Timtimfed Makes Web Films on His Own Terms
Originally from Christchurch, Michael Shanks, 22, otherwise known by his pseudonym “Timtimfed”, is creating some of the best gaming parodies on the web. Shanks was one of the hosts of a recent PAX Australia panel entitled “Killer Cats, Talking Boobs and Skyrim: An Exploration of creating Video Content”. Kotaku reporter Logan Booker caught up with Shanks after the panel to chat about his body of work, which along with gaming parodies includes music videos featuring people with mouths for eyes and murderous felines.
In 2008, Shanks won online gaming magazine The Escapist’s film festival grand prize. His reward? An ongoing commitment to produce episodes for a series called Doomsday Arcade. “By being contractually obliged to do that, I think I just learnt all the skills I would learn in a film course,” Shanks explains. He believes that today, all the tools and tutorials an aspiring filmmaker needs are available online … and on your DVD shelf. It’s never been easier to stitch together your own creations, as long as you have the patience and motivation.
As you might have guessed from his videos, Shanks is a big gamer. “I’d love to do game design, but I feel like I have no experience in that field – that would be so hard to do,” he responds. “I’d love to write a game. I was even considering it. We’re about to make our most professional production yet – we’re going to make a sci-fi short film, throw as much money as we can at it and build sets and do all the pro stuff. One characteristic that helps Shanks’ clips stand out from the crowd is their high quality. Sometimes, it can be easy to distinguish why a video doesn’t look professional, but as you nail the low-hanging fruit, it gets harder to tweak those almost imperceptible details that separate the adepts from the novices. Shanks lives in Melbourne.