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Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything - About that time of year...
Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything
About that time of year... 
Saturday, October 20, 2007, 07:23 PM - Life
For a hard drive crash!

Playing some TF2, looking forward to a little Machinima Talk, and wham-o a nasty little BSoD came and wouldn't let up. So I said to windows, "Well, I've got a little ubuntu for your ass!" Everything was going fine until I went to partition my disk for the Linux install when it was interrupted, trashing my drive. So I farted around in Linux for a while, after a low-level format, when I realized that I couldn't see my raid0 array. Sonofa... wouldn't you know that of all the software/bios raid sets in the world mine (ULi) is one of the few not supported without hacking skills well beyond my level. So here I am in windows x64 again after a brief but awesome trip to ubuntu, which I found to be simply incredible.

When I eventually upgrade my machine for the office, I'm re-building my current rig with ubuntu and keeping it up as a media server/web browser while my workstation does its rendering/compiling/100% usage type stuff. I was very impressed with how it was put together and so user friendly, and I've only *looked* at a few other linux clients. Aside from the nifty bouncy window moves and double desktops, I'd say my favorite feature was the apt-get GUI. Scroll through a big list of free software, find something that looks great and it loads it all up automagically no sweat. I also got in a few rounds of TF2 under WINE and although it was clearly not 100%, that it worked at all impresses me to no end. Seems to me a few more years of die hard WINE dev and nobody will need windows anymore... Also, the ubuntu install disk doubles as what they call a live cd, meaning the install disk loads into the OS without installing files to your HDD, so you can do a little test drive before you take the plunge. It's also handy for pushing files around if your windows install goes all blue...

List of the lost is limited this time, all my important files are backed up to my raid or laptop. Woot!

For now I'm sticking with the windows, too many vender's have me cornered with years of experience using their windows only programs (Adobe and Autodesk are the big guns, but the lack of games isn't helping), and I must not tempt fate with my raid before I can safely displace all the data elsewhere.
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I do believe congratulations are in order. 
Tuesday, October 16, 2007, 11:17 AM - Machinima
*Pinkies out*

The Machinima Festival Europe 07 has just wrapped up, and as is customary I offer my heartfelt congratulations to everyone brave enough to enter their work for such public scrutiny. Some walked away with awards, but I think everyone earned a big round of applause. For your hard work in keeping the fine people of the world a little more, entertained, I thank you all.


Sadly I learned of the MFE 07 too late to afford passage, but I fully intend on remedying this oversight long before the next call for entries. So I also give my thanks to all those who posted pictures and feeds of the event. Although I was a bit occupied over the weekend, I intend to peruse the archives methodically during the course of this work week.

Now back to work you cretins!
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Chaos Descends 
Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 12:40 PM - Life
Hello World.

That’s the expected phrase when starting something new right? It’s no secret that Mike and I are cohorts in the filmmaking biz, but what you may not have known is that we haven’t even lived in the same town for years, the short tag-team gig in NY at SummerTech last year, not withstanding. There was that time in the middle of ’04 where we split a college dorm, and then that apartment sized hotel room in Ottawa for a week; crazy days to be sure. Well, after much talking BS, years of struggle, and harsh questions directed towards the sky, we have taken the plunge: Dead on Que Productions is finally opening up her first office! A genuine central location, just for DoQ, dedicated to the sole purpose of making visual stories come to life. Things are rocky to start, right now there’s three of us jammed into a small two-room apartment, regular daytime employment is rampant, and the search for a suitable wood-framed host is well underway. So far everything seems to be falling into place as if so destined, I like to attribute ‘keen eyes for a good deal,’ but others see our blessings from a higher order, such as the mighty Thor; Norse god of thunder, and rock’n roll.

The idea is to take a 4+ bedroom house and retrofit one of the larger areas into “The Office.” To be installed: computer stations, a render farm, a projector + screen, whiteboards, particleboards, sci-fi movie posters, mahogany gun rack loaded with nurf ordnance, bokken mounts, artist furniture, sound booth (closet with XLR cables and foam padding along the walls), a small green-screen, and much more. Naturally we’ll be installing a fresh Circular Table of Duem®.

As this project progresses I’ll update the blog with pictures and horror stories, perhaps one day we’ll look back at these humble beginnings, and erase them to safe face. Office or not, we’ve still got three MAJOR projects lined up in the queue to tackle. Can’t let a little thing like no legroom and bare coffers keep us from what matters most, right?
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Cap of Comment lvl 1. 
Thursday, August 30, 2007, 05:15 PM - Machinima
It’s been a while since I’ve made some commentary on the state of Machinima, but it seems like there are more than a few reasons to dust off the ol’ comment cap this summer.

First, the deal with Microsoft: Sounds good to me. Run with it, play with the boundaries, and tell them what you’re up to. Ask for insight from their legal dept, I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to get back with you. You never know, it just might result in a wonderful new partnership between you and one of the worlds largest companies, and in my book, that ain’t half bad.

Is this the Golden age of Machinima? Probably. Does it get bigger? Oh yes. Are the good old “Birds of a Feather” days over and done? Hell no! The vocal core is still as tight-nit as always, members are always coming and going, and the ones who really love it will always be back for more. As the word gets around, more and more people will crawl out of the woodwork, crying, “Hey, I’ve been making (X) game videos for years! There’s a whole collection of sites for this crap?!” There are also folks who’ve been making film or animation with more traditional tools that see our plight and make it their own, bringing old-school techniques to the table, solidifying our stance.

I do hear cries of foul from the subtext , it reasons that Machinima is supposed to be for the every man, the xbox Kid and Joe PC, goofing off after work or school making funny vids for their friends. The cries scream that these days are numbered, the money machine Hollywood is setting its sights and that the whole ship will sink under her weighty gaze. I say this is not the case, or at least not so extremely the case. I’m afraid the Machinima cat is out of the bag, and with the help of sites like YouTube, Hollywood types may never gain the foothold needed to smash the existing system. Can they make quality Machinima? Sure, but they no longer own the theater; the visible shelf space is no match for online distribution methods. Brick and Mortar can no longer meet the demand of the hungry viewer. Movies are free at last, and Machinima is all a part of that movement.

Now the new trick is in monetizing your Machinima work. It’s almost obvious that you’re not going to be selling tickets here, and our particular sub-cultured audience doesn’t take to advertisement as currently known to marketing. A few podcast I frequent have already pointed this out, but it bears repeating that what’s old is new again. A few moments taken out of the regular show to pitch the product/service in a way integrates seamlessly with the program. Nobody will skip a section sponsored on the slight by Amazon when the topic is ‘I, your host recommend reading…’ The biggest problem with modern ads is that they are distracting. In fact, that’s their goal, make you notice them, and hopefully you’ll recall their brand when it’s time to buy. It’s similar to a buzzing fly, it’s annoying and you only wish to squash it. Take a moment at the start and/or end of your program to say, “This program brought to you by…” and be done with it. No interruptions, no bottom third, just quality entertainment made possible by company (X). As a Machinimator, you need to make sure you control how this happens, when eliciting sponsorship keep in mind your audience, format the ads appropriately, and make sure your sponsors are clear on this format before you even start negotiating. Of course, all of this pending you’re licensed appropriately. Money has a funny way of making small civil torts into federal crimes…

That's about all I've got time for this lvl, good luck and have fun out there! Oh and make sure you submit to the Machinima Festival Europe 07!

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Secret Projects, Push Backs, and Silver Linings 
Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 08:09 PM - Machinima
According to the Overcast, I may a bit vague when it comes to my WIP descriptions; vague, perhaps even to the extent of both mysterious and intriguing. Certainly that wasn't my intention, (I guess I was more interested in describing my work-flow thoughts than the project in question) but I like where this is going so I will continue on with not but a subtle texture of possibilities.

Classes start at work next Monday, and I've been running around with my hands completely full for the last few weeks. You may partake in the fruits of my web-design labors right here if you're so inclined. It's only a fraction of my responsibilities these days, but the old design left much too much of the staffs' work solely in my tiny webmaster lap. Frankly they can do a better job of keeping their site fresh than I can, thus I made them a giant multi-user highly scalable blog site using Word Press MU as my platform.

Therefore, as of late, I've been coming home and zoning out until I wake up and try again the next day.I swear I just wrote my last blog entry, like, yesterday. Clearly I'm in need of some ice cream. Once things at work settle down (historically mid-September) I'll be able to better focus my brain on my extra curricular Machinima projects. To help me in this process Mike and I will be attending this awesome sounding workshop in Dallas next month. My hope is this will get me pumped and re-educated enough to jump full-bore into my little project, so that I may enter it into this years... wait, make that next years Machinima Film Festival!

Although I was really, really looking forward to spending some quality time in NYC this November (last year was amazing) I will enjoy the extra time to work on more Machinima entries. I'll just used the money saved in airfare towards Tokyo, Japan: Round Two this coming spring break. Only this time with a small army of American nerds, each one of us making the required pilgrimage to the holy land.
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