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Terminator soldiers on in animated “machinima” series

May 27, 2009

terminator2After a lower than expected opening for action movie “Terminator Salvation,” the studio behind the film is soldiering on, like a Terminator robot on the warpath, with the release of an animated series that uses graphics from a video game to tell a story, in a technique called machinima.

Warner Bros. said that its “Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series” is the first long-form dramatic machinima series produced by a major studio. The creators used the “Terminator Salvation” video game to make the animated series.

 The six-part animated series was produced in association with McG, the director of the movie. It follows the adventures of Blair Williams, a resistance fighter who was played by Moon Bloodgood in the movie and voices her character in the machinima series. It follows how Blair joined the human resistance against Terminator robots that unleash destruction on planet Earth.

From the studio’s perspective, a machinima series is a cheap way to make new content to support a film. McG noted that the machinima technique allows creators to show things that would be “cost-prohibitive or even impossible on a set.”moon-bloodgood

That said, McG and Warner Bros. spared few expenses in making “Terminator Salvation.” The film reportedly cost about $180 million to make, but since opening on Thursday the movie has earned $65.3 million in the U.S. and Canada, according to final figures on Tuesday from tracking firm Box Office Mojo. Industry forecasts had expected the movie to open in the $70 million range, so the opening was likely to disappoint some backers of the movie.

The Terminator machinima series is available at iTunes, Amazon Video on Demand, Xbox Live and the Sony PlayStation Network.

Photo Credit 1: Warner Bros. (Image from “Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series”)

Photo Credit 2: Reuters (Moon Bloodgood at the premiere of “Terminator Salvation”)

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