Welcome to Machiniplex!
So... just what the hell is Machiniplex? Just another machinima site, that promises much but expires in a few months? Maybe, maybe not.
Machiniplex is a collaborative project between Ingrid Moon, Ricky Grove, and myself (Jason Choi). The idea for the site began many years ago. When I first stepped onto the machinima scene, it was still relatively small. Machinima.com featured many cool videos that any aspiring machinimator could live up to. The majority of the videos on the site were new, fresh, and still had that indie feel to it. The whole movement was centered here, community intact. Filmmakers shared their films on the forums, and everyone saw what everyone else did.
Things are a little different now, isn't it? Machinima has grown in ways nobody imagined, and much too quickly. The movement exploded beyond any one site could hold, and as a result the community splintered in different ways - communities formed completely separately from the general machinima movement, and as a result the films themselves were strewn all over the web. In the past, when introducing someone to machinima, all I would have to do is log on to machinima.com to show them a variety of films that they'd be impressed by. Now, that's no longer possible. Some greats are on machinima.com, some only on YouTube, some only on blogs, and some are only on the author's website. More than this, as time went on and new machinima fans were born, it became increasingly harder to show people how machinima all started. Worse, many older films have had their links outdated and broken, and those films only became harder, if not impossible, to find. Thus the idea for Machiniplex was born.
Originally my idea was barebones simple, just a sort of digital machinima museum. A site that only featured the great films of the past, present, and future - nothing more, nothing less. All of the old Quake movies that were in-engine only, would be captured and immediately watchable on the site. Award winners, films that caused controversies, films that were rated highly by community members, etc., these were the types of films that would be focused on without any distractions such as advertisements or user comments. The idea was to replicate the real-life experience of visiting a museum or movie theater, and as a tribute to the filmmakers whose work deserves to be seen by people, without having to spend hours searching for it.
I pitched this idea to Ricky and Ingrid, and they were both excited about it. Soon they offered their own opinions on how the site can come to be. This included the idea for 'special features' - much like a DVD you purchase that comes packaged with the film itself, an audio commentary, and features on how the film was created. What a great idea!
Another idea that came about was the idea of premieres. What happened to the days of posting your film on the forums, having everyone watch it and having a lively 5 page discussion on it? I think we all miss those days, I know I do. It was even a big motivation for me to make a new film - the stress over how people would react, what they will like and dislike, the praises and the criticisms. The premiere idea brings this back, as well as offering a fresh perspective on it, taking advantage of modern technology, and at the same time giving the hardworking filmmaker the attention he deserves. A community doesn't have to be just on a forum - communities also thrive when there are fun and interesting events that they take part in, as I realized when I attended the Machinima Film Festival in 2006.
Currently, the machiniplex.com is an ongoing project, and the site you see now is only the beginning (perhaps 10% of what we ultimately want). We have some really cool ideas that we'll pull off in the near future, and once we do, you'll probably want to link machiniplex.com to random people and their mothers, without being embarrassed or fearful of their response. Machinima is here to stay, and as it continues to grow, we want people to walk away with the right impression of it!