A few weeks ago, local boggerati master Kevin Smokler invited 20 of his closest blogger friends to cover the 49th San Francisco International Film Festival which is happening right now. I count myself as one of the lucky 20 who were gifted a press pass getting me into any screening, yet I’ve been slacking in my duty to spread to good and bad words of what I’ve seen so far. Putting slack aside, here’s the first update on what I’ve taken in.
The first screening I saw was one I had really been looking forward to, Cock Byte: Masters of Machinima, a showing of the best of Rooster Teeth Productions. If you’ve ever seen the brilliant Red vs. Blue series, you’ll know exactly what this is about. Even though my press pass would have gotten me in free, I was too late to get the coveted freebee press ticket for this one. No worries, this was at the top of my list so I popped for the ticket and slid on in.
My expectations were set by the SFiFF program guide which stated, “This Festival program, a sort of Rooster Teeth greatest hits, will feature the finest moments from Blood Gulch Chronicles and The Strangerhood, rarely seen one-offs, outtakes and new work”. I was quickly disappointed when I realized they were only showing a chunk of the first season of Red vs. Blue. Nothing from Strangerhood. No rarely seen one-offs or outtakes. Nothing new. Don’t get me wrong, RvB is good shit, it’s just not something I hadn’t seen before and what they showed was like 4 years old. For the uninitiated, RvB takes place in the game Halo. The actors are all characters within the game environment where scripts and dialogue are made ‘real’. What you get is mostly comedic & introspective dialogue by soldiers who are too stupid to know what’s going on around them. It’s a brilliant juxtaposition of a shoot-em-up environment used as a setting for human introspection and philosophical exploration. Definitely worth checking out a few episodes if you’ve never seen them before.
The Q&A with a couple of the creators afterward was a comedy of non-information. They wouldn’t answer any of the interesting questions (What techniques do you use? What is your relationship with Microsoft? What about copyright issues? How are you making enough money to live on with this?). They came off like they didn’t give a shit and really didn’t want to be there. Whatever, that’s fine. It’s their work, they can answer or not answer whatever questions they want. We don’t need to like them for their personalities if their work rules. RvB is brilliant shit, but why are we seeing 4 year old work in a 2006 film festival when there is plenty of other stuff they should have shown?