Sunday, 17 January 2010

Breaking out of the backroom

Ever since I started making machinima I've been convinced that a wider audience exists outside the confines of the internet. It's great that so many many people have taken the time to view my movies and pass judgement on them - every comment is welcomed, even if I don't always agree! And it's natural that machinma viewing should largely take place online as the internet allows everyone to showcase their creativity. However, as anyone who has ever made a machinima movie knows, it takes ages, and what better reward for all that time than being able to see your movie projected on a huge cinema screen?
I'm fortunate to have had movies shown at quite a few festivals in the last 12 months, and I was able to attend some of them. Of course, the other great thing about seeing your own movie in a cinema is that you also get to meet the audience - when someone looks you in the eye and tells you what they really think... well, somehow it has more gravity than an anonymous comment on an internet forum.
Recently, I was talking to a colleague who has just started a Film Society in his home town. Having seen some of my work he thought that it might be an idea to show it during one of their screenings. What's great about film societies is that they're genuinely interested in different types of film; art house, foreign films, classic movies, etc. So there's a possibility they'll screen something later in the year once the society is up and running.
This got me thinking... how many film societies are there in the UK? The answer is hundreds! So, on the off-chance I got in touch with the Andover Film Club who are probably the nearest one to me. I sent them a link to some of my movies and asked if they'd be interested in screening any of them - probably as a B-movie to the main feature. They were!
So, the good news is that they're going to screen Clockwork at the Reel Cinema on Monday 1st February. I'm going along to introduce it, and give a little talk about machinima, then after showing the movie they'll go on to the main feature.
I'll keep you posted how it goes, and assuming it all goes well I'll be contacting other film societies in the south to see if they'd be interested in doing something similar.
The only downside I can see to all this is it's one fewer night that I'll have to actually make movies, but in thinking about it, I make them because I want people to see them.
If you're interested in doing something similar in your home town, then a good starting place (in the UK) is the British Federation of Film Societies. Good luck!


  1. What a great idea, and congratulations! It is always wonderful to hear about machinima makers' efforts to reach a broader audience. Clockwork of course deserves to be seen, truly. And this is the kind of machinima I wish more people would have an opportunity to experience to realize the potential of the medium. Best of luck with your efforts. I wish your example would inspire more machinima makers. -Kate

  2. Way to think outside the box. Keep us informed on how it goes.

  3. Sounds like an interesting idea, and a good way to meet other film enthusiasts.-Kate

  4. Congratulations Iain! I hope your screening goes wonderfully!

    I should research the existence and locations of similar societies in the would be great for US machinimators to have such an extraordinary opportunity.

    Good luck!

  5. We are pretty devoted to trying to push machinima past YouTube so it is great to hear about your efforts in this endeavor. After all the only way to break away from YouTube is to try! Hopefully your efforts will continue to be rewarded like this and the community will benefit from it. :)