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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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MMOvie: Feature Film Created Within Virtual Gaming Environment

Voig.com and Full Stealth Films today announced the worldwide release of MMOvie™, a high-definition (HD), machinima (pronounced mah-SHEE-ni-ma.) film. The film was shot entirely within the popular online game World of Warcraft™ (WoW) and will be released online, in ten installments. The first installment can be viewed at MMOvie.

The trailer for MMOvie appeared on Voig.com, YouTube and other online video sharing sites with over three million views. "With the global success of the MMOvie trailer, we discovered that video games are the new international language," said A.J. Loiacono, the founder of Voig.com and the executive producer of MMOvie. "Players all over the world interact with the same game elements and environments, so the gamer in Korea has a very similar experience to the gamer in Germany or the US. When we incorporate familiar game elements into our film, players can instantly relate to our story, even if they don't speak the language."

MMOvie parodies dozens of popular films as it follows the comedic story of treasure-hunter Indiana Pwnz. Indy is joined by his two companions, Bridget Pwnz, an impulsively vocal elf, and Harnold, a hulking brute who speaks using only quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger. Together, the three adventurers seek an ancient treasure, the Hallowed Artifact of Legend (HAL), in hopes that it will give them enough credibility to join the most elite guild of adventurers. Throughout the film, the heroic trio is shadowed by the orc mastermind Nefario, his scheming troll intern An00bis, and his undead secretary Shelia.

Machinima directors encounter filmmaking problems like their Hollywood counterparts, "Virtual production was essentially the same process as regular 'real world' production, just with a different set of challenges," said Nate Taylor, the director of MMOvie. "Instead of worrying that an actor can't deliver a line with the right emotion, I'm worried that the virtual character doesn't have an animation that does the actor's performance justice. Instead of worrying if the dolly grip can make a dolly move as slowly and smoothly as I want, I'm worried if our digital cameraman can strafe the camera sideways as slowly and smoothly as I want."

Patrick Brady, the Director of Animation described the production process and explained, "Voice over talent was cast, recorded, and then a rough voice track was assembled. In-game locations were scouted, and storyboards drawn up for each shot of the film. Using these locations and boards, each shot was framed and the character models positioned, using the screen of the main 'capture computer' as if it were the viewfinder of a film camera. Once the shot was set, the voice track was played and my team's "digital puppeteers" controlled the characters to interact with each other and deliver dialogue roughly matching the audio. Once the performances were captured and processed, the digital dailies were fed to the editor to cut like regular footage. The notable exception was the painful task of manipulating the dialogue footage, frame by frame, to make it synch to the voice talent's performance. For some of the more complicated shots, footage was captured against green-screen and utilized computer generated imagery (CGI)."

The MMOvie team faced the difficult challenge of releasing a feature film through the internet and delivering HD quality through an internet browser. To make the film Web-friendly, the team decided to produce MMOvie in 10 installments, with a new segment released every few weeks. "A ten minute segment represents approximately 60-80 GB of uncompressed HD footage, but through the use of advanced codecs and Ooyala's adaptive bitrate technology we are able to maximize video quality for each individual user," explained Sean Knapp, Founder and the President of Technology for Ooyala. "The use of our technology enables internet viewers to watch MMOvie in its original HD format and experience the spectacular environment of WoW."

To view the first installment please visit: http://mmovie.voig.com

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Chatelin Bruno
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