Ten years ago, when I saw Toy Story for the first time, I was clear to me that there would come a day where movies would be made without cameras.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would be enabled by a $70 computer game.
Machinima is the name given for making movies using video game software. It’s usage is exploding. There was a Business Week article on the subject where one 27 year old made a movie named “The French Democracy” about racism and the riots in France and got international acclaim and 1M downloads. He used a game called “The Movies” which can be bought from Lionhead Studios. According to the Business Week article, the site is seeing new movies added at a rate of 1 per minute. Here is a snapshot from a movie made using "The Movies".
But what I meant in the first sentence of this article is that one day, with enough computing, we won’t be able to tell the difference between a real human and a computer generated one. When that happens, there will be no need for actors and cameras. It will go from the mind of the creator directly to the screen.
You won’t need an audition to find the right actor, you’ll just create it.
It’s done today very well for characters that aren’t exactly human but close. I am talking about Orcs, Elves, some Jedi Knights, and a Hobbit that found an evil ring.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to think that Gollum and Yoda will gradually become more and more human looking, to the point where we won’t tell the difference between a computer generated Brad Pitt and the real one.
When I put Machinima together with what Pixar has shown us that can be done, it makes me believe that this revolution in movie making is a lot nearer than we think.
It's technology enabling the democratization of the movie business.