Name: wntt
Notable Work(s): Moopoint, Chasing Dragons

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, interests, etc.?
I was originally CoD4 promod player back in ~2009s. Great time it was. The game had an awesome community with lots of talented moviemakers. Those days I also started playing QL with friends, looking back to even older times when Q3A was one of my first ever games I tried on a PC. So eventually all that led to me making small QL vids and frag movies later on.

Are you self-taught or have you taken formal classes on editing?
Pretty much self-taught. That's actually one of the reasons why I started making frag movies. I wanted to learn the technical things, software, etc., and there is no better way to learn something than by working on a real project. My belief is that you should always aim for making personal projects to get yourself out of comfort zone to learn new stuff. For example, I wanted to learn After Fffects so I made Singularity.

What software do you use?
I used After Effects and Cinema 4D. Moopoint was made in vegas.

When starting a project, what is your approach like? Do you have a specific workflow?
For my frag movies (I haven't got a chance to make defrag movie or smth) it works in that order:

1) Main idea/theme. It all starts with an idea that may arise in my head. It can come from music, movie, fiction, whatever. I take my time and give the idea some time to grow.

2) Music. I'm a huge music lover. Selecting songs and mixing them into an OST is vital for me. Music always sets the tone of narrative and helps to develop and shape your early ideas. Having huge variety in songs and genres (like I did in Moopoint) is usually not a good thing to have. Songs you choose should support your main concept and vice versa. At least, that's the way I feel about it.

3) Synchronization/frags. I am convinced that syncing your action (shots, movement, flycams, ingame sound, etc.) to music you mixed earlier is crucial. That should be your primary concern. Never chase for flashy effects until you have a solid base. A simple video with strong foundation and decent content is already a great movie by itself and can keep all kind of audience interested.

At the technical level, I usually record all demos I have with fraps for super quick and rough animatics. I create somewhat preliminary version of a movie using that low res proxies. Only after that I do proper recordings from wolfcam with motion blur, z-depth etc. This approach saves a lot of time and space.

4) Postworks. That part is kind of optional and unique for each project. Just remember to not get lost in it.

Also taking breaks to use the benefit of a fresh pair of eyes to separate the wheat from the chaff is a good habit.

What has inspired you in your work? Are there specific movies or moviemakers that changed the way you approach your own work?
I think inspiration came naturally from watching movies of all these great artists like acidz, phonic9, village, aries-films guys, kez, katha, kos forming my taste and enriching visual library. My top list of movies would include: Aurora Borealis by kez, Rannara 0 by acidz, She Looked 16 by katha, Dorftrottel by kos (still the tightest shit), Lost Control by Heaad and muff, Edge of the Earth by rEnk, The Contenders by entik, and many more. I still rewatch some of those occasionally.

Which of your own projects are you most proud of? Which do you think were most instrumental in your development as a moviemaker?
Proud, huh. That' a strong word. No, nothing to be proud of. If you are looking on what you made a month ago or a year ago and you like it, be very careful cause each day you should be getting better. At that point I don't like the stuff I made and can't watch my own movies. They are long forgotten for me.

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 think every person defines for himself what the ideal balance is based on his own preferences and experience. A matter of taste, I suppose. I personally was focusing on syncing and trying to emphasize frags, trying to stay clean and have frags as a cornerstone to be built upon. I made around 5 QL movies having that mindset and at the end I think I reached my own limits. After Chasing Dragons I had nothing more to say. It was somewhat a closing chapter for me.

So when baksteen contacted me 2 years ago I didn't want to do just another "wntt ql movie XD", even though, that's what he wanted, I guess. But I wanted new challenge. I wanted to explore and to go experimental. Sadly, I couldn't make it in time and baksteen gave up on me, which is totally understandable. I feel somewhat bad for him, he gave me all the creative freedom I wanted but I had things going in my life and had other priorities over making game movie. :) We are grown up people now, you know! However I still hope I'll try to free things up one day and finish what I started, because I don't want to just let it go. A sufficient amount of progress was already made.

In my opinion, your movies have a very unique and original visual style. The way you use the third person cameras and the tempo of your editing/syncing is not something I've seen in movies prior to yours. Starting with Moopoint but especially in Chasing Dragons and Lincolnshire. These movies share something that is unmistakably "wntt", if you don't mind me saying. :) Could you perhaps describe in your own words what you think about your own style? Or maybe what it is you are thinking/feeling as you edit?
Tough one for me to answer because things don't look unique or special to me. I'm just making things the way I see them, relying on experience and gut feeling. So it's all comes down to your taste which can and should be improved through observation and practice. I somewhat covered this topic partially in my previous answers. Eh, sorry if the answer is short and empty, really hard one for me.

No worries! I've been in a few discussions with people trying to understand your movies. I understand them from a technical perspective, mostly, but there is something to them beyond just the technical aspects. In my opinion, they could be classified as "art" in the way that you are able to evoke feelings with your unique editing style.

I don't think you have to "understand" them. Czech painter Alphonse Mucha said, "The expression of beauty is by emotion. The person who can communicate his emotions to the soul of the other is the artist. I agree with him in that. So I guess you can classify some frag movies as an art and movie makers as an artists. I'm not the one to judge my own works though, but if some of my works evoke feelings in the viewers' eyes and hearts (on a visual and spiritual level), this will make me happy.

What do you think the future holds for game movies? Are there new styles/techniques possible?
I don't know. To be honest, I don't want to be that narrowly focused talking about just GAME movies. I always chased an idea to make my own short CG films. Frag movies were just a small starting step of a longer journey. What I see in CG industry nowadays is that tools become much better and more affordable. People learn and pick up stuff much quicker. The competition increases and that's a great thing to have! What a wonderful time we live in! The project that fulltime production house would've done 8 years ago can now theoretically be made by one person. So small teams and individuals are gonna have more power. I guess you can also reflect all that stuff on GAME movies as well.

What advice do you have for new moviemakers?
Depends heavily on a specific person, his ambitions and goals. Does he want to be a motion graphics designer or a concept artist or whoever he wants to be or is he just having fun? I dunno, I better give advice to myself 6 years younger! Don't try to learn all the programs. Software is just a tool, don't be obsessed with it. Learn fundamentals, learn composition (most important!). Don't be scared of hand sketching. Study movies, movie frames are the Holy Grail for an artistic eye. And most importantly, have fun.

Any last comments/shoutouts?
No
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