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Film


  • A Storyteller's Notebook: June 2017

    This Month Featuring: Caravanserai 1

    Storytelling is a term that covers so many different expressive media. Even within a single platform such as Second Life, you find diverse performances, people challenging the boundaries of visual art as well as refining more traditional approaches.  When we are lucky, several disciplines combine to tell a story greater than the sum of its constituent episodes.  That is certainly the case with Carvanserai 1, making its debut this Saturday, June 24th at 7am as part of June's cavalcade of educational workshops and performances known as SL MOOC 2017.

    Now don't let the word "educational" spook you. This is definitely entertainment as well as enrichment.  All the best entertainment also teaches, generally without your ever noticing. Caravanserai is cleverly conceived to celebrate the natural exchange of culture and the arts that took place along the Silk Road, beginning as early as the second century BCE and continuing for over a millennia. "After trading all day in silks and spices, at night travelers were entertained with stories, poetry, song and dance. They learnt each other's languages and became the conduit for the world great ideas in ancient times - from the mathematical zero to appreciation of a cup of tea or coffee." shared Chris Mooney-Singh, producer of the program.

     

    "This project is an attempt to share the East-West dialogue I have been having for years with my co-organizer Kaylee West, a tertiary lecturer who conceived and runs Chinese Island in Second Life for Monash University. We decided to share our thoughts about East-West culture and created Caravanserai as an occasional artistic and intellectual platform for this," he continues.

    Singh narrates the hour long program, featuring his own adaptation of The Elephant and the Six Blind Menoriginal songs, special musical guest - gypsy violinist Navtali Torok, and James Elroy Flecker's 1913 verse drama The Golden Road to Samarkand.  Singh is joined by actors Pip Albatros, Corwyn Allen, and Mavromichali Szondi.  There will be a screening of a machinima based on the Edwin Thumboo poem "Ulysses by the Merlion" in which the speaker is Ulysses, the Homeric hero. By strange design or cosmic accident he finds himself in Asia, confronting this strange dragon, or naga-like creature and the Asian sea culture that it represents.

    "Culture travels in the saddle bags of history and in the light of new moves toward the New Silk Road today, perhaps our digital metaphor of barter and intellectual exchange can contribute new dialogue among pixel sand dunes and through virtual avatars on camels well into this millennium," Singh further shared, "In the future, this will be even more dynamic and VR goggles will make this experience far more immersive than even it is at present."

    Sited in a desert oasis skybox on Monash University's region, Singh notes, " Kaylee and I have been able to a create digital desert way station on the virtual Silk Road like a theatre or film set for an event that includes storytelling, theatre, a machinima screening debut with intellectual discussion, a spoken word offering and a live gypsy violin performance. Executing that in real life can be challenging. In virtual worlds, there are many human resources available to make this a reality without any real budget, except ones time."

    Yet, this virtual way station is by no means a permanent feature. They are ready to take their show on the road!  "We hope to reprise this first show for new audiences in the future, create new ones, and perhaps develop this occasional platform into a larger festival or Caravanserai Fair, spread over 2-3 days like any other festival in real life. Join us. The camel train is waiting," invited Singh.

    In addition to being a part of SL MOOC 2017, Carvanserai 1 is also a benefit for Feed A Smile (Kenya), another of Second Life's great philanthropic success stories.  100 Lindens pays for one child's meal in the German-based Feed a Smile charity's school in Kenya. One third of the school's monthly food budget is raised by virtual events in Second Life.

    More information about this program at http://www.thewriterscentre.org/caravanserai-project

    Check out the Teaser Trailer here on SLArtists!  

    Caravanserai 1

    At Monash University in Second Life

    Saturday, June 24th at 7am slt

    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Monash%20University/142/140/2490

     

    GOING ON THIS MONTH:

    ~ ON THE MOVE: Seanchai Library celebrates the opening of their new Holly Kai site,  featuring stories of ships, and the sea.

    Sunday, June 25th  1:30 - 3:00pm slt

    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Holly%20Kai%20Estates/215/44/27

    ~ A GLOBAL CREATION STORY: An encore performance, folklorist and theologian, Dubhna Rhiadra has spend years of studying and thinking about the many creation tales from around the world.  She shares some of those legendary stories of "in the beginning" live in voice at LEA 18 - EXISTENCE IN THE BALANCE

    Saturday, June 24th, 2-3 pm slt

    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA18/224/98/119

    ~ NIAMH'S JOURNEY OF DREAMS concludes this month at Mistwood Isle - CK Ballyhoo's latest watercolour creation inspired by Cybele Moon's original adaptation of a Celtic legend.  Follow the walk and read the story as you follow in the steps of Niamh as she searches for her scattered dreams.

    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Storybrooke/20/13/32

     

    KNOW OF A COOL SPOKEN WORD OR STORYTELLING VENUE/EVENT? Send me a notecard (Caledonia Skytower) with the basics and a landmark, and I will be happy to check them out as a possible feature.

    This Month's Quote:  “You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”

    ― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

     

    IMAGE CREDITS: Caledonia Skytower

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  • An Invitation to Film

    An Invitation to Film

     

    Filming friendly spots are difficult to find sometimes. MOSP is there of course but sometimes you want a new place to explore.


    You are invited to film at Aview Falls, home to LaPiscean Liberty. Twenty minute rez times mix with vistas to offer many new filming possibilities.


    Night or day there is a natural beauty to be captured in film.


    I will be mentioning other filming friendly sites in the future. We can all use new vistas.

    Visit Aview Falls.

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  • Making Your Own Theater

    Making Your Own Theater

     

    Have you even wanted to make your own movie theater?  Maybe even a home version just for some friends?

    First you need a screen -- well of course!  A simple flattened prim will do or something more complex with an invisible prim as the actual screen. It is fairly easy to find instructions for getting media on a prim; the tough part -- for me anyway -- was figuring out how to get rid of YouTube's "next related video" insistence. Most of those films were SO not related.  That's definitely not an elegant way to present your work.

    After a lot of experimentation and searching, logic won out and I discovered the method by myself. So of course I wanted to share. It's easy when you know the steps.

    First you need to make a playlist or add the videos you want to an existing one. See this page for step by step instructions.


    You can't just link to your playlist URL to your screen; I tried that and simply got a static webpage with a bunch of thumbnails. You have to be a little tricky.

     

    From your CHANNEL page click on the "View as public" choice (top right). The page will change and you will no longer see your page as a manager. This is important!

     

    Once you see your channel as the general public does, click on Playlists in the menu.


    From the playlists choices pick the one you want to be in your theater, then click to start watching the films in that list.

    The URL in the location bar at the top of the screen is what you have been after all along. Copy the whole thing!


    Back in world paste that URL into the "Home Page" area in the Media Settings - General tab. You will need to adjust the height and width of the webpage to fit nicely on your screen. My sizes should be a good starting point. Don't forget the offsets *wink*.

    I turned off all user options in Customize so there is no chance of the viewers clicking on something and taking the screen off to some unassociated content. All eight films in my playlist play in order and then loop back to the beginning.

    Now I don't actually expect someone to watch all eight films, but just knowing it works makes me happy.

    The theater isn't in Second Life, it is in OpenSim on a grid I have there. Should you also be in OpenSim with an account that lets you use the hypergrid,  my address is: secondlife://http|!!login.greatcanadiangrid.ca|8002+parkville

    You will find that the ground level looks very much like the Peaceful Valley you know from LEA7. Well, similar anyway with only things I have made!

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  • New in SOIL

    New in SOIL

     

    There have been some major changes in the medieval areas of SOIL. With the addition of a blacksmith's shop the village setting is much more believable. The mystical alchemist's abode moved over to the church area and works much better there.

    That's the brief report of the morn.

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  • How Smart Are You?

    How Smart Are You?

     
    View past years entries of MACHINIMUWA in the screening room    

    Want to earn some money and have fun in the process? Need a little inspiration or some filming tips?

    The UWA Audience Participation contest for MACHINIMUWA has just been announced. This year you have FIVE chances to win.  Since there are less entries than in other years ... Well you do the math *wink*.

    Read all about the contest here.

    Remember you can view a big collection of machinima in the screening room at LEA7. Bring a friend or two; there are plenty of chairs available.

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  • UWA Machinima Challenge - My View

    MachinimUWA VII

    UWA Machinima Challenge - My View

     
    Well ya just know I had to pipe in here.

    A few more hours and the entries close. I have my "current" list of ten which may of course change in the final hours.

    It doesn't take much reflection to see that their have been fewer entries this time out. I doubt this has anything to do with "theme" or "rules" or any other things that the University has control over. It is simply a mirror of what is going on in the creative world of Second Life.

    It is Halloween Eve as I post this message -- a special time for some folks, a close friend being one. There is an energy associate with this night. If you have ever lived in one of those "woo - woo" communities (and I have several times) you know what I mean. I am feeling it and hence "the veils are parting". OK. I have to admit I am laughing here.

    Any-way.

    Along with fewer entries, I think we have some spectacular work. In my mind Tutsy's was his best work and I said so on his YouTube page. I am going to be honest here. I seldom finish his films. Most (only to me I am sure) need more editing. But this one? I only found a few places I would have cut and I watched to the end and even introduced it to a real life artist friend of mine who was visiting.

    She was of course supportive of MY film which used the $79 editing program when I am thinking Tutsy has the high dollar software as I know he can do things I can't. Honestly? It ain't the software folks; it's the vision.

    It was interesting to me that two films to make it on my list (so far) had to do with war -- an early war which in itself is a comment. Perhaps as a culture we are hesitant to bring things too close to home. War is war and in my mind there has never been a "good" war except perhaps WWII which I would only go so far as to categorize as "just" not "good".

    There were a couple of films that I really enjoyed that didn't make it on my top ten list -- not because they weren't good; simply because there wasn't enough content. They were short and clever but needed more filling out to make it onto my tally. Honestly, I suspect that is why my first entry into UWA a few years ago didn't win a prize. There was plenty of clapping,  but it was short -- and while I didn't get that then, I do now.

    I always think my film is in the top ten. Well, what can I say? Ego DOES get in the way at times. Now and then it makes it, often times it does not. One real life friend (SL long ago but no longer) thought my latest was my best. I'll go with that and not worry about the actual awards.

    You may or may not know that quite a few of the machinimatographers were disappointed with last year's awards. Some are (so far) noticeably absent. I don't know if they have lost interest; I am not a networking gal. I do know that my list wasn't all that close to the actual winner's list last time. My "top folks" just barely made the cut.

    I can understand their frustration with so many of the people judging not being in the machinima world. But, in the end, I believe it is most important to support the creative process.  Whether we win or lose? That's not really the highest priority.

    I was pleased to see several films with footage taken and credits given to MOSP. Thanks guys!

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  • Machinima Open Studio Project September 5th, 2014, Revamping for Fall

    Revamping for Fall

    Syndicated Post from MOSP


     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     The blue gardener's shed had been with MOSP since the LEA20 days and it wasn't new when I pulled it out of inventory some two years ago. I have been planning on a redo of that area for some time -- and honestly hoping to find a nice little mesh replacement house.

    That didn't happen and so this week I made a new one patterned after one I saw on the web which I would love to have in real life. It is tiny and meant mostly as a backdrop. Filming and photography will NOT be easy in the cramped quarters, but it is very cute. And I recovered at least 80 prims -- a bonus.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
      The house moved up the hill a bit and there is now a very festive apple bobbing (and eating) area down by the --- APPLE TREE! How appropriate is that?

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     Other new area seating includes some lovely willow chairs with nice animations and a fun stoop by the new birdhouse.

    Come visit!  LEA7.
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  • Transcending Borders: first art entries on display, audience prizes reviewed

     

    On Monday July 21st, 2014, the University of Western Australia (UWA) announced the opening of their new combined Art and Machinima challenge, Transcending Borders, which brings together their 7th MachinimUWA and their 5th UWA Grand Art Challenge into one event.

    I provided an overview of the challenge at the time, including the fact that there are prizes amounting to L$1,030,000 on offer to artists and machinima makers – and to members of the public who wish to participate in the voting process on entries.

     

    Submissions for the challenge have already started, and FeeWee Ling, curator of the UWA’s 3D OpenArt challenges, brings word that the first two 3D art entires are now on display in the Transcending Borders gallery area above the UWA’s home regions. Machinima entires will be listed on the SLArtist website as they are received.

    The entries are Transcending, by Xia Firethorn (shown above) and Union by Silva Khandr (below).

     

    As noted in my initial coverage, there are special prizes on offer in the audience participation part of the challenge (a total of L$135,000 for audience participation in the art category and a total of L$105,000 in the machinima section). All you have to do is list your personal Top Ten entries in either the art or the machinima sections of the challenge (or both!). Prizes will be awarded to audience members whose top 10 lists most closely align to the final juried top 10. Keep your eyes on the UWA blog for details on how to enter.

    For full details on the competition and prizes, please refer to the UWA blog post announcing the launch of Transcending Borders.

    The challenge is open to entries through until midnight on October 31st, 2014; judging will conclude in December 2014, when the winners will be announced.  I’ve always enjoyed following the UWA challenges, and with Transcending Borders, I’m particularly looking forward to seeing all of the entries, art and machinima, having been privileged with a request to join the judging panel. Hope you’ll also enjoy viewing the entries and drawing-up your own Top Ten lists.

    Related Links

     

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  • Wonderful Designs Posters in Virtual Worlds

     Reflexion about high quality POSTERS done in SL

     

    Any Machinima is not really finish without views, till it have feedback and public. One way to get more views, overall online, outside virtual worlds, is making good machinima posters and move them online, on facebook or on other social media tools.

     

    The history of cinema has very good examples of posters, some designed by artists and / or designers that are remembered. An image could be a strong CALL and reveals too a good finish layout way and reclaims for watching a movie.

     

    On machinima production, I think this aspect is forgotten usually by machinimators; However, in Second Life there are excellent creatives who make fantastic posters.
    A good example of this is the temporary exhibition POSTERS accompanying the event Rhapsody

     

    These example are outstanding posters done by Strawberry Singh, awarded photographer, and Anya OhMai, designer for advertising the event.

     

    I think Machinima Producers and Second Life Machinima Directors we have to worry up and take more care of these details, and stop thinking “I have not time for that”. A good poster is also a work of art, and overall, branding our work correctly is important and useful.

    Sometimes a detail makes the difference


    The collection of inspirational posters done by Berry and Anya, can be seen in SL here until July 12th, and online through this link.Take a look!

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/rubystarlight/sets/72157645187698072

     Glasz

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