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Rooster Teeth Productions

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 for Cockbite, an insult used in one of the group's trailers. Originally, the group ran an unsuccessful website called drunkgamers.com, for which Burnie Burns created voice-over-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, 2003 and ended on June 28, 2007 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.

Early history

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.

Other machinima

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, 2006. 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.

Grifball

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.

Filmography

Notes

References

External links

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