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Director Dialogues

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Director Dialogues: CMNeir

CMNeir and the rest of the Halo 3 Tricks team have been the leaders of Halo glitch videos since one can remember. From Halo 2 to Halo 3, these guys have covered it all. Nowadays, CMNeir is a bit more focused on machinima then tricks, but he agreed to tell us a little bit about both and drop a few tips for you beginners.

Tell us about the man behind the tricks.

Well, I'm CMNeir, and I mainly film and edit trick videos using Halo 3 under the title, Halo 3 Tricks. I'm also an avid machinima director and editor and hope to produce many machinima films in the future after Halo 3 Tricks ends. In addition to my video making, I'm also attending college and hope to get a degree in Film Production. Hopefully that works out ;)

Good luck! So, what inspired you to start creating Halo videos?

Well, I've been a fan of Halo since it was first released in 2001. I've owned every Halo release and to date, Combat Evolved is still my favorite, although Halo 3 wins a lot of points for its theater mode. In 2005, my friend Ryan and I decided to do a trick on Halo 2. The trick was what we called, Tank Pinball. We then decided to film it and air it online as a tutorial video. And ever since then, I've been making trick videos, totaling up to 150 Halo 2 Trick episodes and over 100 Halo 3 Trick episodes. I have enjoyed making trick videos because in the process I've made many valuable friendships. So in the end, what I take from this experience will be the advancement in my filming and editing skills, and most importantly, the friendships.

Which one of your videos are you most proud of?

To date, the video I'm most proud of is our Trick Of Legend machinima.

We made our most creative advancements during the making of this movie. The movie itself took over 5 months to create, from script 1 to revisions of the script and then a complete rewrite of the script. We pre-planned action sequences, which we hadn't done to this extent in previous projects. We also expanded more on the story than we had in the past. And the most difficult part of creating the movie was the fight scenes and the special effects that had to be added in post-production. All in all, I enjoyed every moment in producing the movie and hope to make more like this in the future, with the first being... the sequel.

Out of all of your 'Tricks' episodes, which trick did you enjoy the most?

Hmmm... Probably the Tank Pinball trick from Episode 70. It was fun to film and that's what made it enjoyable.

I love that one too! So how long does it take to create an episode like that?

Depending on how cooperative the cast is and how difficult the trick is it could take from ten minutes up to an hour. Filming usually accounts for most of the time spent, while editing takes very little time at all. It just all depends.

Any tips for aspiring machinima makers?

Patience. It takes time to develop and produce a Halo video of any kind. And if you work to the best of your abilities you'll create something you're proud of. In addition, be sure to create videos that you enjoy. Don't always do what your fans want, because if you're not happy with what you're putting together, then you won't put your best effort into it. So create and make what YOU want. In doing so, you'll be happy (and your true fans support and stick with you).

Noted. What are some of your favorite Halo videos to watch?

I enjoy watching DarkSpire Films and Red Vs Blue mostly. I tend to stay away from watching other halo videos in order to keep myself content with my own work. Though sometimes I can't stay away from the videos that catch my eye.

What kinds of software and hardware do you use?

The software I use for my videos is Final Cut Pro Studio 2. For special effects I use Motion 3, which is a part of that editing suite from Apple. Before I got Final Cut Pro, I used iMovie HD, but that was a while ago... For filming, I use a video camera that hooks up directly to my VCR to record what the Xbox is inputting through the TV. I know it may seem old school, but it works. I hope to change this style of filming someday, but who knows, I've been doing it this way since 2005.

What features would you like to see in future Bungie games to assist machinima makers?

Hmmmm. More character customizations. Along with more maps (sets) that can be used to help diversify the machinima videos already out there. In addition, I'd like to see lowered weapons be included for online gameplay :)

Lower the guns! Care to give us a hint at anything you have planned for the future?

Well at the moment, we're working on a sequel to the Trick Of Legend, as well as an Indiana Jones themed machinima. Plus, we plan on finishing up our Halo 3 Tricks series sometime this year. I will have put 4 years into the Halo Tricks series since its 2005 premiere and I believe the time has come to retire from the trick aspect of things. And although I have become busy with school and many other things in life I still plan to produce more Halo machinima videos well into 2010 at least.

WWell that's it for this week! Thanks for reading. To find out more about CMNeir and Halo 3 Tricks, be sure to visit his website and their YouTube channel.

If you have any suggestions for future guests, message RandomSauce on Bungie.net!