Monday, June 15, 2015

End of an Era

Almost three years has passed since the Machinima Open Studio Project appeared on the scene. That pretty much IS an "era" in virtual reality where time moves at a much speedier pace. Those many months have been filled with creativity and enjoyment. I am pleased to have helped and encouraged hundreds of machinimatographers and many thousands of photographers -- giving them an ever changing landscape with which to create their stories.

But -- and you knew there was one coming I bet -- all things have an ending. MOSP will be coming down mid July. That means those of you in the midst of projects have most of a month to get your ducks in a row and film in the can. I will not be dismantling for three weeks and the full sim city and ground level will be the last areas to disappear.  So get out your cameras and film any places that were on your list that you just never got to.

There are no real life problems. I am both happy and busy -- and I am not going anywhere. It is simply time to shift gears, move along and leave room for the next great idea.  There are plenty of people who have dreams. Happily I have had the chance to make mine a reality.

This blog will remain and I will likely put forth some philosophy or random thoughts from time to time. I may even make an instructional video for the new kids on the block; so many simple things can make filming a pleasure rather than a chore.   The inworld group will still be around too. One never knows what may transpire in the future. A new version of MOSP might appear -- say in SL 2.0.  There are no PLANS for that, but we just don't know what will be happening in a year or two. 

I thank you all for your participation in the MOSP project. I have enjoyed seeing the films blending your ideas with mine. And I have learned from you also.

Take care.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


  • adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
Are you true to yourself?
Are you true to your work?
We each -- hopefully -- have a set of personal limits; ones we will not cross. We have goals we aspire to and truths we believe in. Our work reflects those parts of who we are.
Directors are special folks. They take a story and make it their own.  True, the writers are the backbones of a film -- without a plot there is no story, only pretty pictures and a sound track. Yes, a few prose often work their way into the mix. 
Directors -- in both real and virtual lands -- take that story and bring it to life. Characters are added. Complex back-stories devised. Scenes mapped out. Footage filmed. 
Somewhere in the process, the director is called on to make choices. Should they go with what the "money people" want or what they believe is the true tale?  Can they push their characters into alternate roles for the sake of box office proceeds?
In machinima we don't often have to make those decisions. We are the masters of our film's fate. We tell the story we want to tell. But now and then other energies come into play and we are forced to choose -- for the film and in reflection of our belief systems. 

I believe in truth.

I believe in honesty.

And sometimes choices are difficult.

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Summertime Fantasy

New in SAGE, a floating house with -- wait for it: an ANCHOR!   A perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. Let your characters enjoy themselves in this lovely pastoral setting.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dreams and Schemes and Other Times and Places

Sometimes we need to tell the backstory of our characters.

What made them the person they are today?
What motivates them on their journey?

There are a variety of ways to give clues to a time change -- or even a dream sequence. The film can turn black and white, go into "old time vintage movie mode" if you have that option in your editor, sepia tones? Sure.

Anything to give a hint to change of place or time -- or both will alert the viewer that their are gears being changed.

I was watching an old TV show this evening. Lots of action and too much killing for my personal tastes, but I was looking with a directors eye. And what I saw was interesting. Instead of "memories" become faded or dim -- in this case they became supersaturated? It was as if the memories held more power than the current reality. And indeed, I suspect that was what the director was trying to impart.

So when you are faced with a time shift, it might be good to remember that memories aren't always faded. They can be fast and furious. They can push us over the edge as needed for the storyline. ANY effects change that alerts the viewer to a different timeline could be affective -- it just depends on your story.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Production Values

State of the art production values have always been high on my criteria list. The prettier it looks on film, the happier I am.

Sometimes we have to cheat a bit and use special effects to mask a less than perfect shot. We can only work with what we have. Happily the availability of great props just keeps getting better.

There is a new sauna in the parklike greenery area at MOSP. Lots of room for TONS of your friends and a big party scene. Now, remember -- swimsuits or towels (I vote for towels if you have them; much more authentic) are needed as this is a "M" area :D.

There are plenty of lovely accessories for cutaway shots!

Find the new sauna in SAGE.