Early company historyEdit
While attending the University of Texas at Austin, Burnie Burns and Matt Hullum collaborated with actor Joel Heyman on a 1997 independent film called The Schedule. The film helped Hullum and Heyman to find work in Los Angeles, California, but otherwise had limited success. Working for a local company named Telenetwork, Burns later met Geoff Ramsey and Gustavo Sorola, and the three formed drunkgamers.com, a website where the three reviewed various video games while drunk. According to Ramsey, the group tried to receive free games to review, but "incurred the wrath" of several game developers in doing so.
One of the non-gameplay videos that the drunkgamers crew created during this time was a live-action parody of the Apple Switch ad campaign. This video featured Sorola as the main actor, used Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" as background music, and focused on the lack of games available for the Apple Macintosh computer.
Red vs. BlueEdit
- Main article: Red vs. Blue
Responsible for reviewing games on the Microsoft Xbox, Burns regularly posted gameplay videos of Halo: Combat Evolved and eventually began to add humor to them with voice-overs. The idea for a serial came next, and a trailer for Red vs. Blue was posted in 2002. Six months later, the drunkgamers website closed. However, the following week, the magazine Computer Gaming World asked permission to include the Switch parody in a CD to be included with an issue. To take advantage of the resultant publicity, Rooster Teeth re-encoded the video to point to redvsblue.com, and revived the Red vs. Blue project. Burns also contacted his old friends Matt Hullum and Joel Heyman and convinced them to work on the series.
In a parody of science fiction films and games and of military life, Red vs. Blue tells the story of two groups of soldiers fighting a civil war in a desolate box canyon. Initially, Rooster Teeth expected the series to consist of only six to eight episodes. However, the series became popular quickly, receiving 20,000 downloads in a single day. Accordingly, Burns conceived an extension of the plot. The series' fifth and supposedly final season officially ended with episode 100, released on June 28, 2007. However, the group has continued to release new material, including three additional complete seasons and numerous PSA announcements. These PSAs included a five-part mini-series to promote Halo 3.
In late 2009, animator Monty Oum was hired by RT after his popular Haloid video caught their attention, with his employment being announced at PAX East 2010. He provides pre-rendered character animations to achieve action scenes or character movements in Red vs. Blue that are unable to be done using just the Halo engine. Season Eight of Red vs. Blue is the first season of the series to make extensive use of animation, and Burnie revealed in an interview that he and Oum are in the process of creating a completely animated series with no machinima elements.
Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles won several awards, including four from the Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences. Writing for the New York Times, Clive Thompson credited the series as the first machinima production "to break out of the underground". Red vs. Blue videos have been shown in Xbox demo kiosks, and content that is included with the premium "Legendary" edition of Halo 3. Members of the cast were also featured in an Easter egg in the campaign mode of Halo 3. Their relationship with Halo developer Bungie has grown to the point that Rooster Teeth commonly produces videos on Bungie's behalf, such as promotional series for Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach in August 2009 and August 2010, respectively, as well video on Bungie's behalf in honor of 'Bungie Day' during July 2010.
Following The Blood Gulch Chronicles, Red vs Blue had three storylines that spread to multiple seasons: the Recollections trilogy (Reconstruction, Red vs. Blue: Recreation and Red vs. Blue: Revelation), Project Freelancer Saga (seasons 9 and 10) and the Chorus trilogy (Seasons 11 to 13). Season 14 was an anthology exploring various characters and animation formats, and Season 15 was the standalone story "Blue vs. Red". Season 15 director\writer Joe Nicolosi will also work in the show's sixteenth season.
Rooster Teeth Productions' other Red vs. Blue productions consist of five mini-series — Out of Mind, Recovery One, Relocated, MIA and Where There's a Will, There's a Wall - and special "PSAs" released sporadically.
- Main article: The Strangerhood
On May 2004, at the E3 gaming convention, Rooster Teeth was introduced to The Sims 2 and realized that the game would be suitable for a series that parodied reality television; Electronic Arts agreed. The result was The Strangerhood, a comedy series that centers on eight strangers who awake one day unaware of where they are or how they arrived there. Its first season of 17 episodes completed on April 27, 2006. In 2005, the group collaborated with Paul Marino on Strangerhood Studios, a spin-off commissioned by the Independent Film Channel. This spin-off was the first machinima series to be commissioned for broadcast and won an award for Best Editing at the 2005 Machinima Film Festival.
- Main article: PANICS
Also in 2006, Rooster Teeth partnered with Maybeck Productions to create PANICS, a short series that chronicles the misadventures of Bravo Team a group of soldiers sent to investigate a paranormal disturbance . The four publicly released episodes were released between September 27, 2005 and October 18, 2005, and a prequel was released with F.E.A.R. - Director's Edition. The mini-series won an award for Best Writing at the 2005 Machinima Film Festival.
In mid-2006, Electronic Arts commissioned Rooster Teeth to direct commercials for their EA Sports brand of games, including Madden NFL 2007 and NCAA Football 2007, for broadcast on television. Rooster Teeth released some of this work on their website. In late November 2006, controversy arose over a Madden NFL 07 commercial, when Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark complained about his depiction in the commercial. Hit and tackled multiple times in the advertisement by Philadelphia Eagles players, Clark stated, "I haven't seen the commercial, but I'm upset about it. It makes me look like a punk." In response, Rooster Teeth posted a director's cut, in which Clark plays and dominates every position.
Rooster Teeth's other machinima productions are 1-800-Magic, a four-episode mini-series created in 2006 using the game Shadowrun, and Supreme Surrender, a 2008 mini-series made using Supreme Commander.
- Main article: Achievement Hunter
During 2008, a website dedicated to finding achievements was created in which the staff and others demonstrate how to get achievements in various games, called AchievementHunter.com.
The idea for Achievement hunter was first thought of when Jack Pattillo and Geoff Ramsey's interests in gaming achievements led to a realization that there wasn't a community-based achievements website, and in turn Achievement Hunter was created, which shares design, user profile, and forums of the main Rooster Teeth website. The site is run by Pattillo and Ramsey and a select handful of members from the Rooster Teeth community to help moderate the website, who regularly release achievement guides and easter egg videos.
The current golden members of Achievement Hunter are Jack Pattillo, Geoff Ramsey, Michael Jones, Gavin Free, Ryan Haywood and Jeremy Dooley. Unlike any other achievement-dedicated websites, Achievement Hunter is highly dependent on public contribution. Because of this, it is able to have highly in-depth guides across many games, even expanding its focus from Xbox 360 games to those on PC, PS3, Steam, and even Windows Phone 7.
- Main article: Captain Dynamic
In early 2009, Rooster Teeth first ventured into live-action with a mini-series to promote the online game "City of Heroes", entitled Captain Dynamic. It was based around a team of writers who are hired to use the new content creation tools in the game to promote the worst superhero in the world, Captain Dynamic. Directed by Matt Hullum and written by Burnie Burns, the series starred Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, Rooster Teeth employee and actor Joel Heyman, and actor Shannon McCormick. Rooster Teeth staff and guest actors were used in minor and extra roles. The series also led to the release of an iPhone app called the Awesome Button.
Rooster Teeth ShortsEdit
Following the positive reception of Captain Dynamic, Rooster Teeth began producing another live-action series, Rooster Teeth Shorts, a sketch comedy which parodies life at their offices in a similar fashion to the webcomic. The series features the staff of Rooster Teeth, who all play caricatures of themselves, as well as occasional appearances from voice actors from some of their machinima series. The first season ran for twenty episodes, which along with the Captain Dynamic mini-series has been released on DVD. The second season of RT Shorts debuted on April 23, 2010, with new episodes released weekly via the Rooster Teeth website until a hiatus during late July 2010, during which the team focused all their efforts towards Red vs. Blue episodes. With production on Red vs. Blue complete, weekly RT Shorts episodes began again on August 28, 2010.
- Main article: The Gauntlet
In late October 2012, Rooster Teeth debuted their reality series, The Gauntlet. Contestants from around the nation compete to win $10,000. Burnie hosted and Ali Baker was the announcer. Each week, teams competed in various games to advance and get one step closer to the prize, with the losing teams being forced to compete against each other to see who stays and who leaves. Burnie could have chosen to send no one home, or to eliminate the equivalent of a team entirely.
- Main article: Immersion
At PAX East 2010, Rooster Teeth debuted a pilot episode for a new live action series titled , in which the staff tests concepts of video games in real life. The episode is now available to watch on their website. In October 2010, Burnie announced in The Drunk Tank Podcast that production of new Immersion episodes had begun.
- Main article: Day 5
Rooster Teeth's first scripted live-action series, as well as their first drama-based work, Day 5 debuted in 2016 and is exclusive to FIRST members. Emerging from Burnie's idea of a low-budget apocalypse, Day 5 follows a junkie who learns that most of humanity has died after falling asleep, and with another group of survivors search for the cause of the mysterious “sleep epidemic.”
- Main article: Lazer Team
Rooster Teeth moved into a new office in early September 2010, which they have made into "half a warehouse" in order to allow plenty of room for live action sets, as they hoped to produce a live-action feature-length film. Lazer Team, written and directed by Matt Hullum, raised nearly $2.5 Million through Indiegogo, the most successful campaign ever seen on the website. It was released in 2015, and got a sequel, Lazer Team 2, in 2017.
- Main article: RWBY
RWBY (pronounced "Ruby") is an anime-styled American CG-Animated web-series created by the Rooster Teeth Productions' animation studio. The series was created and was directed by animator Monty Oum until his unexpected death in February 2015, with production being held on by his writing partners Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross. RWBY follows four girls who become Huntresses, warriors who defend the world from evil. The first episode of RWBY premiered on July 5, 2013 at RTX 2013 and was released on the Rooster Teeth site on July 18. The second season was announced to be premiered at the 2014 RTX in July 4–6. Ever since the delay to Volume 3 caused by Monty's death, new seasons of RWBY premiere in October
Episodes were at first released on Thursdays, but since Volume 4 they air on Saturdays on Rooster Teeth's website for First members. One week after release they are also uploaded to YouTube and simulcasted on Crunchyroll.
- Main article: RWBY Chibi
A comedic sketch show starring the characters of RWBY in a cute chibi style, RWBY Chibi airs during the show's hiatus between seasons, with the first being released between Volumes 3 and 4 in 2016.
Rooster Teeth Animated AdventuresEdit
- Main article: Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures
Created and mostly animated by Jordan Cwierz, RTAA are crude and comical animations re-enacting stories told in the Rooster Teeth podcasts and shows.
- Main article: Camp Camp
A 2D animated series created by Jordan Cwierz and Miles Luna, Camp Camp is set in a badly ran summer camp full of eccentric children, with the story focusing most in the enthusiastic counselor David and a trio of campers, the cynical Max, the nerdy Neil and the energetic Nikki. The series premiered in 2016, was renewed the following year, and is set to have its third season in June 2018.
Nomad of NowhereEdit
- Main article: Nomad of Nowhere
A new 2D animated series created by Georden Whitman and directed by Jordan Cwierz, Nomad of Nowhere was described as a western/fantasy mash-up about a mysterious nomad traversing a western wasteland that hasn't seen magic in 100 years. It is set to debut for FIRST members on March 16, 2018.
- Main article: gen:LOCK
A mecha 3D series written and directed by Gray Haddock, set to debut in 2018.
- Main article: Rooster Teeth Comics
In 2006, Rooster Teeth Productions formed its own webcomic series, Rooster Teeth Comics. The strip satirizes the staff members in their regular daily lives, although often pushing each member's personality to the extreme for comedic effect. The humorous situations often relate to real life events in the lives of the staff, or other widely recognized current events. It is drawn by Luke McKay, a member of the Rooster Teeth community, and written by Griffon Ramsey, the wife of Geoff Ramsey. In 2011, the choice was made to end the comic. The comics were released three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. All five years of the comic have been released in separate collected edition books.
- Main article: Grifball
In late 2007, Rooster Teeth created a Halo 3 multiplayer game-type called Grifball, played on the map Foundry. The idea for the game came from a joke that was cut from an episode promoting the Heroic Map Pack, in which Grif creates the "laziest gametype in the world"; a round of capture the flag where the flag spawns right next to the capture point. Burnie realized that the frantic nature of only having seconds to stop the flag reaching its destination was fun, and changed it to the "Assault" gametype so that each team had a point to defend, as well as spawning the players with weapons.
The name "Grifball" comes from a gag in season four of Red vs. Blue when Sarge exclaims, "This is the best game since Grifball", while trying to shoot Grif down from a ledge. In reference to the joke, Burnie changed the game settings so that players who pick up the ball turn orange, Grif's armor color. Players who pick up the ball will either explode when they plant the bomb or will be killed by an enemy, referencing Sarge's hatred of Grif.
The gametype became so popular that Bungie began to regularly include the gametype in the Double EXP Weekends playlist of Halo 3 matchmaking, making it a ranked playlist for a limited time in December, 2009, and adding Grifball courts with identical specifications to the original into other maps. Rooster Teeth has organized their own official Grifball leagues, covering the United States, the European Union and Oceania. McFarlane Toys also released a Grifball action figure.
Rooster Teeth created a spinoff machinima miniseries of Red vs. Blue based on Grifball, titled Grifball: Expansion, which follows an untalented Grifball team. It was distributed via Halo Waypoint and ran for three episodes. A follow-up miniseries, titled Grifball: Zero Tolerance was released a short time later and also ran for three episodes.
The Rooster Teeth PodcastEdit
On December 9, 2008, after temporarily reviving a feature on their website from their previous website, drunkgamers.com, where the staff talked about different topics of the week while inebriated with accompanying responses in text with pictures, Rooster Teeth released their first audio podcast available for download through the iTunes Store, Zune Marketplace and their website. It has since become one of the more popular features of the site, at one point becoming the #1 most downloaded podcast on iTunes, as well as a featured podcast in the iTunes Store. New episodes have been released regularly every Wednesday since April 10, 2009, with occasional special episodes or multiple releases in one week. On June 23, 2010, the podcast changed to a .m4a "enhanced" format which allows listeners to use an interactive "link dump" to be able to view more information on the topics of the week's podcast. On August 18, 2010, the Drunk Tank was officially implemented into the Rooster Teeth website as a video series, as well as introducing the segment called Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures.
Since its inception, the podcast has usually featured three or four of the Rooster Teeth staff members as well as the occasional guest such as their musical composer Nico Audy-Rowland or friends or family of the staff members. The main staff members of the podcast include Burnie Burns and Gus Sorola with heavy recurring roles from Jack Pattillo, Gavin Free, and Barbara Dunkelman. The podcast is thus largely comedic commentary on the popular culture of the week, including video games, recent news, website features, sports and upcoming projects as well as highlighting fan-made projects.
The name was later changed to "The Rooster Teeth Podcast" because Rooster Teeth felt they could find sponsors better if their Podcast didn't contain the word "drunk" in it.
Red vs. Blue: AnimatedEdit
Red vs. Blue: Animated was an upcoming joint-production between Rooster Teeth and animation studio Humoring the Fates. Since the sneak preview at PAX 2008, little information was risen about the project. The little plot that was revealed sees Church, Simmons and Grif attempting to battle through a Covenant base to free Sarge and Tex from imprisonment.
At PAX East 2010, it was strongly implied by the staff that production on Red vs. Blue: Animated has come to a halt, for reasons of time constraints and money issues. Geoff Ramsey commented, "We're just too lazy to work on it—we like our own schedule; we just can't work with someone else's timeframe."
According to the Rooster Teeth Panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, the project is dead and a lot of the ideas and aspects within Red vs. Blue: Animated have been cannibalized into the original machinima-based Red vs. Blue series through the addition of pre-rendered CGI. The short was eventually both included in one of the Red vs. Blue DVDs and recycled into the season opener of the show's fourteenth season.
X-Ray and VavEdit
- Main article: X-Ray and Vav
X-Ray and Vav was an animated series based around the superheroic personas of Ray Narvaez, Jr. and Gavin Free in the Achievement Hunter videos, with the cartoon also featuring various in-jokes related to AH. Created by Jordan Cwierz and Lindsay Jones, the show ran for two seasons and two specials between 2014 and 2015, but Ray is no longer part of Rooster Teeth and uninterested in continuing the story. Most of the crew moved onto Rooster Teeth's next 2D animation, Camp Camp.
|Actor/actress||RvB 1-5||RvB 6-8||RvB 9-10||RvB 11-13||RvB 14||RvB 15||RWBY||X-Ray and Vav||Camp Camp||Day 5|
|Ray Narvaez, Jr.||Cameo||Cameo||✓|
|Joe Nicolosi||✓||✓ (Chibi)|
|Professional voice actors|
- The name Rooster Teeth is a euphemism for Cockbite, an insult used in one of the group's trailers.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Moltenbrey, Gross.
- ↑ Gross; Konow, 1.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Konow, 1.
- ↑ Mac Gamer Switch Parody.
- ↑ Konow, 2.
- ↑ The History of Red vs. Blue.
- ↑ Leggat
- ↑ Burns, et al., 2003, Audio Commentary, episode 2.
- ↑ Burns, et al., 2003, Audio Commentary, episode 4.
- ↑ Thompson, 1.
- ↑ Waters.
- ↑ Sorola.
- ↑ All New Red vs. Blue Series.
- ↑ Interview on Episode 61 of Jeskid's World
- ↑ Machinima Awards 2003 Results; Mackie Winners Announced!.
- ↑ Thompson, 2.
- ↑ Red vs. Blue: The Interview Strikes Back.
- ↑ Falo 3 Details Explosion.
- ↑ Kosak, 1–2; Thompson, 5.
- ↑ Williams.
- ↑ Saldaña.
- ↑ Burns, et al., 2006, Audio Commentary, Strangerhood Studios episode 6.
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 Machinima Theater.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Mackie Winners Announced!.
- ↑ FearFans.com.
- ↑ Gersh.
- ↑ "Red Vs. Blue: The Cash Is Always Greener".
- ↑ Hullum, "Working Vacation".
- ↑ Hullum, "Ahh... Memories".
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Chappell.
- ↑ Robinson.
- ↑ http://captaindynamic.com/members/journal/entry.php?id=2330749
- ↑ http://redvsblue.com/archive/episode.php?id=1233
- ↑ Burnie, Jeskid TV interview.
- ↑ Geoff; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE6Ge8Af9yk
- ↑ http://www.grifball.com/history.php
- ↑ Bungie Weekly Update, November 20, 2009
- ↑ http://www.grifball.com/divisions.php
- Rooster Teeth Productions
- The Rooster Tooths Network - Unofficial Resource Network for Rooster Teeth Productions
- UT graduate blends video games, parody
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