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Ivy Film Festival 2009

The Ivy Film Festival Machinima Competition has been through its judging period for both the audience and jury awards, and I just wanted to point out a few of the finalists that I thought were worthy of mentioning.

First is Damien Valentine's Star Wars: A Galaxy in Darkness, jury award winner and by far the highest production value of the group. This fourth installment in Valentine's "Darkness Saga" is worth a watch. In fact, all four of the films are worth a watch (if you have about 3 hours spare), as it shows the five-year progression of a filmmaker's talents as he learns new skills, fine-tunes his craft, and takes increasingly greater advantage of the gaming and modding technologies he is using to create the story, which combines well-written scripts with acting voiced by both professionals and talented amateurs.

A Galaxy in Darkness adds what was most lacking in all the previous films: lip sync. Valentine had recorded most of his footage before learning the technique to create lip sync in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, after which he had to re-record that footage to include it. Over the previous films Valentine had intertwined the JKA footage with epic space battles using Star Wars: Empire at War and its sequels, which provide high resolution, highly coordinated combat scenarios. Editing the footage from these very different games together results in a well-crafted fan film that is sure to please Star Wars fans, machinima enthusiasts, and general audiences.

Second on my list of watchables is the audience award winner, Flying. This is a short piece that vaguely reminded me of Wall-E in that it is about a robot with personality. The animation of the robot is very well done in that it conveys emotion from what is otherwise a chunk of steel with arms. The theme of breaking free of monotony and following your passion usually works well with non-living subjects, as it does in this story of a robot who wants to get off the assembly line and fly. While I was most impressed by the conveyance of frustration at the robot's ill-fated attempts at liftoff, the light-hearted (and explosive) humor is also well-timed if a little campy.

Congratulations to both these films on their achievement in the Ivy Film Festival 2009.

Two other films in the finalist list worth a watch are Hurt, which is perhaps a bit over-dramatic but entertaining for its five-minute length, and Nintendo Bushido, a mash-up that is well-composited and well-edited if a bit long.

-- Ingrid

  1. Blogger Ricky Grove | April 21, 2009 at 12:09 PM |  

    Great news! Thanks for the post, Ingrid. And congrats to Damien for his award winning work. Whoo-Wee!

  2. Blogger Damien Valentine | April 21, 2009 at 1:08 PM |  

    Thankyou for the article Ingrid and your comment Ricky! :)

  3. Blogger Overman | April 22, 2009 at 6:17 AM |  

    Thanks for posting this, Ingrid. And congratulations Damien!!! Woohoo!!!

  4. Anonymous Tari Akpodiete | April 22, 2009 at 3:06 PM |  

    Huge congrats on your achievement, Damien. You deserve all the kudos!

  5. Blogger Harrison | April 30, 2009 at 7:53 AM |  

    Nice write up Ingrid. Congrats to the winners!

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