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BloodSpell is a 2006 fantasy film produced by Strange Company. BloodSpell employs filming techniques known as machinima, and is the first feature-length production to use BioWare's Aurora Engine, developed for the computer role-playing game Neverwinter Nights, to generate the video portion of the film.[1] The film was completed in December 8, 2006, after being released serially, in short episodes, under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License, which allows for redistribution, modification, and creation of fan fiction.[2]. Strange Company have asserted somewhat controversially that, as of 2006, BloodSpell, was the largest machinima production.

The series features numerous cameos, including several voice appearances from science fiction author Charles Stross.[citation needed]

In August 2006, a controversy sprung up around BloodSpell when the Leipzig Games Conference pronounced it too violent to be shown as part of their Machinima showcase. After a protest, the Games Conference changed their position (taking a considerable risk in light of the German press's attitudes to game violence) and allowed the film to be shown.

PlotEdit

BloodSpell tells the fictional story of Jered, a young Monk of the Church of the Angels, an organisation that exists to purify the Blooded, a term for those who release magical power when their blood is spilt. The story followed Jered as he joins forces with the Blooded in an attempt to gain his freedom.

DevelopmentEdit

BloodSpell was in development for more than two years. In late 2003, executive producer Hugh Hancock first began to work on the project in response to a claim that his work had lost its "punk edge".[3] A trailer was released on 19 October 2005[4] and was followed by two teaser trailers in late April 2006.[5][6] The first episode proper premiered on 26 April 2006,[7] and the series has since been released fortnightly.

Three "Making Of BloodSpell" documentaries have also been released, and are available from the official site.

The film is made using the Neverwinter Nights Aurora game engine, which provides a Dungeon Master (DM) client that allows actor models to be created or removed at will; multiple DMs can join a single local Neverwinter Nights server; under this configuration, any character can be controlled by any of the DMs to accomplish actions that are needed for the scene being filmed.

Additionally, a number of modifications to Neverwinter Nights are used, from additional animations, to a custom set of camera tools, allowing scripted camera movements, to a texture switching OpenGL tool that allows for the appearance of lip syncing, referred to by the BloodSpell team as "TOGLFaceS" (Take Over GL Face Skins).

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

  • BloodSpell The official BloodSpell site, where episodes can be downloaded.
  • Livejournal about the BloodSpell development.

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