Ridley Scott's RSA production company and the online video network Machinima had struck a deal to create a series of sci-fi short films from exciting directors, but that deal is now said to have fallen through, reports VideoInk, citing sources close to the deal. Either funding issues or directors' availability is believed to be the behind the deal's collapse. While the plan falling apart may be bad news for Machinima as it tries to grow into a more mature network, it's bad news for viewers as well: a dozen directors would have been experimenting with short-form sci-fi ideas that ultimately could have turned into something bigger if they caught on.

Though VideoInk can't say for certain that funding issues led to the deal's collapse, it says there was some confusion over who would be paying for the projects. As part of the deal falling through, however, Machinima is said to have lost out on a multi-million dollar sponsorship from one major marketer that had agreed to back the project. It would mark a major loss for Machinima, which has been growing quickly but seems to have stumbled lately, with two executive departures and two layoffs this year.