Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Movies? Schmoovies!

For the Atopic festival in Paris last December a jury of 13 respected media experts and commentators selected 23 films from the 67 machinima submissions. Nothing remarkable in that, and the final list was a good representation of all that's good in machinima at the moment.

However, there was a comment in the notification email which intrigued me. It said;

"This selection shows that Machinima has matured in the use of the tool and was able to develop a narrative and aesthetic quality. However, it lacks more proposals relating to experimental and to the documentary. Machinima is still too inspired by the cinematic codes."

And it was that last bit about still being too inspired by cinematic codes that caught my attention. Ever since I began playing around with machinima I've considered cinema to represent the ultimate benchmark. If I could make movies which looked good on a cinema screen, and could entertain a cinema audience then that would be a major achievement. So that has always been my goal.

Now I don't think I've been barking up the wrong tree. Personally I have no desire to make documentaries in machinima, and to do successful experimental movies I think you have to be very, very good. Which I'm not. But I did take heed. What other visual medium could I turn to for inspiration?

My new movie, a dark little production called Trichophagia, is drawing some of it's visual themes from comic books. We're in the home straight now, and I hope to be able to publish it soon. Here's an image which is used as part of a flashback sequence. Note that this is a movie, it's not all static images like this.


  1. I agree, I think your films are worthy of the name and I don't think there's a higher target to aim for. But I am really looking forward to your new film to see what you'll come up with next!

  2. 100% agree with you on this. I get the feeling that there are more and more calls for experimental stuff, which IMHO is to movies what Damien Hurst is to art... i.e. almost nobody's cup of tea.
    I personally love what you do. Your work is well executed and intelligent, and doesn't rely on haemoglobin to make up for poor writing. I look forward to the next.

  3. It seems that machinima gets bashed by the film community whichever way it goes. If it tries to be different, it's slated for not being "proper" film. If it tries to be more conventional, it should be more experimental.

    Ignore the juries, and make the movies you like making, and be influenced by whatever you like.

  4. Lookin' good. And by the looks of the graphic, it could hold it's own as a comic book story in pictures as well.

  5. Thanks for the encouraging support everyone! @Lux - hope you're not going to be disappointed by Trichophagia - it might feature a small amount of haemoglobin... but tastefully done of course!