And Now For Something Completely Machinima

Completely Machinima: October in History with Ben Grussi

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

Our resident Machinima historian covers the month of October in Machinima history. Full links and notes are available at

Music: Salt Lake Swerve by Maarten Schellekens

The music has not been altered from the original. 

Completely Machinima: October in History with Ben Grussi

Ben Grussi digs through the archives and summarizes the first few years of notable creations and activities in the world of machinima.  October was a busy month!


released, machinima, films, game, note, movie, series, entitled, year, marino, piece, vets, created, seasons, entries, people, matinee, national television, show notes, produce


Ben Grussi


Ben Grussi  00:10

Hello everyone. This is gonna be a little different October because the list was a little bit long so I had to put it on a diet, but hopefully the heavy hitters will make up for it. So the first two entries are actually four days apart from each other. They are The Rangers releasing Diary of a Camper, the thing that started it all off in 1996. And then four days later, Ranger Gone Bad. The first of the three trilogy is also released. And then in 1997, Stephen "Jagged" Lum, he was the one who started with the Quake movie reviews, joined the scene and started doing his reviews that had a great impact on finding the good movies out of all the, you know, many entries over the years that come actually with all the quick movies coming out in the next couple of years. So he definitely had an impact. And then a year later, we have the 1988 Circus Life Part Two was released by Donovan that's again his two parter series that I explained last month. And this rounds it off. And then again, Jagged, now joins the Planet Quake network and he rebrand himself as the Cineplex where it covers more than just quick movies. He covers all the cutscenes from a lot of different games and series so he evolved and added more to what he was offering than he was originally. Then in 2000, we have the Strange Company, which is Hugh Hancock's company releases the first four of his four title shorts that he did for a commercial project for training called The Matrix Four X One. It depends on who you said, who asked which one came out first, but I'm going to choose Control Room as the first piece that he released. As I said, it was the first commercial machinima where it was requested by a company to for his their training material. How it applied to that, I'm not sure but definitely it was notable because it was contracted to be training material. So that was the first instance that I could find of that ilk. 


Ben Grussi  02:33

Then the next year in 2001, Dark Age of Camelot. It's the also most massive multiplayer online game. We had several machinima pieces come out of that, that were quite good. One of them entitled The Scott's Man. Quite an interesting ditty, it will be in the list once I find it. So take a look at that. And then, at the end of the month, Strange Company, unfortunately had to put out to pasture the Lithtech film producer project, that whole project that a lot of the veterans know that was going to be a really high powered tool set for machinima creation using the Lithtech engine from Monolith. Unfortunately, the massive size of the project in the tools weren't very good compared to the new products that were already being released at that time. In the shownotes, there will be a link to his open letter announcing the cancellation for the nostalgic of it. And then in 2001, we have a note of the ILL Clan releasing a piece called Sorry Mrs. Ioco. It was a quick production piece that was created as a test to see how fast they could produce a short film. For the veterans, this is actually a clip that's been very hard to find. But I was able to track it down and upload it to the archives, the Internet Archive so people can check it out. Just as a warning the audio does be a little bit loud so please make sure to check your volume settings before playing it back because you might get a surprise of a spike in volume that you might not expect so just before warned before you play the clip. And then the next year after that. Eric Starfury, the one who created Devil's Covenant and The Artifact, he created the very first Unreal Tournament 2003 movie in quotations with Matinee.  He entitled it Sucker. He also released the tutorial on how he did it to use the Matinee tool create that piece. The tutorial is still available and it will be in the show notes.


Ben Grussi  04:55

In 2003, we had the second annual Machinima Film Festival that was in New York. That was the very first time after coming back from, you know, QuakeCon 2002. So the very first time at the Museum of the Moving Image. So that's of note and then Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, which is the basis of Only the Strong Survive, you know, Jason Choi and Ricky Grove's film is released in October. And then also, Dr. Nemesis releases a teaser trailer for his upcoming film, Dragons, which is set to premiere at the film festival this year, that year, is quite an interesting thing to check out. And then in 2003, as well, Epic Games begins its very first iteration of its first free version of the Unreal Engine for use for educational and non commercial projects. It was, it's was and still there's a massive opportunity for people getting into the game development or you know, filmmaking excuse me, filmmaking pursuits. So this is when it first happened in 2003. So it's been like this for 17 years. Yes, it feels very old that it's been that long, but it has produced quite a lot of amazing stuff. The Mandalorian and several other things have been born from this engine, so can't sneeze at it. 


Ben Grussi  06:26

And in 2004, Wired Magazine posted an article about how the MTV Video Mods is taking, you know, popular video game characters, like Bloodrayne and Tribes, and having them play instruments, as a lot of the vets will know or people that are familiar with Video Mods. That's where Paul Marino showed off is I'm Still Seeing Breen, the music video that played with baking breaking Benjamins. I'm so cool. So called music track, which won a few awards and so forth. So that's definitely cool. And then a big thing happened with Game On it was a combination of live video footage and machinima used in Unreal Tournament 2004 modification where they were using it to promote the Volvo V50. An actual real life car in the real world. It was a very interesting car commercial. And actually one of the vets Nathan "MuNansen" Moller was actually on the team. I didn't realize that until after looking at the credits, but definitely something to check out when you have a chance. And then Paul Marino actually was on the national television programs do you for TVs, The Screensaver he was promoting his 3d make 3d film making In a Virtual World book that he published that in in 2003, I believe. So definitely quite an interesting feat of being on national television and talking about machinima and so forth. And so obviously, OC3 Entertainment released a Unreal Tournament 2004, machinima movie, using Abbott and Costello's famous who was on first routine. The movie was created using their impersonator module, which creates highly realistic facial animation from a WAV file. It predates, you know Audio2Face, as you'll find out an Omniversus' audio tool, but it's definitely a neat piece to check out just to see just a piece if you're not familiar with it, it's kind of neat to look at it and see it any Unreal Tournament game, and it's quite enjoyable. 


Ben Grussi  08:54

And then we also have for this year as well, which is 2004, we have the Epic Games final phase - this is the last phase in their $1 million, Make Something Unreal contest finalist. They were actually quite impressively 24 finalists of machinima films, a combination of standalone films and cutscenes in single player mods, and so on, so forth. So definitely there's a few of note there lists will be in the show notes so you can check them out. I will be trying to add some of them to the Internet Archive when I get a chance. But definitely they're worthy of being on that list. Another note, same year, it software releases the highly anticipated Doom III software developers kit to the public. Unfortunately, I've not seen very much come from it, but at least again, people are allowed to have the tools in check out what they could do with those tool sets. So October Whereas when Half Life 2 was went gold, it was released to manufacturing so it was getting ready to be published for next month release. So definitely another note. And then Rooster Teeth Productions released a very first episode in their new series made in Sims 2 entitled The Strangerhood that went for two seasons, and had some really good moments, and even had Paul Marino as a very interesting character in that story as well. Also, when the Polar Express it was being promoted, there was a interesting information piece on their website and the behind the scenes section where the way they were producing the movie sounded like the techniques and the process in which the movie was being in quote, unquote filmed seemed to be really a process of using machinima, but they didn't say it by name, but it was definitely of note. 


Ben Grussi  10:58

Also in 2004, is quite interesting that the very first machinima thesis was actually written in Ireland. Quite a very interesting that someone would actually wanted to write a thesis about machinima at that time. So definitely of note. And then the game industries website Gamasutra, which is not active anymore. It's renamed a Game Developer. They reviewed Paul Marino's Art of the 3D Game Based Filmmaking giving a very favorable review. So again, the industry is taking a look at you know, machinima, again, from one of the vets. Also, another major milestone is Neverending Nights, releases their very first two videos of their grand epic, they did three seasons of their own series, just being done with two people, um, at the forefront, and even in the later stages, even one, I mean, you still had the cast and crew and whatnot. But most of the crew really was just the voice cast and one person so it's been quite amazing, their sustainability and trying to keep that series alive for this long and produce that much content. So definitely, kudos to them. Also Right Films, which is Only the Strong Survive, as they said, The Only Strong Survive was created with Max Payne 2 - that film was released. It was going to be part of a three film trilogy. Unfortunately, it didn't go to three films, it just went with one. So definitely, we reaped the benefits of just having the one because it was definitely stellar when it came out. 


Ben Grussi  12:46

Another notable definitely in a different vein from first person, third person shooters, is the flight simulator lf LIF 2 Stroganoff, I'm probably mispronouncing it. There was a very powerful film done by Mr. VH. entitled I Promise, it's an emotional journey piece into how pilot's promise to return home. It's actually the second film in a trilogy that he did. Unfortunately, only two films came out of it that I can tell the first film of that series was entitled Brother. And you'll have a link to both films in the show notes. 


Ben Grussi  13:27

For 2005, we have several notes. The first one is Lionhead declared The Movies Gold, you know, ready for manufacturing. Like I said, we'll have five two. So that's very important because we wouldn't have gotten, you know, the French Democracy and many other films from that if that didn't happen, so yay for that. Um,the other note as well, Strange Company released their Neverwinter Nights machine where the Bloodspell the very first trailer was released. And it was released on the front page of as a note, and even a huge spread of interviews and stuff on that site as well, just to mark the festivities. And another mark was Binary Picture shows that Dr. Nemesis outfit released its first episode and their new series of Bouncers which is a spinoff of Bouncers Please, but it's entitled The Prologue. Several episodes of that came to pass. But this noted it's very first episode.  Another point was made is that the official selections for the 2005 Machinima Film Festival was very packed, we had over 50 individual films, so there wasn't enough awards to give around. But definitely over 50 films got official selections of worthiness because they were able to have the quality met but just couldn't pick just one so very impressive to have over 50 entries. Another no is that PED that would be CJ. He released his season two of the season two premiere of episode 14 welcome to Liberty City for his series peds which goes on auto for another for three seasons as well. So check that out. The link is going to be in the show notes. And that's it, actually, no, actually one last thing - XFire announces the winners of the World Warcraft summer movie contest. And as you probably guessed, the Grand Wizard is Right Films' Edge of Remorse, which Ricky has been mentioning in the podcast before. So definitely the link in the show notes will let you see it if you haven't seen it already. 


Ben Grussi  16:00

Alright, that's it for October. Thank you so much for listening, and I'll talk to you in November. All right. Take care. Thank you so much.  Bye bye.