With MaMachinima Int. Festival date approaching, I was interviewed by Marie-Charlotte Pezé, for Time Out Magazine Amsterdam.
MMIF producer Ze Moo made this happen, and I expect the venue - Club Karlsson - to be packed with people that wonder about machinima.
I am delighted to have our work in the limelights, one of my goals is to bring machinima to the world around us, to show this art to people and give it the platform it deserves.
MMIF RECTIFICATION: There are some errors in this article from TimeOut magazine. Peter Greenway is mistakenly mentioned as the director of 'Big Bang'. Saskia Boddeke (aka Rose Borchovski in SL) actually is the real director of 'Big Bang' and submitted this film to MMIF. Peter Greenaway apparently only did some contributions to this production. We apologize for any confusion and we sincerely regret this film being pulled out of the festival by Saskia Boddeke because of this TimeOut publication. *****
Club Karlsson Friday 17 & Saturday 18, 2011
If you’re tired of the same overpaid Botox victims trotting out all-too-familiar plot Lines, then prolific ‘machinimatographer’ Chantal Harvey may be your cinematic salvation.
The Dutch director’s third Ma Machinima International Film Festival promises 60 original, fun, touching, sometimes plain weird and, occasionally, mindblowing short films that defy the usual rules of storytelling.
Machinima, you see, is the art of making movies using 3D online virtual worlds and video games (such as Second Life, World of Warcraft or even Google Earth) where, unhampered by such pesky factors as reality, the laws of physics or an actor’s range, filmmakers can unleash their creativity with no bounds other than their own imaginations.
Harvey (after whose nickname in the community, ‘mama-chinima’, the festival is named) claims she refuses to limit herself to one genre of machinima ‘because the medium offers so much freedom to filmmakers’.
Clearly, most of them got the memo – including Lainy Voom, whose bird-headed characters drink coffee with a spoonfull of eyeballs, and Tom Jantol, whose rendering of Pinocchio as a disolated doll with lipstick and nipples curiously takes nothing away from the film’s grace and sensitivity.
Because it’s inherently inexpensive to produce but rich in possibilities, machinimatography appeals to experimental and emerging filmmakers in particular.
(I added a screenshot of above mentioned machinima's - Chantal Harvey):
That said, some open-minded old-timers have also jumped on the machinima bandwagon, such as Peter Greenaway (‘The Pillow Book’) who is presenting his ‘Big Bang’at the Festival. A poetic ode to all existence, parts of his film eschews human beings in favor of computer-generated avatars, some of whom boast such realistic facial expressions that Pixar’s best illustrators might want to watch their backs.
The event, which will happen in ‘real life’ at Club Karlsson, a private club and self-avowed ‘counter cultural’ space in the Western Canal Belt, will also be streamed live online and in Second Life, where hundreds more visitors and their avatars are expected at the lavish virtual theater ‘built’ especially for the occasion. Club Karlsson guests are welcome to bring their laptops to follow the online part of the event – WI FI and the requisite cables will be provided.
Both real life and virtual virtual parties reflect the important social aspect of Machinima: ‘The festival is not a competition; there are no awards, no contests; it’s just about sharing’, says Harvey.
In this spirit, newbies can try their hands at the ‘Machinima for Dummies’ workshop at Club Carlsson on June 17, creating a short film that will be screened at the opening of the festival.
With twice as many filmmakers and twice as many real life guests as last year, the trend is clearly growing. ‘We ‘ll have drinks, food, a lot of socialising and maybe even sex,’ says producer Ze Moo. No wonder machinima is gaining speed.
17 & 18 June, 20.00 – 01.00 at Club Karlsson (Keizersgracht 264).
FREE and online all night. See mmif.org for more information.
Marie-Charlotte Pezé, for Time Out Magazine Amsterdam.
Revealing my own entry for the MMIF 2011 festival
Playlist MMIF 2009
Playlist MMIF 2010