I don’t have any film editing expertise whatsoever, I don’t know anything about it; I don’t even know the lingo. So when Valve announced that Source Filmmaker was being released for free and was now in closed beta I kind of said “oh cool” and moved on. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Meet the Pyro, I did, but as far as video editing software goes, I’m usually not very good at those kinds of things. Then this morning I caught a glimpse of a fan-made addition to Valve’s popular “meet the” series called Meet the Family and it caught my interest. The video was well made, well filmed, and even used music from the movie The Incredibles. So I decided to take a closer look at the tech to see what’s what and discovered that Source Filmmaker is a pretty big deal, and not just for gamers.
I was about to be impressed with how fast the video was put together using software that was announced yesterday, but upon reading the description in TheDker’s Meet the Family video I found out that it was made using an older version of Source Filmmaker which leaked when the TF2 beta was released. That means this newest fan made video was made on 5 year old technology. The video’s creator promises to do more work once he gets his hands on the official Source Filmmaker beta, and I’m sure he’s not the only one. If this kind of quality can be made using old unofficial leaked tech then I’m excited to see what people come up with using the official version.
Remember when I said this wasn’t just big news for gamers? Well Source Filmmaker isn’t just a toy for TF2 fans to create endless amounts of silly videos; it’s apparently professional level software that under normal circumstances would never have been released for free. A video editor named Chris Person posted on Kotaku yesterday, and he outlines exactly how and why this is a very big deal for Valve and the entire video editing software industry. He does also mention that the idea for this type of software didn’t come out of left field as many fans have been doing videos with things like Gary’s mod for a long time.
Writing about the game industry usually means writing about a fair amount of fan-created content. I have a feeling that our fan fiction is about to get a whole lot more professional looking thanks to Source Filmmaker. While a vast amount of the community may simply use the technology for silly or weird videos, I’m sure some will use the tech and their talent for content that has a bit more production value.
Below is Meet the Family in all its glory and it could be the beginning in a new era of fan-fiction creation.