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Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything - Machinima Film Fest 2005
Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything
Machinima Film Fest 2005 
Monday, November 14, 2005, 01:59 PM - Machinima
I have returned from NYC, host of the Machinima Film Fest 2005!

Below is a copy*paste from what I wrote at m.com, it sums it up pretty well for me.

Congrats to everyone! Such a heated competition this year, it was unbelievable. I can't wait to see what next year holds in store for Machinima! The festival in and of itís self was very cool, at least the parts I could get away for. (The discussion panels.) Hearing the voice behind a lot of what gets posted here is always interesting and provocative. I really encourage everyone to attend next year even if your film doesnít make the cut, the sheer amount of people interested in machinima looking for filmmakers to talk to is worth the price of admission alone. (Plane and cab fare included!) Manning the Fountainhead booth provided me with an interesting angle to pitch both their software and machinima as a whole to those who were 'dragged along,í by having the clearly labeled and simple Machinimation interface and a game engine right in front of them to play with, I think it opened a lot of eyes. I also had my fair share of interviews, both on and off screen, almost lost me voice!

There was almost always someone at the booth; often all 6 machines had people. It never got so swamped that Alex and I (sorry I forget your last name now, but he's 5m regular, writer, and just a cool guy to work with) ever became overwhelmed. There was a steady flow of people from the start all the way to 6:30. Only one machine crashed after all the abuse dished out during the day, and it was only to desktop.

The discussions were all about topics covered here a dozen times before, but this time before a live audience. I found it interesting to see who saw flaws where others saw possibilities. The issue of the Holy Grail machinima tool kit was brought up again in a major way. The desire for a machinima program easy enough to use without any other piece of software is highly desired. Something where you can create characters, animations, cameras, and effects all in one with simple click and choose interface was the general consensus for the bare minimum feature set. I would love something along those lines, but unless it was an extremely robust character creator, I would never use it seriously, and still opt to hand mold my characters in a 3D app. Perhaps if it would take base model styles of my design and then allow for size/prop/color customizations from thereÖ Procedural animation, and the idea that game engines, like Source, are good enough look-feel wise from now on was brought up. This was something I did not agree on; while texture rendering may be fine, the lighting tech still has a long way to go IMHO. I'm not too familiar with procedural animation, so I can't really comment on that. (I understand that it would be animation based on algorithmic input, but I haven't seen it in action.)

I recently purchased the Torque engine for evaluation, and I havenít really had a chance to dig into it yet, but finding that the ILL Clan use it for their live performances to a very successful degree at the fest makes it really seem worth wild (and 100 bucks.) So I can hereby recommend serious machinima types to at least check out the demo. (Warning: Requires programming!)

The nice folks from Second Life setup shop next to us, handing out free T's and demos. I got to see it in action for the first time, looks really interesting, I'll have to seriously check it out soon.

I think the highlight of the event had to be the presenters of the awards, having Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and John Waters present the trophies was a hoot, to say the least! It'll be tough to top that next year.

Apologize go out to everyone for my early 'ducking out,' I'll be sure to stay in town longer next year.

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Camping With Ranger John! 
Monday, November 7, 2005, 01:59 PM - Everything
Went out camping last weekend with 2 of my good buddies. We discovered the secret ingredients to great campfire streak: Steak & Chop spice, Worcestershire sauce, and most importantly, 1.5 shots of Tequila per 4 ribeye cuts! Took loads of pictures, I'll post'em here when I can get them developed.

Remember kids, keep your eyes peeled for Wampus cats, they'll bite your head off!

I'll be off to NYC Friday for the Filmfest, counting the hours at this point!
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Rest in Peace Mr. Torres 
Wednesday, October 26, 2005, 01:57 PM - Life
Mr. Torres was a great teacher, a great leader, and a great friend always willing to go the extra mile for his students. Only a month ago I made plans to see him sometime in the fall and thank him properly for everything he has done for me beyond teaching me the fundamentals of 2D animation, but life is too fragile for waiting as I did. I will never get to thank him again, but our last parting was joyous in celebration of my graduation where he sent me off with confidence, and a firm handshake. As a farewell, I could truly ask for nothing more. Thank you Mr. Torres for everything, and I will be steadfast in adapting your teachings and kindness to the world around me. Mike and I have agreed that Space Man Biff will be made in your honor, using the techniques you fostered in us, in hopes that it will inspire others as you have inspired us.

Mike Torres

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Remember What You're Fighting For! 
Wednesday, October 19, 2005, 01:57 PM - Machinima

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October Boom 
Wednesday, October 19, 2005, 01:56 PM - Everything
October is poised to be the best month of growth here at Deadonque.com yet! September was a sorry welt behind August, but October is looking to kick them all in the unique hit rear-end! This is still a small time site, but our first month open we had 114 unique visitors, the lowest number. August saw 198, September lagging with 131, but half-way through October and we're already at 136, the number growing every hour! October easily ate the most bandwidth by far, meaning that the people coming here are actually watching our films!

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