just incorrect. It's make love not Warcraft. So that was quite a treat. August 30 at this vibe as well. 


Ben Grussi  11:02

Jake Strider Hughes, the creator of Anachronix the cinematic portions of it. He released on BitTorrent. The two DVD set that the movie that he made that won several awards of the 2002 Machinima Film Festival became available. So everyone kind of could chew on that and enjoy it at their leisure. 


Ben Grussi  11:25

And another note is August 27, of 2005 Britannica Dreams, they released a Sims 2 music video that go along with the highway man. And what's interesting about this film is that it is actually referenced to, to school material, even to this day, they reference it in poem class, that this piece is used to visualize it for kids to get a better understanding of the poem of the watch of the highway man. And it's quite cool that that even after, you know, 16 years, it's still being used for visualization of a different medium. 


Ben Grussi  12:11

And last but not least, the other notables are John Carmack released reveals that on Slashdot that Quake III arena source code would be released in December. Again, we thought that would be a good idea, a good thing for people to make machinima with. Unfortunately, that didn't pan out. Again. It's just one of those things, people kind of gravitate to other things instead which is unfortunate, but sometimes that's the way it goes. 


Ben Grussi  12:44

Another notable as well as August 17, or actually, it's the sixth Actually, my apologies of 2003. This is when The Movies is announced to be available two years from now to create the movies such as The French Democracy and several other notable films that people in the community know and love. So that's another notable in history as well. 


Ben Grussi  13:10

Another film of no is in August 3 of 2002 Moppi Productions, their demo group, but they released a piece called Halla, which is also known as the Little Match Girl. quite an interesting film. Definitely one of those things that is different that you're not used to in machinima at the time, but it's definitely worth the view. 


Ben Grussi  13:37

And I believe that it If not, let's see Oh, and one last one. August 27 1998. Actually, three notes. Number one is that Quake II's late night episode one with taoxian, sob is released. It's a really solid talk show. That's quite interesting. This is the first episode they've made to, and their little short series, but again, it starts off strong, and is one of note to take a look at if you can. All these films for the most part, if I could find them, they're in the show notes for my section for the history. So check that out when you can if you're curious of what I'm talking about.


Ben Grussi  14:27

Another note as well before I forget, is that August 23 1999, strange company also announced their lip synching tool Lippy that they use for Eschaton Chaper 2 Nightfall that you'll have, if you've seen it before, that's what enabled them to do. Similar to what the Ill Clan does with Hardly Workin' is that they are able to use key bindings to change the mouse in and out so you can try and match the Sync, Sync up with the dialogue. So it kind of looks more human.


Ben Grussi  15:01

So that is it. Ladies and gentlemen. There are probably a little bit more in there but this is pretty long and I want to keep you attentive and not bored out of your gourd. So, hopefully, this enlightens you and you get to see some of these pieces. And until next time, enjoy.



Thank you