In one of the many conspiracy theories in my crazy mind, the scenario where Google and Apple merge to form Skynet is probably the most realistic. The new film Terminator Salvation will no doubt re-assure me that in the future, evil robots with the glowing eyes will not only have machine guns for arms, but also know my search history from when I was in 11th grade. As for my place in the future, I’ll be in the cave, telling the youngsters how I should have paid more attention to the Terminator franchise back in the day.
In particular I might tell them about Machinima.com‘s Terminator Salvation Machinima Series of summer 2009. I’d point out that since it was the first machinima series to be produced with a major studio (Warner Brothers) and one of the first to feature ultra high production values, it was a potential turning point in the rise of robots as master enslavers. Was it a coincidence that it had “Machinima” in the title? We’ll see if this becomes the series to start the ball rolling towards judgment day.
“We are trying to find the John Lasseter moment, the breakaway series. The South Park for the gamer generation,” says Aaron DeBevoise, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Programming at Machinima.com.
The series may or may not be the breakaway series the genre needs, but it certainly could be. Focusing on resistance fighter Blair Williams, voiced by the gorgeous (and coolly named) actress Moon Bloodgood. The character of Williams appears in the film as one of the resistance fighters who in the post Judgment Day world, fights the good fight against the metallic forces of Skynet (I mean, Google?). DeBovoise points out that while the movie shows rise as John Connor as a resistance leader, the machinima, a prequel of sorts to the film, “does that for Blair Williams.”
Each action-oriented episode is about 12 to 15 minutes length and uses the recently released Terminator Salvation video game as the engine to power the series. The expert artists at Machinima added the sound design, some basic dialogue animations, and most importantly a stylistic approach to directing the action. This is not some bootleg Halo 3 nut drop series, the camera here swoops through the action, dodges bullets, and slides from cover to cover, trailing our warrior heroine as she unloads hot lead on the evil machines.
“We used 100 percent of the assets from the game,” DeBovoise added.
While it is clear that the footage is from a game engine, it looks and sounds so good it doesn’t matter. Light rips through holes in buildings, rockets leave smoke trails and Terminator models of every kind (including some creepy new spider terminators) move just as you would expect them to. Make no mistake, this is the best looking and sounding machinima series I have ever seen, and that’s the truth, I swear on Arnold’s name.
New episodes come out each Monday for six weeks on iTunes and Amazon on Demand, but more frisky viewers can watch the previews on Machinima’s popular YouTube channel each Friday. The episodes are written by Andy Shapiro and produced by Salvation director McG, so one must imagine the potential for franchise characters to make appearances (DeBovoise was silent on this issue, so make of that what you may). Each episode looks armed and ready to deliver harder than a punch from a T-800 (the original Terminator model for all you non-Nator heads out there).
“The further you get the more familiar it will be,” DeBovoise hinted, “Each episode will get better and better.”
Let’s hope that Google and Apple (and maybe even Tubefilter) don’t become Skynet before the series finishes.