Posted on: Sep 16th 2012 by Agro

As the somewhat alarmist title says, this is Critter Week and not without good reason. With the long awaited BlackMesa Source released (at least in part) we’re all playing Half-Life 1 again, like we haven’t since it was 1998. Which we haven’t. But some among us have been busy at their terminals doing something other than playing this total HL1 conversion mod. In particular the members of the Steam group Open Source Filmmaker,  started and managed by a cinematic designer at BioWare, Zachariah Scott. KritzKast caught up with him to ask a few questions:

Agro: What makes you think you’re entitled to lead a SFM group after just 3months of animating?
Zachariah: 10 years of machinima experience, 2 years leading litfuse, and 6 years of cinematic work
3 months of animating means just three months of character animating, but I have worked with animations and done cinematography and modding for much longer. I just in the past usually worked with animation splicing, instead of fully creating animations from scratch, so I say the stuff before sfm doesn’t count. if I need further qualifications I could point to my 4 years doing proffesional game cinematics for triple A titles like mass effect 2 and 3. winkey face

Agro: MJ made a pretty cool SFM video a few weeks back. What is it with BioWare that you guys have so much time to make SFM vids?
Zachariah: He got sick for a week and a half and had to stay home
I’m just a monster who pushes myself to reach specific release schedule goals.

Agro: What kind of monster? Headcrab or Vortigore?
Zachariah: History’s greatest monster, El Chupacabra

Agro: surely you mean Cuthulhu
Zachariah: thats pre-history’s greatest monster

Agro: So I take it you’ve been playing the crap out of BlackMesa?
Zachariah: haven’t touched it yet. went straight into playing with the assets in SFM. I havent’ played any games since SFM came out, except for a few rounds of MVM. but when I finally managed to beat a mission, all I got was a bonk and an ambassador
so I had to stop that madness

Agro: What class do you play normally?
Zachariah: in MVM medic, everywhere else spy or whatever the team needs

Agro: So Critter week is going pretty well then?
Zachariah: for being 10 hours in, we’re doing allright. still trying to figure out what the rhythm of the theme week events needs to be. the first one was a fluke. It was a standard I was holding myself to, to try and release one video a day on a specific theme.
then someone told me to include other people in it, and it took off

Agro: Before this was Turret Week. Do you prefer to animate the inhuman?
Zachariah: so far I’ve gone with the inhuman for a couple of reasons
but the biggest one, is that in SFM it’s somewhat unexplored territory
If I’m going to motivate people, I’m trying to motivate them into directions where SFM hasnt’ explored yet. In doing so we can help everyone get a little bit out of their comfort zone, and maybe learn some tricks as a result
also BMS just came out and I really love all the xenian aliens, there’s a lot of untapped potential that got dropped on the community so I’ was eager to jump in there and get knockin

Agro: is there a point for you in training up a secret army of SFMers? A BioWare mission of world (animated) domination?
Zachariah: it’s more of a personal choice. I’ve been in a small team of very skilled people, and that was really fun and powerful, having specialists and a group you could count on. but it was just a few people.
OSFM is my second stab at that, trying to find that group of talented specialists, but do it in such a way that it’s open to lots of people, more of a film collective than a film team or group
and I figure the best way for me to get people to help me out is by helping out other people where I can.
so it’s all very selfish

Agro: Any plans for a week beyond Critter Week?
Zachariah: Definately L4D week for halloween
right now the community is still kind of hitting alot of walls with the L4D assets in SFM, I hope that by focusing a theme week on it we can all get together and work out alot of the issues that are making it hard to use the L4D stuff

Agro: Last one.. have you seen any animatiors work, either through your own group or elsewhere on the internet that’s made you want to call your bosses at BioWare and sign them up?
Zachariah: Bioware has had a pretty good record when hiring people out of the machinima community, so it’s definately something that I look at and the situation has come up in the past. People should be encouraged to swing by if they are interested.
though disclaimer, everything I do with OSFM and youtube is strictly seperate from what I do at bioware and I do not represent them in any capacity here.

Agro: Great thanks. Anything we can plug for you?
Zachariah: my channel is fine

Yes Zachariah, your YouTube is fine. We heartily recommend everyone to loose a few minutes in there today.


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