Every so often, you see a thing and wonder how the hell this hasn’t really existed before now. So when Machinima, Exec. Producers Joel Rubin and Woody Tondorf and Director/Showrunner Brendan Bradley (DailyMotion’s Squatters, PBS’s Frankenstein MD) team up to make a three-song review of the Assassin’s Creed series, one feels like this should’ve been a thing a long time ago.
Live-recorded musicals are tricky at best — while live on stage, the audience is able to let their eyes focus on what they find to be the most interesting part of the show, translating to the small screen requires the ability to do that for them, and Assassin’s Creed: The Musical finds that balance between letting the players play, and getting the audience’s attention directed to where it needs to be.
And yeah, it’s pretty funny.
Between the costuming, the songs (both musically and lyrically), choreography, performances and art direction, there’s about a million things that could go wrong, and this review manages to stay within its limitations and being very entertaining within the sandbox they’ve built for themselves. And oh, yeah, you also have to film it.
Shot in one of the smallest rooms at YouTube Space LA, the costumes themselves were rented from actual cosplayers found on Instagram. Cormac Bluestone and Los Angeles production company New Man Media took Rubin’s words and converted them into an original score and then staged the show — shooting the whole damn thing in one day.
There’s really no way I can be at all negative about an Assassin’s Creed production that includes Aveline and Ratonhnhaké:ton (though their and Edward’s parts seem way too short — why do we always have to cut them down, Machinima?), a slam on Desmond out of nowhere, and the line “My name’s Ezio / and I’ll slice up a bro” all in one. It’s just not going to happen, you’re not going to hear it from me.
It all begs the question, though: with games that have built up such rich worlds — your Assassin’s Creeds, your Fallouts and Mass Effects — is it really that far-fetched to convert one of these properties into a full stage musical?
Machinima doesn’t seem to think so.