And Now For Something Completely Machinima

September 2021 Machinima History with Ben Grussi

September 30, 2021 Ricky Grove, Tracy Harwood, Damien Valentine, and Phil Rice
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
September 2021 Machinima History with Ben Grussi
Show Notes Transcript

Ben Grussi, the official historian for Machinima, shares his record of what happened in September Machinima history.

Full notes for the podcast are available at

Ben gives us the run down on notable highlights from the beginnings of machinima that happened during September between 1997 and 2006.


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Ben Grussi


Ben Grussi  00:08

Welcome everyone to the September edition of the machinima history. Unfortunately, there are no films in this list of any classical literature reenactments, but it's definitely meaty with quite a few details to timber is a quite a busy month. So let's just jump into it. 


Ben Grussi  00:29

One of the very first Quake 1 game packs or map packs done by the community is a total conversion called Zerstorer - my German is not very good, but it means destroyer in English. And its one of the really strong presentations of a dark story that dealt with very strong and very tight cutscenes along with the story so that was released in September 17 of 1997. 


Ben Grussi  01:05

In 1998, and on September 24 1998, Donovan who hails from Brazil, enters the Quake 2 movie scene with his two parter for the first part called Circus Life Part 1 is released to the world. It's quite a departure of subject matter for what you're used to. It deals with a dark topics of self esteem and domestic abuse, but it's quite a powerful piece. If you're familiar with the awareness life, this is definitely where he got his start. 


Ben Grussi  01:43

On September 1 of 1998. The final version of Keygrip 2 was released by David CRT Wright. That is the most famous tool that is used in quick to filmmaking and machinima making, and it definitely enabled filmmakers to do their masterpieces, or at least pieces that made a mark on the community. And that was September 1 1998. 


Ben Grussi  02:10

In 1999, to October 17, the ILL Clan's Apartment Huntin' premiered on Byard, that's the very popular magazines Innovation Express, which included a redone sequence with some new music and some revised start and stop bumpers. Quite a new more shiny appeal to it. 


Ben Grussi  02:37

And in 2001, we moving on 2 years later. Unfortunately, not much happened in the 2000s that I have it for September unfortunately. But in 2001 we have Peter Rasmussen's Nanoflix's Rendevous was released on September 25 of 2001. So perfect for any rabbit robots. concerning how why not 2001 is a perfect year to do it. 


Ben Grussi  03:06

And also on September 28, a big debate began, which is the very first question of is machinima actually animation in that debate started around then and is continued to this day, I think in some pockets and whatnot. 


Ben Grussi  03:24

Also on September 28, Discreet, who is also the used to be Autodesk that made 3d Studio Max, they released their first edition of a software called Gmax. It was a free modeling package that was good to help with people develop their own models and content for their films or modifications to games. It was a response in relation to Microsoft releasing their Soft Image tool as well as a freebie In Time, so that was a nice tool to have for a little bit. 


Ben Grussi  04:03

In 2002, September 10, we have EA released the very first Battlefield game in the series which was Battlefield 1942 that was released on September 10. And it's actually the backbone and the foundation for several films of notable quality one was Short Fuses No License, which was a parody that unfortunately had to be pulled off because it was violating no like you know had no license right hence the title. Other notables are Ours Again Blabberfield 1999 series and Soldat's San Merci. Those are two series of note as well.  As a reminder that all these films that are available, they're in the show notes so feel free to take a look if you can, if you're curious. 


Ben Grussi  05:00

On September 13, Dead On Cue releases their HalfLife movie entitled Fake Science. It actually won some awards in the future. So check that out, as well. 


Ben Grussi  05:14

On September 27th of 2002 Amos directors from Reno appeared on a machinima segment that was done on tech TV. It was formerly known as Zednet TV, but now it's called TechTV. 


Ben Grussi  05:29

Moving on to next year, which is 2003 quite a busy year. We have the Halo PC edition was released on September 30 of 2003. Also the same day we also have Unreal Tournament 2003 was also released on that date, which is critical for a lot of machinima that was developed with that platform because of the introduction of the Matinee tool. 


Ben Grussi  05:54

We also have on September 13, of 2003. Unfortunately, this is a little out of order guys apologize. A very notable commercial contract was Red vs. Blue was able to do a, specifically a Microsoft Professional Developers Conference short and it was released to the public on that date. 


Ben Grussi  06:17

On September 22, of 2003 Hugh Hancock actually talks talked and presented at the fourth annual German BIT film festival that is a 3d and animation festival that's very popular in Germany. And that's what he did on that date. 


Ben Grussi  06:35

Another notable film release on September 23, of 2003 is Swiss Army Bot it was a two part comedy piece filmed in Star Wars Galaxy. It's a very well done piece. So check it out. The links are also in the show notes as well.


Ben Grussi  06:53

On September 25, of 2003. itself where Id CEO, Todd Hollenshead, and even John Carmack were very, very eager to see what the Doom 3 community would do with the cinematic power that Doom 3 would have provided at a cheaper price than Maya, the 3d animation package, but unfortunately for veterans, for us veterans, we found out that it was very difficult and unfortunately, it didn't really get the traction that they thought they would. 


Ben Grussi  07:23

On September 27. Just four days later, the second part of the Swiss Army Bot film was released. Again, check that out. The links are in the show notes. 


Ben Grussi  07:34

The movies, everybody's favorite machinima, commercial game of filmmaking that became really popular with The Movies Online, and several fan sites to build the very first web page to promote it opened on September 27, of 2003. So that's so it's the seeds of what's to come. 


Ben Grussi  07:55

On September 13, of 2003. The Red vs Blue first season finale, Episode 19. Last One Out Hit the Lights is released. So one season down, many many, many many to go. 


Ben Grussi  08:10

On September 2, Epic Games released the 2002 edition of the Unreal technology demo video that was shown at the Game Developers Conference in 2002 to the public.  It was also there to promote ideas for the Create Something Unreal contest for the machinima category. So they were just spraying some some idea of building and what you could do with the engine in your films and productions. 


Ben Grussi  08:39

On September 10, of 2003 Second Life still very in its infancy stage announced its very first machinima contest. So it's still on keep going even to this date, but that was the date of the very first machinima contest.


Ben Grussi  08:57

On September 10, as well Maxima PC another sister publication like PC gamer, they also had a short article about the In The Waiting line music video that was going to premiere on MTV Video mods, so that was a quite notable press marker. 


Ben Grussi  09:17

On September 11 and 12th of 2003. AMAS' Paul Marino was running machinery at the Austin game conference. So that was quite a big deal of note. 


Ben Grussi  09:30

On September 30 2003, the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences and the ILL Clan appeared on New York television in with the machinima segment and its was designed to be promoting the machinima film festival that was going to be held at the Museum of the Moving Image that year. So that was awesome. 


Ben Grussi  09:55

On September 30, of 2003, the mystery tool called Antics That for some of the veterans would know that it was good to power some students companies new productions. Unfortunately like a lot of products. It just didn't get off the ground to get the traction that it could have. So but it's still noteworthy because it almost gave us new editions of Escheton that some of us really would have looked forward to.


Ben Grussi  10:21

In 2004, quite a very adventurous year. In September, the first one is the Quake Done Quick team released a tune edition of skirts and quick it was done with a little engine modification by Anthony Bailey. I actually couldn't find it in the normal channels. But luckily in my archive, I was able to pull it up and I put it on the Internet Archive. So the link will be in the in the show notes as well. 


Ben Grussi  10:49

On September 5, someone was able to do a recreation of The Matrix. The first scene with the actual sound for the movie, but done in Halo with all the characters and whatnot. So it was sort of like a visual, but with audio reproduction of a scene just to see if it was possible. Quite an interesting feat. 


Ben Grussi  11:16

On September 7, the City of Meroes, MMOPG. They announced a machinima film contest as well. So again, the online services are starting to get into promoting, you know, in game cinematic work for people to try out and get more exposure. 


Ben Grussi  11:39

On September 5, the very first Doom 3 machinima cinematic is released it's called Last 10. It was created by OneOfthe8Devilz, that's his user handle. It takes just a very short clip of dealing with a story about a person dealing with issues and it's a very short clip, but something quite interesting for a very first attempt at making machinima with Doom 3. 


Ben Grussi  12:08

On September 10, Atari and Epic Games Make Something Unreal contest the face for submission window closed. It was the biggest machinima submission to date with 14 entries to that bracket. So the quality of the submissions is off the charts. And that, as one person said, this is not an opinion, it's just the fact it was true.


Ben Grussi  12:33

On September 12, of 2004, Artemis software released Nesmut via Machinima com. This was a just a test that was done by Artemis software to try and do a machinima production using Age of Mythologies. It was quite an interesting feat, it was a 20 minutes film. And it was actually an official selection at the 2005 Mishima Film Festival. 


Ben Grussi  13:00

On September 14 of 2004 the Sims 2 was released. And for the people in the know machinima exploded and brought in a lot of new content creators and filmmakers. So that was definitely a shot on the arm that we definitely we're very glad that occurred. Damian actually has a entry in this list because his first feature that I knew he made called Consanguinity, and I'm probably butchering it and I apologize, Damian. It was filmed in Neverwinter Nights, and it was first its very first episode was released on this date, and it was entitled Immortality. 


Ben Grussi  13:44

On September 22 of 2004. Another mini scripted machinima from Doom 3 was done as a cinematic example, it was done for a scripting tutorial over at The link to it is in the description. Unfortunately, the file is not available, but just that I provide you the thread of the discussion just for historical context. 


Ben Grussi  14:09

On September 24, or 2004, Doc Nemesis' Binary Picture Show got an accolade where it was featured in the magazine for the second time this year. With all of his his episode three episodes of his Bouncer Please series on the cover CD of this month's PCGamer UK magazine, along with a brief blurb of this of the episode 2 in the magazine itself.


Ben Grussi  14:40

On to on September 25 2004, Ingrid Moon also known as Coyote Republic, joined the machinima scene, to my knowledge bring in with her vast knowledge and helpful insights to the unique mixture of all this different talent and skills already brewing into the community. She also started a very, very well informative series called filmmaking tips for machinima directors starting off with very six tips of quite insight.


Ben Grussi  15:13

On September 28 of 2024. This has been mentioned before in the show. I'm not going to address it here I'm just going to basically say what it happened. In my note, it basically said the Ottawa Film Festival, unfortunately gave machinima, a snub and a virtual slap in the face. And Paul Marino actually wrote an open letter response to it where he said, quote, last evening, in a moment where machinima was about to make a monumental step towards respectability, it was once again belittled by the people who are either ignorant of its importance or are extremely threatened by its future. It was this moment at the Ottawa International Film Festival in 2004, that the jurists for the of the machinima competitive category chose not to award any of the nominated films, setting reasons of unfulfilled standard of excellence. In addition to not awarding a film. They also gave an extremely lean explanation of what machinima was in its future to the festival audience. In protest of the jury's decision and not wanting to hear the rest of this unfortunate news I left the closing ceremony right at that moment, the machinima filmmakers in attendance also followed suit.  After this posting on, a firestorm of anger and disappointment erupted in even the Ottawa Film Festival creative director came to try and apologize for the handling of the machinima award but some people didn't want to hear it. It was definitely a crossroads for the machinima after all this and as Ricky Grove and Phil race have mentioned that's why it is definitely something that was not taken lightly.


Ben Grussi  16:55

On September 30, of 2004, a huge milestone for machinima was made again with Rooster Teeth Productions. They made a deal with with Electronic Arts with the Sims 2 to create a sitcom and the wonderful world of the Sims 2 universe entitled The Strangerhood, with episodes released every two weeks, the the press coverage of the deal was shown on IGN GameSpot and also press released new services. 


Ben Grussi  17:24

So in 2005, we have the Red vs. Blue team heading to Atlanta to the very big Dragon Con convention to show off Red vs. Blue there and to mingle with all the nerds and everyone else, which is a great fun to have. 


Ben Grussi  17:41

On September 3 of 2005, it was also finally revealed that Rooster Teeth Productions will also be helming a production of F.E.A.R. This is a game that Monolith Productions did called Fear. And they are creating a machinima episode series that is being included with a director's cut edition of the game among many, many other other extras. The production is called P.A.N.I.C.S. and the link to the series, like thankfully someone had captured it and the YouTube link is noted in the show notes. 


Ben Grussi  18:17

On September 5 of 2005, Panda Productions released their trailer for Chronicles of Sigh This is a drama that is based off of the writings of the creator of the film. And the trailer basically sets up the story and the first episode and unfortunately the last episode will appear in next month's notes. But just this is the trailer that's quite interesting. 


Ben Grussi  18:49

On to divert 13th Hugh Hancock is quoted in The Hollywood Reporter that's a very famous, well known magazine in the states in Hollywood in regards to a question of what the future of digital tools are, will have the effect on filmmaking. 


Ben Grussi  19:06

On September 14 Britannica Dreams as Ricky and Tracy had mentioned for their Snow Witch project, they did a music video release called A Different Song. And the homemade song was actually done by Kira of the team. So that's quite interesting. And, as noted in next month, history notes they were the feature the film was featured on the cover disk for PC Gamer UK in their 2005 October edition.


Ben Grussi  19:44

On September 15th, the third annual 2005 Machinima Film Festival which was also held again the Museum of the Moving Image was officially announced. The press release was going and hopefully traveled far and wide. to people who start their submissions.


Ben Grussi  20:02

On September 19 of 2005. Red vs. Blue announced that their apparel would be appearing in Hot Topic stores. Quite an amazing feat for no merchandise to be going into stores. 


Ben Grussi  20:20

On September 19, as well, Peter Rasmussen and Nanoflix Productions announced that their next feature film was in is entitled The Stolen Life and premiered the trailer for it. 


Ben Grussi  20:32

In September, September 22nd 2005, Frank ilario and Matt Damiani was interviewed on this Spartan Life with Damien. That is the talk show in Halo. The link is also in the show notes.


Ben Grussi  20:48

On September 22, of 2005 Strange Company, Blloodspells first teaser trailer had his has its world premiere of a Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh on this date.


Ben Grussi  21:01

On September 23, Roosterteeth, and even MTV, the music video channel in the States premiered episode one a P.A.N.I.C. a comedy series done in F.E.A.R., with a release slated every week until the game's release, release which is on October 18 2005, excuse me.


Ben Grussi  21:26

September 23 of 2005 is notable for some of the veterans because this is a new machinima related website has opened its Machinima Premiere, it was headed up by DXVID which a lot of people transitioned to after the falling out with in 2006. 


Ben Grussi  21:47

On September 24 of 2005 Roosterteeth got a four page spread on Tom's Hardware that really popular website entitled Past, Present and Future entitled The Cult of Red vs. Blue. 


Ben Grussi  22:02

On September 25, Atlas Productions The Awakening Comes Full Circle with its final episode released. This is the three part series that April Hoffman produced in the Sims 2 and this is it's chilling in quite interesting finale.


Ben Grussi  22:20

On September 29th, MTV presents a feature that was about Roosterteeth and titled that Machinima Pros Make a Living Playing Halo with Their Feet. And on September 29, Paul Marino lectures at then, at MIT the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to the class of comparative media studies about what is machinima? 


Ben Grussi  22:45

And then finally, for 2006 September 3, the very first Machinima Asian Film Festival is held in Asia. It was held on November 25, and 26th. 


Ben Grussi  22:58

On September 24, of 2006, Male Restroom Etiquette Phil Rice's magna opus of the very very very popular of the Sims 2 production was released to the public. 


Ben Grussi  23:12

On September 15, Reallusion the makers of a clone is has announced that it was sponsoring the machinima Film Festival for 2006.


Ben Grussi  23:22

On September 17, Overman's or Phil Rice's, Male Restroom Etiquette is front page stuff on, which is a big deal it's like Slashdot with over 500 gigs at that time of that note.


Ben Grussi  23:36

On September 9 29th. Doc Nemesis of Binary Picture Show, assisted with the machinima workshop for the FDMX, the Film and Digital Media Exchange as an experiment if machinima is a viable educational tool.


Ben Grussi  23:53

On September 29, Red vs. Blue season five premiered in 2006. 


Ben Grussi  24:00

And on September 29, Male Restroom Etiquette, got top billing on the and put on the front page on Quite a milestone. 


Ben Grussi  24:13

And finally, on September 30, Paul Marino points out in an interview with Steve Sullivan from Industrial Light and Magic on the new toolset that he was tasked to make for George Lucas to advance filmmaking tools entitled Zvis. Machinima is mentioned and compared over a video effects world and it was written by Barbara Robinson, the link the link to the article is in the show notes like but all the other films. 


Ben Grussi  24:41

Thank you for listening to this long list. It's incomplete as always, but I did my best to make sure it was complete as possible. So please enjoy and thank you so much for for your patronage. Right. Thank you so much. Bye bye.