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Posts with tag documentary

World of Warcraft: Looking for Group documentary debuts at BlizzCon

This Saturday during BlizzCon, we're going to get to take a look at a new documentary about World of Warcraft, with a lot of familiar faces (seriously, the trailer alone is packed with celebrities) and an interesting perspective on how WoW took what was a pretty niche market in MMO's and made them a lot more mainstream.

My first reaction was "Wow, that's a heck of a Garona cosplay!" Which is why I headed up the post with that picture. Seriously, she looks more like Garona than Garona does. WHoever you are, Garona cosplayer, please let me know so I can put your name in this post. But beyond that, as someone who's been playing for ten years, I found it amazing to see it all laid out like that, how we were all just stumbling our way through the game, having no idea what it was or what it would lead to.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Exclusive: Watch "Race to World First" documentary free through Feb. 3

In a game where tools like the Raid Finder have democratized raiding, how does the mindset of players in top-echelon guilds pushing for world firsts differ from yours and mine? How much time do bleeding-edge guilds really put in? What tricks help them push past wipes and overcome raid challenges? How do they make up time and nudge past other guilds to claim world firsts? And why do other WoW players love to follow the action?

The whole sprawling scene plays out onscreen in the feature-length documentary Race to World First -- and you can watch it free right here at WoW Insider now through Feb. 3. (The film is also available at RacetoWorldFirst.com for a small fee.)

The Looking for Group Productions film, begun back in the day when clawing to a top spot on raiding progression charts was perhaps at its cut-throat peak, follows a handful of top-tier WoW guilds in their sprint to the top. Producers John Keating and Zachary Henderson conducted some of the early interviews for Race two years ago at BlizzCon 2010's WoW Insider reader meetup, including familiar faces like WI Editor Adam Holisky and GM/actress/huntress extraordinaire Michele Morrow.

Get a peek at this film for free while you can right here at WoW Insider. Who knows what in-game challenges you might feel up to tackling after seeing that much fiery motivation in action?

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Raiding

Race to World First documentary releasing soon

Looking for Group Productions has been hard at work on its documentary Race to World First for a good long while now, capturing many top-tier World of Warcraft guilds' attempts at claiming coveted world firsts in the raiding game as well as following Blood Legion's race to a top spot. Set to release in a few weeks, Race to World First looks like it's going to be an introspective look at the time and energy that many of these guilds put into the raiding game, as well as an examination of the multicultural nature of the game and the general excitement that goes along with MMO accomplishments.

Each week, Race to World First looks at clips from players in guilds that have been fighting for or actually achieved world firsts. Looking back a bit, this clip with Narilka of Ensidia chronicles her time spent with the guild downing Kil'jaeden at the end of The Burning Crusade when she was still just 16 years old.

We loved having the Race to World First production team at the WoW Insider reader meetup at BlizzCon in 2010 -- they were some of the nicest guys and had a blast talking to real players and real fans. I am excited to see this documentary. Check out the trailer -- you might even see some familiar faces!

Filed under: Raiding

"The Raid" movie documentary examines WoW raiding

If there's anything I've learned over the years as a gamer, it's to approach films and TV shows about games or gaming with extreme caution. Be it cinematic game-to-film monstrosities like the Street Fighter movie or sensationalist "documentary" garbage like the fifth estate's Top Gun, there always seems to be a disconnect between the people operating the camera and the subjects they're trying to portray. World of Warcraft in particular has received plenty of positive and negative attention, but in recent years, there has been an increasing movement among geeky creatives to try their hand at explaining the game and the phenomenon of its popularity through all sorts of projects. The Raid is one of those projects.

The Raid is a short, 20-minute documentary that sets out to understand not World of Warcraft itself but raiding in the game. What raiding is, how it's different than in other single- or multi-player games, and what makes it so compelling are all touched on by the documentary. Some of the topics might seem rudimentary to actual raiders, but that's because the target audience of the film isn't raiders but rather their friends, family, and any other outsiders who struggle to understand what it is that we're doing within the game. That doesn't mean actual players won't have a reason to watch the documentary, though; raiders will easily be able to connect with the narrative of the film and the players featured in it.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Interviews

15 Minutes of Fame: Film pros shoot raiding lifestyle documentary


Video has NSFW language near the beginning.
15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft personalities of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, from the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

It used to be that any mainstream media coverage of gaming that didn't completely denigrate gamers rated rabid cheering and high-fives all around. Things have gotten better in recent years, but we're often left with a sense of lingering embarrassment when journalists miss the boat and ask all the wrong questions from all the wrong angles. It's with great relief, then, that we report on documentary project that's working hard to get it right. LFG Productions, the brainchild of two film industry vets who are also WoW players, is filming a behind-the-scenes look at the intersection of hardcore raiding and real life by following a top-ranked PvE guild through the post-ICC lull and into the coming expansion. (See a sample of some of the raw footage they've collected at last year's BlizzCon, above.) Documentary co-creator John Keating, aka Xod of <Royal Militia> on Bleeding Hollow (US-A), has been corresponding with us for months now about the LFG Productions team's efforts to put its finger on an accurate portrayal of the hardcore raiding lifestyle.

Read more →

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Rich Maloy's Big Crits web series makes its debut

WoW.com enhancement shaman columnist Rich Maloy (also known as Stoneybaby of Bighitbox) has been hard at work for months producing Big Crits, an unscripted web series that chronicles a new guild as they work through end-game raiding content. In Rich's own words:
"I'm producing a new web series that will be the Real World (of Warcraft). The guild and the show are called Big Crits. It's a reality series about the interaction of people in an end-game raiding guild. The tagline is: Real people conquering a virtual world.

The vision is simple: show how people from all walks of life work together to accomplish great things online."
And now, at last, Big Crits has just released its premiere episode, with a second following closely behind later this week. Those who wish to follow the exploits of the Big Crits crew can check out the first episode above or on bigcrits.com, where new episodes should appear once a week.

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Fan-created documentary about BlizzCon: An event for fans

Reader Encifer sent us a link to this excellent fan-directed documentary short about BlizzCon. Just a few days ago, I kind of panned the LA Times for treating BlizzCon as such an alien thing, but this video kind of takes a different look at the same event -- instead of coming at it from an outsider perspective and treating it as if it's something 20,000 crazy people do over a weekend, it's much more about how exciting it is to be a part of an event this big. I don't know, maybe the difference is just something I see, but this fan documentary, I think, does a really great job of showing just why BlizzCon is so great, while the LA Times piece, in my view, kind of dismissed its subjects even as it was portraying them.

At any rate, Chris Nguyen did a terrific job on this -- he says that he created the short film to prepare for a few doc film classes he's going to be taking, as well as challenge his doc-making skills, and it seems like he did just that. He interviewed two of his former guildies, as well as the winner of this year's costume contest, as you can see in the video. And he says the whole thing was shot over the two days at BlizzCon and then took about eight more days to edit. Definitely a fun little film to watch, and if you've never been to BlizzCon before, it'll give you a nice look at just what it's like to show up in a hall with thousands of people who play the same games that you do every day.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Beyond the Game examines the lives of Warcraft III players

This isn't about World of Warcraft, but it will be familiar to some of you who spent hours building up bases and creating Spirit Towers. Beyond the Game is a new documentary from the Netherlands about two world-famous Warcraft III players and how the game has affected their lives and the people around them. It looks intriguing -- having been to a few gaming tournaments and interviewed a few of the top players myself, I agree that these guys are living some really strange lives. Even if you're not a Warcraft III player, this kind of esports is getting more and more popular around the world (from the old Counterstrike to WoW's Arenas, of course), and even though it hasn't quite hit the mainstream yet, more and more players are finding this kind of existence.

The film is set to be released in parts of the EU mid-March, and is being shown at a few gaming tournaments in various places around the world. There's no word on a US or DVD release yet, but we'll keep an eye out for it.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, PvP, Interviews, Fan art, Battlegrounds, Arena

WoW Moviewatch: What Happens in Booty Bay Stays in Booty Bay


(Warning: This video contains some harsh language.)

Just in time for the weekend, like a quick junket to Vegas,we offer a movie called What Happens in Booty Bay Stays in Booty Bay. The filmmaker, Brigitte Swiftblade, calls this an "RP documentary." I love this format; it's very original. Since she's playing on an RP server, she decides to follow around her pal, Zaitzegrait, and film the consequences while he tries to meet chicks in Booty Bay. Apparently Zait is quite a famous character in Trade chat (US Twisting Nether-A), so it's like she picked a celebrity for a reality show. And, in a way, a "reality show" is really what this movie is since Zait is the only one who knows why the little Dwarf Rogue is following him around so closely. (Her POV is the camera's eye.) Everyone else plays their part to perfection, albeit unbeknownst to them. The subtitles offer insight into the documentary setup and a running non-RP commentary on the action -- or Zait's lack thereof. The result is a very humorous, original movie that contains themes of love, betrayal, honor, and cross-faction hanky-panky. I would love to see more of this kind of documentary movie-making from role-players!

[Via WarcraftMovies]

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

Filed under: Machinima, Virtual selves, Humor, WoW Moviewatch, RP

WoW Moviewatch: Second Skin Trailer and SXSW

With my move to Austin complete, all that's left is to dominate South by Southwest (SXSW) this weekend. Pure West will be premiering their MMO documentary, Second Skin, on Friday, March 7th. Yours truly will be there to get the goods on all the WoW action.

Tune in this weekend for SXSW tips on video editing, sound formatting, and a slew of other fascinating topics. In the meantime, check out the high resolution version of the trailer.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: An interesting WoW "documentary"

The Bitfilm Festival is currently taking machinima submissions until March 15th, 2008. Last year, Olibith took the top prize, with "I'm Only Sleeping". This year, with machinima more popular than ever, the competition is heating up.

Alin Putinelu decided to submit this humorous documentary into the contest. He walks the viewers through the development process of a video game, while showing images and video of WoW. While I found it informative, I don't know if it's award-winning material. The easy listening music and serious voiceover were a nice touch, though!

[Via Warcraftmovies.com]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

Filed under: Machinima, Humor, WoW Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Gametrotting machinima documentary

Lifeskool highlighted machinima as part of their Gametrotting series last year. According to Jun Falkenstein, of Stone Falcon Productions, those interviewed were asked to speak to the audience as if they'd never heard of this emerging medium. While most coverage of gaming and machinima tends to miss the mark, I found this documentary to be humorous and quite informative.

Some of the juicy morsels of this short doc include commentary by Philip Debevoise, of Machinima.com, and machinima from a variety of different platforms. World of Warcraft is discussed pretty heavily in the documentary, showcasing clips from Snacky's Journal, WoW 300, the South Park WoW episode.

[Via Jun Falkenstein]

Previously on Moviewatch ...

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: Exploring the World of Warcraft


I am a great fan of documentaries. They show us a detached viewpoint on a topic that often brings new insight into the subject matter. This documentary, created by Tim Little, is no exception. As he says it's aimed at a non-gamer audience, so it takes the game from release until today, including a couple player interviews, and explains the WoW experience for those who don't play. It's like looking at a history of your family, only it's the World of Warcraft family rather than a flesh and blood familial bond.

I appreciated the footage of the global release of The Burning Crusade. When I picked up my copy there were only 19 of us standing outside the store. It's great to see the throngs of gamers and to imagine what it must have been like to be there with them. Thanks Tim for sharing this project with us. I hope you got an A.

Previously on Moviewatch...

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

WoW Moviewatch: "Level Up"

Here's a nine-minute mini-documentary on MMORPGs in general, with a focus on WoW. It attempts to investigate possibilities of addiction, effects on socialization, and the feeling most of us are familiar with that sometimes WoW is more work than play. This is perhaps not a piece that asks any new questions, but it's a nice summary at any rate. As far as addiction goes, I have to agree with Gamesfirst.com Editor in Chief Shawn Rider that talking about WoW and other MMOs in terms of addiction is generally "a way of hyperbolizing the situation to make it sound much more dramatic than it actually is."

[thanks, Dave]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, WoW Moviewatch

Videogame doc seeks "Players"

WorldofWar has what sounds like a press release from something called "Players: the Movie." Apparently a documentary crew is putting together a film about hardcore gamers, and they've sent out the call for a few willing souls (especially players of WoW and other "hardcore" games like Halo and... The Sims?) to be profiled.

The movie's website
is as bare as they come, and the casting call doesn't really sound as if they've done their homework too much on this one-- they want people with "unique life stories" and "dynamic personalities." I always thought part of documentary filmmaking was finding those yourself, but hey what do I know. If you think your story is unique enough and, more likely, you think it would be awesome to be in a videogame documentary, they want a name, phone, pic, and a "brief explanation of yourself and your love of gaming" sent to playerscasting@yahoo.com.

Just think, it could be your ticket to fame and fortune as a WoW player. Then again, it could be your ticket to a warped profile and humiliation. Either way, a great time!

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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