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BloodSpell

02/10/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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BloodSpell, the punk fantasy series, spawns its own feature film.

In 2006, Web viewers watched as beautiful swordswomen battled on a pyrotechnic chess board. A gladiator with a steam-powered arm fled an army of wraiths. A sorcerer and an angel fought atop a cliff overlooking a fantasy city. This was BloodSpell, the animated movie released online last year. Now, the series has spawned an 84-minute feature film.

"BloodSpell was conceived as a feature film," Hugh Hancock, BloodSpell's Executive Producer and author of Machinima for Dummies told SFcrowsnest.com. "We talked to conventional filmmakers who told us it would cost £3 million to make. I couldn't fund it myself and wasn't likely to get that sort of funding for my first feature film, so I decided to make it another way."

Hancock and his team labored for three years producing BloodSpell as a 15-episode series released every two weeks during 2006, creating the visuals by adapting computer game Neverwinter Nights, supported by the developers. They worked unpaid, with £6,000 budget, supported by consultancy work.

Around 100,000 people downloaded BloodSpell, the animated series, persuading Hancock to return to his original vision: BloodSpell, the feature film.

"We re-shot the opening scenes of the series to take advantage of our experience," added Hancock "We recorded new voice, re-edited the entire film, crafted a new soundtrack. It was a lot of work!"

Charles Stross said of the project, "If Marvel and DC Comics aren't feeling the chill wind down the back of their neck, they're asleep at the switch."

Catch it over at http://www.bloodspell.com/film/list/

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