Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ozymandias as Machinima (2000)

Praised by everyone from New York Times Arts columnist Matt Mirapaul, to film critic Roger Ebert, through to games journalists and literature professors, Strange Company's groundbreaking visual adaptation of the Shelley poem remains one of the most evocative pieces of Machinima.

Developed using an early version of Strange Company's Lithtech Film Producer software (a project which was later dropped, sadly), "Ozymandias" was created in just over a week for a demonstration show. However, the idea had been in director Hugh Hancock's mind for much longer.

"I've wanted to visualise to poem for years" says Hugh. "The imagery and the feel of the words is so strong that it really is crying out to be made into a film - and indeed, our adaptation stands as the latest of a number of films based on the poem."

Roger Ebert compared the film's minimalist construction to seminal Anime work "Grave of the Fireflies", and its attempt to capture the spirit of the poem was judged so successful that several literature courses used the film as part of their teaching program. Dell used the film as part of their demonstration at the Windows 2000 launch, and it appeared at several film festivals as part of Strange Company's Machinima showcase.

"As with all of these things, I had no idea that "Ozymandias" was going to be so successful when we were making it." says Hugh. "This was one of the most off-the-wall ideas I'd come up with, and its success has been very gratifying."

Download Ozymandias


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1818)

No comments: