Saturday, June 4, 2011

Years Later, It's Still Good

Today, while waiting for things in the oven, I browsed lazily around YouTube and rediscovered a classic piece of WoW machinima.

It's the story, set to "Here Without You", of a human man and woman who one day, were killed by an Undead.  The man awakens as an Undead and sets out to destroy the warlock who killed himself and his true love.

The story is simple enough:  love, death, revenge.  But what is remarkable about this story is how it is told.

This video was made back before the currently available character creation tools.  Basically, everything in this video had to be "filmed" in-game by the people making the movie, then put together with video editing software.  It required three game accounts, and it required two of the characters to be progressed enough to have decent gear.  (I.e., it wasn't something someone could have just decided to do on a weekend without prior preparation.)

The camera angles used in the filming, as well as the transitions, are absolutely brilliant.  The use of sepia tone to indicate the flashback portions is an effective device.  The scene sequence draws in the viewer, bit by bit, through emotionally charged images.  By the time the final duel is fought, the viewer is so caught up in the story being told that the unavoidable targeting indicators on the opponent simply do not matter.

This video is an example of the kind of thing I would want to put together if I ever got serious about trying to develop the skills and talents to create machinima.  True, machinima has progressed past this point, where creators can put together things in their videos which would never been found together in-game, as well as dress their characters in clothing they didn't have to earn.  But I admire the storytelling shown in this video, as well as appreciate the planning and editing skill required, while the creators worked with minimal tools.

Sometimes the simplest things are the best, in the end.

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