Ross Scott would like to survive & make “THE MOVIE”
Allow me to introduce you to Ross Scott…
If you haven’t heard of Ross Scott, or Accursed Farms, I’m not mad at you, but you do need to go fix that right now. To try to succinctly summarize a person that’s effected me enough that I’m inspired to write a blog about them would be difficult at best, but I’m going to try anyway.
Ross Scott is an accomplished producer of machinima, a method of making animated film using game engines or similar software. He’s done many amazing comedic short films, and a fantastic series called Civil Protection, which is set in the Half-Life universe and follows the misadventures of two Combine Metro Police Officers, Mike and Dave.
Mike has no tolerance for Non-Shadowy Shenanigans
However, his most well known work has to be Freeman’s Mind, a 68 episode saga that gives voice to Half-Life’s silent protagonist Gordon Freeman, and explores the original game from start to finish. The series took years to complete, and by the time it finished, for many fans of the series, Ross Scott’s voice had become inextricably linked to the character of Gordon Freeman.
His version wasn’t noble or stoic, but instead an egotistical, morally dubious, drug abusing, paranoid, and brilliant physicist with delusions of grandeur. As you follow the series, it starts to become clear why this type of character fits the narrative so well. With the sheer amount of insanity that happens in the game, extra-dimensional portals, aliens, head crab zombies, a military cover up, and the fate of the world at stake, Ross Scott’s version of Freeman has all of the traits needed to survive such an experience.
Episode 27 gives us commentary by Cap’n Freeman, until his voice gives out…
The series was so ground breaking that many credit it with being one of the corner stones of what would eventually become Let’s Play style videos. It’s easy to see why. It was one of the first popular examples of machinima that primarily involved playing the game with few alterations to the game whatsoever. Because of that, suddenly the idea that watching someone else play a video game could be entertaining in and of itself had some merit to it.
Sure, something like Freeman’s Mind turns a game into an episodic film that supplants the original game’s plot, and Let’s Play videos are more akin to watching someone play a game and joking around at an arcade, but you can still see how the series fits into the overall evolution of video game-based streaming media.
Freeman’s Mind is also Responsible for the most EPIC and CRUEL April Fool’s Jokes ever!
Ross is also involved in one of the only true machinima sites I know of which is named Gorilla Gong, for obvious reasons. This site supports the genre of machinima as a whole. Gorilla Gong hosts videos through embedding so that all views and revenue goes directly to the creator. It’s a noble endeavor, especially since the website and Multi-Channel Network, Machinima
has completely sold out and forgotten their roots has little focus on hosting actual machinima.
Post Freeman’s Mind… The Movie!
After finishing Freeman’s Mind, many believed that Ross would naturally start a second series following his interpretation of Gordon Freeman by recording Half-Life 2 from start to finish. In fact, that’s what many of us were hoping for. If he had, Ross would have most assuredly pleased his fan base. It would have taken every scrap of time he could muster, but the audience was right there, waiting for more. The problem was, doing so would have negated every other idea he had for future projects.
Ross explained this back in January 2015 by likening it to the dilemma Blizzard Entertainment faced. “I read before that Blizzard wanted to work on Diablo and StarCraft sequels for years, but they couldn’t because World Of Warcraft was so successful. They had to throw everything they had at it. Well, Freeman’s Mind has been a little bit like that for me. On one hand, some people want me to make nothing but Freeman’s Mind forever.“ However, Ross had other projects that he wanted to make that never saw the light of day, simply because of the time his most popular series required.
One of these is a full length machinima movie that Ross simply refers to as, THE MOVIE. He has to make THE MOVIE!
The Movie is a going to be a comedy adventure set in a medieval fantasy environment, with a comedic style similar to Civil Protection. Other than that, we really don’t know much more at this point. The only detail we know aside from a basic premise is that it will take quite a bit of time and effort on the part of Ross Scott to bring it to life. Desire to see the project through definitely isn’t what Ross lacks. However, he’s admitted that the financial burden of keeping himself alive long enough to complete the project is a little sketchier.
You know, pesky things like food, water, shelter. We’ve all had these annoyances collectively called “priorities” rear their ugly head from time to time. And so, Ross Scott has issued one of the most reluctant, honest, and apologetic calls to actions I’ve ever seen.
The hilarious one shot episode, Doom Guy’s Mind. Just because.
Donations? Maybe? If you want. No pressure.
In a video called Ross’s Fun Filled Beg-A-Thon, Ross details how viewers can support his future work and help ensure his survival, as well as how obviously uncomfortable he is with the very idea. He’s admittedly not much of a business man. He doesn’t have any desire to withhold anything he’s produced from his audience in exchange for money. He even outright says that as far as getting The Movie finished, and producing more videos, he’ll find a way to make that happen. Day to day survival is his only real concern.
For many fans, however, this distinction will be irrelevant. The less Ross has to worry about rent, food, or things like that, the more time he’ll have for new videos and The Movie. If he has to stop and work another project to earn money to keep going, that can delay his projects indefinitely, and we just don’t want that.
Part of what strikes me the most about the launch of this fundraising campaign is just how honest it is. Long time fans of Ross already know how frugal he is, with his diet consisting mainly of canned beans. He has a tendency to make money stretch. Once, he held a very specific fundraiser to purchase an SSD so that he could fulfill a popular fan request and re-upload Freeman’s Mind in HD in a timely manner. He needed around $500 to make this happen, but instead received about $18,000. That was in March of 2014.
Instead of going on spending spree with the excess funds, Ross made that money last, and says it should keep him going for another year or so. My God… It’s exceedingly rare to see someone with that much financial discipline. So, fans can feel pretty confident that their donations won’t go to fun Ross’s decadent lifestyle. In fact, he actively discourages anyone under any kind of financial strain from donating. He says as plainly as possible that he doesn’t feel his fans owe him anything, and shouldn’t feel guilty if they aren’t in a position to contribute.
So, if you’re a financially stable individual, and if you’ve taken a look at Ross Scott’s body of work and think to yourself, “Hey, I’d like some more of that,” maybe consider supporting his fundraising campaign. You can do that right HERE.
Now, before I go, I’l leave you with one last machinima by Ross. It’s one of my favorites, originally released on December 3, 2012. It’s called, A Stranger in Need.
All he wanted was to find a gas station…