It is hard to believe that it has been 9 years since I first discovered a web series of Machinima named “Red vs Blue” from a small company named Rooster Teeth. What is Machinima you ask??? Well according to wikipedia.org, “Machinima is the use of real-time 3D computer graphics rendering engines to create a cinematic production.” To put it in simpler terms, it is the ability to use something such as a video game engine to create a movie file in either a TV show format or a movie format.
Grif, Church and Simmons from Red vs Blue
Rooster Teeth created the series “Red vs Blue” using the Microsoft Xbox system and game Halo. This in itself could have been a huge risk as Microsoft could have requested that the videos be pulled and Rooster Teeth being hit with legal letters to stop production as it is their property but instead Microsoft sent a letter of support and have contracted Rooster Teeth to make videos for them using the “Red vs Blue” characters. The premise of the story is that there is a civil war in which there are two sides….The Reds and The Blues. The story does take place in the same universe as Halo and Master Chief.
Even though “Red vs Blue” was the production that brought the team at Rooster Teeth multiple awards, perhaps the most successful Machinima series in history but it also allowed them to build a company with a group of friends, doing what they love to do for a living. It is the the material that dreams are made of. Here is a sample of some “RvB” goodness.
The Best Of Red vs Blue
I will always have a soft spot for “RvB” as it was what first introduced me to the main creative force in Rooster Teeth containing Burnie Burns, Joel Heyman, Geoff Ramsey and Gus Sorola but they have extended their creative output to live action films and other forms of Machinima. There are many more folks who work for Rooster Teeth who contribute amazing work on and off the camera but I will mention those who I truly enjoy, as well as post some of my favorite videos from the group.
The man who helped t o start it all, Burnie is also known as the leader of the Blue Team in “Red vs Blue” Private Church. After becoming President of teleNetwork Partners, a Tech Support company, he went on to use his experience as a volunteer at the University of Texas at Austin at theit student run television studio K29HW-D (TSTV) to co-create Rooster Teeth Productions. Burnie did alot of writing for “RvB” but he also hosted the audio and video pod casts for the group.
One of the co-founders who helped get Rooster Teeth Productions off of the ground, Geoff Ramsey is the only member of Rooster Teeth to have served in the military. He also voices my favorite “RvB” character known as Grif. Geoff is known for his tattoos, his ability to swear at super human levels and his twisted sense of humor.
After his career in the military was over, Geoff worked for teleNetwork Partners and met Burnie Burns. He also worked for Kevin Smith’s film production company View Askew and was a roadie for band Catch-22. He regularly appears in not just “RvB” but also live action shorts, the audio and video pod casts as well as has his own show named “Achievement Hunter” or AHWU for short.
The wife of Geoff, Griffon is also employed at Rooster Teeth productions. She is as in factuated with tattoos as Geoff but also has an inner creative drive that her husband does not seem to have. She paints, draws, is a voice actor, writer, production designer and also stars in the live action shorts.
I really enjoy when Griffon is on the audio and video pod casts as she brings a different view point to the discussion. She is very outspoken and will answer any question poised, as well as chime in with her thoughts when ever she feels.
Everyone is always surprised that Joel Heyman voices the simpleton character “Caboose” from “RvB.” Caboose sees everything from the point of view of a child and when you hear him talk out of character it is a surprise how knowledgeable he is. Joel has always been an actor before doing “RvB,” the live action shorts and as well as being a constant member on the pod casts. His acting credits includes roles on “Friends,” “Angel,” “Inside,” “Alias” and “Criminal Minds.”
Also known as Simmons from Red Team on “RvB,” Gus is also one of the co-founders of Rooster Teeth Productions, as well as head IT professional for the company. He has delved into acting into the live action short films as well, and will attend as many of the conventions and meet & greets set up for Rooster Teeth.
Each of these people add something to the productions that are created from with in the company and I know I am missing some such as Gavin Free and Jack Pattillo but the ones I have mentioned here with photos are the ones that I gravitate to when I am searching out things to view from the company.
They have such a great creative force at Rooster Teeth and it is such a great story that they are telling. To use something that you love, such as video games, as an venue to create your own company and then be able to make a living for yourself is simply amazing to me.
None of the founders of Rooster Teeth Productions were born with “golden spoons” but had to work very hard to achieve what they did. The only have one sponsor, themselves and sell DVDs, clothing and other merchandise of their productions, which are hot sellers. They also sell 10.00 sponsor packages in which you can support the company while also receiving “sponsor benefits” that they list on the website.
Check out the fine folks at Rooster Teeth:
Follow On Twitter at @RoosterTeeth
One of the shorter pod casts, which was also the first video pod cast