BloodSpell is the unique animated "punk fantasy" feature film by Machinima pioneers Strange Company, made available in its entirety for viewing online under Creative Commons.
In the world of BloodSpell, some people are infected with magic in their blood. When that blood is spilled, the magic is released, to harm or heal. When Jered, a young monk trained to hunt the Blooded, realises he has magic in his own blood, he must flee into the slums and magical hideouts of the Blooded, pursued by the Church of the Angels who trained him.
"There's some damned fine storytelling and editing/production work here" - Cory Doctorow, author and blogger
"Blood, Angels and loads of vicious smiting: what more could you ask for?" - Alan Campbell, author of Scar Night.
""A movie that defies most of the rules of traditional film-making." - The Guardian
What should I download?
This one's fairly simple. If you're on a PC (and you've not done something funky like messing around with the gamma settings), you'll get the best viewing experience from the DivX version:
Director/Writer/Producer: Hugh Hancock
Technical Director: Steve Wallace
Sound Engineering and Design: Phil Rice
Lead Editor: Ross Bambrey
Lead Filming: Ben Sanders
1st Assistant Director: Johnnie Ingram
Lead Animator: Justin Hall
Jered: Thom Tuck
Carrie: Charmaine Gilbert
Gad: Alan Cross
Arianne: Caroline Dunford
The Master: Paul AJ Hamilton
For full list of credits see movie credit roll.
Web page: <a href="http://www.bloodspell.com">BloodSpell.com</a>
A distillation of the long series also available as a download on this site, Bloodspell is one of the longer Mechas here, being in this version a fully fledged feature, able to stand in its own right. Set in a land where the spilling of their own blood creates magic to those gifted which such powers, and originating from the United Kingdom, the film has a English accented cast throughout and works very well on its own account, needing no prior knowledge of the source episodes to enjoy it. It also features one of the more interesting heros of the Mecha genre, the bald headed Jered who, with the one armed Scouser Ged (at first his nemesis), becomes something of an endearing character as matters proceed. Jered is more than an muscle bound action cipher common to the fantasy genre, and it is to the maker's credit that some emotionality is suggested below the 2 or 3 expressions the Mecha process grants their hero's regularly impassive face. Its necessarily clunky visual notwithstanding, Bloodspell succeeds throughout in being cinematic in conception, with excellent editing, pacing and some memorable, if somewhat idiocyncratic, dialogue added to a real sense of place. Recommended.
October 23, 2007 Subject:
Excellent Feature Length Machinima: A Bit Better Than the Series
I enjoyed the Bloodspell, the 14-part machinima series; it had a good script and was fueled by excellent acting, sound and smart directing, but there were some problems here and there. A slow and cumbersome first episode gave the series and awkward start, plus there were pacing problems here and there. Now that the series had been condensed into a full-length film all of the problems have been and addressed and the film not only looks better (color correction has really deepened the look), but the new opening monologue (by the excellent actor, Paul Hamilton, who plays the master) is much, much better. In fact, I prefer the film version even though I liked the series a lot. Additional re-working of sound by the excellent sound designer Phil Rice, is an improvement over an already great sound design. The story seems to work better being told continuously. Somehow there is more empathy generated for the main characters.
This is some of our best machinima filmmaking. Congratulations to Hugh Hancock and the Strange Company for intelligent and creative improvements on what was already a very good series.