18 11/10

Machinima at SIGRADI 2010

SIGRADI 2010 announcement here

Machinima Fictions: A DIY practice to produce animated movies from Videogames
Ricardo Cedeño Montaña

Building: Edificio W.
Room: Classroom 101
Date: 2010-11-18 04:20 PM – 04:40 PM
Last modified: 2010-11-03


The mixture of playing videogames and producing movies has produced a new kind of moving image, a hybrid that, in the underground realm of videogames, has silently lured thousands to enter its territories. In the late 1990s, devoted players started to use videogame software for movie production. Their activity molded a narrative medium called ‘machinima’. Two recent productions are discussed to describe the various facets of this phenomenon in order to present the features that make up machinima and how it is relevant to popular culture.

KEYWORDS: machinima, videogames, hybrid, real-time, do-it-yourself (DIY).

Update (28.feb.2011)

13 07/09

Machinima movie: 1k Project II (2006)

Swarms, replicas, machinima
The screen is filled by a yellow sport car running across town on a sunny day. Soon, a swarm of a thousand replicas of the yellow car are running, smashing, and crashing against the trees, walls, and pavement of the town. No window is opened, no one in the town dares to see what happens outside. The furious cars jump over bridges, over roofs, over street lights, and frenetically descend into a perfectly clean highway. Nothing stops the riot nor the architecture nor its own chaotic behaviour. To the repetitive rhythm of a popular electronic song, a yellow moving stain covers the town. A plastic beach appears on the horizon just one last bridge. The camera soars over the roofs and enters a tunnel to engage in the madness. Hysterically, it traverses a rain of yellow dots to fiercely collide against a pixellated ocean. The flat image of a shark indicates that the movie has ended.

The 1K Project II from BlackShark on Vimeo.

Filmographic information. Ref: a.MAC 2006-05
Original title: 1K Project II Length: 3:06
Country of origin: n/a Director(s): BlackShark
Year of release: 2006 Game engine: Trackmania Sunrise®
Genre: Music video (Mashup)

05 05/09

Machinima Fictions: Colloquium

Hi, next week I will present and defend my master’s thesis in Bremen. The colloquium is public and everyone interested on is hearty welcome, for details click on the image below.


Machinima Fictions. A do-it-yourself practice to produce narrative movies from video games.

This thesis investigates the growing phenomenon of the moving image form of machinima, which has been defined as a technique that utilizes 3D video game environments to produce narrative animated movies. The main argument centers on the hybridization of media languages that machinima exhibits, allowing a cultural appreciation of this phenomenon. Two productions that promote machinima qualities such real-time and film language are examined in order to observe how these features mold the expressive potentialities machinima as a hybrid moving image medium. The metaphor of a rhizomatic, tangled surface (maraña) streams throughout the document and fosters a multifaceted view of this moving image medium.

Through my research, which encompasses the critical view of terms, the development of concepts, and a review of relevant literature, I argue that machinima is more than a technique that imperfectly imitates the conventions and codes of mainstream film and television. Instead, machinima is considered a cultural phenomenon that stems from a persistent contact with machinic entertainment media and subscribes to the current widespread do-it-yourself (DIY) mentality in media production that emphasizes production over consumption.

Chapter I. The phenomenon: machinima
A. Describing machinima
B. A hybrid form
C. Machinima’s tangled history
Chapter II. Fiction making: real-time
A. Machinima techniques
B. Real-time
C. Marionettes: A Puppet Play
D. Conclusion
Chapter III. Fiction making: The Monad
A. Hammer and Faceposer: the means
B. Virtual worlds: the context
C. Narrative form in The Monad
D. Film Style in The Monad
E. Conclusion
Chapter IV. Context: DIY mentality
A. Video games and popular culture
C. Aesthetics of DIY
D. Conclusion

Soon to be available online.
Ricardo Cedeño Montaña.

03 05/09

Machinima movie: Anna (2003)

HI, in the short history of machinima some people have already made a name because of a remarkable piece. It is the case of Katherine Anna Kang, below an excerpt from my thesis in which one of her productions is mentioned.

The founders of AMAS are active machinima producers with commercial interests. Katherine Anna Kang founded Fountainhead Entertainment in Mesquite, Texas in 2000 and maintains a close relationship with id software, which eventually helped her to develop and produce Machinimation™, the first commercially-available functional tool for machinima based on Quake III Arena™ [1, p.92]. In 2003, she produced Anna (2003) using Machinimation™.

Filmographic information. Ref: a.MAC 2003-02
Original title: Anna Length: 7:48
Country of origin: USA Director(s): Katherine Anna Kang
Year of release: 2003 Game engine Machinimation™
Genre Fantasy Game engine Machinimation™

  1. Kelland, Matt, Dave Morris and Dave Lloyd. Machinima: Making Animated Movies in 3D VirtualEnvironments. East Sussex, UK: Ilex Press Limited, 2005.

09 10/08

[Thesis] topic:machinima

my thesis topic and a word cloud draft scheme of my first chapter.

Machinima has a weird origin, and a weird definition too: machine+cinema. But basically it means producing video real-time recordings using 3d game engines. It is a cultural movement that assemblage three conceptual forces: Puppetry, cinematic language and video game simulations; and dissimilar communities: video game players and film makers. Machinima also exemplify the DIY mentality in our current media production.

Its origins:
Using video games as source material for video existed before the name was coined. Here two examples of mid 90’s. Check them out :). Both pieces release in 1996 but in two different contexts: an art gallery and a game community. Weird isn’t it?

Miracle, Milton Manetas, 1996

Diary of a camper, The Rangers, 1996