Trailer for Creative Commons Animated Feature Film Released

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'Machinima' animation pioneers Strange Company take on Hollywood with trailer release of a new Creative Commons feature film BloodSpell.

Edinburgh-based filmmakers Strange Company ( have just released the first trailer for their new fantasy adventure feature film, BloodSpell at the BloodSpell website ( A cross between Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones and the Sex Pistols, the film has been made on a micro budget, despite its Hollywood-scale scope, thanks to the technique of "Machinima" ( film production using game technology.

"BloodSpell is a milestone film for us in many ways," says Hugh Hancock, Artistic Director of Strange Company. "In terms of number of sets, characters, and action sequences, BloodSpell is on the same scale as Star Wars or even the first Lord of the Rings movie - in a different visual style, but the scale is there. And that scale allows us to tell stories that just haven't been possible to visualise before. "

"I have always wanted to tell big stories, rather than working within the tight constraints imposed by conventional independent moviemaking. So, it's fantastic to be able to show, through BloodSpell, that's it's now possible to do just that."

"Machinima production represents a perfect fit for current entertainment tastes - an episodic series that caters to a diehard fan-base," says Paul Marino, executive director of the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences. "Strange Company has identified this with Bloodspell, and it looks like they're set to deliver."

BloodSpell was created using the "Neverwinter Nights" computer game, developed by Bioware, which since its release has attracted a number of surprising non-game uses, from further education, to artificial intelligence research, to Machinima.

"The millions of Neverwinter Nights fans world wide are in for a special treat when Strange Company's feature-length production 'BloodSpell' is

finished. Everyone at BioWare is waiting with anticipation for this project." says Jay Watamaniuk, Community Manager for Neverwinter Nights.

"We've found working with Neverwinter Nights to be a joy compared to earlier engines" says Hugh Hancock. "Overall, the speed with which computer games technology is moving forward is fascinating. When we started creating Machinima, everyone thought we were crazy to believe that computer games could make movies. Now, it's accepted wisdom, and the availability of that technology is changing the entire creative landscape."

Strange Company will be releasing both the trailer and the full film under Creative Commons ( licensing, free to share or alter for non-commercial use.

"Artistic and digital freedom is something that the entire BloodSpell team feel very strongly about" says Hugh Hancock, Executive Producer on BloodSpell. "Given the choice, it's a no-brainer to release a film in a way that allows as many people to watch and enjoy it as possible. And with disasterous legal choices, like Fox's recent actions toward 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' fans, being typical of the larger industry, I think it's very important for us to support the Creative Commons movement. I feel it currently offers the best chance for us to escape the state of virtual warfare between creators and fans."

The BloodSpell trailer is available now from The full film will be serialised in 3-5 minute segments, with the first release scheduled for the end of the year.

About Strange Company:

Strange Company and Hugh Hancock have been creating Machinima films since 1997, and have been hailed as pioneers of the Machinima movement. They have produced Machinima work for the BBC, BAFTA and Electronic Arts, and run, the largest Machinima information site on the Internet.

Hugh Hancock, Artistic Director of Strange Company and Executive Producer on BloodSpell, has made 16 previous Machinima movies which have been shown on four continents. He has been quoted by press from Wired to the New York Times to CNN on the Machinima phenomenon, and was described by the Hamburg International Film Festival as "the guru of the Machinima movement".

BloodSpell has been in development at Strange Company since 2003.

Contact Details:

Press Contact: Hugh Hancock

Telephone: +44 (0)131 555 2349


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