Despite having helmed films of every stripe and color – from the lush period drama The Duellists through sci-fi thriller Prometheus – Ridley Scott is known primarily as a genre director. His biggest and best-known works are undeniably those of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror.
As such, having Scott's name behind a new genre offering can be quite the boon. A far more prodigious producer than director, Scott's production company, Ridley Scott and Associates, provides financial backing to dozens of film and television projects. Now it appears that RSA is further exploring the still-developing arena of web-based entertainment.
In a press release, Machinima announced that RSA has agreed to help produce 12 new short science-fiction films to be distributed via the popular YouTube channel. Scott himself will executive-produce the series alongside RSA President Jules Daly (The Grey). Within the release, Scott commented:
"RSA has always been at the forefront of creating innovative work. With new media transforming the way audiences connect with films and filmmakers, Machinima is a great partner for us as we embark on this new model of delivering original content to fans. It's a tremendous opportunity for pushing the creative boundaries for both our filmmakers and the audience."
The content, scope, directors, and release dates of the short films are currently unknown. Filmmakers will apparently be selected by RSA from a stable of previous contributors.
Machinima has found previous success in original content by hosting the web-series Mortal Kombat: Legacy and Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. Originally created as a hub for video game-based short films, Machinima has expanded considerably to host various animation, short movie, and web-series content. The collaboration with Scott and RSA shows exactly how much the site and its popular YouTube channel have changed since the days it was primarily used for amateur films created with the Quake III engine.
These will not be the first web-only short films backed by Scott. RSA previously lent financing to the Ghost Recon promotional film Ghost Recon Alpha. With an official YouTube tally of well over 2.75 million views, the success of that short subject may have encouraged RSA to invest more in web-only content.
Scott has helped produce such a wide range of projects (from The A-Team to Stoker) that guessing at the eventual content and quality of these 12 shorts is all but impossible. Given Machinima's desired demographic (males aged 18-34) and the tone of previously hosted material, the films will no doubt skew toward more action and adventure-oriented sci-fi.
It will be interesting to follow exactly which writers and directors will be selected to craft these short subjects. Will RSA choose established genre talent, or use this as an opportunity to give previously-unheard voices a chance to prove their worth? If all goes well, the Machinima-RSA deal could be the big break for a few lucky, aspiring filmmakers.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for further news about these Ridley Scott-produced, Machinima-hosted films.