Maitseling of Chroniques Darnassiennes posted Gnomebusters over on Warcraft Movies. The movie came about because, apparently, Maitseling's guild mates complained that he hadn't featured gnomes in machinimas. How better to address that issue than with an homage to one of the finest films ever created?
The video's a lot of fun. I like the way Maitseling translated the world of Ghostbusters into something visual in Azeroth. My only complaint would be that none of the soundtrack references WoW, since the song and dialogue is pretty much a direct lift from the original movie. That didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the film, though. I'm old enough that I saw the original film in the theatre, and Maitseling's work really took me back.
Who's afraid of those gnomes?
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com. Previously on Moviewatch
I'm not sure whether to call Warden of Eternity by Karash "high concept." It certainly fits some of the hallmarks of that idea, but I feel like the pacing might slightly miss the mark. However, in the very least, his epic machinima is firmly rooted in some of the most noble and recognizable lore offered by World of Warcraft. You should recognize Illidan and the dragon Aspects, in the very last. The movie was first created in Karash's native German, and it took him about a year to get subtitles created in English.
In my opinion, the "Warden of Eternity" is pretty dang well made. Its panning shots, use of characters, and chosen models are all strong. The voice actors did a good job. I actually really enjoyed the fact that it was in German, because that language really sounds right coming from dragons and epic characters. (Maybe it's the old Rammstein fan in me.)
I do, however, wish the pacing were a little faster. It drags on a tad. This gives you plenty of time to soak in the happenings and the scenery, but I don't need quite that much time. Overall, a very solid movie, and I hope Karash continues to make more.
Wowcrendor put It's a Hard Gnome Life up over at WarcraftMovies. To sum up, it's a comedy piece about the long, trouble-filled life of a gnome named Gnomeosaurus. The protagonist is the child of Mamagnome and Papagnome, and later goes on to himself parent Gnomejr. Your mileage on this video is going to vary widely.
This is not a movie for dazzling special effects or high end sountracks. All of the graphics are fairly straightforward gameplay footage, including a view of the user's mouse zipping about the screen. But you know what? That's cool for this. Nothing about this movie is intended as anything except an exceedingly tongue-in-cheek joke. The whole thing is obviously not meant for anything but sarcastic fun. C'mon. It's about a character named Gnomeosaurus.
The best joke in it, in my opinion, is the gag about Devilsaur-shaped cookies with a gnome head on top. The MS-Paint jokes, the sloppy cut-overs. . .the whole thing is just about goofy puns and giggles. My only complaint about it, though, is that the piece runs a little long for its style. Clocking in a little over six minutes, I'm not sure its humor can be sustained for the whole length.
Tryton created Dragonball Z: Trouble on Arlia, pt I by putting Dragonball Z's soundtrack on top of World of Warcraft graphics. This isn't the first time Tryton's created Dragonball Z WoW machinima, as we've featured his work before. I guess he must be a pretty big fan.
The animation is actually really well done. I like the character models he chose, and I thought the settings, effects, and mis en scene all came together very well. That being said, without the character context or background story information, I didn't feel like I had much clue what was going on. That's probably just my lack of familiarity with Dragonball Z, though, and I can totally cop to that. I was, however, somewhat disappointed not to see anyone shouting "It's over 9000!"
Hopefully, the second part will actually happen, and we'll be able to see where the story goes. I'd encourage Tryton to try and create his own script, eventually. His moviemaking skills are definitely there, and I'd like to see what original content he may create.
If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.
I don't usually do a lot of WoW music videos, because I tend to be more of a story-buff. But Polystyrene Dream by Yume caught my attention. I'm not sure if it was the ethereal quality of the video, which lined up very well with "Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead, or maybe the hints of narrative that persisted through the piece.
I could probably drive myself crazy projecting motivations on the two central characters, and trying define relationships, reasoning, and results of their actions. In summary, two blood elves repetitively walk up to an increasing variety of critters, stab them, and take their stuff. It could just be meant to be pretty, and it definitively is pretty.
I don't have much to say about the audio track, since it is essentially a nice song by a widely known band. It's possible that if I knew the song or band better, I might see more relevance in the imagery. Still, if you're talking about "Fake Plastic Trees," I guess it's fair to use a pair of Blood Elves as protagonists.
Things You Need is a submission to the machinima category of the 48 Hour Film Project by Stone Falcon Productions, Oblivious Films, and Slashdance. It's a little raucous, and a little rowdy, so your mileage on this film is going to vary according to your taste. It's the story of a down-trodden gnome who encounters a magic shop, gets a tub of magic paint, and hijinks ensue.
I really enjoyed the first part of the film. It was cute, amusing, and the musical portions were pretty darn funny. I loved the shop owner, and the dialogue and play between the two characters. It was lighthearted, fast paced, and totally worth the time. I'm not as sold on the gnome's female companion, created using the magical bucket. She's stereotypically vacuous and unsatisfying for the gnome, who decides to erase her.
There's two schools of thought on this. The first is the obvious concern about the misogyny, the creation of a "perfect" woman, the exploitation of her, and the immediate use of her for base purposes. The other side to that discussion, of course, is that you can interpret the piece as a criticism of that kind of behavior, questioning the motives and character of a man who would do such a thing. Ultimately, though, I don't know if there's a lot to be read into it except a joke, and whether or not you find the joke funny. Like I said, your mileage is going to vary.
This is a tough review. I'm a fan of music, especially ballad-like songs. I've never felt we see enough original fan-made music about WoW, and I'm still known to hum the tune to Big Blue Dress from time to time. Yellow Grows the Grass is a great song with good lyrics. I really enjoy the subject matter, and I appreciate what Boreas was trying to do.
Unfortunately, the production values fell short in this video. The animation itself is a relatively unmodified over-the-shoulder view of the game. The music track itself popped and cracked, sometimes even obscuring the words to the song. This kind of pained me, because I was really behind what the author was trying to do here.
I hate to see a great effort plagued by production issues. I hope he can get some help with a better audio track, especially, because I thought the song was strong enough to carry the video if not for that issue. And though the animation, as I said, was relatively plain, the chosen imagery itself wasn't bad. It seemed to me like there was a very strong script, but the "camera-work" itself is what let the piece down. And like "Big Blue Dress," if the audio were clear and crisp, the video itself wouldn't really matter.
Today's machinima scored second place in WarcraftMovie's Shrieking Shorties contest. Kilh Machinima created Forgotten as the trailer to a movie that will never be made. While the author had a much fuller story and script in mind, he had to basically toss that aside and start from scratch due to the contest's time limit.
This trailer, like the Orchard, makes very good use of horror tropes. Tense scenes are filmed through short, jarring cuts. Since the viewer (presumably) is accustomed to WoW's graphics, slight alterations and surreal shots of the scenery provide a disjointed feel to what you're seeing. And, of course, the creator uses first-person perspective at the end to help provide the trailer's "shock."
The story didn't really compel me, though I was definitely impressed by the visuals. But that's kind of how horror trailers work anyway, and I think Kilh did a great job using that style to compel the viewer.
This time, Lafawnduh's looking at the strange story of Old Margaret, whose mysterious apple pies have won the Brewfest's Southshore Apple Pie contest for years. A frustrated farmer is at his wit's end and tired of losing to Old Margaret. He chooses to sneak into her barn one night to discover the secret.
The Orchard is categorized as "Horror," but you don't need to be told that. Within a few second of the video, the mood, music, and first-person perspective tells you what kind of story you're about to witness. The perspective carries the horror theme very well, with a disjointed sense of what the character's witnessing.
The story itself has a great ending. The morality of Margaret isn't called into question, except by what you might draw on from horror tropes. In fact, the cruel coincidence of what the narrator happens across probably makes for the most horrific part of the story. If he hadn't chosen this night, if he hadn't happened to be around, things might have turned out differently for him. I particularly enjoyed this graying of events, since it makes everything plausible without particularly maligning anyone, or relying on tired cliches of motivation.
The Gnomeregan Revenge: Red Alert is an original tale told in pre-Arthas Azeroth, the first of a new trilogy by filmmaker Odessa. The Gnomish race is cast in the role of Soviet revolutionaries against the Alliance. In this episode they use their technological superiority to stage a surprise attack on Ironforge. The Gnomes even speak Russian, albeit with English subtitles.
The machinima is excellent and the handheld out-of-focus shots work superbly to convey the surprise and confusion of the first wave of copter attacks. Since I don't speak French or Russian, it's difficult to tell the quality of the voice acting but the other sound effects are deftly done. (The English subtitles need some work; there are a lot of typos.) Still, I think it's possible to follow the story just from the visuals. The cliffhanger at the end prepares us for the next two episodes which promise to show us the war and its outcome. From just this first episode, it's difficult to tell if the film will have an allegoric theme with a larger message or if this was merely a creative tangent invented by the filmmaker. The follow-up episodes should come before the end of the year, so I guess we'll find out soon enough.
Warning: Parts of this film may be offensive to some viewers.
It's sad that we have to end the Moviewatch week with the film Fruit of Elune by Tivas & Gobbler of Myndflame and Dementia Studio. The filmmaker's description is this: "Elune, diety of the night elves, rains love from the heavens creating peace." My take? No. It's neither love nor peace. It's just another commercial parody, this time without much imagination and with the same underwear joke over and over again. If it were merely immature, I would shrug it off, roll my eyes, and forget about it. But on top of not being very funny or original, the filmmakers attempt a joke about domestic violence which I find entirely unhumorous and offensive to boot. I'm astounded and saddened that the judges picked this film as a Runner Up in the Comedy category for the BlizzCon 2008 movie contest. If it hadn't won a prize in the contest, you wouldn't be seeing it here on Moviewatch. Not on my watch, anyway. Not cool, Blizzard, not cool at all.
While it is an undoubtedly polished production -- the voice talents, music, and sound design stand out in particular -- the story struggled to keep my interest, sometimes from plain confusion. The backstory takes up the first 3-1/2 minutes of the film and is told without animation, via what is essentially a slide show. It moves very slowly and provides little that we don't understand from context later. (As such, I would recommend axing the narrated backstory altogether.)
Then, ironically, much of the action in the main portion of the film was difficult for me to follow. The battle scenes were too cluttered with closeups and blur-effects to make much sense to me. Most times I couldn't even tell what spells were being cast or who was fighting whom. I never figured out how the Priestess escaped, who died overall, or why the "core" meltdown occurred. Nor was I able to follow the action well enough to figure out how the Arch Druid caught up to the Priestess at the end of the film, much less why either of them were still alive after their fiery collision. Without adding spoilers, I also can't figure out how the ending events occurred either. There were too many quick cuts, too many out-of-context closeups, too much deus ex machina, too much backstory and not enough battle context for me to enjoy the film.
Tomorrow we'll take a look at Fruit of Elune by Myndflame to wrap up our BlizzCon movie contest coverage.
(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!
This film is, quite frankly, one of the most highly-polished pieces of machinima I've ever seen -- from the lighting to the camera angles to even the facial expressions. I highly, HIGHLY recommend -- no, I demand -- that you download the full version of this movie from Filefront -- it's simply incredible. I can't wait for the full version!
Today's pick is a trailer for Trollbane 2 by DTB Productions who, of course, brought us Trollbane. The filmmaker is asking for feedback on his Warcraft Movies profile, so if you'd like to have an impact on his film, I'm sure he'd appreciate your thoughts. My first thought is: fix the grammar, dude! The tenses are so tortured in the setup titles that it's hard to tell if this isn't a time-travel movie -- or will it might have been?
My second comment is that the machinima looks incredibly slick. This is going to be a very high quality, well-produced movie when it's finished. However, shiny polish does not necessarily equal a good film. My main concern with this trailer is that I have no idea what this movie is going to be about. From the titles toward the end -- new outfits, places, and powers -- it sounds like this is a trailer for a new video game, not a movie. I can tell that there's going to be action and gore and female Troll behinds (or was that a Blood Elf?) but other than that? No clue. I don't even know who the heroes and villains are. A trailer is supposed to make me want to see a film. (Sometimes with Hollywood films, the trailer is actually better than the full length film. Wanted, I'm looking at you!) However, slick production values by themselves aren't enough to draw me into a movie if I don't know why else I'm watching it.