Today, I released my final movie, Into the Tin. It is my final movie, not because I’ve grown bored with movie making, but because it demands time I don’t have. Of course, my story is no different than yours—who has time to make machinima? We all work, and many of us have spouses and children. Family is a man’s number one priority, and in order to provide, one must work. When work and family take up all hours of the day, then something has to go. These are my normal, non-unique reasons for giving up movie making.
Thanks, dear fellows, for watching my movies all these years. I made my first movie, Hark! Hear the Wails (or was it Racing the Grimtotem?), in December of 2005, nearly 8 years ago (7.7, to be exact). Since then, I’ve released over 90 movies, two albums of over two dozen songs, and gained over 130,000 YouTube subscribers and 60 million views. Not once in my early days of movie making did I ever expect to achieve these numbers, and I’m grateful to all my fans for your support.
I started my last movie, Into the Tin, in May 2010. Around that time, I started looking for a wife. I met my wife in August 2010, and we married in December 2011. I started a new career in marketing in December 2010, and my wife and I produced our first son Gavin in 2012. I never expected this movie to take me three years, but as you can see, my life changed in many ways during that time.
I also released 8 other movies during this time, (Ox Chop, Mister Evil Runs for Office, Staghorn Gets a Patdown, I Saw Three Rogues, Like the Game, We Three Dwarves, The Panda Exterminator and GROW A BEARD NOW!), and I published my book The Tale of Cloran Hastings (which included a promotional machinima movie), so it’s not like I’ve been slacking. About a month ago, I buckled down to finally finish this movie, which I started right after completing Rabbit Stew. The past month has shown me time and time again why this movie has to be my last. I had a slew of technical and legal troubles, complete with computer failures, YouTube monetization rejections, copyright claims, software corruption, web hosting errors–you name it. When I was single and in college, I never really appreciated the time and sleepless nights movie making requires. Now, I value that time so much more, because (as cheeky as it sounds) every minute spent movie making is a minute away from my wife. Every night spent animating is a night I miss with my baby son.
Oxhorn Brand Movies has been a fairly profitable and fun adventure for me. However, it wasn’t profitable enough. YouTube’s content filter makes it difficult for me to monetize movies using video game artwork. I can (after much work), but the red tape is a huge hassle. And while Blizzard has been a friendly ally, giving my fans much exclusive swag like beta keys, and has in invited me (at my own expense mind you) to every Blizzcon since 2005, they have never given me the support Bungie gave Rooster Teeth of Red vs. Blue fame, and it’s at least that level of support I would have needed to continue my movies. Ultimately, I’m forced to stop making movies, as much as I love making them, because they don’t generate enough money, and I therefore can’t justify the time.
Fans of my show Scotch & Smoke Rings often ask me what it would take for me to take up movie making as a full-time career. In order to abandon a marketing technology career I love and that supports my family to pursue machinima, I’d need $millions to start an animation studio with, and I’d need full support from the developers of whichever game I choose to work with to allow me to legally publish and monetize my movies. So, as you can see, this won’t happen anytime soon, even though I have much more material to create. (I have story arcs for Mister Evil and our happy trio already written and ready to turn into movies).
Still, the ride was a wild one and I loved every minute of it. I’ll keep my movies on YouTube forever, as long as Forever allows. I revamped oxhorn.com to be more up-to-date, and to have a better user experience. There, fans will forever be able to watch my movies in higher resolution than YouTube, listen to my music, read about my characters, and engage with the strong, thriving community there. I’ve also started to publish popular casual flash games there as well. I encourage you all to head on over and see the changes I’ve made to the site.
I’ll spend the free time I have left after work and family to continue to host my weekly show, and to build up my other online properties, including GROW A BEARD NOW!, the shop section of Scotch & Smoke Rings, and of course, this blog. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to this blog with your email address here, or using the widget in the sidebar to your right.
Thanks for watching, and thanks for reading! Give me your thoughts in the comments below. Be sure to follow my social streams (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Facebook Page) to keep up with my day-to-day activities. And be sure to continue to bloit those Alliance blits in Westfall with your ubar l33t hax.