It's amazing what players can do when you give them a way to channel their creativity. Following in the footsteps of Valve's Source Filmmaker, Rockstar Games added the power to make in-game movies to the PC version of GTA 5 (opens in new tab). Using the plainly named Rockstar Editor (opens in new tab) lets you record whatever kind of chaos or goofy mundanity you want in the city of Los Santos, then trick out the footage with all manner of camera angles, filters, and editing tricks. And already, the results are magical.
We've sifted past hours of pointless test clips and virtual animal abuse videos to find the very best works made in the Rockstar Editor, and we've shared their greatness with you. Pop some popcorn, crank up the home theater system you made for the express purpose of watching YouTube videos, and please enjoy these shockingly funny and entertaining short films. They could very well change the way you see Grand Theft Auto forever (particularly the mimes).
While not quite as polished as some of the later edits in this collection, this is the first piece of work that really convinced us of the creative potential in GTA 5's PC video editor. A million smart little things just add up to make it fantastic. The intimate, unspoken tension, built up through close shots at the start. Those brilliant transition edits, where the camera lingers in just the right way before a cut, or zooms and pans to make wonderful, often hilarious changes in subject. That choice of soundtrack. It's great. It's great and we love it.
Dont ignore the mime!
Mimes are creepy in demeanour, upsetting to look at, and just flat abhorrent in every single meaningful way. You know that. Trevor Phillips certainly knows that. Strike first. That's how you stay safe around mimes. But what if you try to take the passive approach? What if you just ignore them and hope that they'll go away?
Well then you are a goddamn fool. Duggy Duggy knows the score.
There are a lot of action edits around for GTA 5 on PC. There are a lot of comedy slapstick edits too. But JUMP, by the poetically named bitches, is by far the classiest piece of pure mood editing we've ever seen. Go full screen, turn the sound up, and get it watched.
Health & Wellness
Speaking of slapstick, this. Short, desperately to the point, and with a hell of a punchline. This is damn smart, conceptual use of game, editor and environment. You don't need to be Michael Bay to impress in GTA 5. Hell, you just don't need to be Michael Bay. Ever.
GTA 5 PC Editor Test
Scuse the abrupt ending on this one. As the official title suggests, it was made as an initial test of the editor's capabilities. Fortunately, it was made as a test by someone who seriously knows cinematography. By focusing on depth of field effects and just the right amount of free-aimed shaky-cam, Womble turns a very simple action scene into something with raw power and serious kinetic impact.
The beauty of a GTA 5 bug
There's probably a painful, yearning metaphor in here about the impotent, directionless striving of modern humanity's mindless, empty ambition and the mechanical, isolated nature of our daily lives. Probably.
The Del Perro stabber
So, so dark, but so, so well directed.
But yeah, really dark. And stabby.
Sins of the Past
This is a bit of a special one, in that creator Danz Newz has gone the whole hog and created a proper script and professional sounding voiceover to create a bona fide short film. It's so well put together that, unlike most of the rest of the pieces in this list, after a minute or so you'll entirely forget that you're watching something created in a game, and instead see it simply as a great animated short.
The Police Chase
A generic title belying two minutes of killer content. On the Michael Bay end of things - but, you know, Michael Bay if he was good - rechyyy's piece is a masterclass in smart camerawork and effective pacing. Watch it. Watch it now.
Made by PC Gamer's Andy Kelly this very afternoon, PUMP is a masterpiece, a twisting piece of existential reflection wrapping in and around itself to present a stark and primal view of the modern human experience. The question of whether games can be art has finally been left behind, choking in the primordial ooze as work like this launches us all into a gleaming, truly evolved future.
Go make your directorial debut
We'll keep updating this collection as we discover - and players make - even more amazing GTA 5 videos. Have these inspired you to join the moment-capturing fun? Do you know of any other unforgettable Rockstar Editor flicks? Let us know in the comments below!
And if you're looking for more GTA hilarity, check out 9 rumors people believed about GTA games (that were completely true) and 9 rumors people believed about GTA games (that were totally fake).