S4 E102 mAIchinima: Nina & Prelude to Dust (Nov 2023)

Damien Valentine 00:07
Phil, you didn't mute that. So we decided to stop and just edit that section out.

Phil Rice 00:11
Sorry, I forgot to tap mute Amazon delivery guy

Tracy Harwood 00:27
Tracy Harwood so I've done a little bit of digging around and I discovered

Ricky Grove 00:33
Ricky Grove fog comes in one little

Phil Rice 00:40
film rice. This is the best film that I've seen all year and maybe ever.

Damien Valentine 00:47
Damien Valentine. Use the Machinima Luke.

Ricky Grove 01:01
Hello, everyone, my name is Ricky Grove, and you are watching And Now For Something Completely Machinima Podcast. I'm here with my pals Tracy Harwood, Damien Valentine. And Phil Rice. Hello, folks,

Phil Rice 01:15
Hey there.

Ricky Grove 01:16
Each week, we're going to be reviewing a specific film going over a few bits of news here and there to share. And this week, we're going to be looking at Phil's picks, he's got two interesting picks, both of which I like a lot. But before we start that, why don't we do a little bit of news? Does anybody have anything?

Tracy Harwood 01:36
Well, okay, I've got a little piece of news, which I was quite fascinated to see, I don't know whether you've seen it in the news as well. This is a professor at the University of Chicago who has created a tool called Glaze, which enables you to mask a piece of artwork such that an AI cannot read the, the image. So it protects the copyright of the of the artist. I don't know if anybody's using that already. But it just recently, another piece of software that's going to be added to that tool set is that is released is called Nightshade. Nightshade has a slightly more sinister approach to it, which I mean, there's a lot of metaphors being used around its description, but it's basically a tool that will poison the the artwork that is being masked, as it is included in the training data set of the of the generative AI or that the model that's being used, through which you can generate some, some images. And there's a quite a lot of debate around what what, what will happen with this. And if enough people are using it, what does that mean for the training data set? There's some people even talking about the legality of the use of the tool to do this with other people's IP, the training algorithm if you like. And of course there are those that are saying, well, yes, it's our legitimate right to protect our AI, but it does raise an awful lot of issues. I think terms of the ethics of it and the legality of it. Of course, copyright remains a really complicated area. So it'd be quite interesting to see how this one unfolds.

Ricky Grove 03:41
How does it work? Practically? Is it a programme that you run your IP your, your work through and imprint something on it? Or

Tracy Harwood 03:50
I'm not entirely sure, I think you you run your artwork through through the programme, I think and it basically adds a layer of data that I would imagine it's a little bit like adding a watermark to it, you know, so there's a lot of debate about using watermarks with it. But my understanding with it is it's it's imperceptible, so you don't you don't know what it is, but also that it moves within the layers of the information around whatever the whatever the artwork is, so it's quite hard to discover that it's being used as well. So it's, it's quite an interesting tool, I think, but I haven't tried it so I can't really comment on exactly how it works. If you guys have I'd be really interested to hear what you've got to say about it.

Phil Rice 04:44
I haven't and hadn't even heard of it. The poison thing is yeah, that is an interesting ethical complication, isn't it? Because if you if you, you take that out of the metaphor and put it in reality you're Farmer and you've got a garden of vegetables. It's wrong for to allow people to come in and steal them. You, you shouldn't have to do that. But I would think that if you poisoned your own vegetables so that whoever sold them died, then that's, that's a bridge too far. Mean depends on the person, right? Yeah, technically the thief shouldn't have stole them. But I mean, if the poisoning, if the poisoning if all that does is just makes it we're using that image, you know, causes problems with any generated image that trained on it. I guess that's one thing but if it's the lines of like a virus type thought of thinking where it actually hurts the LLM itself. Yeah. See, that's that's a bit much. So I love that there's the ability to, to mask in a, let's say harmless way. I don't know why I just never even it never occurred to me that something like that would even be possible. But that is a great solution, if that does indeed work. To, you know, for people who, you know, there's plenty of artists out there who don't mind their artwork participating in this process. But there's plenty who do you know, and so I think it's good that that it looks like they're going to have a mechanism to protect their work if they choose to. I just don't think it should be at the expense of, you know, destroying systems or whatever. But I'm kind of talking off the top of my head. I

Ricky Grove 06:43
don't know what I hear. Yeah, I think you're right.

Damien Valentine 06:45
Hopefully it's more along, use your analogy of poisoning the vegetables, it's more like putting a laxative on the go person, but give them a very great unpleasant experience for me to get? Oh, well,

Tracy Harwood 06:59
I'll tell you what, I think the the unpleasant experience might well be

Ricky Grove 07:04
diarrhoea, that's just not my idea.

Tracy Harwood 07:07
Please, these things are not straightforward. And I'll add to it as I've been talking about this recently, in the last couple of weeks as well, which is the fact that you know, it's not the IP doesn't just sit with the with the the artwork and the fact that you have that layer of the original piece of artwork that's being added to the database here. The issue comes around the the layers of information that then are available legitimately open access material, if you like that's available about that artwork elsewhere. So for example, somebody might review it, or it might be discussed in an academic text, all of which could be easily open access, easily scraped, and legitimately scraped and included in these models. And then you've got this kind of complicated issue of the artworks are not there, but you can potentially, you know, reconstitute that artwork, from the descriptions of it from all these other layers, and therefore, IP in terms of that original work has not been contravened in any kind of way. And now, the problem you've got here is if, if, for example, and artist then doesn't want their work to be talked about, or reviewed, how on earth are they going to make a living out of being an artist? So ultimately, I think they really, they really are sort of taking a stance that they haven't thought through at the, at the, you know, the many, many different kinds of levels that it needs to be thought through. And they're just thinking about it at one specific level. But it is far from straightforward. I mean, this debate is obviously going to, right? I mean, it's gonna continue? Well, for quite some time, I think. And many, I think we're talking about it in the context of, you know, the early days and the alignment, the early days of photography, but in truth, what we're talking about isn't really like photography, it's more akin to the invention of electricity. And the pervasiveness of what this is, is more at that level than it is at the photography level. So I don't think this is a straightforward thing. And I think, you know, these these poison or masking tools, have really, they've really got to think through more of the layers of it before they start. You know, damaging, I suppose.

Ricky Grove 09:39
Yeah, but we're living in a era of extremes. Absolutely. I mean, just, I got it, then I hear what you're saying. And I think you're right, but I'm trying to explain the reason why people come up with extreme things like the poisoning. It's the, it's the zeitgeist of our time. Yeah, that's true, both politically and culturally, everything is extremes. You're either on this side or that side of black and white. And it's been frustrating to see that happen over and over again. I mean, we I just was reading an article about how teachers are trying to get rid of To Kill a Mockingbird because they thought it did not represent black experience in the way that they want it to. And I mean, it's like, Give me a break. Give me a break. Yeah. But, you know, you just have to live through it. But you put your right. And I'm very disappointed that the courts are slagging so far behind, you know, the courts need to lead on this. They'll drive the cultural issues by giving people a legal basis for making decisions. Otherwise, you're in this wide open Wild West world where ethics bend according to people's desires and needs. If you're an artist, and you're pissed off at all of the scraping that's going on, of course, you're gonna think that poisoning is great. But you're right, Tracy, if you don't think it through, you're gonna create it just a mess.

Tracy Harwood 11:15
The far as I'm aware, the big, the big tech companies haven't responded to the release of this particular software. But that's why I say it's going to be quite an interesting one to watch how it unfolds. Yeah,

Phil Rice 11:28
yeah. That comparison to the dawn of electricity is really, it's perfect. It is, it's much more, because if you know anything about the history of that, I mean, the the tech was moving forwards, so much faster than we knew what to do with it, you know, and all these decisions about how to deliver it safely. And all that were contrasted with this sense of, we have got to get this out there. You know, yeah. And I'm talking like, early, early 20th century in particular, you know, we're Edison and Westinghouse, and Tesla. There was this race to just make this they knew they have they knew they were on to something that was world changing. But my goodness, there was there was so many things to figure out because it was dangerous. And yeah, I think there's a lot in common with with what's going on with AI right now that the people who have been part of the flowering of this they know they're onto something that is going to that is changing the world. But there are these these these questions that arise about how to do this properly and safely. That they always lag behind? It seems like and it's and

Ricky Grove 12:42
always has been that way technology always rushes ahead and leaves ethics and moral issues way behind. Yeah. Well, let's talk about a few more things that aren't so bothersome. I picked up two interesting games that I like a lot and I want to recommend The Lies of P, P being Pinocchio but uses the Pinocchio story in a fascinating way. It's a very difficult game. It's what they call a Souls like game. Dark Souls, which is the From Software people that did Elden Ring and others. They're notorious for having difficult games, but lies of peace particularly get the boys it look great, you know, but you played Pinocchio, and they call him P, and this one. And all of the puppets have gone nuts, crazy. So he's fighting. He's fighting all of these puppets to solve the problem. And it's really enjoyable, I recommend it but be prepared. It's very, very hard. And then the other one is called Lords of the Fallen, which I like a lot. It's again, it's a Souls like game. The design is really creepy and strange. And but the mechanics are really good. It's fun. The backstory is really interesting. I like it. So if you're looking for interesting games, try that one. Lords of the Fallen especially has a a photo mode built into it, which I was really happy to see where you can either do 2d pictures or 3d pictures for VR if you want to you can record the situation. I don't think it's quite ready for machinima. But you know, the modding community is so good. I'm sure somebody will come up with it. Otis_IMF, I'm sure you'll come up with a plugin that allow you to do to film in there. It's really creepy and would make great horror or heroic adventure sorts of machinima. So check it out. And then the last thing I wanted to say, I've been doing some research on microphones recently, the inexpensive microphones and I came across something that I want to recommend to our listeners. By A company called J Lab J l a b. And it's called Talk. It's a USB microphone. I don't know whether you can see that or not. Yeah, yeah, it's, it's about 50 bucks. And it's excellent. I'm using it right now. The build quality is a little on the plastic side. But the audio quality and the controls are just terrific. It's a USB so you plug it into your computer or laptop and it immediately finds the drivers both on Mac and a PC. And what Judge for yourself, the quality I think is really great. You can adjust there are four different modes to the microphone that you can adjust. And for 50 bucks, you can't beat it. I mean, the Blue Microphones which are great, are twice as much. So if you're looking for an inexpensive USB microphone for your machinima project, or just for podcasting or recording things, J Labs Talk USB microphone is well worth your your money and your time.

Damien Valentine 12:52
You all sounded great on that mic. Just listen to you now. Yeah,

Ricky Grove 16:09
yeah. Yeah,

Phil Rice 16:10
that doesn't sound like a $50. Microphone. It's really, really good fidelity, I would have never guessed it.

Ricky Grove 16:15
Yeah, I was surprised myself. I thought I'd give it a try. And I'm, I recorded some stuff that I needed to get done. And in using it here, and I think it's great. It's nice and clear, and crisp. It doesn't quite have the background suppression, noise suppression. Some of the higher end microphones have. But zoom has it built in. So works fine with me. Right. So shall we move on to your pick? Phil? Yeah,

Phil Rice 16:46
we were talking. We were talking just a few minutes ago about you know, AI. And it turns out that by my pick this week, and my kind of honourable mention pick. They're both deeply connected to AI generated artwork. The first one is, it's episode two of a series being done by a guy named Dean Corrigan. And I don't know how this ended up in my, in my, how the algorithm delivered this to me, but he was somebody that I wasn't following on Twitter, but it showed up. And there are these little micro episodes that he's doing that the series is called Denver Pluto, this episode two is called Nina. And the reason I, I decided, yeah, I'm gonna mention this one on the show is because he did use iClone on this one. And I just as I followed the series more if I'm if I'm honest, I'm a little I don't want to say disappointed, but I was kind of hoping that the story would be put forward first. But it seems like that what his endeavour here is, is the story is kind of secondary. And he's he's doing a lot of experimentation. So each episode of this series, they don't necessarily have the same feel or even tools involved. The third episode was a lot of Pika Labs, which is like a Runway type of AI generated video involved. The first one was, I think just AI generated art. This this second one, though, actually had some animation in it and it was iCloned it doesn't look like iClone really. It's it's almost, he's he's figured out a way to use iClone in such a way that it almost looks like conventional animation. You know, because there's not a lot of elaborate. There's certainly no mo cap or anything going on like that. And it's very, very stylized. But I just really liked it that it's got some solid voice going on. And that was a thing that really caught my attention because the female voice the lead character in this episode, Nina, that's an Eleven Labs voice. Oh, my God, I could not believe it. And I actually reached out to him and said, How in the world did you because I read through the description and he actually reveals that that's that was the case. He voiced the robot I believe that the computer but the female was just an Eleven Labs voice. If you don't know much about Eleven Labs, there's different ways of using it. One is they've got some preset voice types and you can basically you can submit text of a certain length and it will spit back to you. You know voiceover some of them are better than others. Some of them are really solid voices, but one area where Eleven Labs does not excel. At in its current generation is delivering emotion. And you really have no control over that either. Like there's, I imagine at some point Eleven Labs is going to have like a markup language, almost like HTML where you can, you can programme in, yeah, programming mood and all that kind of stuff. It's, that's, that's inevitably going to be the future. But that is not in that right now. And one of the things that you can do with Eleven Labs is you can submit a voice sample, and have it create a, an AI voice that we'll use for that. So you could like record a minute of yourself talking. And you want to be strategic with what you record, you want to kind of cover the full gamut of the types of words and and pronunciations that you use. And it does a pretty good job of then creating a clone of that voice. But the tone generally is pretty flat. You know, it's not going to have any sort of dynamics with regard to your motion. But somehow he did get that in this, and it's the best I've ever heard out of Eleven Labs. I've heard other people get closer, you know, get close. But this, I would have never guessed in a million years that this wasn't human delivered. And he his answer, when I asked how did you do that was kind of a I just kept trying, you know, like, I asked, is there some secret? Is there some code or way that you're typing in the words, or are you using punctuation. Now he says none of that works consistently. It's just, it was the right sample to start with. And then just a lot of a lot of iterations. So it sounds like it was pretty labour intensive to get but the result is pretty impressive. Pretty impressive use of that. Sorry. Impressive. Anyway, that's that's the that's, that's my main pick. For this this week. What did you guys think of it?

Ricky Grove 22:06
Well, I loved it. I thought it was very amusing. I'm surprised that it was done. And iClone because despite the fact that I clone has developed a much better visual style, it still has a little bit of a idiosyncratic look to it. And I had no idea that the way he did post production and changed everything, it just, it was marvellous, I love the quick pace of the acting, which was excellent. There was just a super short, that was fun and interesting and kept my imagination. And best of all, it made me want more. Yes. So really great choice liked it very much. And I'll follow that series. Mm hmm.

Damien Valentine 22:52
I was surprised back quickly was that this was, had iClone involved with it. Because I watched it. I thought, this is obviously AI created in some way. And I was a little bit surprised the we had an AI generated video because we obviously a machinima show, but when you explained that it's an iClone. I need to go back and watch it again, just to try and figure out what was iCloned in it? Because he doesn't look like a clone. Right? He said iClone has a very distinctive style, no matter what anyone does with the characters, when they render out, you know, its iClone. There's just something about it. And that, yeah, wherever you stand, I'd like to know, because then, yeah,

Phil Rice 23:34
I have to think he must have he must have brought in some some stylized characters into iClone, which is a feature it's been able to do. In in Character Creator and an iClone. It's been able to do that for a while, but it's a little used. It's very often people don't use that if they're going to do something more of a cartoony look, they'll use Cartoon Animator or Moho. And but no, this was, these are stylized characters that can be brought into a iClone. And I think it comes down to how he edited the icon part is mainly the female character, her talking scenes, but the way he edited it, it looks like the kinds of things you would see in 2d animation. So yeah, that's pretty clever.

Ricky Grove 24:15
Yeah, me too.

Tracy Harwood 24:16
That would be my comments as well. Actually. I did a little digging. I always do. And what's what I've kind of found about this one is that he's basically created the prompts for the characters, the character designs, the story, the scripts, the music and visual effects. And what he's said about this is that whilst he's at pains to state that generative AI has been used to create the base assets for video production. The stylization filter for the for the character animations, the the voiceover lines for the dialogue, which have all been written, they've all been created by Dean himself. What he's basically said is that everything has been done as a transformative process using the AI, which is then kind of imported into the into iClone, I guess. But what's interesting on his website, he says that taken as a whole, and the way that he's used the generative AI is he says this web series meets the standards for the human authorship requirements, as defined by the United States Copyright Office, which I have not seen anybody write that before, explicitly in terms of the work that they've done. So he's basically asserting his full copyright over the web series, he says he does not seek any kind of copyright at all, for any of the artificially intelligent assets that have been created. Which is interesting. I think you might have used iClone for it, but it's, he's created absolutely everything, and generated it using AI. Now, in terms of the story, I thought it was, it was sharp it was it was it was fun, kind of yet another type of example of a human interacting with an AI and it's very much the kind of a play on that sort of thing. But I really liked the fact that in this scenario, it's the AI that's panicking. I think that's a really nice. I thought that was fun. I really enjoyed the pace of it, and the style of the story. And I thought the visuals kind of I thought they looked really, really cool. But what I will say is, I think the voice acting far in a way dominated the visuals and the animation quality. And it's interesting that you were saying that it looked you know, sort of heavily stylized, because I I sort of made a note, I think this looks more like a digital animated zine than it did an actual animation, like a webcomic on like a webcomic. Yeah, right. Yeah. And that's kind of the thing that I got from it. And I think that was because the voice side of it was so powerful that it was so well done. I mean, the Eleven Labs, voices, I mean, absolutely outstanding. And you can, what I what I picked up on that was you can you can hear the inflection in the voice, but also the breaths that they were taking, it sounded like real actors doing it really impressed with that. But what I couldn't understand with the with the story side of it was why why make that aesthetic choice, it clearly wasn't aesthetic choice to to make those voices sound a little echoey. And that echo was was kind of it's probably doesn't sound correct, but it but it was it was flat or consistent right the way through the film. And I picked I picked that up because I just that just felt that jumped me out of it a little bit, I think. But overall, I thought this this showed kind of real promise and I was very interested to see that he's already made three other episodes do it and that he's using X, formerly Twitter as well as YouTube to put the web series out. Although when I looked at the other episodes of it, the aesthetic wasn't the same so you know your your point Phil about it being a series of experiments where I guess the story is consistent, but the the way that it's aesthetically presented just isn't slightly confusing, slightly intriguing, I suppose. Gotta say I was a little disappointed for him that he hadn't got a lot of audience engagement with it. And I was also a little disappointed because I did try and see what was going on on X with it as well. But I think if he was going to run it as a web series through that kind of channel he needed to dedicated dedicate the channel to it and he hadn't done that so we've got kind of normal comments and shares and stuff mixed in with the web series which just spoiled the flow a little bit so I think is it's the experimentation that comes through the loudest with this and I think if he was going to put it out there as a as a web series then have faith in it because it's it's it's good as a as a web series just be more confident with it I suppose is what I would say but yeah, I really enjoyed it great pick.

Ricky Grove 29:48
Good point. Yeah, that's

Phil Rice 29:50
that's that's very much what I was. I guess my my I keep wanting to say disappointment. That's not fair though. Because I need to acknowledge his objective is, seems to be different from what I was wanting from it. And I need to acknowledge that. But yeah, I think if the story were first, then yes, the fact that the aesthetic inconsistency between episodes makes the story feel disjointed, even though it isn't. But it's impossible to experience it and not feel that disjointedness because of that. What I'm going to assume from that, is that really and truly the experimental process of delving into these tools, that was his primary objective. As a guy who hates to see any good story, go to any kind of waste that that's upsetting a little bit. Yeah, of course, but there are different reasons for creating things. And yeah, I found what he made very, very intriguing. And I'm gonna continue to follow it for sure, but maybe not with the same heart that I would a story that has grabbed me. Yeah.

Ricky Grove 31:04
Well, I'm impressed the fact that he wanted to use AI as his basic modus operandi in creating it. I mean, that's, that's a challenge. That's a yes. And I think he's leading the way I think, you know, there might be other more traditional types of shows that are drawing more views, but I'm really glad that he is getting attention for I

Phil Rice 31:26
think, you know, sorry, Damien's second time I've coach.

Damien Valentine 31:29
I was gonna say, I hope that as he's experimenting, and his skill set increases, we'll see improvements over the videos. And I mean, it looks great. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. But as, as he progresses through the series, and does more experiments, the look still going to continue to change until he finds what he is happy with. And I was gonna write, refer to my personal experience with making Heir to the Empire. If you watch chapter one, it looks terrible, compared to the more recent installment, simply because my skills have I think changed, and the software has changed. And the tools I use to change so much, it's I started it, and if this is gonna be a long running series, or however long he wants to do it, he's gonna go through the same thing. And when he goes back to his first episode, it's going to look very different from wherever he ends up. But that's a good thing, because it shows that he's learning and building up a skill set. And I'm kind of intrigued to see where he goes with it.

Ricky Grove 32:33
That's a really good point. Really good point. I think one of the things that I learned from say, that great artists M Dot Strange was that he constantly told me, he says, Just do it. Just get the project done. Because you'll learn from that, and the next one you make will be better. And he's absolutely right. So if you're at sea, and you're just like, oh, it isn't good enough, they're gonna hate it, forget that, finish the episode or finished the project. And then, you know, you move on to the next one, then you can go back and look at it say, oh, I should have done this. I should have done that. I have the same. That's sort of the idea behind the my pick this month, which we'll get to in a couple of weeks. But I'll expand on that idea when we get to that. So, Phil, you had a second sort of honourable mention. Yeah. Prelude to Dusk, Dark Machinima Audio? Yeah. What

Phil Rice 33:33
Dark Machine Audio Excuse me? Yeah. Mark Johnson is a musician that I've seen and interacted with on Facebook. I think that based on some of the comments of friends of his in the Facebook groups where he shared this, he probably goes back to like the The Movies Online community, you know, the TMO a community, it seems seems like a lot of them are familiar with him and know him. So I don't know what his history was with that. But his primary thing now is his music and and he he's been producing and releasing tracks of a, I would say like a rock a dark, hard rock type of vibe for a long time, but seems to be kind of diving into it, maybe with a little bit more fervour now, a little bit more frequency. I've seen videos of his before and heard music of his before and generally like it, especially as instrumental stuff I really like. And this one, he did a music video for his own composition that is composed of entirely AI generated imagery. I think it's Midjourney. I'm not certain about that, but I believe it's mid journey and And then he took all those photos and also kind of unified the experience by running them through some colour correction and filtering to where there's a consistency that frankly, I don't know how anyone could get directly out of the AI engines they're there unless you had your own model you were training it on the images aren't going to have a similar thread like this. And I just really really liked it the song has a field that reminds me of a band that I followed for years called Tool it's just wonderfully evocative. And these these images are Ricky, you'll probably be able to, if anyone here can identify what that style is, is reminding me of it'll be you but it's it's you gave a book to me Ricky 10 or 15 years ago I think it's titled God's Man and it's all black and white wood cut illustrations.

Ricky Grove 36:10
Lynd Ward was the artist Lynd Ward

Phil Rice 36:13
kind of this reminded me a little bit of that with the high contrast but also the movie Waltz With Bashir which has a lot of highly stylized animation with with that yellow colour that is really prominent in Mark's video here. I don't know if those were if if that movie was an influence on him or not. But it reminded me of that which I have a very favourable opinion of Waltz with Bashir, not least of which for its soundtrack, which is just stupendous. Great movie too, by the way. Anyway, so I just it there's nothing machinima about this. Maybe he has some machinima in his resume that I don't know about that makes it work. But he posted it in a machinima group. And and it's it's very appealing. And it's it's AI art related. And I just really liked it and wanted to share with you guys. So what did you think?

Tracy Harwood 37:14
I loved it. I really liked this guy's work. It's kind of like dark punk horror.

Damien Valentine 37:20
And, yeah, it's great, great

Ricky Grove 37:22
description. That's great.

Tracy Harwood 37:24
What I liked about this was the evidence of the struggle between life and death. And when, you know, what he's illustrating, it was death is winning. We're all getting older. And I thought it was it was it was absolutely, it was winning. But it was so it was so beautifully done in this. I love the colour. And I love the red eye pops every now and again. I don't know if you picked up when you were watching it. It wasn't just the that sort of muted yellow colour. But but it was also the, you know, the red eyes, always just the eyes. And then there was this kind of throb to it as well, which gave it the feeling of being animated. Did you pick up that? Yep.

Phil Rice 38:10
I thought, like a change in the luminosity. Yeah, yeah, sort of shakiness

Tracy Harwood 38:17
like a beat to it as well as shakiness as one thing, but there's also like a beat to it, which I thought was really, really nice. And then I kind of, I saw the colour as kind of being akin to, to pop culture type, colour. And then in the images, I thought, I thought they were really cleverly stitched together because to me, this was a better film than the first one that we just discussed here. Because I quite liked the way that he mixed together these images of sort of fantasy, the Metropolis film I picked up on robots and also the kind of almost a bit like Clockwork Orange, perhaps sort of threaded through it. And there was a really interesting spoken piece in the in the middle, which kind of gets drowned out a little bit. As he's, as he's playing, but I really like that, that what I heard is a poem. And that poem is what gives it the the meaning. It's about the sort of, you know, the sense of of what would be the word disjuncture between the old and the young represented in the in the images. And what that made me do was, listen to that in from two very distinct perspectives. So and I almost could do it simultaneously because if you as you're listening to it, you realise there's this narrative of the old man and there's this narrative of youth. And if you took the side of the old man, what what you could hear is him. But it's basically a scream to be heard above the noise of the kids. And if you took the side of the kids, what you could hear is the overwhelming sound of youth having fun with with a clear sense of disdain for the old man, I thought this film was so clever on so many levels, I thought he'd really done an excellent job of this, I really enjoyed it, I thought it was a very pretty provocative piece. And for me, it was, it was a better main pick. So thank you for sharing that one Phil.

Damien Valentine 40:35
I really enjoyed it, too. It kind of made me want to play Cyberpunk 2077 with imagery. And there's, there's one shot for the guy in the trench coat in the city street and the skyscrapers in the background. I really think about Blade Runner as well, because that's very sort of Blade Runner kind of vibe there. And it kind of reminded me of I know, it's a very different kind of video, but that cyberpunk video that I chose a couple of months back, that was the music video, and you just saw the taste of the city streets and the people living there. It kind of felt like that and commenting on the people who live in the city that he's talking about and the society he's talking about in this video today. So yeah, I really enjoyed it. I see it. It's not necessarily machinima video, but it was made by a member of the Machinima community an excellent pick. Yep. Yeah,

Ricky Grove 41:33
I concur. I discovered this film, interestingly, four or five weeks ago, and use it on Renderosity. Every Friday, I do a Films on Friday pick. And you really didn't know that. Yeah, I knew this film already. So when I saw was your pick, I said, Oh, God, that's great to watch it again. And it was even better the second time through, it's got so much style and feeling behind it. It's a kind of comic, a digital comic. Right that that is almost like motion comic. That that was a trend four or five years ago, which is sort of fell apart. But I really thought that it was effective. The music is what, which I thought was fantastic. It's just great. And you're right, I see the Tool connections to it. But the music sort of gave it the emotional base to the whole thing. And the image is sort of popped on top of that floated on top of that, telling that sort of abstract, sometimes abstracted, sometimes not so story, which was one of the things that kept you interested in it. The style kept, kept pulling you in, kept pulling you in. It made the the story as it is even more effective. I was really taken by it and really want to see more of this fella's was work. It's fascinating that you use Midjourney, which was he said that that's what he used. That combination of AI and traditional filmmaking and the experimenter putting it all together is fascinating. And I agree with you, Tracy. I think this was more effective than the first one although the first one was quite good. I'd like to see where this director goes. And this is fascinating to see that he was actually more focused on the music, which worked to his advantage in it because as I said it created the whole feeling and tone of that piece but most importantly the style of the of the film. So often we think style is a kind of artificial thing that it makes things look phoney but it's not the Waltz With Bashir references perfect because that's exactly what it was. The style as long as you're consistent in your style you it's almost like you're creating another world another visual world that and that attracts people that's what interests people it's mixed Waltz With Bashir is such a fascinating story because it's essentially a documentary you know what I mean of very serious events. But it's done in this such a strange and interesting style. It adds a haunted quality to it, which I felt this one had to there was something haunting and gothic about it. I just loved this great, great choice Phil.

Phil Rice 41:33
Yeah, I loved it, too. He's done at least one other video since this one and doesn't look the same. But similar, similar approach, you know, a series of AI generated stills with a consistent style. I like your comment on style, because it's a word that has it doesn't get its due, you know, it's thought of like you said it's thought of as just like almost just owning cosmetics? Yeah, something that you slap on or too pretty something up but no style to me I think just means you're putting some thought into what you're doing you know you're and clearly that was in this video that these weren't just us, he didn't just go on and generate a series of images and slap them into a video editor and apply a filter. And he's done. He really thought I think about every single image which one would come after which one and what that would convey that style. And and you know, when it when it's not there, you know it. And when it's present. This is what you get, you know, it is it's beautiful and dark and disturbing and lovely. And yeah, great stuff.

Ricky Grove 45:54
Here's an example of what I mean by style. Think of Gieger, the artist that did many of the designs for Alien, that's highly stylized artwork, with a very specific look, and mood and content as well. He it's a reflection of his own imagination, his own choices as an artist. And you can use that idea of style in your work by being original in your choices, rather than being generic or copying too much. Or if you do copy something, you transform it. You turn it into something else because it's your individual thing. I think more artists, more machinima filmmakers who think about style, and try to come up with their own original style. Some do it automatically without even thinking about that it's a style. They just do it. I think you have a style. Not necessarily the same style, but you come up with a style for a lot of your films Phil on you too Damien. I think you're you've developed your own individual style that's separate from Star Wars. It's not it's not just Star Wars. It's your own individual style. And I think that's a very important thing. And if any, if you take anything away from this particular podcast that say, aside from the great ideas, the idea of using style, thinking about the style of your work, I think is a good thing. Okay, well that's that's our that's our show for today. Thank you very much. If you have some thoughts, you think we're just bonkers and we don't know what we're talking about or Phil's out of his mind and Damien's lost it. Tracy dug so far she's gone to the other side. And Ricky's brain is just filled with nonsense. Send us your comments to talk that completely machinima.com because we'd love to hear them. And we're really happy to be here for you and to share our thoughts. Well, that's it for the show today. Goodbye, everyone. Thank you. We'll be back next week with another interesting film. See ya.

Phil Rice 48:37
Are we already recording? Yeah, yeah.

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