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World of WarCrafts: Welcome to X-Cross' Deadmines


World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by emailing lisa (at) wow (dot) com with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

You're bound to have seen the ebullient Welcome to the Deadmines here already, in WoW Moviewatch, spicing up a WoW Rookie article or linked in an enthusiastic reader comment. What you haven't had yet is the chance to meet its talented 17-year-old creator, Swedish machinimist X-Cross, a.k.a. Adrian Drott, or Tìnkle of EU Argent Dawn-A. We spoke with the young winner of Blizzard's World of Warcraft Movie Contest: Rise to Power to learn more about his creative process, his collaborators and where we might see him pop up in the future.

World of WarCrafts: Winner of Blizzard's Rise to Power contest -- and you've only just turned 17! How long have you been making machinima, Adrian?

X-Cross: I started with machinima in the early summer of 2008, and back then I was 15 years old. The first machinima I did was made together with my cousin and a friend of mine. It was a horrible WoW parody of Pokémon that for some reason a lot of people found quite entertaining and funny. After that, we decided to continue making the episodes but stopped after the third, since I wanted to go over to a bit more "serious" machinima making after all the great feedback.

What's the feel you've been going for? If you had to describe an X-Cross Pictures, how would you characterize what you do?

Well, I guess our creations have so far been quite comedic and cartoonish. Not too original, if you compare it with categories outside the machinima genre, but it's still quite unique, I suppose. I'd love to make some sort of more "serious" machinima in the future since so far it have mainly been comedy of different sorts, but there are so many ideas that I've got in my head so I'll get to that when I'm done with my other lined-up projects.

What parts of your machinima do you handle yourself? What parts (such as music) do you collaborate with others to create?

This totally depends on what project I'm working on. I've done a few "not so serious" projects over the years that are very short, and there I do the most thing myself. But when it comes to the more serious ones, I prefer to just do the video editing and to come up with the basic idea of the project. In my earlier works, I did most of the things myself. Now I have people who can write great scripts for me, people who can do various amazing voices, and then I got my good friend Irdeen/Calle who most often does music for me.

Tell us more about your collaborators.

I've collaborated with a lot of people, but most often I do all the video editing myself. Mainly I've been working with Irdeen, who I mentioned earlier. He is both a music composer and a machinima artist, and he taught me a lot of basics within video editing as well.

Then we have Genna Bain, who hasn't been seen in too many of my projects yet. She is the writer of a script for a series that we've been working on for some time now. Also, she is a very talented voice actor, and hopefully you will see her more in future projects.

I can't forget about Jesse Cox. He has done some voice acting for me over the years, but we worked the most together on my recently released machinima Welcome to the Deadmines. He and Irdeen both wrote most of the script, but then he also did the voices for most of the characters in the machinima. He is also a very talanted voice actor as well as a funny and nice guy.

Then we also have Matt Greenburg, who is also a voice actor. He have been doing some voices from the unreleased series that we are making, just like Genna and Jesse. But the only thing released so far with his voice in it was Welcome to the Deadmines. Matt has also offered me a few scripts, but I haven't gotten the time to get started with any of them yet. Of course, Matt is just as awesome as the others, but I usually don't want to bother him with too much work since he seems to have a very stressful life.

Then I've been working with a lot more people, but mainly these guys, and I'm very thankful that I got the chance to work with all these so very talented people.

Tell us a little bit about the tools and technology you use to create your machinima. What are the general steps and processes you go through to create a machinima?

Like most other people making WoW machinima, I use WoW Model Viewer, which is a program where you can view all the WoW models and set a specific animation so that you then can record them. Then I used a quite advanced editing program called Adobe After Effects to create clip by clip, and then put it all together inside Sony Vegas, where I render the final product.

When I make a machinima, I of course first of all have to clearly think out a basic idea before either I get started on the script or ask someone else if they'd like to write the script and develop the idea a bit more (since I'm not the very best script writer). After I get the script, I send it to all the voice actors. When I get their lines done, it's time for editing. I usually add sound effects and such things in the process so I get some variation. When I've done, that I send it all to Irdeen so that he can compose matching music for it. After that, it's all done and ready for release!

You've won quite a few awards recently, haven't you? What recognitions have been coming your way?

Well, it all started with that I got a honorable mention at back in August 2008 for my video The Islanders. When winter came, they launched yet another machinima contest, where I actually got second place for my Kippo's X-Mas video.

Later on, Blizzard launched their yearly machinima contest for Blizzcon 2009, and there I got my very first grand prize for A Day in the Life. I was extremely surprised, excited and happy after winning that contest, and it felt like I had reached one of my greater goals.

Not long after that, I won grand prize as well in a Swedish movie contest, which was actually not a machinima contest. It was also quite amazing because me and my friend Isak who helped with the project were invited to go watch the video at the cinema together with all the other finalists where they also announced the winners.

And now recently we won with Welcome to the Deadmines in the Rise to Power contest that Blizzard and Alienware launched. To be honest, I was not as surprised as in the earlier contests, probably because I had won grand prize twice before that and also because I was damn happy with the final results of the machinima, and so were the others working on it. Then also because there were four winners, so that it was slightly easier for us to win.

We assume you're still living at home? What do your parents think about your machinima?

Yup, I still live at home. Well, my family have no experience with gaming at all, so that probably don't understand too much of it. Yet I think they are happy for my sake and they also support me in what I'm doing. Same with many of my friends, even though they probably understand a bit more.

We understand that you're quite a roleplayer. Have you always concentrated on RP in WoW?

I'm not exactly sure for how long I've been playing WoW. But I do remember I started slightly before The Burning Crusade was released. Well, no, actually I like all the aspects of the game both PvE, PvP and RP. I do different things from time to time, but not many of my real life friends enjoy roleplaying, so when I play with them, it's most often PvE.

What's going on in your life when you're not making machinima? School? Anything else?

Well, yeah, there is of course school, which sometimes keeps me away from making machinima. I study art, so I probably don't need to study as much as many other people have to. So apart from machinima and school, I like to draw and of course I love to play games and to hang out with friends doing random things. Sadly, I don't do any sports, since I haven't found any that fits me yet. Or well, I really love skiing and would love to learn snowboarding, but I don't live close to any location where I can do any of those sports.
What new projects are you working on now?

Well, I should be making a video for Fatty, since she won the WoW idol contest quite some time ago and the prize was for me to make a machinima for the winning song. Sadly, I have other projects blocking that all the time, but hopefully I can get to work with it quite soon. Right now, I'm working on a guild recruitment video for our guild, which is next to done. I only need to throw together a few more clips and then it's ready for release (something I can manage to do in a day but too lazy to do so). Then I also have the first episode of the series I mentioned earlier called FI5VE. This episode is also nearly done, but just like with Fatty's machinima, other projects are poping up in the way. Then I haven't got any more scheduled projects that I can come to think of. Might grab one of those scripts Matt gave me. Who knows what might come from me in the future?

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by e-mailing lisa (at) wow (dot) com with your not-for-profit WoW-inspired creations.

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