Rooster Teeth Productions
is an award-winning production group from Buda, Texas
that specializes in the creation of machinima
, or films created using real-time, interactive engines
from computer and video games
. The name Rooster Teeth
is a euphemism
, an insult used in one of the group's trailers
. Originally, the group ran an unsuccessful website called drunkgamers.com
, for which Burnie Burns
-enhanced gameplay videos of Bungie Studios
' popular first-person shooter
video game Halo: Combat Evolved
. Eventually, these videos led to the creation of Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles
, an award-winning comic science fiction
series that premiered on April 1
and ended on June 28
with the release of episode 100.
In 2004, Electronic Arts commissioned Rooster Teeth to promote its life simulation game The Sims 2 through The Strangerhood, a series that parodies popular culture. In 2005, Monolith Productions commissioned the group to create the mini-series PANICS to promote the computer game F.E.A.R.. In 2007, they produced a miniseries using the game Shadowrun called 1-800-Magic.
While attending the University of Texas at Austin
, Burnie Burns
and Matt Hullum
collaborated with actor Joel Heyman
on a 1997 independent film
called The Schedule
. The film helped Hullum and Heyman to find work in Los Angeles, California
, but otherwise had limited success. Working for a local company named Telenetwork, Burns later met Geoff Ramsey
and Gustavo Sorola
, and the three formed drunkgamers
, a website where video games were reviewed while drunk. According to Ramsey, the group tried to receive free games to review, but "incurred the wrath" of several game developers in doing so.
One of the non-gameplay videos that the drunkgamers crew created during this time was a live-action parody of the Apple Switch ad campaign. This video featured Sorola as the main actor, used Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" as background music, and focused on the lack of games available for the Apple Macintosh computer.
Red vs. Blue
Responsible for covering the Microsoft Xbox
, Burns regularly posted gameplay videos of Halo: Combat Evolved
and eventually began to add humor to them with voice-overs. The idea for a serial came next, and a for Red vs. Blue
was posted in 2002. Six months later, the drunkgamers
website closed. However, the following week, the magazine Computer Gaming World
asked permission to include the Switch parody in a CD to be included with an issue. To take advantage of the resultant publicity, Rooster Teeth re-encoded the video to point to redvsblue.com, and revived the Red vs. Blue
project. Burns also contacted Hullum and Heyman to work on the series.
In a parody of science fiction films and games and of military life, Red vs. Blue tells the story of two groups of soldiers fighting a civil war in a desolate box canyon. Initially, Rooster Teeth expected the series to consist of only six to eight episodes. However, the series became popular quickly, receiving 20,000 downloads in a single day. Accordingly, Burns conceived an extension of the plot. The series' fifth and final season ended with episode 100, released on June 28, 2007. However, the group has continued to released special promotional videos, including a five-part mini-series to promote Halo 3.
Red vs. Blue won several awards, including four from the Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences. Writing for the New York Times, Clive Thompson credited the series as the first machinima production "to break out of the underground". Red vs. Blue videos have been shown in Xbox demo kiosks, and content that is included with the premium "Legendary" edition of Halo 3. Members of the cast were also featured in an Easter Egg in the campaign mode of Halo 3.
Red vs. Blue Reconstruction
Red vs. Blue Reconstruction is a new series recently announced by Rooster Teeth using Halo 3
. The trailer for the upcoming series depicts two operatives in steel colored armor, with red and blue patches, exploring Outpost 17-B in Valhalla. The date is one year after a war, most likely the Red vs Blue War. Over the course of the video a correspondence is read that addresses the concerns of the chairman of the Oversight Sub-Committee about Project Freelancer. According to the letter, an investigation is undergoing Outpost 17-B after an unknown force drove the Red and Blue soldiers stationed in the area to barricade themselves in their bases and kill each other. While investigating the Bases they come across a crashed ship, while they are looking at it a camouflaged figure attacks and kills the investigators. So far in the series, we have met eight familiar characters; Sarge, Simmons, Grif, Caboose, Church, Grif's Sister, and Shelia (the tank/ship) from the Blood Gulch Chronicles, and Agent Washington and Agent South with the Delta AI from another Rooster Teeth series; Recovery One, melting the plots of the two series together.
The new series premiered on Rooster Teeth's official site on Monday May 26, 2008. The series will run for 20 episodes through the summer of 2008.
In May 2004, at the E3 gaming convention
, Rooster Teeth was introduced to The Sims 2
and realized that the game would be suitable for a series that parodied reality television
; Electronic Arts agreed. The result was The Strangerhood
, a comedy series that centers on eight strangers who awake one day unaware of where they are or how they arrived there. Its first season of 17 episodes completed on April 27
. In 2005, the group collaborated with Paul Marino
on Strangerhood Studios
, a spin-off
commissioned by the Independent Film Channel
. This spin-off was the first machinima series to be commissioned for broadcast and won an award for Best Editing at the 2005 Machinima Film Festival
Also in 2005, Rooster Teeth partnered with Monolith Productions to create PANICS, a short series that chronicles the adventures of Bravo Team. The four publicly released episodes were released between September 27, 2005 and October 18, 2005, and a prequel was released with F.E.A.R. - Director's Edition. The mini-series won an award for Best Writing at the 2005 Machinima Film Festival.
In mid-2006, Electronic Arts commissioned Rooster Teeth to direct commercials for their EA Sports brand of games, including Madden NFL 2007 and NCAA Football 2007, for broadcast on television. Rooster Teeth released some of this work on their website. In late November 2006, controversy arose over a Madden NFL 07 commercial, when Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark complained about his depiction in the commercial. Hit and tackled multiple times in the advertisement by Philadelphia Eagles players, Clark stated, "I haven't seen the commercial, but I'm upset about it. It makes me look like a punk." In response, Rooster Teeth posted a director's cut, in which Clark plays and dominates every position.
Rooster Teeth used the game Shadowrun to produce 1-800-Magic, a four-episode mini-series that ran from June 7, 2007 to July 4, 2007.
On June 18, 2008 using the game Supreme Commander, Rooster Teeth started Supreme Surrender, a new mini-series.
Rooster Teeth Comics
In 2006, Rooster Teeth Productions formed its own webcomic
series. The strip portrays the staff members in humorous situations often relating to real life events in the lives of the staff, or other widely recognized current events. It is drawn by Luke Mckay, a Rooster Teeth employee, and written by Griffon Ramsey, the wife of Geoff Ramsey
. The comics are released three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Additional comics for the site's sponsors are released about once a week.
In late 2007, Rooster Teeth started working on a Halo 3
gametype after filming on an episode. This has developed into Grifball.
It is featured on the Heroic Map Foundry. It has been included in Double XP Weekends in Halo 3 and has been well recognized by Bungie. Rooster Teeth have been running their own official grifball league, which is now in its third season.
- All New Red vs. Blue Series. Xbox.com. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved on 2007-08-08..
- Burns, Burnie (writer, director), et al. (2003). Red vs. Blue Season One. [DVD]. Buda, Texas: Rooster Teeth Productions.
- Burns, Burnie (writer, director), et al. (2006). The Strangerhood Season One. [DVD]. Buda, Texas: Rooster Teeth Productions.
- Chappell, Mike Commercial irks Clark. IndyStar.com. Retrieved on 2006-11-30..
- FearFans.com. Sierra Entertainment. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Gersh, Carl PRESS RELEASE: To Promote F.E.A.R., Vivendi Universal Games Selects BeSeen Communications and Rooster Teeth Productions for Online Viral Campaign - Widespread P.A.N.I.C.S. Ensues.. BeSeen Communications. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Gross, Joe 'Red Vs. Blue' = Green. Austin American-Statesman. Cox Texas Newspapers, L.P. Retrieved on 2006-07-12..
- Halo 3 Details Explosion. GameWorld Network News. GameWorld, Inc. Retrieved on 2006-11-12..
- The History of Red vs. Blue. Red vs. Blue. Rooster Teeth Productions. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Hullum, Matt Ahh... Memories. Rooster Teeth Productions. Retrieved on 2006-07-28..
- Hullum, Matt Working Vacation. Rooster Teeth Productions. Retrieved on 2006-07-28..
- Konow, David The Cult of Red vs. Blue. TwitchGuru. Tom's Guide Publishing. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Kosak, Dave GameSpy Examines the Teeth of the Rooster. GameSpy. IGN Entertainment, Inc.. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Leggat, Graham Cock Byte: Masters of Machinima. San Francisco International Film Festival. San Francisco Film Society. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Mac Gamer Switch Parody. Rooster Teeth Productions. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Machinima Awards 2003 Results. Machinima.com. Machinima, Inc. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Machinima Theater. Austin Game Conference. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Mackie Winners Announced!. 2005 Machinima Film Festival. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Oliver, Caitlin Red vs. Blue Q&A. @anime! Ionfuse. Animetro Studios. (2005). Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Red Vs. Blue: The Cash Is Always Greener. Forbes.com. Forbes.com LLC. Retrieved on 2007-02-01..
- Red vs. Blue: The Interview Strikes Back. Bungie.net. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved on 2006-01-08..
- Robinson, Jon Dallas Clark is Totally Wicked. IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved on 2007-01-03..
- Saldaña, Jason Strangerhood 17 wants to be your friend. The Strangerhood. Rooster Teeth Productions. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Sorola, Gustavo Episode 100 – Why Were We Here?. Red vs. Blue. Rooster Teeth Productions. Retrieved on 2007-06-28..
- Thompson, Clive The Xbox Auteurs. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Waters, Darren Animators turn to video games. BBC News Online. BBC. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..
- Williams, G. Christopher The Strangerhood. PopMatters. PopMatters Media, Inc. Retrieved on 2006-07-09..