I have always been fascinated with all aspects of movie-making. While I understood the concept of a 'green screen', its mechanics remained a mystery. I mean c'mon, I spent most of my professional career in banking! Machinima, a portmanteau of machine cinema, is a low cost and extremely accessible means of creating computer animation in real-time. As a "ghetto" approach, all you need is a 3-D graphics engine (most commonly a video game), photo/video editing software, and some means of capturing the footage; I chose World of Warcraft, MS Paint/Sony Vegas Pro, and Fraps, respectively. Even though my machinima-making career was short-lived (I only made a handful of them, see below), the process was quite challenging. I had a blast making these movies and have a much better understanding *and* appreciation of the cinematic world.

The Phantom of WoW is a tribute to the most famous Broadway Musical of all times -- The Phantom of the Opera.

Even as one of the most celebrated and famous musical of all time, a brief synopsis follows:

The musical focuses on a beautiful soprano, Christine DaaƩ, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius known as "The Phantom of the Opera", who terrorizes the Paris Opera House. Facially deformed since birth, the Phantom is a brilliant composer and musician who hides behind a mask. Christine DaaƩ, although talented, lacks focus until the Phantom takes her under his wing and teaches her to sing.

Missing Goldshire Murloc: A movie tribute featuring some of the most popular and classic films dating from the 1930s to the current century.

The tribute includes:

1. MGM Logo (1928)
2. Gone with the Wind (1939)
3. Casablanca (1942)
4. Jailhouse Rock (1957)
5. The Blob (1958)
6. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
7. Psycho (1960)
8. Shaft (1971)
9. The Jerk (1979)
10. Flashdance (1983)
11. The Elephant Man (1980)
12. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
13. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Tess: This was my last video, and by far, my most technically challenging effort. *Points at the shadows*. Look!* In any event, it was an attempt to create a storyline loosely in sync with the music. The editing and techniques are much better than the previous two, although the content is not nearly as creative or original. Regardless, it was a fun project.

The Craft of War: BLIND by the Orson Welles of machinima, Percula. So as to not give the machinima world a bad name with my Ed Wood-like hacks, here are a few examples of people who actually know what they are doing. Percula does an *amazing* job here, especially in his editing, visual effects, and lighting (although I would guess he used something other than MS Paint as one of his editors). Characters move absolutely *nothing* like this in-game, and action is extremely difficult to model and edit. I should know since most of my characters look as though they are "moonwalking". Now I am no expert, but even with my limited experience, I can almost always tell how an expert machinimist would have created a special effect or movement (even if I couldn't replicate it myself with the hardware and tools I have). From a technical perspective, I was completely lost within the first 30 seconds after the intro, it's an editing headspin and blur thereafter. Watch it in HD (High Definition) if your computer can handle it, mine could not. 


Below: Precious Blood (right) by Legs. This is one of my personal favorites. Just stunning. Many are not as abstract and come complete with epic story lines and voice acting.  One example is Edge of Remorse by Riot Films (but without the voice acting, which isn't needed given the original score by Scott Buckley). Another one by Legs, Destination Unknown (bottom left). If it's possible for machinima to be sexy, this is it. And last, but certainly not least, Big Blue Dress by Cranius. This film contains mostly in-game footage without fancy editing, but it's undoubtedly his own original song that makes it.