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May 17, 2005 Link to this post

HaloGT 17
Another video almost made it through the Movie Peer Review Rating System yesterday; we're releasing versions of it anyway because as I said then, our reviewers seem to have reached a point where NO montage is good enough to make it through... but I believe there's still a bit of a market for these. This one comes from GT Juggler, and goes by the name 'How To Succeed at Halo Without Really Trying'. It's a bit under 4 minutes, 46 mb large in either QT or WMP9 formats, and combines great video, fun editing, and nicely-done syncing (with not a small amount of attitude) to create an entertaining vid. If you like it, there's a first part (this is 'part 2') available at HaloGT.com, as well.

QuickTime: bungie.org | mythica.org | halogt.com
WMP9: mythica.org | bungie.org

Enjoy! (Louis Wu 11:04:33 UTC)



May 17, 2005 Link to this post

Broncho and Friends 2
Broncho has released a second Broncho and Friends video - nearly 20 minutes of jumping on the newest levels. If you're a fan of jumping in Halo 2, you have to grab this. (Use the BitTorrent link if you can.) 44 mb, WMP9 format. (Louis Wu 10:35:05 UTC)



May 16, 2005 Link to this post

This isn't Tuesday, dude.
Red vs Blue Episode 57, 'The Storm', has been posted for sponsors. This is the last episode of Season 3, and it's rather large (8 and a half minutes, 70-80 mb or so depending on flavor). You'd think that some storylines would be cleared up, given that it's the end of the season and all... but you'd be wrong. Great piece. Thanks to Caboose989 for the first heads-up. (Louis Wu 23:11:14 UTC)



May 16, 2005 Link to this post

A new montage
A few days ago, I got an email from BeefySleet, who wanted to point out a video made by a friend of his, TXz Dymdez. I watched it, and was impressed; it was really well-done. I asked him to submit it to the Movie Peer Review Rating System, which had recently been tweaked after complaints of a slippage in quality - I felt that this would be a great first vid out of the gate, post-tweakage. Unfortunately, the movie failed - by the slimmest of margins (it received a rating of 74.75%, passing at the time was 75%). However, I'm releasing it anyway, because I think that it deserves recognition; I think the MPRRS reviewers are tired of montages and will fail pretty much ANYTHING submitted in montage format. (We'll soon be releasing another failed-by-narrow-margin montage that would have passed at any other time in Halo's history.) This one was (is) originally available on the Halo2Forum - you can find download links and commentary in this thread. We're providing another pair of mirrors for the original WMP9 version (33 mb, mythica.org | bungie.org) as well as a pair of QuickTime mirrors (31.6 mb, bungie.org | mythica.org); as of now, these are the only QT mirrors. Enjoy - but realize that it's possible that we may have reached the end of the golden age of montages. (Louis Wu 17:10:45 UTC)



May 16, 2005 Link to this post

Halo CE Chronicles Trailer Posted
Dennis Powers has posted the Season 2 Teaser Trailer for the Halo CE Chronicles; it's available in both WMP9 and QuickTime formats from the downloads page. More maps, more story, blowing stuff up. (Well, not in the trailer. But soon.) (Louis Wu 16:16:17 UTC)



May 15, 2005 Link to this post

GNF Highlights - now for direct download
In the last two days, more than 1300 copies of the Going Nowhere Fast Highlight reel (first posted here) have been downloaded via BitTorrent - close to 200 gigabytes worth of downloads. That should be enough that the direct download demand is back within reachable limits. A few sites have put up the high-res copies we released via BT - 640x480, 130+ mb; if you want one of these, and BitTorrent isn't an option, you can grab them here (some have already been posted, but I'm re-summarizing):

For those who don't want the high-res version, and would rather save 50 mb on the download, there are also 480x360 versions available (84-87 mb, depending on flavor):

There are more mirrors coming (both high and medium res). (Louis Wu 17:10:27 UTC)



May 14, 2005 Link to this post

Regret
A few days ago, James Meyers, of DS Unforgotten, submitted a film to the MPRRS - it had some technical problems. (That is - one reviewer was able to see it - and liked it, except for its size (31 mb) - while nobody else could even view it.) Getting a new copy took a while, and eventually, Cybr simply deleted the MPRRS entry. When James got back to me, though, the vid he uploaded was so small (1.6 mb WMP9) that I decided I'd just release it. 30 seconds... but pretty nicely done. You can also grab a QuickTime version (1.9 mb). (Louis Wu 10:48:52 UTC)



May 14, 2005 Link to this post

A Tour of Two Maps
Dennis Powers pointed out a somewhat different vid he's spotlighted over at GearboxGameZone.com - it's a visual tour of a pair of HaloCE maps, W4Torn Cove and H2_New_Mombasa. I'm not sure I see it the same way he does - but it's a great overview of these two maps. Available in both QT and WMP9 formats. (Louis Wu 10:29:58 UTC)



May 14, 2005 Link to this post

Direct Download links for GNF Highlights
hinch put up a few direct download mirrors (here and here) for the Going Nowhere Fast highlight reel we posted - if you can't use BitTorrent, give one of these a try. (If they die before new mirrors go up, don't panic - we'll be putting up more links soon.) If you CAN use BitTorrent, you'll get MUCH better speeds from the links in this post. (Louis Wu 02:14:07 UTC)



May 13, 2005 Link to this post

An almost-forgotten promise... realized
9 months ago, we wrapped up a contest here at HBO that really captured the spirit of what makes the Halo community strong. Going Nowhere Fast was a chance for folks to show how fast they could race through Halo - straight speedruns, anything was allowed except modded Xboxes. We received dozens of entries, but there could be only one winner per level - and given the size of the films, we simply couldn't afford to release ALL runs. We promised a highlights video, showing the best bits from all the entries (rather than just the winning entries)... but real life and the demands of this website conspired to keep that promise from being realized. Well... once again, the community has come through. Cody Miller, who participated in the contest (and won two of the levels) came to HBO HQ for a lanfest in early April, and while he was here he picked up a dozen (more?) VHS tapes and a 160GB hard drive filled with GNF content. He did what I didn't have time to do - and he did it with s7yle. (This reel is lightyears beyond what I could have done.) The final product is eleven and a half minutes long, and in hi-res format weighs in at over 130 mb. We're going to release this via BitTorrent first, because 130 mb is pipe-killing. After the initial rush has died down, we'll put up versions for direct download; they'll be in the same form factor as the original GNF releases (480x360), and will save you 50 mb or so in downloads. Given that some of the original footage was pretty lousy, you might even be better off waiting for the smaller version... but the hi-res parts of this vid are great in hi-res. We're seeding it with quite a bit of initial bandwidth, so downloads should be snappy. You can grab torrents for a QuickTime version (138.7 mb) or a WMP9 version (133.9 mb) - please, leave your client open after download! And please - drop by our forum to let us (and Cody) know what you think of the work! (Louis Wu 14:13:31 UTC)



May 13, 2005 Link to this post

More Hi-Res Goodies from Stryke Force
Stryke Force is releasing the last of its content to date in Hi-res format; swing by their video page for links. The New Year Special, their first PSA, and the trailer for the series are all up in WMP9 format at the moment. QuickTime versions will be coming probably tomorrow. The big news, though, is that from here on in, ALL releases will be in hi-res format - how can you beat that? Thanks, Feenix. (Louis Wu 14:09:48 UTC)



May 12, 2005 Link to this post

Balance of Power
The Codex, Episode 11, 'Balance of Power', has been posted at the Codex website. A solid episode, plotwise... it explores the relationship between the Praetor and the Cleric. There will be no episode next week; the top news post on the main page explains why. It's really nice to see a machinima team planning ahead! Go grab this episode today. Thanks, aardvark36. (Louis Wu 16:32:46 UTC)



May 12, 2005 Link to this post

Bad Dreams
Mother's Tooth has posted Episode 2 of his 'The Age of Miranda' series over at That Weasel Television. This one makes use of a mod we mentioned a couple of weeks ago created by TheTykoMan. That poor Miranda - I'm glad I don't have dreams like that! (Louis Wu 09:52:31 UTC)



May 10, 2005 Link to this post

Necrosis Episode 2
The third movie to make it through the MPRRS today is the second episode of the Necrosis Clan's eponymous series. You can grab it from their site (WMP9 format, 3.4 mb) or from ours (WMP9 format or a 4.8 mb QuickTime). Again, dialogue comes from the Dialogue Databank; it will be interesting to see how long they can make that work. Screensize is quite small, so some of the action is a bit difficult to see. (Louis Wu 15:10:30 UTC)



May 10, 2005 Link to this post

Final Pass
Another vid that made it through our rating system - Foilman's 'Final Pass', a Halo PC montage. The man loves his rockets... This is available in WMP9 format (42.9 mb) or QuickTime format (34.4 mb). There are some rumblings on our forum this morning that the quality level of passed films is dropping a bit; I'd like to remind everyone that the system is still evolving. We just added a number of new reviewers, who may or may not have their 'reviewing' legs yet; and regardless of experience, with only 20% of our reviewers weighing in on any particular movie, the consistency of scores is going to drop a bit. We'll probably compensate by raising the passing bar. Be patient - we'll get there! (Louis Wu 15:03:28 UTC)



May 10, 2005 Link to this post

Something Different
The Movie Peer Review Rating System continues to evolve; we've begun to add tips for movie makers, and you can find them on the Submitter FAQ page. A recently-passed vid came from MereCatFish, a member of the HBO Helljumpers clan. It's basically a collection of stuff that amused him in-game; some of it is great, some is a bit... well, you'd laugh harder if you'd been there, I guess. My favorite part was a single in-game score screen that comes up around 5:11. 14 players, 13 are dead. And one has quit. It's available in both WMP9 format (26.8 mb) and QuickTime format (21.9 mb) - thanks to Mythica for the hosting. (We'll be releasing a couple of other vids today, so I thought I'd spread the love.) (Louis Wu 13:53:43 UTC)



May 9, 2005 Link to this post

Praetoria Guard Vids - now with MPRRS approval
A few weeks ago, we mentioned some movies made by the Praetoria Guard, a Halo 2 clan. Recently, they submitted their work to the Movie Peer Review Rating Service - not for hosting, but to obtain feedback so that they could make their works better. All four submissions passed, with flying colors - reviewers were (for the most part) happy with editing, voice acting, humor... if you haven't seen these, give 'em a look! (If you downloaded them in mid-April, when we gave them a passing mention, they haven't changed; you won't see anything new.) They've got plenty of bandwidth, but if things get tight, we're happy to help out. The four vids can be grabbed directly from their server:

Enjoy! (Louis Wu 10:19:50 UTC)



May 8, 2005 Link to this post

More released videos
Speaking of the MPRRS, two movies that have passed in the last couple of days are now ready for download. Spartan Smasher originally posted his Hpod Shuffle vid in our forum - when it passed our rating system, we put up another pair of links for it. (The originals, plus our mirrors - both WMP9 and QuickTime - can be found in the forum thread.) And VALENCEelectron sent us a trailer for a Halo movie - it uses cutscene video mixed with a soundtrack from the Sky Blue trailer to show you what a Halo big-screen vid could be like. Nice synching, for the most part, though some of the character choices are a bit odd. This is available in both WMP9 (18 mb) and QuickTime (18.4 mb) formats. Enjoy 'em both! (Louis Wu 09:35:27 UTC)



May 8, 2005 Link to this post

MPRRS - A Status Report
Wow. The Movie Peer Review Rating System turns one month old today - and I think it's surpassed our hopes for it already! In the past 30 days, our volunteer reviewers have rated 79 films, passing 21 of them - just over a quarter. That SERIOUSLY decreases the amount of watching I, personally, have to do - which was the impetus for the system in the first place. Several movies have been submitted more than once - the creator took the feedback given by the reviewers and improved the quality of the offering, often resulting in a passing grade the second time through. This was goal two of the system - to improve the overall quality of released materials. Review time hovers around 12 hours these days - a VAST improvement from the days or even weeks that movies once languished in our uploads folder, waiting for me to find time to download and watch them. And the system continues to improve. Our recent call for volunteers netted another 10 (soon to be 12, I think) recruits, with a rather large reserve for the next call. (If you emailed us this week about becoming a reviewer, and you haven't heard from us, sit tight; we now have your name in the standby pool, and the next time we need a batch of volunteers, you guys are first on the list.) We've begun to see videos submitted not for hosting, but simply for feedback from an organized system; we're fine with this, as long as you understand that what you're getting is just feedback. The behind-the-scenes tools continue to improve, as well, thanks to Cybrfrk; reviewers have access to their body of reviews, and can look for unexpected (or unwanted) trends, and correct them, if need be. All in all, this system should help EVERYONE interested in the Halo movie scene - content creators, viewers, hosts. We're thrilled by the enthusiasm, and hope you're happy with the results thus far! (Louis Wu 09:21:04 UTC)



May 7, 2005 Link to this post

A Day of Victory... Chaaaaaaarge
Red vs Blue episode 56, 'Calm Before The Storm', has been posted for sponsors. (This is also a notice to the general public that the free versions will be available in about 2 days - but that won't stop the flood of email telling us that once they go up...) It's all about Lopez and Andy in this this one... though the angry Tooth Fairy had me rolling, and Donut rocked. Thanks to zugy for noticing. (Louis Wu 12:00:27 UTC)



May 7, 2005 Link to this post

Enemy At The Gates
I meant to get to some of these yesterday - but then I was gone for most of yesterday. The MPRRS has approved a new slew of movies - first off the blocks is a film called 'Enemy at the Gates', a Halo 2 version of the big-screen film of the same name. This one was put together by MotleyCrusader, and has some nice timing and filming. There are some funky volume shifts, so be careful - but overall, a great piece. It's available in WMP9 format (34.2 mb) or QuickTime format (33.3 mb). Enjoy - more films coming soon. (Louis Wu 11:53:22 UTC)



May 6, 2005 Link to this post

Invalid Mob Recruits
A couple of days ago, Mukelo posted a trailer on our forum. I let him know that if we pointed people to a 58 mb video with a positive review, he could expect a couple of thousand downloads, as a minimum, but that if he were willing to submit it to our Movie Peer Review Rating System, we'd be happy to help host. He did. The vid received the highest overall ranking to date. Accordingly, we've put up the high-res version he originally posted, plus a QuickTime version of it... as well as a couple of smaller (but not tiny) versions, for the bandwidth-challenged. (The voice acting is in Finnish, with English subtitles - so I didn't want it to be so small that reading was a hassle.) This is an entertaining, mildly sexist (though in a funny way) look at a clan recruitment effort, with some innovative anime-style overlays. (Given the Halo moviemaking community's penchant for jumping on what works, and beating it into a cold, gooey pulp, I'm afraid that after this release, we might be in for dozens of overdone video effects... but such is the price of success, I suppose.) Great cinematography, nice humor, overall great piece of work. Grab the version that best fits your needs (please don't overdo):

Looks like there will be more vids released later today... (Louis Wu 14:21:11 UTC)



May 6, 2005 Link to this post

Killimanjaro
Evil_Kefka points out a Flash movie he's got at Newgrounds; it's a look at how powerful the plasma grenade has become since the AutoUpdate. Nice graphics. (Louis Wu 10:23:05 UTC)



May 6, 2005 Link to this post

MPRRS news, and 2 new releases
Until recently, the scoring algorithm at the Movie Peer Review Rating System gave extra weight to smaller movies, on the principle that if it wasn't a hassle to download (or serve), it didn't have to be QUITE as good. We've rethought that rule... but tonight, there are two short films that made the cut with the weighting advantage. (They're the last two that will get through this way.) The first was actually released last week - announced, and hosted, on its own site. Necrosis Episode 1 holds the honor of being the first machinima to make use of the Dialogue Databank exclusively for its voice acting. You can grab the original WMP9 version (7.6 mb) or a QuickTime version (8.1 mb) from our server. Also, casuela submitted a trailer for an upcoming series known as 'Le Marche', a World War II-type movie. It's quite short, and quite small - 3.1 mb in WMP9 format, or 4 mb in QuickTime format. Give it a shot! Additional news about the MPRRS - it looks like we'll be increasing the pool of reviewers very soon; if you're interested in helping out, send us mail! (Louis Wu 02:34:12 UTC)



May 5, 2005 Link to this post

More Hi-Res Stryke Force
Last week, Stryke Force released hi-res versions of their first couple of episodes. People liked them - so they've released hi-res versions of episodes 3, 4, and 5. WMP9 versions are up on their downloads page right now - QuickTime links should be up soon. This is one of the more polished machinima series out there - if you haven't seen it, go grab copies! (And don't forget to stop by their forum and let 'em know what you think.) (Louis Wu 17:42:11 UTC)



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