- Discovered WFMU (free form radio/internet station in NY) a year ago and they have consistently impressed me with their cool weirdness. From found cd’s to obscure TV shows, this station and their blog makes me happy. Today, I came across Mr. Fine Wine’s Friday night “Downtown Soul” station which plays only soul music, baby. This set is composed entirely of “soul 45’s” hand picked for your pleasure. Check the blog post, too.
- If you have a big-time pencil fetish like I do, you’ll want to put on those runing shoes and get to a computer fast. Go to pencils.com and order a dozen of the “Blackwing 602” pencils for $20. You’ll never use any other pencil again. Mark Frauenfelder, from boingboing.com (and a supporter of the Machinima Expo btw) blogged on this classic pencil coming back into production. Boy, he was right. I’m already getting that wonderful illusion that because my pencil writing looks good, the ideas are good as well. Ah, festishes….mmmmm. Seriously good pencil though. Their is even a blog on this pencil (well-done, too). I like the motto on my 602: “Half the pressure, twice the speed”.
External imageThe Agency
- Came across a bit of this machinima series while browsing the Cartoon Brew website via my rss reader. They usually have very interesting news on animation in general and occasionally feature machinima-related topics. Today, they were covering a big July 4 film festival at the “Cinefamily” here in Los Angeles. Quick backgrounder: the Silent Film Theater on Fairfax was the only theater in the US showing all silent films until about 15 years ago when a macabre murder of the owner by the projectionist caused the place to go into limbo. Young entrepaneur picked it up, re-modelled and started out with a bang (I saw Valentino’s Son of the Sheik there), but fell into financial problems and the theater ran fallow again. Now, a group called Cinefamily has taken it over and have really done a number on the place and programming. They’ve kept the silent film showings to Wed nights only (going to see Lilian Gish in a restored version of “The Scarlet Letter” this Wed) and have really gone wild with their programming, especially regarding animation. So, this July they are running their 2nd annual “Everything Is” festival which covers everything from found footage to machinima.
Which brings me to “The Agency”, a machinima film created in Xtranormal (online machinima creation tool). Get this: it’s feature length and was created in one week by the directing team of Vernon Chatman and David O'Reilly. I couldn’t get through it all as the text-to-speech dialogue drove me nuts (so much better with real actors methinks), but there are aspects of the film that are striking (design sence, pacing, dialogue). Cinefamily plans to screen the entire film at their “Everything Is” fest which is pretty neat for machinima. Here’s the portion of the film they’ve put up as a trailer:
From the ridiculous to the sublime: I discovered this student film on Vimeo today. It’s really wonderful. Created by 4 Dutch animation students (see their blog here
) as part of their 2nd year studies. I love everything about the film from the design to the wonderful sense of place. Perhaps the music is a shade sentimental, but the ending more tham makes up for it. This kind of rendering (mental ray) gives an animated film such a deep palette of colors and shapes. Machinima often loses it’s ability to convince precisely because of the real-time rendering, although certainly not all the time.
Second year project made by 4 animation students.
Technical details: Made in 4 months using the following software: Maya, Cinema 4d, After effects, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro.
Directed by: Olivier Ballast
Animation: Joost de Jong
Art Direction: Erik van Helvoirt
Technical: Michael Koning
Music: Gijs van Amelsvoort
Link to our blog: http://bolderkar.blogspot.com/
A reward for those who actually read my entire blog: from WFMU comes a chapter from Boris Karloff reading scary stories “The Vampire Sleeps