Name: Bliccer
Notable Works: Maze, Radiation 2 + 3

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, interests, etc.?
My active quaking years had been 2004-2014 including mapping mostly for q3a:df (german-defrag.de was still active then), Quake 4, and warsow. Some maps are better, some as good as a trumpian golf swing. Opening and leading several mapping teams (AMT together with morbus, love that guy and of course the -cmc-), helping pan-g in creating q4run, and also making of several df movies.

Nowadays I enjoy more a 5hr indie game rush of story and emotions over a grand one-week-experience, as I think there is more to do in life than sitting in front of a machine (except it's for earning your bread and butter). Co-op games are still pretty addictive. Or a quick hop-on-off vr-game. And I guess I transfered my addiction towards games to the table playing cards and board games.

My movie making experience brought me to university, which eventually got me into the visual effects industry and the post-production process and let me work on some flicks which you probably heard of. I've been doing that for the past 3 years and living in Berlin.

Are you self-taught or have you taken formal classes on editing?
Self-taught. I've read some books about editing (like The Healthy Edit, by John Rosenberg, Walter Murch's great talk wrapped into a book, In The Blink of An Eye) and sucked in as many tutorials as possible. But I also devoured every new trickjumping video which got released back in those days. I guess that's where most of my own cutting rhythm and music taste came from.

What software do you use?
Adobe Suite, Maya/Blender, Nuke

When starting a project, what is your approach like? Do you have a specific workflow?
For movies, gaming, and live: Watching and sorting your shot footage/demos over and over again, learn them by heart (go to bed and keep on cutting the frames), and for Quake getting the right music. The music you will not get fed up with yourself... sometimes you will have to cut to it for months. Especially for "Maze" it was really all about the right music cut. It took me some weeks digging through some electronic music I listened to back then. Cut them together and when I felt, some days later, it still sounded good, meaning I could still listen to it, it was the way to go.

Maze gave me his best demos and I had to go through them, 150 files or maybe more, and needed to memorize them. Then getting a feel for them in terms of which ones impressed me the most, which would then be the demos landing inside the final cut. I started to capture them, first person first. Rearranged them, getting the flow together between music and visuals. Sometimes the demos were spot onto the music track, sometimes some time remapping would do the job, which would lead to moving the demos around, so that the absurd moments would be the ramped slow ones.

Throughout the process I had my music in mind while watching the demos and already thought to myself, "this play has to be linked here, this one there...", and the rest was more or less accidentally right or just put at the positions by a gut feeling. Like, thinking in bed about the cut, waking up and placing the clip. And very often it fit perfectly.

While arranging the demos, the transitions came to my mind and I tried around if it could fit, before doing a final animation. For Radiation part 2 and 3 I wanted mostly first person scenes and also the laid back electronic sound which I had seen in the last Power of Heavy Metal vids. Or at least I tried to do something similiar. I just rewatched it and saw I failed... but the music fits anyway. I really love the combination between minimal atmospheric music and "the sky is not the limit" demos.

What has inspired you in your work? Are there specific movies or moviemakers that changed the way you approach your own work?
While I should probably come up with a huge list of directors' names, I am afraid I cannot do so. I have movies I love to watch and can get into detail but I guess what has really had an impact on me was my film analysis professor with whom I got more into the question of the "behind". What does this or that in a movie mean. It includes all categories in an image: staging of actors, framing, lining of an image, light, greyscale, rhythm, etc.. I also really liked the movies "Blow Out" by DePalma or "Stay" by Marc Forster for its play on the idea of sound. So basically it is all about boosting every image with a meaning. In some ways I tried to incorporate that into my later movies.

But obviously the absolute star on the editing horizon is KOS. His movies were, and still are, just so top-notch. I love how he's approaching things and at the same time just do them. I always feel so lazy comparing myself to him... an issue I still need to tackle. But that dude deserves way more fame then he probably already has. I don't know if he feels like a mentor to me, since he isn't mentoring me (sadly), but he is definitely someone I look up to.

Names of movies I watched like crazy and which got me into Quake 3 movie making or made me go, "HU! That's cool!": Tribulation, mrks videos (Cetus 1+2, Shaolin stuff), KOS Cpm Runs, Retrohelix, ebola's vids, mccormmic's movies, tchoucky's stuff, The badge 1-3, DeClips and cop's movies (and probably a lot I have forgotten over the years).

Regarding inspiration and your film analysis class: While there is no story or plot and "characters" are pretty interchangeable, there is certainly a great deal to learn from cinema about pacing, camera work, and presentation. Could you expand on what gaming movie makers might benefit from learning about film analysis? Do you have any specific examples that might be illustrative?
Making movies is about creating emotions. And it's emotions that keep you in your chair, to finish the clip from the start to the end. No matter if it is a touching uncomfortable issues as Pan's Labyrinth or an absurd thrilling shocking movement of a player having the weirdest killstreak at the moment. It gives something to the viewer as long as he/she can connect to the material. How does that happen? By the right mood of soundscape, the cut and the visual components of an image and its composition, and of course very often to the timing in someone's life. By starting to learn how to read a movie (not necessarily in regards to the story) and deconstructing your favourite scenes will make you think about your own creations and help you in "manipulating" the viewer and get their attention.

Color is one component in directing a viewer's eyes and therefore creates a certain emotion in the way the viewer continues their journey through the picture. For example, warm, redish colors attract more and therefore seem to stand out more than cold colors which seem to loose themselves into the back. Just playing with this contrast gives you so much control about one's attention. And in snippets which might only last for 2 seconds the images need to be readable quickly.

A great book about this topic is this Bruce Block's The Visual Story and then a further digging into the net about movie breakdowns. An oldie but goldie: http://floobynooby.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-c...art-1.html

Also, http://kevincoynedp.com/illumination/

Which of your own projects are you most proud of? Which do you think were most instrumental in your development as a moviemaker?
Well, it's more about the story behind the project than the outcome, I guess. The last two were the most important movies for me. Digging into new aspects of finding a personal style and being courageous to try out new things and doing more things I would like to see in movies. Basically, at the beginning and first vids I wanted to do something cool and get attention. At the end, it was about pursuing my own editing way and just release something I would also be able to look at afterwards. Authenticity is the word. That's what we all should aim for.

Maze is at the top definitely: I felt pretty honoured when Maze came to me with those demos of his. The full package (huge zip file) has more details on the history of the movie. And from all its aspects from music to visuals it is the most thought through movie I have created. I still like the flow. Biggest and longest project (especially thankful for all the responses of mapping colleagues helping me out in redesigning some of the maps). It has been a huge collab project so to say...

Radiation 2/3 still feels pretty good as well. Not too much editing, and getting that project done in ~2 weeks. And finally I was able to present my own best ofs. In that time, it felt like I needed to do this as a final step before I quit.

Maverick Competition Trailer: I still like the play with sound effects to get the viewer's imagination started. The maps are all very beautiful to look at and I tried to play more with transitions and symbols.

Joint Deviance: Shite editing, and way too much, but the content is still awesome. I love those co-op trickruns and having organised those. Some featured better in Radiation 1.5.

There is a range of game movies in terms of editing styles and structure. Some you could call some "old school" (minimal editing) and then there are very elaborate projects with significant amounts of editing. Where do you think your movies fall? In your opinion, is there an ideal balance between editing and content?
I guess I went from over editing to a more minimalistic style. People need to understand the runs in a defrag movie, so better leave them inside the player and get out from time to time. Too many cams can destroy the feeling of awesomeness.

For the general crowd it is hard to say. Tastes are tastes. For me personally, it always gets me when I am watching those super minimalistic atmospheric long runs on those evil minipads maps. If there would have been more editing in there it would have destroyed the atmosphere. I can't watch a lot of CS movies anymore with their overedited layouts. Or all the DOTA stuff flying around, zoom in here, zoom out there. with exceptions being the clockworks series, which looks pretty neat.

I guess my taste changed a lot since then, others love the BANG BOOM BANG After Effects orgies.

What do you think the future holds for game movies? Are there new styles/techniques possible?
I am definitely looking forward to creative 360, VR, or even AR content. New technology, new creative ways to show "stories". I hope at some point it goes back to proper story telling machinimas (or maybe they do with those game trailers and intros) instead of this huge quantity of one shot dead movies.

What advice do you have for new moviemakers?
Find a mentor and your role models I suppose. The earlier you can strive for someone's ideas, the better. Definitely get into the habit of thinking about what you do like in an image or movie. Is it the colors, the way someone portraits a person or just the structure of the image? How do you feel after the movie, or two days later, and can you somehow use this way of creating the feeling in your own movies? Basically create a way for yourself to understand a movie in the meaning of being able to talk about it in a different way than just, "it was good" or "I didnt like it...". And open your eyes to new things. I recently started to listen to more podcasts during work and found new names of crazy creative people out there whose work I just fell in love with immediately. Music and visual-wise. The Collective Podcast by Ash Thorp is a good start, if you havent found it already.

Any last comments/shoutouts?
Thanks to Maverick for keeping the gaming movie scene alive, as well as the people over at q3df.org, hk, nightmare, and neti. Greets to morbus, KOS, pan, and cityy. And thank you Quake 3 community for still being active. It's just ridiculous. Thanks lolograde for this interview series. I wouldn't have thought about getting such a request. Nice to read about the other moviemakers! =)
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