And Now For Something Completely Machinima

Completely Machinima 9.1 September 2021 Phil Rice's Film OBIT

October 07, 2021 Ricky Grove, Tracy Harwood, Damien Valentine, and Phil Rice
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
Completely Machinima 9.1 September 2021 Phil Rice's Film OBIT
Transcript Chapter Markers

Phil returns to the podcast after a couple of months away, yay!!!  Ricky, Phil, Tracy and Damien discuss Phil’s new RDR2 machinima film, Obit, with snippets of its Marco Simone soundtrack.


film, machinima, red dead redemption, game, phil, thought, capture, ricky, talking, sound, podcast, religion, footage, music, knew, composer, characters, funeral, story, wrote


Damien Valentine, Tracy Harwood, ANFSCM, Ricky Grove, Phil Rice


ANFSCM  00:01

And Now For Something Completely Machinima.


Ricky Grove  00:08

And welcome to the And Now For Something Completely Machinima podcast. My name is Ricky Grove and I'm here with Damian. Hello, Damien. Hi, Ricky. And Tracy Harwood. Hi, Tracy. Hey, how you doing? And a big welcome back to Phil Rice, who has been away for a while and joining us again. Hi, Phil. Hey there. We missed you very much. Welcome back. 


Phil Rice  00:31

I missed you guys too. Thank you.


Ricky Grove  00:33

Sure. Oh, and just so you remember,


Phil Rice  00:38

I agree with Ricky 100%. Yeah, we're gonna talk about that later. 


Ricky Grove  00:47

Those episodes didn't work out as well as I had hoped. 


Phil Rice  00:52

Well, it sounds like it worked out great for you


Ricky Grove  00:57

I should probably do a phony apology. So I'm really,


Phil Rice  01:03

really sorry about that.


Ricky Grove  01:07

Okay, we're going to be posting four episodes in October of 2021. The first is the one you're listening to right now. And we'll cover Phil's recently released excellent machine of a film Obit. We'll talk to him about the making of the film, we're going to share our reactions. The second episode will be our machinima news podcast and there's lots of really great news this time. And then our film section, which is increasingly becoming my favorite part of all of our podcast recording. And our theme is going to be horror and Halloween. And our fourth episode will be our machinima discussion, where we'll examine ideas and concepts around machinima, filmmaking, and the machinima real time community. And then of course, Bill Grussi, will share his machinima history near the end of the month. And as always, you can listen to our podcasts on our website or through your favorite podcast, aggregate Apple podcast, Google, And notes and links for each episode will be on our blog at And by the way, we got some authentic feedback this month, Phil, you answered most of them... who wrote to us?


Phil Rice  02:20

Yeah, we did and actually, to say it came in this month is a very liberal use of that term. Let's just say I'm catching up in some regard here for example, CJ Ambrosia the the guy behind the the the series from from kind of a classic machinima era Peds. Yep. Which was made in Grand Theft Auto. He finally got around to wrapping up that series by cutting and producing a few more episodes. He did that actually in December of 2020. Let me know about it in June. And so now, four months later, I'm finally telling everybody else but sorry, CJ, but I've gotten to watch some of them. I haven't watched them all yet. But yeah, he's he's basically bringing some closure to a long running series. That was very enjoyable at the time, so we'll be sure to include a link to that. He gave us some, some links and I believe the whole series, all the seasons are available if you wanted to get caught up on that. Yeah. We got some feedback from Zeke365, who's written into us before talking, he had some comments. Very good comments on one of the discussion topics that you guys did last month I believe about long form machinima. He was he was very verbose in his comments I'm not gonna read the whole thing here right now but his he basically kind of weighs in a somewhat similar way to the conclusion you guys came to which is that machinima is just not as well suited for long form as it is for short and he would love to see a revival of an emphasis on short form because he feels like that's where machinima really shines. Yeah, I kind of tend to agree with them. There's some exceptions for sure. Someone who's signed their feedback Blotto's Typist says hi, I stumbled upon your podcast was pleasantly surprised to find a discussion of the Petrovski Flux video in your most recent episode. He wrote this in August. It's been over a decade since we built that structure. So it's fun to see the ways that it's been kept alive. The machinima you featured is among my favorites. So thank you Blotto's Typist for that. And finally, someone by the name of Volsky wrote in said I saw a notification regarding your comment on my machinima Address Unknown Max Payne. He was actually one of the ones and for any of the rest of you out there, we we try to put comments on the YouTube videos that we discuss on here to let you know that we've talked about 'em. And there's been a weird thing with that I know Ricky is investigating where YouTube is deleting some of those comments maybe Yeah, links in I'm we're not really sure what's happening there. But anyway, thank you Volsky for writing in and yeah, we did enjoy that, that film. So that's it.


Ricky Grove  05:31

Yes, thank you so much for contacting us. It's a welcome relief from the absolutely absurd spam comments that we be getting, I think I deleted 43 of them. And one of them was like, really like your excellent post. We have to post more like this. And then a link, you know. So thank you very much. We're finally getting out to the community. We appreciate that. Yes.


Tracy Harwood  06:02

That's a fact. And just to pick up on Blotto's comment, we're also featuring Petrovski Flux in the interview that is released actually, as we're recording here released this coming week with Sarah Higley. Excellent, because that was one of the filming locations for her Lover's Confession as well.


Ricky Grove  06:25

Excellent. The music you're listening to now is by Marco Simone. It's the soundtrack for obit short machinima film created in Red Dead Redemption two by our very own Phil rice. Phil, as many listeners are aware of the making machine of film machinima films for almost two decades now. He's one of those filmmakers seems to push machinima forward and show the community that machinima can be an art form if you pay attention to detail, and make your stories personal. At least that's how I see it. Phil, I want to congratulate you on Obit. And I want to ask you a little bit about the music. How did you come across Marco Simone's music for this film?


Phil Rice  07:29

Well, the music... It's interesting. I found a couple of pieces by a different composer whose name I don't have right here in front of me. But it was solo guitar kind of experimental in nature over on the Free Music Archive. And I really wanted to use that. In fact, I had already constructed my initial edit of the film timed to that music. And so I reached out by the only contact information that I could find for this guy is an American composer who was born in somewhere in the Far East, I want to say Bangladesh, I'm not 100% sure on that. Well, I never got a response from him. I waited about a month, tried a couple different times. And so then I'm just kind of stuck with well, according to the terms of the license posted with that music, it's not one that I can just go ahead and use and tell him you know, I needed permission. So then then began the hunt for I've got to, you know, come up with some new music for this. And I, I had done enough searching to find that original soundtrack that i i i knew it wasn't just out there already made, that I really needed someone to really score this. I thought about trying to do it myself and ultimately just realized I don't have the guitar skill set for this. And it's got to be guitar. So my search ended up leading me to Fiverr believe it or not. And I went through a ton of different musicians on Fiverr, listening to their demos and such and basically I found Marco on there. And it turns out, he had never sold a gig yet on Fiverr. He was brand new to it. But his demo was exactly the style I was looking for. So I reached out to him and said hey, here is and I was very upfront with him about the story I just told you about the music that I wanted to do, I can't get permission for it. So I want something original. I don't want it to sound just like that. You know, you do your style, but and I kind of divided the film up into segments and we negotiated a price for services and yeah, he composed it, like over over a weekend. Wow. It was amazing. And, and I didn't have to have him do any retakes at all. It was perfect. And so yeah, that's that's how the, the main part of the music came together as he actually had my edit of the film that he could watch with sound off. And he played while watching it. Oh, that sounds great. Yeah, it's I've always always wanted to score a film that way. You know, I mean, that's what John Williams does with the orchestra. You've seen those with you know, for that stuff. It's amazing course that's, that's a lot more planned. This was very improvisational, you know, I mean, he right away, he got the western vibe. I knew it was part of his, his skill set as far as styles go. And he was so excited. He's from Italy. And so in a lot of spaghetti westerns are, you know, have that, I can't remember the composer that did the one for all of cleany [Enico Morricone]. There we go. So he had grown up learning guitar, and with a very much a native appreciation of that style and that approach, so it was just the perfect fit. So once I had his guitar recording, then I just I felt like I want to add a little bit something more. And years ago, my wife had got me at my request, this drum that's like, kind of like a giant tambourine with some kind of animal skin stretched over it and some bells around it and all that kind of thing. And I fiddled around with it at the house from time to time and I'd always wanted to use it in score so I did the same thing. I watched the movie with listening to his score. And I think there's the third take was the keeper just did some just improvised little ornamentation. Yeah, with that with that drum. And so yeah, that's that's how it came together. So the entire, the score is all very improvised. There was never anything written. Nobody specified oh, use this key and this tempo none of that. And and I liked that I felt like that, that, that that captured the spirit of what I wanted there. So my thanks to Marco I hope I hope he listens to this, I'm going to tell them about this episode for sure.


Ricky Grove  12:26

Music and the sound effects, including your your lovely drum playing was my favorite parts of the film. I mean, I really really love the whole film but the music in particular was it just set the mood and for each scene, and each each section of it just played so perfectly. And I love the fact that the sound effects were very subtle, all the way through it. Now there were some sounds in the game created right like the crow. And yeah,


Phil Rice  12:58

How I ended up doing that was the game has... Red Dead Redemption 2 has just an amazing soundscape. I mean, we just, if you just wander around, there's this whole blanket of sounds all around you. But obviously, with the kinds of cuts that I had to do for the editor of the film, that that resulted in some discontinuity in the sound that came from the captured footage [Right. Right]. So almost without exception, those were overdubbed but what I did is I actually went back to the locations in the game where those scenes took place, and just did sound capture Hmm, actually I did video capture through OBS, but then I just you know, stripped out the video and just used these beds of audio so that it would there would be a consistency to it. Right and that was kind of the under undercurrent for the different scenes. And then there's certain things that that I augmented with either sounds that that I made on the fly or some through free sound which I credited for things that needed specific timing like when the preacher is walking up in the grass, you know that crunchy footstep, the cigarette smoking. It's very subtle, you have to have headphones really to catch that but the sounds of him puffing on a cigarette and then exhaling. The game actually does a really good job with those but again, it was a continuity thing with the cuts that it was cutting off breaths and things like that. So that all ended up getting overdubbed as well. So yeah, the end result is a lot of the game sound is a part of that atmosphere. But it wasn't from the it wasn't from the footage capture in order to to have a little bit more control over it [Right]. The well was was all added afterwards because I really, the timing of that was very important to me. Yeah.


Ricky Grove  15:04

Trace your Damon, do you have any questions for Phil?


Damien Valentine  15:08

Oh, yeah, I do. Because I remember, when you two, just talking about RDR2 before and one of our previous podcasts, one of the things that you guys were talking about was how difficult it would be to actually use the engine to film something. So when I watched this, I thought, how did you do that? Because I remember that conversation very clearly as going through your mind all the way through. So what did you end up doing to make this actually possible?


Phil Rice  15:36

You know, over the years, I've done so many different films of varying lengths. Never has there been so much footage captured for a film as this one [wow], we're talking eight to 10 hours of footage to sift through. That's after throwing away obvious, you know, no good takes eight to 10 hours of usable footage. Because there was a lot of unpredictability, even with the tools that I was using, and a lot of trial and error, to get things to behave the way that I needed. The ride in was fairly simple, once I figured out how to place a camera. You'll notice on the ride in shots, most of them are static. And basically, that's me controlling the guy riding way in the background, but the cameras stationary. The shots of the ride end that are moving are using the built in cinematic camera in in Red Dead Redemption, which which you really don't have very much control over that I think you can force it to change perspective. But you it's just improvising and grabbing angles. So I just had to do that a whole bunch. And knowing the path that he was going to take through different landscapes to try and keep a sense of continuity there if he's coming down from the mountains, and then getting closer to civilization. So I'm recording all this footage in the mountains, and then all this footage kind of in the intermediary forest, and then all this footage in the open, just crazy amount of footage.


Tracy Harwood  17:16

But that conveys really well this sort of, you know, I mean, this cowboy is clearly living out in the wild. And it kind of portrays the sheer distance that he's traveling to come into his dad's funeral. I think that that, that sets the mood of the piece of what, what, um, you know, was that was that a deliberate thing that you tried to set the tone of emotion without voice? And then you did it through music, but it was all you know, pretty much the mood of the character - you're lead characters. He doesn't utter a word.


Phil Rice  17:56

That was that was very deliberate. Yes, yes.


Tracy Harwood  17:59

Brilliantly done. So brilliant. Thank


Phil Rice  18:00

you, thank you.


Tracy Harwood  18:02

But But you wouldn't be able to have done that. I don't think unless you've got that sort of up in the mountains down in the forest down in the you know, going through the ravine and what have


Phil Rice  18:12

you. Yeah. And I knew there was a bit of a risk there with a you know, to have a I think the final cut ended up being around 13 close to 14 minute film. And the first however many minutes are just, I mean, at first there's you don't even see the rider, it's just this sunset. And I was really wondering if that would be perceived as you know, gratuitous or something, you know, of what it was, it was, to me that was an important part of the story. In fact, I did with the help of Evan Ryan, a good friend of mine, we did a we did a second edit of the film to get it under 10 minutes for Milan. Okay, that's the only reason and I debated with myself about I don't want to do that because I already feel like every part of this is really essential. But it's you know, you weigh it against what I also want people to actually see this movie, and this is a good way to do that. Yeah, so I don't think I'll ever publicly release the cut that I sent in from Milan, but because I really feel like that 13 minutes, 51 seconds or whatever it is. I mean, I pained over every second of every frame of that too. And yeah, it's very deliberate and it's it's it's Yeah, the Okay, so the, the intent of having the main character say nothing that was always part of the idea that there was never anything ever written for him. I knew that I wanted to, after having experimented with Red Dead and seeing some of the expressions that were possible and some of them that were even accidental, you know, just incidental stuff that somebody motion captured for that game, I thought there's enough here, where if I if I edit it right, he can communicate a lot. Yes without saying a word. And boy is that not a strong point for machinima generally... Unreal and Unity now the amount of country I clone even the amount of control you have over facial expression, you can pull it off, but never have I seen a game give you that to get you there so far.


Tracy Harwood  20:33

That's exactly what I was, you know, sort of getting to the fact that you've managed to portray that level of communication a) without him speaking and b) without using any kind of facial mocap to animate the face as well. But never does it come through more than when he's actually having that conversation with his mum. If I can put it that way. No, you're right. As you know, there's words passed there, but neither of those speak and in fact, one of them you just looking at the back of them. That's, that's really, really well done. And do you know what I was I was kind of looking at this, I was thinking, there are several things that I really enjoyed about this. One is that it's clearly, you know, to kind of rewind, the way I read the film was that this is a guy that, you know, he's a, he's a, he's a cowboy, he lives in the wild. And, you know, I mean, this is probably not how you intended, it's how I read it. So this guy comes in, and he's preached to, by a guy who lives a different type of life. And so the satire for me is on life and death, and the different perspectives of it, and the role of religion versus the natural way of things, which is also what I read into it. Yeah. And then, the other thing that I picked up on and I don't know if this was intentional, but was this this, to me was more than a passing reference to that classic painting by Grant Wood, American Gothic. Don't if you know that, that that painting, which, which basically is a satire on rural values and survival in the Midwest in the 1930s. And I know you're talking about slightly different time span here but for me, what you then managed to capture because I've got that cultural reference in my head there, whether this somehow sits between being painterly and filmic. And the fact that you've got the stills of the faces of the characters, which we've talked about before we talked about it when we discussed Haunter of the Dark, couple of months back on the fact that the stills, you know, sort of like a series of stills rather than a film that you're looking at, I think this is coming through here, as well as it's like grittiness and the the contemplated quality that kind of comes through with, with that kind of series of stills that you're looking at, and that journey, you've got a journey in there, which, you know, it's not, it's, it's not in the scenes, but it's in the sentiment of it. And that voiceless emotion, which is so well conveyed in that story for me, so I thought that was such a brilliant film. Something I've never seen you do before Phil, and it was absolutely brilliant. So very well done.


Ricky Grove  23:25

Thank you. Yeah, by the way, the excuse me, second, the, the, the coming down out of the mountains is a classic, Western, iconic thing. If you remember the beginning of Shane, the film Shane, he comes down out of the mountains into the valley, many other Western films do the same John Ford's films, they show a person coming down out of the mountains, and it's this stranger who's coming down into this familiar place to change everything; things are gonna change when they get there. So as soon as I saw that, I latched right onto that, and I went, oh my god, this is just great. Because I had rewatch Shane not too long ago. And I was thinking and then the commentary in the room, they were talking about that being a trope, but I thought, oh, this is so great.


Tracy Harwood  24:20

But then he goes from, you know, from whence he came, so he's not interested in changing it. He just


Ricky Grove  24:26

Well he did. He did, he did change things. But that change is ambiguous,


Tracy Harwood  24:33

or imaginary.


Ricky Grove  24:35

Well, same thing.


Phil Rice  24:37

Right? Right. Really well, about that, just in case I'll try to avoid talking about this in spoiler fashion. But the section that you're talking about Tracy where it's revealed that at least part of this may not have happened the way that it initially appeared, right. The imaginary aspect of it. That was not the original cut of the film, the original cut of the film, I just had him walk away with the person still laying there. And I completed the edit, hadn't got into soundtrack, anything at that point. But I'd completed the edit, and just kept watching it and watching it and just something just wasn't right. And I don't even know how to put a finger on what it was. But so I just thought I want to try something. And so I went back and had to recut certain shots and things to make it work. And then yeah, when that when when I saw that cut together and added a few seconds to the film, I want to say, you know, 15-20 seconds, I think. I just thought yeah, that's it. And that's a trope, too. I mean, that's that, that fantasy sequence type of thing. Right, it's been done. But I don't think that that means that it can't still be done well, for sure. And used in a good way. You know, I mean, you want to be innovative, but you also don't want to ignore, like you said, Ricky, the thing with coming down out of the mountains. I knew, as I was putting that together, I thought yeah, I've seen this, you know, I've seen this type of this, whatever this is, I've seen it before. Maybe not quite this way. But yeah, I was conscious of that. Even if I wasn't, I didn't use any specific film to refer to for that. But I knew that it had. I've watched so many westerns. Yeah, I knew. Okay, yeah. But this is the appropriate place to use that for what I'm doing. So yeah, I'm, I'm so glad for your your feedback. And it's, I kind of get goosebumps talking about this film, honestly, because I I don't mean this. I hope this doesn't come off as as arrogant because it's not. But I know, I know. It's something special. I knew that as I was making it that oh, wow. I've never done something like this, you know, this is this is something this is really something.


Ricky Grove  27:17

Well, you know, I wanted to know a little bit about the background of the story. Sure. Did, you came up and I know there's, err, religion is an important thing in your life. And it's interesting that religion doesn't come off very well, in this particular story. So I don't


Phil Rice  27:35

come along very well. And many of my Where did


Ricky Grove  27:39

the story come from? Had you been mulling it over for years, or?


Phil Rice  27:45

Yeah, when I was 19, or 20, my grandfather on my mother's side passed away. It was while I was in my first or second year of college, so 25-30 years ago, 30 years ago. And so I got invited to come to his funeral, which was out of state. And my dad offered to fly me up there so I could come. And I'm not, not normally someone that's big on, on those kinds of things. But this grandfather was very dear to me. And his, his death was, and he wasn't a young man, but it was it was sudden, and it was unexpected, and I just really wanted to be there. And when I attended the funeral, essentially the, the actual eulogy that the minister gave, and then subsequent conversations among others who had come from from the church. He was not a church going guy. He was he didn't profess any any faith or religion. But he was a good guy, you know, and even more so than because that's subjective, right? You know, he thought he was a good guy. And I probably didn't know everything about him. But I loved him dearly. And that that was essentially the eulogy that was delivered, which was, you know, well, he's good guy took care of his family but you know, he didn't. He didn't say that the secret password we've all agreed on is what you have to do to have any kind of reward after this life is over. So the best we can hope for is that while he lay there unconscious, maybe, maybe he did it, then you know, but otherwise. And I was just shocked. Of course, it's like, even outside the context of the religion, it's just like this. This is what you're going to say. You know, and there's my grandmother right there. You know, mourning, and there's my mom, his daughter, they're all there listening to this, and I'm thinking that's, that's the best you've got, that's the best you can come up with. I mean, for crying out loud lie or something. I mean, have good grief, you know. So it. It was a formative event for me on this growing sense that I had that maybe not religion as a whole, but certainly the religion I'd been raised with, was bankrupt in some way if that was the best thing I could come up with, for my dear granddad. And it's haunted me. When I've talked about this story with people, which I haven't talked frankly about it to more than maybe two people in my whole life before this film. I always talk about the story as it's a ghost that has haunted me. Even as my perspective from angry young man, you know, has evolved since then, and has even evolved in a faith direction, the ghost is still there, it's still as a story as an event haunts me. And in a similar way to the Nine Inch Nails video I did 12 years ago, which was sent around the story of this boy who had passed away one Oh, that's all it's same thing. The same kind of story, it's a ghost that had stuck with me, this is this is another one of those. And it was a way to let's deal with this. You know, and the film doesn't give any answers. It just tries to treat it authentically. Now, the setting is different, and the people are different. But and maybe even what, what led me to change, the ending to the, to the fantasy sequence thing was a reflection of how I've changed and how I come to look at it, you know, in terms of I think that 19 year old boy that experienced that about his granddad, it wouldn't have been out of the question for him to do violence against someone saying that even though I lacked the courage or the conviction to do so, of course. There was no fist fight at my granddad's funeral. Just Just to be clear, that's probably a good thing. But boy, did I want to, you know,


Ricky Grove  32:37

yeah, yeah.


Phil Rice  32:40

So, yeah, that's, that's, I've rambled on too long about it. But that's that's the story. It's It is based on a true story. I chose not to put that into the credits of the film. Because I, I feel like that, that messes with expectations a little bit, I guess, because that's been used in so many different ways. I just thought, now let's just tell this as a story. And it'll be my thing and whoever I talked to about it, to know that it's got roots in a real experience.


Ricky Grove  33:13

Well, you know, people artists who create authentic art are people that use their own lives, to tell their stories, and it's their skill, and craft that allow them to shape it into something new and original. And when you do that, the art has a glow, a kind of specialness to it. And almost all of your work has that, Phil, you're one of the reasons why machinima is an important way to tell stories. And every time you do something, it's always interesting, but this particular film to me has to be your very best. Which is saying a lot because you've been around for two decades in machinima. But I think the combination of your craft, the care of and what you you craft that each moment and each scene combined with your own personal experience in it, just made it just a revelation. I don't think I've Red Dead Redemption, you're going to you're going to put machinima making ahead. We're going to push it forward but also in particular in Red Dead Redemption, because it shows what can be done. You're a leader. And I'm so proud of you for for doing that. And so it's good to know that while you were away, you were doing something constructive instead of gambling or pouring and things like that.


Phil Rice  34:42

In fairness, most of the work on this was done earlier in the year, it was only the the wrap Oh, okay. Okay stuff that I finally got the final cut done and got it coordinated it...


Ricky Grove  34:56

So tell our listeners how they can see your film. Felt


Phil Rice  35:01

Well, we'll put links to it in the show notes here. I do have it on my YouTube channel, my youtube channel is zsOverman. I've got it on my Vimeo channel as well or they could go to my website it's the top film listed over there. And hopefully, maybe we'll see what the Milan folks think of it. Not many other venues that that game based machinima can be entered into. I've been scouring Film Freeway and, and a lot of closed doors there. So but Milan is a good opportunity. So I'm excited. They actually wrote back to me and acknowledged the submission and knew who I was apparently. So they're excited. So we'll see what happens. Well, good luck. Yeah, I know, we're running a little longer than we intended here. But I wanted Damien you had asked about, that's okay. Damien, you asked about how did you do this, and I really focused on the camera work and all that. But I think probably more of what you're interested in is is the this the controlling the characters, the makeshift lip sync that was there. There was a mod that I think I'd talked about either on here, or maybe on my twitch stream when I was doing that, called the Map Editor, which isn't available anymore. But it allowed you to place characters kind of statically in certain positions, and save that, as a scene sort of, and objects as well, like the whole, that grave site with the the tombstone and all of that those were objects that I had to place in there. They weren't they're not there in the game. They're not they're not at that location, I wanted that particular location, and then the lip sync. I knew I couldn't do real lip sync. So I basically, there was a script way with that mod to trigger certain dialogue prompts. And I found that certain dialogue prompts were at least close enough to where if I didn't linger on it too long, or that kind of thing that it could pass off for, you know, sync to what was actually being said, but unfortunately, I had to worry about that for that one character that spoke. But that's how that was done, basically. And a lot of the other stuff, the mother turning her head to look when he got there at the grave site random. I mean, I waited for it. But it's just it's part of her idle routine, eventually, she'll just look off that direction. And I noticed that so I just took just had the camera just waited, come on, come on. And then she finally looks, you know, the whole thing where the guy that the main character is kind of keeping the brim of his hat low and avoiding eye contact. And just, that's just that's built into that character. And I just happened to notice it after looking at like 100 different possible characters to be the lead. And he's the only one I saw that did that. And if I had the camera just right, it would look like that he's using the brim of his hat. To just, that's just him, he just doesn't he doesn't look doesn't hold eye contact when he's uncomfortable. That was something that I noticed that that that NPC did and just waited to capture it happening. So it was almost like working with an actor, just one you couldn't tell what to do. So the other thing that was a happy accident. And I'll close with this is I didn't I didn't plan this at all, it just happened that I noticed that this particular character, if there was a dead body, within a certain proximity, he would occasionally just look down at it and then look, look back up kind of uncomfortable and just just do this move. You know, I'm sorry, the podcast can't see it. But just looking down kind of with horror, very subdued horror. And I saw that and it was like that moment. That was the moment that I said, Yeah, this is going to be something special. Because that would just that just meant so much, you know, so then I had to course, place the dead body properly, so he'd look the right way and all the mechanics of that. But ultimately, that was just something that he only did when there's a dead body nearby. And he'd look at it and he did it more so get this Ricky the detail on this. He did it more so if he was responsible for for that dead body being there. Like if he just walked across a corpse he might look at it or whatever, but it wasn't the same facial expression. But if he had killed someone, well, he'd look at it with guilt. And I'm thinking What is this game man, you know, unbelievable. Yeah, and it's and he's not a main character. And I doubt that that actually ever happens in the real game like as a cutscene or something. So somebody just did that. And they, it's not just the motion capture but somebody programmed the AI of that NPC to look down with guilt at the person he just felled, I mean, so as much of a displeasure is this game was to work with and I will never make another Red Dead Redemption 2 film. Never. It was nightmare. And yet what a beautiful game to work with.


Ricky Grove  40:27

Oh, man, you know the result. You know, taking all of that out, and just showing what works. It's just gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.


Damien Valentine  40:35

You clear put a lot of work into into this film when it shows.


Ricky Grove  40:39

Thank you that showed.


Phil Rice  40:41

Thank you. It was hard for sure. Thank you.


Ricky Grove  40:45

Alright, let's close a little bit with Marco Simone's music for Phil Rice's new machinima film Obit.

Peds by CJ Ambrosia
Interview with Sarah Higley
Obit by Phil Rice
Marco Simone music
RDR2 soundscape
Milan Machinima Film Festival entry