Wednesday, August 27, 2008
In the Picture Business
I’ve been meaning to put this up for a bit. Late last year I purchased the computer game THE MOVIES from Lionhead Studios. It’s a sim game of sorts wherein you run a movie studio, from the twenties to the present and beyond. The game part is fun enough, though difficult, but the game is also a machinima tool; you can use the “Advanced Movie Maker” feature, either in the Standard game or a low-maintenance Sandbox mode, to plot out movies scene by scene, cast “actors” from your studios, set plots and set elements and juggle all sorts of things. You don’t have total control of everything the actors can do, but you can modify quite a bit, and the STUNTS AND EFFECTS expansion offers more options.
This isn’t a game review, though. Lionhead runs THE MOVIES ONLINE, which allows you to upload your films and have them reviewed, and I’ve used them as an outlet for the work of Global Film Company. My present movies are up there, but there’s limited space, so I started uploading the overflow to Youtube and, when TMO briefly went kablooey, to The Movies Underground, an alternative site. Included after the jump is a taste of what I’ve been doing, courtesy the Tube of You:
TO THE DEPTHS OF SPACE! (1930)- Space explorer Tara Flame journeys to Alpha Centauri to rescue a missing scientist. This is an expanded version of a film I made in the standard game, which had a brutally troubled production (including frequent tantrums by its director) and took a couple of years to finish, but ended up being a success and a nice metafiction story. The sequel is up at TMO, and I will be adding more adventures to the Tara Flame saga.
REPTILE WOMEN OF MARS (1953)- Another retro sci-fi-er, made in the standard game so it’s sort of compressed. This one still needs a little work.
THRILLKILLER JOHN (1955)- Anyone who watches this one, please tell me if you understood what was going on or if I should add subtitles. I’m genuinely curious.
ROAD TO DYSTOPIA (1972)- My tribute to seventies Dystopian science fiction.
If you want to try this yourself, here are the product links for the game and its expansion, for PC and Mac.
Lionhead’s got all its resources tied up in FABLE 2 so we may not see another expansion (which is a shame, since there aren’t many options for fantasy or historical epics), but there are plenty of modders working to add content on their own: the Director’s Cut Modding Foundry is where I’ve found my material so far. See you in the pictures.