Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What matters more in WoW machinima? Production or Script

If you are like me and check forums and websites related to your favorite MMO then you've probably stumbled across more then your fair share of machinima videos. A few years ago these videos mostly consisted of people putting together clips of their greatest in-game kills while playing Linkin Park in the background. This has been slowly changing as series like Red vs. Blue showed that game engines could also be used to tell a decent story.

With the release of World of Warcraft many machinima enthusiasts made use of the extensive emote system to produce better quality videos. Instead of threatening lawsuits Blizzard embraced the use of their game engine and created several contests for machinima videos. This practice caught on quickly and now several different gaming companies sponsor machinima contents each year. All of this attention has been great for the budding art form and numerous new studios and individuals have gained Internet fame.

Studios tend to have many people to work on a machinima video and they split the work between puppeteering, voice acting, and special effects. Individuals tend to work on a funny and zany script while leaving most of the production work to a simple fraps capture. Both styles of making machinima have merit though studios tend to make videos nicer on the eyes and ears. Still, individual work often seems to capture a classic Space Ghost/Adult Swim feel to it that can make it beloved by many fans.

Now I'm going to stray from general comments and go into a specific example here of where the two styles can clash. Specifically I'm talking about a machinima video called Time Gnomes 2 where the director made fun of the studio Myndflame for spending an absurd amount of time on production for their Escape from Ogrimmar video. Perhaps one of the most popular WoW machinima series out there Illegal Danish: Escape from Ogrimmar has been in limbo for over a year. The studio founders have often been criticized for releasing very short but highly polished videos while fans wait for the release of a video originally promised more then a year ago.

Recently at Blizzcon sever members of Oblivious films, who release under Myndflame, criticized that the fast release of machinima like Time Gnomes without polish was in poor taste. Some people agree with this sentiment while others continue to stress that special effects and polish take a back seat to a original script and a fast release. One has to wonder though since over the last year the rough style of WoW machinima does seem to be getting rarer as more people join studios/groups.

So I'm ending this post with a question of what sort of WoW machinima do you favor?

Videos without much polish like Big Blue Dress and Jimmy a World of Warcraft Story
Semi-professional Studio work like The Grind and Snacky's Journal.

P.S. All films can be found on Google Video or


Salud said...

It is about the script, imho. Without it you lose a lot of interest.

Drewbie said...

Well, since I help make "The Grind" by appearing in it and I'm guessing the comment your referring to was probably said by me (though I don't recall the context), I'm gonna say that there's no reason you can't spend more than a couple days to make a video that's both funny and visually appealing.

Anonymous said...

The Return owns all of those videos (Studio-made)

Drewbie said...

I'm confused about what you're referring to as "studio-made". The Return was made by 2 brothers in their off time from their jobs.