<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d5701459753799525439\x26blogName\x3dMachiniplex3\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://machiniplex3.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://machiniplex3.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d4969273092228473609', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

« Home | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next »

Some thoughts about Creative Freedom

This is my first post here on the machiniplex blog and as such it seemed appropriate to share this, it's earliest examples of animation, dating back to 3200BC.

A few months ago, as I was working on my current machinima project (an original sci-fi series), a question popped into my head, “Wouldn't it be great if the BBC or some other studio picked this up and broadcast it?” and as I continued, I thought it over and came to my answer. No.

Sure, it would be nice to have an easier time casting the characters, being able to hire a dedicated team of 3d modelers to create more custom content than I'm able to produce myself, having a budget so I'm able to actually pay the people who contribute their voices and other talents, the list goes on.

Those are all good things and I'd still like to be able to do them but there's an something important about producing the series the way I am. There's nobody telling me to change this or that for whatever reasons, no threat of cancellation, no scheduling decisions out of my control. I'm able to make the series, tell the stories and release them as I see fit. Of course there are limitations with this approach but nothing that prevents me from carrying on with the project.

A web series I've been following is The Guild. It's not machinima but it's a good example of a show created without studio involvement. Several attempts to pitch the series were made but it was ultimately rejected. My understanding is the people approached didn't quite get the gamer humour and thought it wouldn't draw a big enough audience on television.

That didn't stop the series creator, Felicia Day. She went ahead and produced it anyway, self funding the first few episodes and the others with fan donations. I think it's great to see initiative like that and it's rather inspiring. The show has quite a big fan base now, with episode views in the hundreds of thousands.

That leads to another great thing about to this independent web based method of telling stories and film making, that's being able to interact directly with the audience. Executive Producers for television shows probably don't have the time to take a good look at what the fans are saying online, let alone post on forums and reply to comments. In fact, only one person who has filled that role comes to mind, J. Michael Straczynski who created Babylon 5. From the early planning stages to the present day, he has maintained a presence on Usenet where he discussed how the show was developing and even though it's been over for many years, he posts about his current projects.

I'm sure just about everyone who has made and released machinima has had some kind of online feedback. It's all part of the fun to know that after the time and effort you put into creating something, people are finding it, watching it and getting something from it. In some cases, even inspiring them to start working on their own videos (machinima or otherwise).

While this pretty much covers everything I had to say, I'd be interested to hear what other people think of all this. Any good thoughts or stories? Please share.

  1. Blogger Ricky Grove | June 24, 2008 at 10:39 PM |  

    I agree with you, Damien. The advantages of independent (or at least self production) are obvious for anyone who is working/creating in machinima. The interaction with a fan base, the freedom of doing what you want, the relative ease of presentation (online) and the low cost are all things I appreciate and desire as a filmmaker. I've worked professionally in film and I didn't like it. Which is why I quit.

    Of course,the disadvantage is money and a higher standard of work ethic (generally). But, frankly, I don't think I'd want someone to buy my series and then pay me to make it, unless I was free to do as I please. And, of course, there would be all kinds of strings attached. There always are when money is involved.

    I think it's also entirely possible that better, more creative work can be done by filmmakers outside of a professional production system.

    Nice post, Damien. I'm not familiar with The Guild, but I'll definitely check it out now.

  2. Anonymous Hugh "Nomad" Hancock | June 25, 2008 at 2:41 AM |  

    Erm, does "yes!" count as a useful comment?

    Ricky - you should definitely take a look at The Guild. Really impressive stuff.

  3. Blogger Pineapple Pictures | June 25, 2008 at 3:15 AM |  

    Thanks for the link to 'The Guild'. I haven't come across that series before, and after watching a couple of episode I want to see the rest. Yes, it is very tempting to want to feel validated by having work picked up by a media network, but the balance of power has shifted so much. There must be many creators out there who don't want to make the compromises necessary. I really hope that the gradual dispersion of the media monopolies will lead to a greater variety of people seeing their lives reflected in film. Kate

  4. Blogger Coyote Republic | June 25, 2008 at 9:40 AM |  

    I was thinking about some examples of people who seem to have incredible creative freedom AND commercial viability AND huge followings. Hello Lucas, Whedon, Davies and many more!

    In my ideal world, you get the best of both worlds. And sometimes it's not about being ABLE to do what you want as much as grabbing the bull by the horns and sticking to your guns. Someone told Lucas to use disco music in Star Wars because it was "really in" - some personal integrity can go a long way in beating the pursors.

    Of course, you have to get there first...

leave a response