WoW Insider: I see; what formats did you work in before this?
TerranJustice: DV dating back to VHS. Done one
film on 8mm but nothing spectacular.
BrotherVoltaire: Before Return
we'd done very little serious dramatic work.
BrotherVoltaire: In a
nut-shell, comedy shorts for the web were our craft.
TerranJustice: We've been working with Digital Editing since its early commercial days ... about
1998. We've quite a bit of experience since then doing odd professional jobs for independent contract.
WoW Insider: How did the idea to create Return come about?
TerranJustice: I'll let BV field that one
BrotherVoltaire: I was sitting at home on vacation on my birthday (6th of September) when it occurred to
me that Return had to be done. The story comes from our experiences as a dedicated roleplaying guild in Asheron's Call,
Dark Age of Camelot, Shadowbane, and WoW.
BrotherVoltaire: Even further
back that was born from some pen 'n paper stuff
WoW Insider: When
you decided to create the film, what were your first steps in learning how to work within the machinima format?%uFFFD
Did you try out various capture methods & software?
TerranJustice: We'd already acquired a pretty well outfitted setup for editing video and such over the
years, but capturing in game was a challenge.%uFFFD I'd already owned "Fraps" from a short period where I
enjoyed recording videos of our guild downing Onyxia or melting horde faces.
TerranJustice: But I can solidly say that probably the first week of production was entirely dedicated to
learning the tech and working out the kinks.
TerranJustice: Most of what we
used we found on user forums pertaining to World of Warcraft ... we didn't really research Machinima itself as a basis
WoW Insider: I can
identify...%uFFFD Did the two of you collaborate on the story?%uFFFD And did you have a complete story in script form
before you started production?
BrotherVoltaire: We collaborate in
nearly every facet of production on all our works. This is always in different capacities though. While I wrote the
basic story out in a rough screenplay format, Terran edited it with many crucial additions.
TerranJustice: We tend to work primarily in certain capacities while the other
contributes, both creatively and technically.
BrotherVoltaire: We had a complete screenplay to work with, but as always, when we hit the road, things
changed along the way.
TerranJustice: Not too much for this specific
production though, comparative to our former works.
Machinima writes itself in some respects because of the nature of the medium.
BrotherVoltaire: Some things are far easier than live-action while others can be impossible or nearly
WoW Insider: Did you approach the production of Return like you
would have any other film?%uFFFD I.E. was it storyboarded & were shot lists made?%uFFFD
BrotherVoltaire: (I'm really
WoW Insider: Hehe.
WoW Insider: If that's a no, then...
our previous films we'd always had a sort of run and gun methodology to our camerawork especially, and Return was no
WoW Insider: Did you "shoot" the footage
in-game using players as actors, or did you manipulate the engine after the fact to create your shots?
TerranJustice: We did a little bit of everything you could probably imagine ;)
TerranJustice: Without actually going in and reprogramming or custom
scripting the game.
WoW Insider: How did
you 'direct' the actors in-game?
TerranJustice: All of our actors
were in house
BrotherVoltaire: ...minus the two that weren't ;)
TerranJustice: We communicated verbally.
TerranJustice: They don't count.
BrotherVoltaire: We had one old guild mate help and a personal friend or two.
WoW Insider: How many people were involved in any one shot?%uFFFD What was the most
at one time?
BrotherVoltaire: 3 .
BrotherVoltaire: That's movie magic baby.
WoW Insider: Was the voice recording done before or after the main production? And who did you use for
TerranJustice: Before recording.
TerranJustice: All the voice actors were Rufus Cubed associates who had been involved
in other films.
TerranJustice: Ezra, primarily ;)
TerranJustice: The voices were all recorded, with the exceptions of pickups, before
any film was shot.
TerranJustice: In fact, the entire audio timeline was
assembled into a Radio-show style bit before we started rolling film.
BrotherVoltaire: We wanted to approach it using some animation techniques.
WoW Insider: So you did do some solid pre-production, after all. How long did it take
to shoot/create all the footage?
TerranJustice: Shooting probably
took a solid two weekends plus some evenings during the week
TerranJustice: We got to do a lot of preproduction while I figured out how to make fraps run properly on
my machine ;)
TerranJustice: Probably contributed to the success of the
TerranJustice: Right =) It was all going on simultaneously
TerranJustice: We felt having the audio done first was crucial to the
film having a natural feel.
WoW Insider: I see.%uFFFD Once
everything was recorded, how tough was the editing process?
BrotherVoltaire: Editing was the great bear to overcome in this project
BrotherVoltaire: that's pretty normal though
WoW Insider: preachin' to the choir...
BrotherVoltaire: just even more so for this
BrotherVoltaire: Terran is pretty
savvy with his tools.
WoW Insider: Who handled most of the
TerranJustice: I did all the
editing and visual effects
TerranJustice: Ezra did all the sound effects
WoW Insider: What tools did you use?%uFFFD
TerranJustice: The Adobe Video collection, for the most part.
TerranJustice: Every tool there is
TerranJustice: Premiere, After Effects, Audition.
TerranJustice: And a really old version of Steinberg Cubase, which is a multitrack MIDI sequencer we used
for certain sound effects work.
BrotherVoltaire: It's like fine
BrotherVoltaire: A tasty and familiar aged friend.
WoW Insider: What were some obstacles you ran into during editing?%uFFFD Any reshoots
come up or script changes that came about as a result?
Surprisingly, we had very few changes to the script after we really started rolling
TerranJustice: A couple lines were shortened
But most of the technical difficulty stemmed from difficulty maintaining good capture rates ... which I just yesterday
resolved on my computer.%uFFFD (Dust your Heatsinks everybody ... just do it)
WoW Insider: How did you decide on the music?
TerranJustice: Hehe ...
The music was almost the first thing decided.
TerranJustice: The audio
timeline that was constructed prior to shooting included all the songs we'd planned to use, and only had two changeups
during the course of production.
WoW Insider: so from start to
finish, how long did production take?
TerranJustice: Sept 6th - Sept
23rd ... about 70 hours for me and Ez both.
WoW Insider: When the
film was finally released, obviously it was well-received by the community, but were you happy with the final result
& its reception?
BrotherVoltaire: Frankly, blown away.
BrotherVoltaire: By the reception.
TerranJustice: We couldn't have possibly anticipated the reaction it received, nor the scope of the
audience that has seen it.
BrotherVoltaire: I can't say I'm 100%
satisfied with how Return plays, but I am pleased :)
It wasn't until Hugh Hancock of Machinma.com posted about return "Restoring his faith in Machinima" that we'd
really realized that we'd stumbled upon something huge.
So with the success of Return, is a follow-up in the works?
BrotherVoltaire: Follow-up planned would be a severe understatment.
BrotherVoltaire: We can't divulge all details at this time.
BrotherVoltaire: but Return is on a path right now to potentially advance the machinima, gaming, and
entertainment world in general.
TerranJustice: Big announcement
pertaining to that looms on the near horizon.
willing that's precisely what will happen, we're about dying right now to just spill the beans
BrotherVoltaire: but we must be quiet :)
BrotherVoltaire: As mice.
Insider: Fair enough; looking forward to it, though.
Any final words about the film you'd like to say?
I'd like to say thank you thank you, thank you to everyone who has enabled us to make Return and to the fans who were
willing to let the story touch them.
TerranJustice: And thank you to Blizzard for creating a world so vivid as to empower us to realize our
cinematic visions as we'd never have been able to without their product ;)
WoW Insider: Excellent; and thanks for your time guys.%uFFFD Look forward to seeing more from Rufus Cubed
in the future!
BrotherVoltaire: Thank you sir!
Be sure and
check out Rufus Cubed's official website for
more on Return!