The Art and Practice of Virtual Filmmaking


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About the Book

Unlike traditional animation techniques that use specialized 3D animation software, machinima—a term derived from the words “machine” and “cinema”—records the action in real-time interactive 3D environments, such as those found in video games, to create a cinematic production. No longer solely the province of hard-core gamers, machinima has become central to the convergence between animation, television, and film, but retains its own identity as a unique media format. It has evolved quickly within massive multi-player gaming and virtual platforms such as Second Life, The Sims, World of Warcraft, and virtual worlds under development. These interviews, essays, and discussions with leading machinima producers, reviewers, performers, and advocates discuss scripting basics, character development, and set design, as well as tips on crafting machinima through creative use of sound, lighting, and post-production.

About the Author(s)

Phylis Johnson is a professor and former chairperson of the Radio-Television Department at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Donald Pettit is a freelance photographer and videographer, and the CEO of Lowe Runo Productions, a media company that features machinima and video production.

Bibliographic Details

Phylis Johnson and Donald Pettit
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 327
Bibliographic Info: 8 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6171-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8838-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Foreword (Persia Bravin)      1

Introduction: Documenting Virtual Life in Machinima (Phylis Johnson)      3


1. Machinima as Moviemaking      17

With comments by Chantal Harvey: Women Making Machinima      28

2. The Right Stuff: Geared Up to Make Machinima      32

With comments by Pooky Amsterdam: Machinima Unleashed      43

3. Sounding Out the Story Line      48

With comments by Phylis Johnson: The Soundscape of the American Western      65

4. Tell Me a Story      72

With comments by Larkworthy Antfarm: The Fine Art of Machinima      91

5. Characters Come to Life      96

With comments by 1angelcares Writer: The Voices of Machinima      116

6. Setting, Lighting and Composition      123

With comments by Toxic Menges: It’s All About Pre-Production      137

7. Post- Production: Bing Bang Boom      142

With comments by Jonathan Pluskota: Aesthetics for Sound Design      159

8. Celebrating Machinima: It’s Show Time!      165

With comments by Jay Jay Jegathesan: Partnerships and Collaboration      170

9. The White Pigeon: A Machinima Example      175

10. The Fine Print (by Todd Herreman)      185

11. Expression Through Machinima: The Virtual Classroom (by Bryan Carter)      197

Conclusion to Part One: There Is No Road      206

Curtain Call (by Phaylen Fairchild)      211


The Machinima Interviews      217

Al Peretz      217

Decorgal      223

Iono Allen      235

Kate Fosk      239

Michael Gray      246

Rysan Fall      253

Wiz Nordberg      259

Roundtable One: Terminology, Technology and Practice      266

Roundtable Two: Collaboration, Commercialization and Content      288

About the Contributors      313

Index      317

Book Reviews & Awards

“in-depth look at many aspects of the world of machinima. Recommended”—Choice; “one of the best and most interesting books on machinima currently available”—Renderosity; “gathers essays and interviews highlighting technical aspects of machinima”—Reference & Research Book News.