And Now For Something Completely Machinima

This month, Damien leads the discussion on another fabulous film selection by the Completely Machinima podcast team... Phil's Stalker fan film by Sodaz is dark and disturbing; Tracy's music vid picks are light and airy; Ricky's is far from bland and Damien's is a moving affair too! The team also discuss approaches to promoting a film once it’s been made, thanks to a question raised by show follower, Mike Clements.

Show Notes

This month, Damien leads the discussion on another fabulous film selection by the Completely Machinima podcast team... Phil's Stalker fan film by Sodaz is dark and disturbing; Tracy's music vid picks are light and airy; Ricky's is far from bland and Damien's is a moving affair too! The team also discuss approaches to promoting a film once it’s been made, thanks to a question raised by show follower, Mike Clements.

Time Stamps:
0:34 STALKER Fan film – Contract by Sodaz, released 8 December 2021
6:53 Married to Your Melody by Imanbek and Salem Ilese (Unreal Engine 5, Matrix Awakens City), released 21 April 2022
10:19 Lion’s Feet by I Break Strings, video by Tom Jantol (iClone 4), released 13 May 2022
14:33 MOVING OUT || Somewhere in Space || A No Man’s Sky Cinematic Series by Geeks Actively Making Entertainment, released 5 June 2021
18:57 How to Fly by David Blandy (GTA5), released 22 April 2020
34:36 Discussion: what do you do with your machinima film once it’s made? Question by Mike Clements

Speakers: Damien Valentine, Ricky Grove, Tracy Harwood
Producer/Editor: Damien Valentine
Music: Scott Buckley –

What is And Now For Something Completely Machinima?

Machinima, real-time filmmaking, virtual production and VR. Four veteran machinimators share news, new films & filmmakers, and discuss the past, present and future of machinima.

Damien Valentine 00:05
Hello, and welcome to the film review for And Now For Something Completely Machinima, the June edition. I'm Damian Valentine. And as you see, I'm still on the bridge of the Enterprise. Joined by Tracy Harwood. Hello. And of course, Ricky Grove

Ricky Grove 00:23
Hello there, and I'm in my garage man cave.

Damien Valentine 00:27
And look fantastic.

Tracy Harwood 00:29
I'd love to say I'm actually on this beach, but unfortunately.

Damien Valentine 00:34
So we're not joined by Phil. This time. He's got some real life stuff happening. But he's fine not to worry. But he has sent us a film to talk about. So we will be covering his selection. So yeah, let's get on with discussing the films of this month. Actually, the one we're going to talk about first is actually Phil's. Since he's not here, I will introduce it. It's called Contract. It's a Stalker fan film. I've not actually played the Stalker game, so I'm not too familiar with that world. But from watching this video, I'm kind of glad I don't live there. Yeah. So what did you guys think of it?

Ricky Grove 01:17
Stalker fan film was my favourite of films that we chose this month. It's an outstanding example of how machinima can tell a good story, which I think is lost sometimes in machinima. Minimal dialogue, excellent acting, great editing, all the production aspects were great. However, there was some issues that I had with the darkness of the video. I think it needed to have higher contrast, and needed colour post production, and more sound editing. In it, it lacked some of the details of when people were doing things and having sounds for those things. So while the story was great, that's the biggest part of machinima was excellent. I think more post production work wouldn't have made it even better film. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was a serious sort of male oriented film, a war oriented film. The Stalker fan film is a Stalker is a is a dark and dismal game set in a corrupted, devastated world. It's fascinating. I really enjoyed it. And I thought it was a good choice for Phil.

Tracy Harwood 02:35
Yeah, well, I must admit, I was impressed with the the extraordinary visual detail, which I think is what really impressed me the most, I did actually quite like the soundscape design, but I can see what you mean, Ricky with the, with the, you know, the the lack of rustling and things when when stuff was kind of going on

Ricky Grove 02:56
details. You know, overall, it was fine. It was just little few more details.

Tracy Harwood 03:01
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I get where you're going from that. But But, but the sync of the sound that was there was was I thought really, really well. Well done. I have to say it was so impressive to me. It actually gave me chills. Thinking about what's going on in Ukraine at the moment. Yes, because obviously, it's in Russian, this films in Russian. Although the mission text itself is all in English, which kind of was a little bit odd at times. But I thought there's a really creepy nightmare scene, which is definitely a male film. It kind of really gave you the sense of someone out on a mission and struggling with sleep deprivation. And then, you know, this kind of psychological threat, it's really the intensity was really impressive. And the lack of dialogue all helped to create that atmospheric. You know, that sense of tense? atmosphere really? Yeah. Like you. For me, the darkness is my biggest complaint with this at times. It was just pitched back. Yeah. And I guess part of that was because, you know, these guys wanted to create the right kind of atmosphere. But it was just a little too dark. It didn't, didn't especially add anything to the storytelling. And that's mainly because I guess there wasn't the soundscape there to back that up adequately. But generally, a great film and kudos to all those that were involved. A fab pick, really enjoyed it. Thank you.

Ricky Grove 04:44
I actually watched it in Russian with no subtitles. I had no problems, understanding the story. What was going on. And I was I was shocked and I'm drawn into it just like you were Tracy. Yeah,

Damien Valentine 04:59
I started isn't watching it in Russian because I didn't have the captions turned on. And I was happy with it. And I suppose it for a moment was this meeting, the animation was so impressive. It's not what you expect from game animations to be when it's like that you expect characters to turn on their feet rather than smoothly. And well, it's kind of X feel animations are really well done. So it was it from over to see how they made it. And in the description, you can turn on the English subtitles now. So I'm gonna do that. Yeah, I wasn't struggling before that I just thought might help a little bit. I think it's a bit dark. I don't know how much control they have over the game world when it comes to lighting. Obviously, darkness is quite a difficult thing to work with when you're making a film, because you need to have that darkness but the same time, make sure that the audience can still see things without ruining the effects of the darkness that you're trying to portray. And I don't know if the filmmakers had a lot of influence, or a lot of control over that. But I can see it was an issue in places where you can't see or even hear what's happening. But I think it was still an excellent film. Even be kind of curious about the the game series. I looked up briefly after watching the film. So yeah, excellent choice, Phil. Yep.

Ricky Grove 06:23
One quick caveat. It is a very violent and brutal film. Yeah, absolutely. You're somebody who has a problem with that. This may not be the best film for you to watch.

Damien Valentine 06:35
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Like Tracy, I think about what's happening in Ukraine as I was watching it. So if that's a sensitive issue for you, as well, you might want to stay away from that from the film. But it was excellent. Yeah, Tracy, what have you got for us this week? Well,

Tracy Harwood 06:53
I was spoilt for choice this month was some really quite different types of films being released in the last few weeks. But in the end, I've gone for two surrealist music videos if you'll forgive me, I've got got one that was kind of my favourite and then I kind of picked a bonus one and I'll tell you why I picked the bonus one. Totally different genres of music. The first one is called Married to Your Melody by Imanbek music, which was released on the 21st of April. Eman Beck is a Kazakh producer and remix of house music which is popular in Kazakhstan, as well as Russia and Ukraine. In 2019, he became popular with his remix of St. John's Roses. Now this one is sung by Salem Elise, who's a US based artists. And it's quite catchy in a kind of a 1990s sort of throwback kind of way. The music video is really quite surreal. It's been made in the Unreal Engine five matrix city. And it's really fun to watch. There's kind of like whales and trains, flying waterfalls, from buildings. So it's kind of playing with all the features in in Unreal Engine, basically, in this city. Well, sharks swimming through the city, giant props, a loose elephant wandering around. I think the video itself for me was really kind of quite complimentary to the music in content, and also in the editing style, and it has this kind of almost aged patina about it, which is really where I get that kind of 90s 9090 90 sort of vibe to it. But the reason I kind of selected it was because it's one of the more interesting things I've seen done so far with Unreal Engine five metric city. So before I talk about the other one, did you want to comment on that

Ricky Grove 08:54
one? Yeah, I agree with you. It's a lovely film. It's catchy music, excellent imagery. I love the there's an upside down shot, travelling shot and it was just delightful. Made me clap my hands and laugh. It's an example of how to use machinima commercially and still have a lot of creative choices. I just loved it.

Damien Valentine 09:15
I started watching I thought why Tracy chosen a live action film because of the way the city looks, which is a credit. The city is real. And then of course I realised Of course, it's the Matrix city. And also because the other thing stats news, it has been available to us for modding for very long. And already this video is released, which shows the talent of the filmmaker but also the fact that it's possible to do something like this and learn it so quickly. Because it's it's been what, two months since it's been released. Yeah. Yeah, me too. Well, last month, I can't remember now. But yeah, to learn how to use it and to create a video like this in that short space of time shows that it's not a huge, yeah, certainly complex environment, which is a complex environment. But it's not impossible to learn it to us if you put some time in. And then you get some of this, which is an excellent film.

Tracy Harwood 10:14
Yeah, I really enjoyed this one. I really enjoyed that one.

Ricky Grove 10:17
Good choice Tracy.

Tracy Harwood 10:19
That, that's great. The second one I wanted to talk about is called Lions think, another music video. This is an animated video for the latest single by William Mimnaur, otherwise known as will, which was released on the 13th of May. So last week, as we are recording. Now, Will's Canadian indie, folk singer songwriter. And this song is from his album called the Gold Mine. There's virtually nothing on the YouTube channel. So you kind of left to search out about the album. And from the description of that you kind of understand that what he's doing here is kind of reflecting on life, through tough times, basically. And this particular single, is all about celebrating age, and having the knowledge and perspective in older life to look back at the beauty and innocence of youth, and hence wearing lion's feet. Now the video for both of you has this kind of certain format to it. That for any machine animator, I'm pretty sure will most certainly be familiar with with the work this guy. Its created by Tom Jantol none other than, and as usual, has that kind of surrealist elements to it, which really work well with the sentiment of the song of journey making through life. It kind of combines 2d and 3d animation and it's just beautifully edited together is in my view. It has this kind of interesting, I think, what I call a kind of a picture postcard or sort of holiday season catch up kind of aesthetic to it, which to me has a kind of distinct European flavour and a bit of a nod, I think to the Canadian Mountie with that token horse and the talking Alsatian dogs it's going on in the in the shot in a in a certain place. I think my only real criticism of it. Is that Tom, or did any of the others that have been involved with it haven't really been credited on the YouTube channel description. Although he is mentioned in the credits at the end of the video, and quite frankly, I hope that's something that Will correct soon. So what did you think of that one?

Ricky Grove 12:36
Well, I knew it was a Tom Jantol animation from the first frame. He just has such a unique and interesting style is kind of airy and fun, using machines and blimps and all sorts of things. So even though he wasn't credited people who know Tom Jantol will recognise it. I admired the craft of the film, but the sentiment of it was a little bit hard for me to swallow. It's not my kind of animated subject. So I didn't enjoy it in the same way that I enjoyed Married to Your Melody, which I thought was more successful in blending the music and the imagery, but it was still an admirable film. And I recommend it for people who like Tom Jantol's films, and that's my thoughts.

Damien Valentine 13:22
I thought it's an excellent film. And obviously, Tom Jantol's style is a good match for the song, particularly the the moon character on the boat. I reached out to me and it's an excellent work from Tom. I've seen many of his films recently. So this is a nice to come back to his very unique style. And I'm glad he's still making machinima.

Ricky Grove 13:47
I think I like although it's ironic, because here you have a professional video animation. So he's going to actually reach more people than he has for his early films. But I sort of like Tom when he's bit more experimental, when he's doing things that are less to have less sentiment involved in the story that kind of, Oh, isn't this fun? Let's play and all of that. But more, you know, taking the figure of Charlie Chaplin and, and turning him ironically, into a strange Beckett like character, and just appeals to my own personal tastes more, but it's still a great film. And I think people who like and machinima should see it.

Tracy Harwood 14:30
Yeah, yeah. Oh,

Damien Valentine 14:33
excellent choice. Tracy for both films. Yep. All right. I'm going to move on to my film which is actually called Moving Out. So I did was we've talked a lot about Star Citizen films. We've covered a few of those in the past and the same with Elite Dangerous and the two sort of big space simulator games and I thought was a third space sim out there which is a little bit more cartoony and style. But I thought, I wonder how He was mean anything with that. So I went out looking for No Man's Sky machinima I found actually a lot. A lot of it's in the same sort of style as the World of Warcraft kind of humour videos. And the one I've chosen is like that. But actually, some of them are not so funny and some of them are and this one, somehow thing about it just made me laugh. And so I decided to choose it for this month as my selection. So as you think,

Ricky Grove 15:31
excellent choice. I've always admired No Man's Sky. And I'm glad to hear I'm cheered to hear that there's a lot of machinima out there. I'm gonna definitely take a look at some of it. I love this. It's sort of a throwback to older machinima, which was irreverent, you know, kicking at the game, and then sort of reversing all the things you can do in it, doing it and make funny scenarios with it. It succeeds despite the fact that it's cute. Satire is always a great mode for machinima. I think I love the acting, and overall, anything in the shots. It did. Like one of the previous films I mentioned, the Stalker film, it did needed some sound work, for example, zapped sound of moving beams. You know, when they were moving things around, there was no sound to that at all. I think it would have been added to the belief in the world to have a light zaps out and you could do that in 10 minutes. So I would urge the creators to look at adding more sound realistic soundscapes to their video, but I enjoyed it. It made me laugh, too. I love the twist. It's just great. It was great.

Tracy Harwood 16:43
Yeah, I must admit I I kind of liked the riff on the Lost in Space as a promotion removal company. That was great. And there were some lovely ideas in it that were really quite funny and in the way that they were presented, you know, the kind of the reduction of stuff to matter reconstitution to original somewhere else move thematic type don't do move romantic stuff. And then the new to us removal vans was wonderful.

Ricky Grove 17:17
already quite very,

Tracy Harwood 17:19
very, very witty. Yeah, I thought it was some real good humour in that. I think the the concept of moving between live stream out in space, that kind of aesthetic to that local recording view was was one done to it, because you remember, they kind of had that sort of streaming sound. And then we're here live sound kind of, yeah. Which was I thought that was generally pretty well done. I kind of felt that the soundscape had that kind of 1980s vibe going. You know. I think the bit that kind of irritated me a little bit was the Sooty and Sweep show. Sound sweet, squeaky stuff. Which I'm guessing a lot of US audience probably won't understand what I'm talking about there. But these were these were like, high pitched sort of squeaks as a sort of, you know, that kind of got increasingly demented as time went on. And I just thought that was overdone a little bit. But overall, I thought it did really well linking together the analogue ish style streaming. Even though you could say they were, you know, I suppose, quite a few anachronisms in it. Not least, the fact that they were trying to digitise things, you know, in this in this kind of aesthetic style that they were doing. But generally, I thought that was it was just really, really good fun to watch. So yeah, great choice. Thank you.

Damien Valentine 18:51
Yeah. Glad you guys enjoyed it. Alright, last film is yours, Ricky. So what have you got for us?

Ricky Grove 18:57
Well, I got that. As I mentioned in our news podcasts last week, I have subscribed to the Milan Machinima Festival newsletter. And in one of their newsletter entries, they had a mention of an artist named David Blandy. And I followed it watch their trailer and then went to his website which is a beautiful website and started poring through that and was very impressed with his work and machinima and many other areas. So I decided to choose him as my film. An artist, but I realised you know, it's too much to be to ask all of you to go through the entire work of an artist so I thought it would be better to choose a specific machinima film that represents his work. And I'll let me talk about him just briefly. He's lives in work in Brighton and London. He is a an interesting he has his feet in two worlds ones in the sort of popular world of animation in machinima and, and then then he has his other foot in this sort of art world. So he's sort of high-low artists interesting. He examines society consciousness uses all sorts of digital techniques. He's a composer. He's written music. He uses digital tools to create all sorts of installations, videos and machinima. He uses machinima. You can go if you go to which we'll put a link to his personal website, you can see some of his amazing stuff. He's been an artist and resident, everywhere. He's very popular. He's got all sorts of interesting interviews where he talks about his philosophy. But the film that I chose that I thought was interesting that Milan Machinima Festival was talking about is called How to Fly. And it's a very unique machinima in that the first part of the of the film is the actual how he made this film, and the tools that he used to make it. So the first part is non-fiction. And then when he's doing the editing, he pushes into a close up of the editing screen, and it becomes the film. And the challenge was, you go from a non-fiction setting, in which you're not watching a story to a fiction setting. And how do you draw people in and he made that transition beautifully, because you get involved in the film, and you realise it's really quite a lyrical, beautiful film that he made inside of GTA five. And he's talking about free and he wrote his own here, and we took a script. And he uses he narrates it beautifully. It's really a, fantastic and interesting method of creating machinima. He's done this several times. My only caveat to the film was during the process of his setting the film up. He says, I went to Google to check on the Gosh, what was the bird the core cormorant? I think it was Yeah. And he grabs the text from somebody's website on the Cormorant. And then he uses that text in his film, but he never credits the people who actually did the text. Which I wouldn't do that. I don't think that's a, I don't think that's ethically right to do that. So that's a downside to the film. I think, however, in given the fact that he was just trying to show how to put something together quickly, I can see it, but I don't think that's the best way to do do that. Contact the people ask them for their permission to use the material, and then use the material. But otherwise, I just think he's a fascinating artist that I'm going to follow in the future. And I really, really enjoyed How to Fly. What did you guys think of it?

Tracy Harwood 23:14
Well, I, you know, I was really curious when you said that, that that video, there's not there's not much context to the video. But you kind of get the sense that actually what it is, isn't perhaps a video art piece, but a performance. I mean, it could be wrong, and maybe an online performance. I'm not sure that the more I've watched it, the more I thought it's not what it appears to be as a video, or, or, or even a tutorial. There's a kind of poetic quality to it. Which starts with him, as you sort of said, selecting this kind of avatar and then apparently grabbing some thematic content from the web using this, as you said, Ricky, random Google search and then adding any bit of music to it, and hitting play, and voila, you have this kind of, you know, piece created through the magic of the computer. And it and it's incredibly you know, the it's got a real aesthetic quality to it. It's kind of I call it poetry, reflecting on on a bird as a kind of metaphor for something else. Maybe life I don't know. All of the Avatar representations of all of them to select why cormorant which which I thought was really curious kind of thing. And then for all of the, the ways to search for words. The words that he selected, that piece of text word were really quite odd, somehow quite quite strange 'the meaning of cormorant', though, it's kind of curious I thought. And then the more you reflect on it, the more I think what's being explored here is kind of personal meaning through the form's that he's using, and those, and those forms are created into something that is kind of quite meditative. So I don't think that's a tutorial video at all. And that's something else completely. And I think what that constitutes is his aesthetic style. And that's what led me to have a look at some of the other pieces because I know you didn't give us links to those other pieces. But then I got quite curious about how he's doing this. And there's another piece in a very similar vein to it, to that one that you selected, called How to Live, similar sort of thing pitched as this kind of tutorial. But it's a tutorial this time on creating poetry using depth, photographs and visuals. And that kind of mesmerising voice, which says, absolutely nothing at all of any great substance, but it's the and then the soporific quality of it that's kind of meditative. And then amazingly in preparation for our podcast. I follow David on Twitter, and he followed back and we had what I can only really describe as a totally serendipitous exchange, when he very generously shared with us the link to his latest piece, which is called Androids Dream. And I'm guessing that's why you got your T shirt on. Okay, isn't it? All right. Absolutely. So that film was released on the ninth of November, and it was actually showcase at the Milan Machinima film festival, but as a physical part of the programme, not not online. So it's not actually viewable on his channel at all. But that piece, if you ever get a chance to watch, it really follows a very similar creative process to the other two that we just talked about. using Unreal Engine and the sort of cyberpunk scene scape and game characters in which he kind of situates an almost proposition. I think about what the meaning of cyberpunk is on what the meaning of metaverse and that's what I think is aesthetic is it's the kind of 'what's the meaning of' so, you know, it has this kind of similar sort of mesmerising, hypnotic voice, this kind of ebbing and flowing into visuals, these kind of words washing over you and have to say, with that particular one, the androids dream one, really super Intriguingly, I didn't even notice the point at which the language being spoken, changed from English to just nonsense. And he, you know, he sort of says in the videos, words went into reverse. So it's a genuinely immersive and fascinating new immersive experience just getting absorbed into his videos, I think. His honest in his creative statement, he's basically talking about constructing his sense of self using found media and cultural appropriation. So I think in that sense, it's obvious that Machinima is going to be a component of what he does. Clearly, you know, looking at his portfolio, he's got a great empathy with Japanese culture, and arts intermingled with anime fantasy stories, and his kind of love for travel and experience in in kind of both physical and virtual worlds really comes through in that whole portfolio, definitely recommend looking at other work that he's produced. And there's also another video that helps you make sense of what his work is about. And it's called Backgrounds. And I'll put a link in the show notes for you as well on that one, which largely is about his relationship with his father, who was also an artist. But ultimately, in my sort of, reflection on on the work in relation to his artist statement, and, and the portfolio, I kind of felt there's a small sense of something that was missing for me. And I'm not sure what it was or what it is. But somehow that presentation is kind of incomplete. It's kind of an abstraction of something much more detail. Maybe that's how the work induces you into a kind of meditative state, because in Android dream, androids dreams. He does kind of make reference to a missing sensory component that he's definitely trying to invoke in the presentation of that work. And that's basically the sense of, you know, the the sense of smell basically, or as you're kind of wandering around a virtual environment. Anyway, I felt that the work, at least for me is, as a viewer isn't isn't so much about construction, but there's about a representation or a window, into his self or into his kind of personhood. And I guess, really, that's what all artists do. But, but actually, I kind of love that sense of an aesthetic approach I got through the pieces that we kind of looked at here. And they're all very different. But my takeaway, I think, was that the work wasn't so much about his experience, but my own sense of absorption, as I just sort of sank into the scenes and these kinds of words, wafted over me and the music and the kind of the patterns of the sounds. I guess the other thing is, I don't know if you notice, Ricky, but he's also got this great passion to zines, and I wondered if you'd pick that up as well. No, I haven't. Anyway, yeah, I loved it. I really did love it.

Ricky Grove 31:16
Thank you. Boy, that's some of the most, this is some of the best criticism I've ever heard you speak. It's marvellous.

Damien Valentine 31:23
Now I got to follow up on that. Sorry.

Ricky Grove 31:26
It was good, really good.

Damien Valentine 31:30
One thing that struck me is, you have that sort of tutorial. Like you couldn't really follow it. But he kind of, he's not really showing you how to make a film, he's kind of giving you a taste of how he makes something. And it's just a taste of it, he's not going into depth that you need to press this, and you need to click on this to do to do all this other stuff, right. And you've got this. It kind of cuts out to other things like that the Google Search, which I wondered about that too, like you two did. But you keep coming back to the footage in GTA, which, when you see the film in the second half of the video, that's not where he started capturing the footage, he actually, if you're watching the whole thing all the way through, then you see the the machinima part of it, which is the bird flying all the way through the video, but it's not the whole film, that you see it yet. But he isn't a moment when he crashes and it goes wrong. And moments like that, which is what happens when you're making machinimas you can very easily trip up the game mechanics and mess up your scenes. Uh, you have to set up again, but he I think this was done on purpose for the video, because it adds a little bit of humour to it. Right, right. But yeah, it's just you have to watch all the way through to see the whole film. So you're getting half the film in the making off the film, which I thought was an interesting way to do it as well.

Ricky Grove 33:04
Perhaps he's one of the most successful artists or poets, as you imply there, Tracy, in combining a film of ideas, with a film of feelings, putting those two things together in such a way that are is impactful. Too often you find the academic world using Machinima is basically just a platform for criticism or philosophy, or ideas. And the video is secondary. It's just a supporting structure. And it's often quite abstract, so that they don't have to actually come up with images that actually correspond to the ideas clearly, for most viewers. Where David Blandy succeeds as he combines those two together in such a way that they not only inspire you, intellectually, but they also move you as well. There's something you're right, there's something very allergic about that cormorant flying around and the choice of the cormorant to begin with, and the fact that it would be in a game like GTA five. It's just fascinating.

Damien Valentine 34:18
As Excellent choice, Ricky. Absolutely, yes.

Ricky Grove 34:21
Yeah. I hope to follow through. Perhaps we'll work out an interview with David to talk about some of his work in June, we'll see.

Tracy Harwood 34:34
Yeah, yeah, that would be really good.

Damien Valentine 34:36
So we've covered our films, but we had some in our feedback, which he read out last week. From Mike Clements. He wants to know, what do you do with your film once you've finished it? So this this is obviously when you've got your footage, you've done, the sound work and the live voice acting and all the music, it's all finished and you're ready, you've got this completed film. So what do you do with it afterwards? Well, what's next? So that's going to be our topic of discussion for this week. So who would like to get started?

Ricky Grove 35:07
I'd like to address that first. I think that's a very, it's, even though it's a simple question, it has a real complexity to it. Because there's so many different things you can do. It's also an emotional experience as well, because you've put all this time and effort, you've maybe worked with other people to get stuff done, you finally have finished it. It's almost like once it's finished, well, then I want to move on to another project. You know, I just finished that creative project, I'll just put like a painter, who finishes the painting, sticks it in the corner and then moves on to the next one. But machinima is a social medium. How many times have we said on this programme that it's about the community as well. So the first thing you need to do with this film was to share it with communities, perhaps the game that you were making it in as a large community, you can post it in the forum. If you're a person that can take criticism, including troll criticism, which is, it's inevitable, you'll be getting that, then put it on the forum. If you are somebody who can't take much criticism, share it with your friends privately, get some feedback on the film, get some ideas about did you make some mistakes? can you improve on that stuff, that's what you should do the very first thing. Now if you want to go further, you feel that the film is a success, and it has a wider appeal than just the community and your friends, then perhaps you should consider sharing it in competitions, or sharing it in a festival, submitting it to other festivals, or putting it creating a YouTube channel that features your, or Vimeo channel that that features your films, and setting them up so that you can create content on a regular basis. Again, remember, you're gonna get feedback, there are ways to cut off comments so you don't get that if you're not interested in it. But in general, you want to get feedback because you want to develop an audience for your film. Beyond that, I don't, I can't tell you what to do. But I think those first two things, are some of the alternatives you have when you finally finish your film.

Tracy Harwood 37:24
Yeah, I mean, I think making the film is one whole thing. And it's all it's the thing that most folks love to focus on. But you still, you know, once you've done it, if you're going to put it out there and to the widest audience that you would like creating a promotional campaign for something. Well, that's quite tough to do, I think, you know, you've got all the usual social media channels that you could use, you got a website. And then of course, like Rickey says, the fact that the film festival route can also take you in a whole different direction, none of that none of what I'm talking about, there is actually free to do it's not just a case of slapping it on a channel and, and job done. That's just, it just doesn't seem to work that way anymore. I think, you know, YouTube and Vimeo are a one thing. But we've also got streaming channels now like Streamable, and Twitch, that you could think about, you know, how you showcase your work through that. And not only that, it seems to me that there's quite a lot of machinima content emerging on Tiktok? Well, quite what that is, I don't know, I haven't really kind of spent a lot of time going through. It's all kind of the rubbishy stuff that we used to see on As far as I can tell, at this moment in time, but is that a good channel to promote it on and you know, push people to other channels? Maybe, maybe. And then of course, you've got a Patreon system. There's a paywall structure for that, that you can share content on, privately. But some of these channels will really only work well for you if you've got an established audience and getting the established audiences really hard to do. And I think it's often easier to find an audience if when you're using it, or if you've created stuff in game based machinima, you know, your starting point really is is kind of already exists around the game world that you're working with. So you've got to start with that community before trying to sort of broaden your horizons, I think because you'll often get better comments back from that kind of world than you will from a more broad general audience. But one thing I will say, you know, having tried to promote the show a little bit over the last 18 months You know, what do you try and sort of pitch into channels that already apparently exist for machinima content, generally, they have this kind of no self promotion set of rules. And you get that in a lot of communities. And it's the very antithesis of what communities are supposed to be about. So quite frankly, I would avoid like the plague those kinds of groups, even though they appear to be set up for exactly what it is you want, they are not helpful places to go. Just find the ones that you're welcome into the ones that you can contribute to as well as receive feedback from. And then of course, the next thing to do is just make another film. I think that's,

Ricky Grove 40:48
yeah, yeah. Good, good ideas there.

Damien Valentine 40:51
Yeah, let's see, can you finish your film, sharing it is important, because for one thing, we want to see it. So we can talk about your film. But how you do it depends on really what you want to do with the film as well. I mean, if you're going into it thinking I want to submit to film festivals, one of the things you need to be aware of with film festivals is if you've made your film public, they may reject it on the grounds that other people have seen it first. So you can have a private audience, for your family and your friends to show them the film. But if you put it on YouTube, you may find that you're turned down from film festivals because they like the idea of this is a film that we've got exclusively at our event, where, regardless of whether it's an online event, obviously, going back to real world festivals now. They like that exclusivity, not all film festivals are like that, though, some are happy to have your film, if it's been on YouTube, and you know, a million people have seen it, they'll still happily accept it, and you may win something. But it's something to keep in mind. Before you release it is if you want that option, look at the film festivals first that you're thinking about submitting to to see what their rules are, and then have at it and then do share it. And places like YouTube are a good place, because you've got, it's easy to put a video on there. There's no if you haven't done anything, like use copyrighted music, you don't have to worry about anything like that, you just put it up there. And it's a good place that you can link people to, to direct it. So if you, you know, put your video up on YouTube, and you want to share it on your Facebook page, or you just take the link and post it on Facebook and all your friends on Facebook can see it and so is a very convenient place to share. Because the other thing about YouTube is you are going to get the trolls I would say just either laugh at the comments if that's your sense of humour, or just ignore them. If I don't know that get under your skin, because these people probably not gonna have any idea how to make what you just made. And why should they be nasty to you and put you down when they can't do it themselves. So ignore them and just use it as a good platform to share your work.

Ricky Grove 43:24
Good advice.

Tracy Harwood 43:25
Yeah. Yeah. Actually, I mean, it's really interesting that you took that files and whatnot. My only recent experience with a lot of trolls was for not not for artwork that I've done. But for artwork that had been put into my Art AI festival. We had something like 7000 trolling messages for this piece of work. And I'll tell you what the work was, it was a deep fake of Elvis. And what what basically was going on was it the message was are about don't don't mess with my, with my iconic Elvis is basically what the board's trolling messages about. But generally, why I looked at that as a positive thing is because the whole point of the festival was to put new kinds of technologies in front of the general public. And the fact that they've taken the time to write something nasty, I have to say about the artists messing with this image of this long dead icon just to me showed that our strategy did work. So

Damien Valentine 43:58
I find this three kinds of feedback you get you get the first time which is this is the best thing I've ever seen. Make more. That's great. It's always nice to hear that. Then you get I really enjoyed this but the music was a little bit too quiet. I couldn't hear it. And that's good because you know, you can learn from that for your next film. And then of course you get the trolls which is this is the worst thing ever seen, you should never make anything again. And that's, you know, that's a very mild troll. Yeah, those are the ones you ignore. But you get the idea. Some of the feedback you get may not be so positive, but it's something you can learn from, which is another important thing. Because, you know, listen to it, because you can learn from it and make your next year better.

Ricky Grove 45:22
The key thing I think, in, in after you finish your film is learning from your film. And in order to do that, you have to participate in a community. If that's not your thing, then just keep making films, you know, do whatever you want with them. But if you want to get it out there, and you want to get feedback, as Damien so clearly enunciated the three types of criticism, look for that second type of criticism where you actually get helpful things like, you know, you could improve your sound editing, or this didn't make sense, or it was too quiet. And then note those things down. And then when you go back to make your second film, check those things to make sure you've solved those problems. It's a way to grow as a filmmaker. Yeah.

Tracy Harwood 46:08
I guess the other thing to say is, you could always send it to us to all three of those things in one hit from us.

Ricky Grove 46:18
Although I have to say, your film has to have a certain level of competence for us to be able to include it here. Yeah. And we're not being elitist. It's just that we want to make sure that the films that we share with our listeners and viewers are good films are basically solid, well crafted films for the most part. So if you think you have that kind of film, please submit it to us we'd be we'd love to take a look at it.

Tracy Harwood 46:48
Absolutely, yeah.

Damien Valentine 46:51
All right. Well, I think that's an interesting discussion is is just to see what you both had to offer on what to do with film is absolutely done. So hopefully, that answers Mike's question. And he has that helpful when he finishes his film.

Ricky Grove 47:06
Yeah, send us more questions like, we want to answer them. Oh, please

Damien Valentine 47:09
do and we'll do our best to help you. Alright, so that's the end of our film section and the end of our stream for this month. So thank you so much for choosing those films Ricky and Tracy,

Ricky Grove 47:26
and Phil to another great selection of films. I'm really, I'm always impressed with the things that everybody comes up with. Yeah.

Damien Valentine 47:33
I so thank you for listening. And join us next time. And see you then. Bye Check.

Ricky Grove 47:40
Check out our show completely for all the show notes and feedback forms. And thank