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Friday, May 22, 2009

Ten Days At Moviestorm Towers

Well, it’s been a surprisingly busy ten days since the new Web site went up.  (Is it really only ten days?  It feels like a month at least!)  We’ve been fixing all sorts of little problems with it, and getting new features working.  Some of them you’ll never see: for example, we can now make a movie into a featured movie with just a click of a button, not some complicated bit of HTML & database updating.  That means we’ll be updating the featured movies much more often - every few days instead of every few weeks.

One of the new features we’ve been playing around with is the playlists.  There’s still an annoying bug that means they don’t work right when you embed them on another Web site, but they work just fine on the Moviestorm site.  We’ll be using those more and more, for example to pull together competition winners, or themes.  So far, we have playlists for the very best of Moviestorm, old favourites, featured movies, and best music videos.  Feel free to suggest more playlists, or additions to the existing ones - the best way to do it is to send a message to Moviestorm and we’ll follow it up.

Best videos

We’ve had some amazing new movies recently.  If you haven’t seen them, have a look at the winners of the Keep It Snappy competition - ten films of 30 seconds or less.  And here are four superb pieces from the last few days.

Education for Leisure, based on the controversial poem by newly appointed Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, was made by a team of six film-makers from North-West England.  The voice acting and sound in this powerful piece is first-rate.

Cafe Insomniac is the start of a new series, described as “The Sopranos meets the Twilight Zone”.  If you’ve seen any of his previous work, such as Control Point, you’ll know that his filming and editing style is masterful.  This promises to develop into something really quite intriguing.

There’s been quite a rash of science fiction appearing recently. Awaken is the trailer for an offbeat new series about a “change of consciousness of 2012: a battle against the fear and darkness to remember who we are in truth”.  This is so well made that it’s hard to believe it’s the director’s first work with Moviestorm.

And, for a complete change of tone, here’s If Trains Were Planes, a mock safety broadcast.

What we’ve been up to

Meanwhile, if you’ve been keeping an eye on the developers’ blog, you’ll be aware that we’ve been continuing to work on the hairstyles pack, and Julian’s still bashing away improving performance.

Having new people in the office has also brought a welcome change of atmosphere.  New programmer Paul Sumpner is settling in well, and we’ve had my son Rhys here doing work experience.  Earlier this week we sent him out with Johnnie on a field trip to Ipswich, where the students on the computer games design course are taking a machinima module and using Moviestorm.  We learned as much from them as they did from us!


Keep talking!

And finally, those of you who use Skype may be interested in an experimental open Moviestorm chat session being run by Lucinda McNary.  If you want to join in, contact Lucinda via Moviestorm or via skype (user ID lucindamc123) and ask to be added.  It can get quite noisy at times, but that’s part of the fun!  (This is not an official Moviestorm chat, but some of us do pop in from time to time.)

Now we’re all off to enjoy a traditional wet holiday weekend here in England.  We’ll be back on Tuesday. 

(1) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Dorie on 11/10 at 10:07 PM

Big help, big help. And superlative news of crouse.

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