Case study - Winning awards at film festivals


Iain Friar is a machinima director from the UK.

Having started out making comedy sketches, he moved on to more thought-provoking and visually interesting drama.

See Iain Friar's machinima blog here.

His most successful movie so far is Clockwork, which has been screened at film festivals around the world, and virtual festivals online. It has won many awards including Ollies for Best Arthouse and Best Shortform movie, and in 2009 won the Machinima Expo Grand Prize.

 

"My main reason to use moviestorm originally, was for comedy sketches with my friends - but that was all. I thought I'd make a movie, it would be funny and that would be the end of it. But actually as I started to get into it, I could see other people who were making serious movies that were received quite well, and I thought I could probably do something like that myself. I have an interest in sort of dark, hystopian type stories and 1984 genre, and I've always had ideas of stories I would write.

That was what I did with Clockwork, I knew when I finished the movie that it was the best movie that I had created in terms of using Moviestorm, but I didnt think necessarily think anyone else would agree that it was very good, but it was really well received.

I put Clockwork in for a couple of festivals, and it was shown in Paris. During the festival they had an audience choice award, where people who watched the movies could vote on their favourite movie, and I ended up winning the audience choice award, and Clockwork was shown on a huge screen. That was a great achievement." says Friar.

 

 

Watch Clockwork by Ian Friar

 

 "I felt that to have gone from never having made a movie at all, to winning the grand prize at The Machinima Expo (given that the competition was very strong with a lot of people who have been very well established, and respected for the movies that they create) was a huge ego boost."

Other movies that have attracted attention include Cloud Angel, about an airship, and Embers, which tells a story of what might have happened in the Cold War. Friar's movie Ruth is filmed as an animated stage play, and has a chilling twist at the end! Friar's most recent movie is Trichophagia, in which he experimented in post production.

 

"Machinima is about opening up film making to the masses, but that doesn't mean your movies can't be intelligent, or entertaining to watch. If my audience feels that watching my movies is time well spent - well, that makes me happy."

 

Friar explains the work he does when creating a movie: "When I have a movie that I'm working on, I can fit in about 10 hours a week, and it develops as you go through the movie. When I start the movie, I'd spend a couple of hours drafting a script and experimenting with the software, then its going through the process of finding voice actors, scripting the actors, and directing the voice actors accordingly. As a movie is in development it gets more intense and more time demanding."

 

 

Watch The Chapleside Deception by Ian Friar

 

 

"Machinima drifts in an online world, a lot of people that are making movies are from a gaming background, but I felt that there was a wider audience out there who weren't interested that it was done on a computer at home, but would be interested in seeing the end result as a film that you can watch.

I started contacting some local film societies, who were very keen to have me go along, give a little introduction, talk a little bit about making movies using Moviestorm and show my movies. It's been shown in Winchester, Andover etc. Andover for example, showed it in their local cinema - they went to great lengths to get the right equipment to actually show my movie - I really appreciated that. Afterwards, the audience could ask questions etc, and the response was fantastic.

 

"These societies enabled me to show the movie to people who had no idea what Machinima was, and Moviestorm showed what it was possible to do, just by working on a computer at home and creating movies."

 

Moviestorm has changed the way I watch films, because the whole time I'm conscious of camera angles, how the camera moves and how lighting is applied - and these are things I would have never thought about before using Moviestorm. There's always something that you can try to recreate in Moviestorm.

It empowers you to make movies, if you're the sort of person who has a need for a creative outlet, it is a great thing to investigate. One of the big advantages is that you do not need to be technical in order to understand the software, because as you use it your knowledge will improve."

 

 

Watch Trichophagia by Ian Friar

 

"Moviestorm is technology which is there to enable you to create, rather than get in the way of making the movie."

 

"I'm working on a second part to Trichophagia to bring it to a conclusion, so that's my next project at the moment. I've always got story ideas for different things that I'd like to do and different types of visual treatment.

I like doing post production to change the look and feel of the video, in my last movie, I tried to make it look like a comic book, using speech bubbles and a filter so it looks more like a printed page.

I've got ideas for other things that I can do, which I'd like to try out in the future, so we'll have to wait and see!"

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