'Punk Fantasy' Animated Feature Film Premieres at Leicester's 'Machinima' Festival

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DeMontfort University in Leicester hosts the premiere of 'BloodSpell', an animated fantasy adventure made for pennies, not millions, as part of Europe's first "Machinima" Festival.

As the film world prepares for the arrival of Pixar's latest film, Ratotuille, DeMontfort University in Leicester is preparing for an entirely different animation to hit these shores. Next weekend, as part of their "Machinima" film festival, DeMontfort will be hosting the premiere of the feature-length cut of 'BloodSpell,' an animated action-adventure feature film that its creators describe as "punk fantasy," and which was made by a volunteer crew for less than £10,000.

"All of the cast and crew, with me as the lone exception, worked on 'BloodSpell' in their spare time," says Hugh Hancock, producer/director of 'BloodSpell', which he has spent four years creating. "Whilst there have been amazing advances in digital video technology, there's no way we could have made this film without making use of Machinima techniques."

DeMontfort is hosting the first European festival for the new filmmaking technique known as "Machinima", whose afficionados adapt the technology of computer games to make their movies. "Machinima" movies range from literal films of computer game action, known as "frag videos", all the way to total overhauls of the game's content and programming which use the game much as Pixar uses expensive 3D rendering software.

"We took Neverwinter Nights, the game we used to make 'BloodSpell', and changed vast, vast quantites of its code and art" says Hancock, who is the author of 'Machinima for Dummies' and one of the pioneers of the medium. "We saw it as a canvas for our work - it's like taking a bare soundstage and dressing it for a film."

"We're very happy to have 'BloodSpell' premiering here at the first Machinima Europe festival" said Tracy Harwood, Festival Director for De Montfort University. "Machinima is a genre with fantastic potential, it is at the leading edge of user-generated content - and 'BloodSpell' demonstrates just what a talented and ambitious group can achieve with it."

'BloodSpell' has already attracted praise on the Internet, with features on sites like mega-blog Boingboing.net, as well as coverage from the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph.

Cory Doctorow, author of the award-winning novel "Someone Comes To Town Someone Leaves Town ," described 'BloodSpell' as "some damned fine storytelling."

'BloodSpell' will premiere at 1:30 pm on Sunday the 14th of October at DeMontfort's Campus Center. Entry is free, and the film will also be available for viewing from http://www.bloodspell.com a week later.

BloodSpell's official website is http://www.bloodspell.com. The film will be available from here from the 21st of October, 2007, a week after the premiere at Machinima Europe.

The Machinima Europe website can be found at http://www.machinimaeurope.com

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