Saturday, April 18, 2009

Notice: F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

Last Updated: April 10th, 2010

Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: My name is Jon Graham, and I'm a film student currently working for Machinima.com as a writer/producer/director/editor/composer/voice actor.  I make stupid little movies with either toys and a home-grade video camera or in the video game Halo 3 using its real-time engine that are put on the internet.  I am known best for my work on Arby 'n' the Chief, a machinima/live action hybrid series.

Q: What is machinima?
A: Machinima.com is the organization I work for, and the term "machinima" refers to cinema created using a computer-generated real-time engine, most commonly in video games.

Q: What hardware/software do you use in your routine and how is your equipment set up?
A: I'll go through this step by step:

1. With Final Draft, I write a short screenplay (usually around 8 pages).
2. With Goldwave and a Sony F-V220 microphone at my computer, I record the lines from the script.
3. With Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, I place the voice files on the timeline appropriately (creating all the conversations of the video, but without an image yet).
4. With Halo 3, an Xbox 360, and 4 controllers, I create film sets in Forge mode and body act all the actions of the script in split-screen games.
5. With Halo 3, an Xbox 360, 1 controller, Pinnacle Moviebox, and Pinnacle Studio 12, I enter Theatre mode and record footage using the game data from body acting, coming up with camera angles on the fly.  I don't storyboard (although as good practice, I should, but there's little time for it).
6. With Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 again, I'll cut my footage and place the appropriate video over the conversations I laid out with my voice files previously.
7. With FL Studio and East/West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra and Stormdrum 2 instrument packs, I compose music for the video.

It should be known that I hate Pinnacle.  Their software is sketchy and every piece of hardware I've purchased from them has eventually crapped out.  However, I stick with them because there's no other products around me that are more reliable and do what I need them to do.