Introducing the Rolling Shutter Society

You know what San Francisco needs? A slightly more organized film and video making community. We need a Bay Area collective where we can come together to chat with other filmmakers, enthusiasts and students of all skill levels to help each other connect, bring new blood into the scene, foster diversity in creation and just chat about what’s going on in the world of filmmaking from the creators’ perspective. Also, it would be fun to grab drinks, talk about gear, the flattest/phattest picture profiles, internet video and what everybody thought of The Master.

Our friends in the gaming industry have started up similar scenes in Toronto and Austin and they’ve been incredibly successful.

The Hand Eye Society in Toronto

Juegos Rancheros in Austin

AREA 5 has been talking about this for awhile and we want to get something started. It would be super-casual to start. We’ll just meet at a bar, chat and be merry then we can just let it grow from there.

If you like this idea, invite your like-minded friends and co-workers, or anybody else who you think would be interested and join us!

The first small meeting of the Rolling Shutter Society will occur on Tuesday, September 25th, 7:30 PM at Southern Pacific Brewing.

We hope that you’ll join us. And as always: never stop shooting!


Unfortunately, no more AREA 5 in Atomix

I hate making “business decisions.” When the guys from Atomix originally approached us, the idea seemed like mana from heaven. Here was an iPad app that could finally allow us to directly charge for the creation of our content. Unless you’re the size of IGN or Gamespot, making a decent income from advertising dollars alone is an increasingly difficult prospect and, quite frankly, the almighty ad-dollar isn’t an arena we’re interested in competing in. While we knew Atomix was a risk for us financially, the potential outcome—producing video about videogames, our first love—was enough of an attractor to get us on board.

The Atomix team down in Mexico City are a fantastic bunch of dudes. We love those guys and we’re happy to report that Atomix magazine has lined up an editorial staff so that the magazine will continue right on schedule with monthly releases in both English and Spanish. In fact, the next issue is going to be free! Our time producing content for the magazine might be over, but I know that Atomix magazine will continue to get some issue sales every month from the members of this little startup in San Francisco, and we hope you’ll continue to support them as well. All of us at AREA 5 sincerely wish them all the success in the world and the two companies have left the possibility open that we could work together again in the future. After all, this wasn’t some stupid tiff over editorial or a relationship gone sour, this was AREA 5 doing what it needed to do to prosper as a business. For now, that means building up enough cash-on-hand in our company bank account that we can take some really big risks in the future, and we hope you’ll jump back on board with us when the time is right.

But, in spite of this news, we’re actually in a very good place as a company. The deals we’ve got pending, if all goes according to plan, could mean real growth for AREA 5 as a company—the kind that could mean new employees, interns to abuse, that sort of thing—and THAT’S when it’ll be (the aforementioned) right time.


Atomix: Sword and Sworcery EP Part 1: How it Began

It’s important to us to get some of our content out there to people that don’t have iPads and yet still want to experience some of what we’re working so hard on. We can’t give it all away for free, obviously, but by putting out some of the videos and articles for free, we’re hoping to, first, give something back to those of you that have given us such support over the years and, secondly, to attract more iPad owners to the magazine. Personally, I’m amazed with Ryan’s work on our S&S:EP cover story in issue 02 of Atomix and it deserves to exist, at least in part, as available to as many people as possible!

On Friday, March 4 2011, following the final day of the Game Developers Conference, the creators of the then soon-to-be-released iOS sensation Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP joined AREA 5, Atomix editors, and mutual friends in the middle of San Francisco’s Golden Gate park for a conversation on a log. Cameras were on-hand, and the highlights of the encounter were documented in four video segments. This is the first of them. To get the rest, download the Atomix app from the App Store. The app is free, and each issue is only 99¢

You’ll notice that it’s in 4:3. This was important with covering this game because the iPad itself is 4:3 and the Sword & Sworcery gameplay footage is so beautiful that we wanted to show it in full glory when someone is watching these videos in full screen on their iPad.


AREA 5 Presents: Atomix: The World's First Videogame Magazine Designed Specifically for the iPad

First, watch this video. Then download the free app from the App Store. The first issue is available now at only 99¢. It takes a few hours for in-app purchases to show up, but at least you can get your iPad all sycned up and ready to go!

Atomix for iPad in English

I LOVE IT! How can I subscribe?
Yes, there will be subscription options available soon, but Apple’s announcement for in-app periodical subscriptions came too late for us and instead of delaying the magazine until that part of our app was ready, we just wanted to get it out there. For now you just have to buy each issue. 99¢ ain’t so bad, is it?

What if I don’t own an iPad? Will any of your content be available online?
Yes! Our Facebook page, this blog and the Atomix Tumblr blog will all have content that either didn’t make it into the monthly issues, or that extends what is in the issues, or that we just want to put online for free because we love you.

Do you only cover iOS games?
No. A sampling of what’s in this first issue alone:

  • - LA Noire is the cover story
  • - Killzone 3 and Marvel Vs. Capcom3 are reviewed
  • - Journey helps our “indie cred”
  • - We tell you how to make your classic consoles look awesome on modern HDTVs.

Will Atomix be available on Android tablets and phones, iPhone, etc. etc. etc. etc. (times infinity)?
The app right was created straight up for the iPad. Obviously we want to be anywhere and everywhere we can, but as any game developer will tell you: it’s better to take a piece of the pie and savor it rather than trying to shove the whole thing in your mouth and choking. That metaphor actually played a lot better in my head… Anyway, it’s a business decision. The quicker Atomix becomes a success, the quicker we can spend money on creating apps for other platforms. If you want Atomix elsewhere, help us spread the word. Like our Facebook page, follow our Twitter and re-tweet our stuff, run down the street naked with our URLs tattooed across your flesh.

So you’re in English and Spanish? What about Italian, German, Finnish, Klingon?
Atomix is intended as a global product. We have an enormous advantage over print publications in this regard and we intend to exploit it. As soon as we can expand to other languages we will. We are polytheists when it comes to gaming platforms and we are likewise unattached to a single language or region. Our biggest dream is that Atomix becomes successful enough to let us hire translators, editors, and freelance writers for as many other languages as makes financial sense, so tell your friends around the world to get Atomix. Qapla!

So is this what you guys have been up to these past months?
Well, yes and no. AREA 5 has always been a video production company, and we needed to make some pretty critical business-ish type decisions. And, as one might expect, that means how to bring in more money so that we could, in fact, take on another risky project. Videogame editorial has always been our first and best love, but even the big guys out there will tell you that it generally pays like shit—at least under the old formulas. Advertising-based media delivery is old-world thinking, and while it can work if your volumes are large enough to overcome the every-increasing squeamishness of potential advertisers for verifiable metrics, it’s nearly impossible to make a go of it if advertising-based content production is the only pillar of your business. Fortunately, AREA 5 has never been a content-only company. We provide video production services and it has been those services which have kept us viable. Serendipitously, when Atomix approached us about building the majority of the content for their soon-to-be-ready iPad magazine, we were comfortable enough to jump in.

What if I want to advertise in Atomix?
If someone wants to advertise in Atomix, they’ll have ample opportunity. We didn’t bother with advertisers for this first issue since we figured a working proof-of-concept would be a lot more attractive then what might be. If you’re interested in getting a custom, interactive ad in one of our upcoming issues, email: sales (at)

How else can I get in touch with Atomix?
info (at) or feedback (at)


Later Today

Coming Soon.

Later Today.

Nearly free.


Ümloud: Behind the Rock Band Band: Broasis

Ümloud is a charity even that happens every christmas season benefiting Child’s Play. It’s a fake concert of fake bands benefiting a real charity. We’ve been. It’s an incredibly good time! You should come, too! It’s a night that combines a few of our favorite things: Rock Band, drinking, charity auctions, and drinking.

The “bands” bid literal money to be on stage. All the proceeds go to charity and part of the prize package for the highest-bidding, “headliner” band for 2010 was a Behind the Music-style video telling the band’s story. Ümloud asked us to do said video (for free—it is for charity after all!) and how could we resist?

Ümloud also has a charity auction and raffle that goes all night long and has a ton of amazing gamer-related collectibles that you can win. Just more enticements to spend your hard-earned cash for a good cause!


Super Meat Boy Commercial: Behind The Meat

We’ve had meat on the brain here at AREA 5 HQ, and by now we hope that most of you know why. Not only has the highly-anticipated indie game Super Meat Boy just hit virtual store shelves, but we’ve finally wrapped production on the official release day trailer. Check it out below:

Being an independent production, we knew the commercial needed to be cheaply-made, so we used what had: Ryan as a mad chef, my kitchen became our set, and 2500 watts worth of lights turned the apartment into a sauna. It was a blast! But don’t take my word for it. Check out our making of: “Behind The Meat: the Making of a Super Meat Boy Ad”

We learned tons over the two-day shoot, least of which was how to make buckets of water-soluble blood (it turns out the stuff you get from a Halloween store doesn’t wash off walls so easily). We also constructed a dolly from plans we found on Ikea Hacker and rigged up a pulley from my roof to make Meat Boy jump out of a pan.

It’s not often that we get to flex our commercial production muscle. When Team Meat approached us about creating a trailer for their mega-awesome, indie platformer, we had to say, “Yes.” We wanted to stay true to the over-the-top, 90’s-style that makes Super Meat Boy so charming and approachable for fans of 16-bit games. So, we looked many many of our old, favorite Sega Genesis commercials for some aesthetic inspiration. Later, we bought a VCR along with a handful of used VHS cassettes. To degrade the quality of the piece, we re-dubbed the commercial several times. The result, an awesomely-grimy, retro version, is embedded below.

Here are a few of the old ads that influenced our video:

This SEGA CD/32X commercial was responsible for the dark tone of our ad:

Obviously, overly-enthusiastic voiceovers were a staple of the 90’s era video game commercial. We bit that too.

Who could forget the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 commercial? SEGA!

When we finished editing, we were really proud of our work. We sent it to a few friends, and they all seemed to like it! Though, a few of them mentioned that we may have gone over the line. With the “fetus juice.” Yeah. We thought it over, and decided to make a “clean” version as well. Ultimately, Team Meat opted not to use it, airing our original dirty cut.

Thanks to everyone for the overwhelmingly positive response. We leave you now with the previously-unaired “clean” version of the commerical. Let us know what you think!

AREA 5 out.



I know the question on all of your minds is “Is CO-OP ever coming back?” and to tell you the truth, I don’t know. All I can tell you is that we miss doing it, so much that we couldn’t hold back any longer and made an episode. And we’re conducting an experiment. How much would you pay for CO-OP? Nothing? That’s okay, but if you could bring the show back by throwing a few bones our way, would you? We’re offering up this episode for free via YouTube, but we’re wondering what will happen if we put up a few buttons that let you quickly and easily pay for this episode. Pay whatever you think the show is worth.

Watching ads sucks. Going out and trying to get people to advertise sucks. We’d rather be supported by the people who want to be entertained by what we do. This doesn’t necessarily even mean CO-OP (though in the unlikely event we get a flood of purchases we’ll, of course, look at bringing back the show). We’re thinking this model could possibly work for other ideas we have kicking around and we figure that, hell, nobody’s really tried this yet—at least not in this fashion—and we’re gonna give it a go. You can still watch it free and in great quality on YouTube, but if you could pay for it, would you? Pay us and you’ll get a link letting you download a full, 1080p, the-highest-quality-we-can-possibly-post version of this episode. So, tell your friends! After all, did you really need that latte today?


Cesar, Ryan, and I cracked open a few cold ones, sat down at my apartment and reminisced about the great time we had at this years PAX in Seattle. We talk about some of the games we saw and played: Fluidity, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Gears of War 3 “Beast Mode,” Lost In Shadow, Bastion, and Spy Party.













We also got together with some old friends at the Ex-1UP Panel and it was great to see the 1UP crew back together again, joking around and talking about the good ol’days.







Speaking about the good ol’days, we spent some time in an arcade, which brought back childhood memories. Sega threw a party at Gameworks where we spent about 4 hours playing SoulCalibur 3 Arcade Edition.



We got some new business cards that come with a free mini game. Collect all five cards, on back of each card is a piece of the puzzel. Put them together and you win! Now go out there and collect them all.



We did a small batch of CO-OP t-shirts that we sold out of our backpacks at the event. Thanks to everyone that picked one up and supporting, it was great meeting all of you. We are currently working on a shop on the site where you will be able to purchase one very soon.









PAX was an awesome time, playing games, hanging out old friends and meeting new ones. Hope to see you all again next year!


C2TV Episode Three

We were invited to the Crysis 2’s multiplayer event at PAX this year. Yes, they’re paying us to produce these episodes, but it’s actually pretty bad ass. It makes sense because, as executive producer Nathan Camarillo explains, they have an entire, 70-man team working exclusively on the multiplayer.

After you see this episode, head over to the comment on this episode in the Crysis YouTube Channel and tell them you’d like to see more!


A Brief Descent into PAX 2010

On the days of September third through September fifth, in the year of our lord two thousand and ten, a congregation of nerddom so powerful as to eclipse the essence of description itself, descended upon the huddled, humbled peasantry of Seattle. Known as the PAX, we could not look away. (Apologies for the quality, these were all shot on my last-gen iPhone. We’ll have more—and much better quality—stuff from PAX up soon!)

We looked down upon the morass from our ivory tower. I actually can’t believe how good of a deal we got on these hotel rooms!

Other creatures afflicted our senses, their truth of what is real scant overwrought by our own.

Bizarre rituals ocurred. People feasting while wiggling sticks-and-balls and dancing in wholly impractical attire.

A dopplegänger known only as Eric of Sapp attempted theft of Ryan’s soul.

At a scarce and oft-challenged watering hole, some dutiful journeymen and women of the nation of BioWare approached us and our companions to share with us rings of power they had absconded with—through games of chance, so the story was told—from the lair of the mighty drake-beast Gameworks.

Forced into a den of debauchery by our need to acquire the services of others on the Ninth Quest of the Dragon, we were dismayed that layabouts are encouraged by floors bathed in giant cushionry. Our talismans were stacked ever higher in attempts to unite in cause and duty.
Guess which one belongs to Jeff Green.

Surfaces of strange runes and sigils filled the darkened corners of halls and of our minds. The masters of these domains seldom even glanced our way so enthralled were they in their dark arts.

We fled via tunnels beneath the besieged city, the fear palpable in our eyes. Fare you well, Seattle.

Our quest is not at an end. There is yet more to tell…

Page 1 2 3 4 5 ... 11 Next »