Machinima – a deeply silly art

I got a message on YouTube:

01geTnM has made a comment on Foetus – 30 years in 3 minutes:

“This paired with the computergames junk you’ve uploaded is really weird

It’s like depth with total idiocy ? What gives ?”

“Depth with total idiocy” – I want that on my tombstone. The “what gives?” question really intrigued me, because there are so many answers to that.

Is he surprised that I have depth? Or that I enjoy silliness? If I think of some of the brightest people I know, one was the CEO who cornered me in a lift to deliver an impromptu test of my knowledge of Disney movies; another is a world class academic who is quite the most flippant person I’ve met; and a third was a politician friend who used to joke about wearing paperclips in their underwear to set off the metal detectors in the House of Commons. Or perhaps it was the actual videos themselves. They may not look like much, but each serves a purpose.

The Foetus one was created to illustrate the Brainwashed interview I did, but much to my frustration I found on uploading the piece that I couldn’t embed the video into the article. It had taken some 15 hours to create – first finding that only some of the MP3s would work with Windows Movie Maker (only the ones ripped from CD or downloaded from Amazon, rather than – and then changing my mind several times about every song clip and photograph used.

Inspired by Zack’s hilarious game dance-off vids (above), my Guild Wars vs Morrowind vs Oblivion video was originally set to Gwen Stefani’s Wind It Up (the original is available at Planet Elder Scrolls), and “sound-swapped” by YouTube for copyright reasons. (Zack himself used the “fair use” argument for his videos and won. I did try to contact the publishers, but they didn’t respond.) The video took 30 hours to record and 10 hours to edit. I had created specially modded game characters for the Oblivion/Morrowind scenes (and used various animation mods), and my guild-mates patiently took my directions to synch up the in-game animations for Guild Wars. At nearly a quarter of a million views, I’m amazed by its popularity, and delighted that people have found it enjoyable.

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