What Is Machinima?
Movies, TV shows and internet exclusive shows bring great actors and moving stories. The internet has brought in more avenues of dramatic and comedic entertainment, one of them being through a form of cinematic productions known as Machinima.
Machinima (pronounced mah-shin-eh-mah) is a type of filmmaking where instead of filming actual people, you would film video games. In video games, machinma makers will go to multiplayer environments and create theatrical productions using the game as its set and props.
The actors will then provide their voices for the characters similar to what you would find in any animated show. Filmmakers will capture all of their footage using a capture card where they can later take the in-game recorded footage and make edits.
Machinima had its beginnings in the mid 1990s with a first-person shooter game known as 'Quake'. Filmmakers would have to have one of the game characters act as a camera to view all the action taking place in the production.
In 2003, Machinima would become more popular through an online series known as 'Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles,' created by a production company known as Rooster Teeth. Using the popular 'Halo' series as its set, the show has the Red and Blue army fighting each other over a boxed in canyon. Although their order are to destroy the opposing army and capture their flag, neither of them seem motivated to fight.
Comedy Central's South Park would bring Machinima to the mainstream in 2006 with their episode 'Make Love, Not Warcraft.' The episode would switch from the construction paper animated style well known in South Park and would switch to World of Warcraft, capturing in-game footage for the scenes that took place in the game itself. The episode won an Emmy in 2007.
In 2007, Halo 3 would add a Theater Mode and a Forge Mode into the game. Forge Mode allowed players to make edits and modifications to the multiplayer maps as well as add more weapons, vehicles and props. This specific mode will allow Machinima filmmakers to do more with their productions allowing them to build the set to their liking.
Theater mode would also allow the filmmakers to get the scene in camera angles once considered impossible due to character limitations.
Here are some great examples of Machinima: