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BloodSpell Development Updates


BloodSpell Development Updates


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What is BloodSpell?

BloodSpell is our (that is to say, Strange Company's) first feature-length animated film.

It is a story of a world where men and women carry magic in their blood, and spilling it can unleash terrible power.

Where these "Blooded" hide in fetid slums from the Church of the Angels, commanded by their divine masters to "cleanse" the Blood Magic.

Where choices are fraught, alliances rarely safe, and blood is all.

A young monk named Jered flees the Church when his own Blood Magic is released. Now he must survive the pursuit of the Church, the gladiatorial pits of the Blooded underground, and the hidden truths of the ancient struggle. The choices he makes will tip the balance of the war between Church and Blooded, and change his world forever.

Mixing a vivid world with fast-paced action and punk attitude, we think BloodSpell will be like no film you've ever seen.

What's unique about it?

We're fairly sure BloodSpell is the largest Machinima film ever created. It's an independent film that, because it is using Machinima technology, isn't subject to the usual limitations of smaller films. But, at the same time, we don't have the politics, money and producers of a Hollywood production involved, so we can experiment with ideas, styles and attitudes that wouldn't be possible in a more top-heavy Hollywood production.

Of course, we still have some limitations, and BloodSpell won't be beating out 'Lord of the Rings' for visual effects. But we hope that what we lack in slick polish, we can make up for in originality and passion.

The other unique thing about BloodSpell is the way it's being released. We will be releasing BloodSpell under a Creative Commons license, meaning that it will be free both to download and to modify: in other words, where even many indie filmmakers might get upset if you put their work up on Bittorrent or translate it into a new language, we'll be encouraging work like that, and supporting it as much as possible.

When will it be released?

We're aiming to release the first episodes of BloodSpell in the autumn. After that, it will be released as 3-5 minute episodes weekly until the entire film is available.
  • Which license?

    (Context: the CC page giving an overview of license choices.)

    Machinima-makers are not bothering enough about these issues, I think, and the resulting legal questions will increasingly complicate creation and distribution as the medium grows. So, thanks for doing this, Hugh. The reward for your initiative is for me to bother you about it even more.

    I'm guessing you're intending one of the standard Creative Commons licenses, and will be requiring attribution and non-commercial use. But that's only a guess, and I don't know how you feel about the share-alike choice in CC licenses allowing derivative works. Care to clarify?

    Since I know you to be a particularly IP-issue-aware artist, I would encourage you to consider releasing under a few additional CC-documented licenses (you can grant as many as you like, and then people pick the relevant one to use.) These could e.g. let you allow commercial use in works exercising only sampling, allow commercial use for works made in the developing world, and release to the public domain after fourteen years of copyright rather than the contemporary lifetime-plus-seventy-years default.
    • Re: Which license?

      Currently, my intention is to use the non-commercial, attribution, derivative-allowed, share-alike license.

      I'd love to allow commercial use in the third world, but we won't be able to because of the nature of the assets we're using. I don't think I'll be releasing under the 14-year copyright rule, because of the possibility of remakes of the film on a higher budget, which could well take five or ten years to come about.
  • cost

    roughly how much, all in, is it going to cost to produce bloodspell?
    • Re: cost

      We're working with a low four-figure budget. :) Of course, that doesn't count man-hours - everyone working on the project is a volunteer.
  • (Anonymous)
    Is this still going to be the largest Machinima movie ever created?
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