Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The secret project is ready for take-off!

Or should I say, ready to be read by someone who knows about modding, and I'm ready to be asked if I'm crazy... *insert nervous-smiley here*

24 pages, 21 characters, the first time I will need not one, not two, no! - a whole bunch of mods to be made especially for a project.... I'm excited and still dread the verdict of those who will (hopefully) work with me on this.

I'd like to thank both Norrie and Kate Lee, who have read, proofed, suggested, read again, suggested some more... without both of you, the script wouldn't be as it is now! Thanks for all the time you invested in this - I just hope I'll be able to bring it to the screen!

Finding the 21 actors to voice the characters seems comparatively easy in contrast to the mod work - as always, a lot of the roles are already taken by what I call my 'dream-cast' in my mind - but I will worry about that once I'm a bit more sure if the project can be realised in Moviestorm as the only engine, or if I have to consider mixing again.

Oh well.... :)

For the moment, I refuse to be disheartened, and present to you the name of the project.... keep your fingers crossed!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wow! 'Alarm' - an animation by Mesai

Sometimes, you find real gems by accident - my friend found this video on Youtube today and sent me the link, saying that he'd be sure I would love it.

And wow, this is so good! It was made by an independent animation team from Korea (they give a link to their website, which is in korean only, but you can download the film there!)

Enjoy - I just fell in love with the details and the story immediately. :)

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Sense of Community

Over at TMUnderground, there are some discussions going on right now which make me think about that elusive thing that is a community.

As maybe most of you know, TMUnderground was started by Ken when The Movies Online crashed and didn't come back up for a month - despite Lionhead's assurances that there were no plans to discontinue the service, most of us felt the end was nigh - and ultimately, we were proven right shortly afterwards.

From the start, Ken planned TMU to be a platform for all kinds of machinima movie makers - a place for discussion, promoting your films, getting feedback, finding people to work with, sharing and learning. I was (and still am!) so excited about this!

When a lot of us started using new engines and getting involved in the respective communities, we also invited people over to TMU - to upload their films, discuss and promote their work on our forums; in short, get involved, and in the process widen all our horizons.

Since then, I have learned the hard way how difficult that seems to be.

Yes, some people followed the invitation and joined - but on the whole, they are far and few between; and what's more, there's even some discussion about 'loyalty' to the engine you use - meaning you can't feel at home in a community that uses diverse means to express it's creativity.

What a load of (excuse me) bull!
Is it true? Can there only be a true sense of community when everyone uses the same engine to make films? Can't we discuss topics that apply to machinima in general and still feel a sense of community? Are we all wearing blinders, only ever able to see what's on our plate, so to speak?

Are we watching films because of the engine they were made with, or do we watch them for the story, for the visual artistry?

Seems that a lot of people lose interest the moment the story isn't told using the engine of their choice - which personally makes me sad and angry, because it's doing the machinima/anymation genre - however you choose to call it - a disservice. I really feel we shouldn't squander our time with discussion about iClone versus Moviestorm versus The Movies versus WoW.. and is machinima made with a program purposely designed for it machinima at all' - I even feel that's the reason that machinima isn't taken seriously by a lot of people.

Do we really need to categorise everything in little compartments, is there not a chance that people can meet and talk, and get a sense of community without the limited, 'you either use the same engine I do or we won't ever see eye to eye' view? Do we fear to venture out of the places were we know the viewer knows every little quirk of the program we use? Is it really necessary to feel compelled to defend your engine of choice the whole time?

I sincerly hope not, and thankfully there are people around who do watch and comment without prejudice, but they are still too few.

Your thoughts?

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

What's in a Name?

Do you agonise about a movietitle as much as I do?

I prefer a title do do several things:

  • it has to grab my interest - there's nothing better than a title that makes me want to watch even if I know nothing about the content yet!
  • I love hidden meanings which manifest themselves only after I watched the film
  • double-entendres (sp?), wordplays - get me every time!
  • I like 'em either short (often prefer just one word) - or, very seldomly, ridiculously long :p
As a result, I often spend a large amount of time on agonising about a title.
'Saving Grace' for example went through several different ones - among them 'Parted', 'Disconnected' (both got scrapped immediately), 'Headway' (not good either); I looked up definitions, quotations.... until the scripting reached the stage where her husband sends his message, and the wordplay popped into my mind - bingo! From that moment on, there was never a doubt in my mind that 'Saving Grace' it would be. It ticked all my preferences - short, lots of double meaning...

For other films, titling was easy - :transient:, for example was a given from the first images that flodded my mind upon hearing the music for the film... I also like to use things like slashes or colons in my titles - don't ask me why, but they're a part of the name, not an addendum; without them, the title wouldn't have the same meaning for me (and it always makes me very unhappy when I can't add them to the upload title of the film; some sites don't allow them).

'Secret project' has finally been titled - it had a working title, of course, in fact, actually two working titles, that I didn't like. Both didn't really tickle my interest - one would have probably made people think about a TV series the film has no connection whatsoever to, the other was just - lame... short, which I usually like, but not encompassing everything I wanted it to say.

Thankfully, my friend Norrie, who always proof-reads my scripts and is the bouncing-board for my ideas (thank you so much for that! :)) came up with the perfect title (yay!) - it has the right flow, the right length, it hits home; and no, I won't write it down here - yet. ;)

So - how do you title your films, and do you think the viewer places as much importance on it as I (or maybe we, we'll see about that) do?
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lethal Entertainment

I've already planned to have a site for my films when I worked on the Creative Voice website - now it's online!

Lethal Entertainment is the home of everything 'sisch' - anymation/machinima related - as of now, it features Kate Lee's 'The Afflicted' with detailed background information, a films archive where you'll find everything you ever wanted to know about my older films, homages to voice-actors and modders.... and in the future it will have quite an extensive production diary - yeah, yeah, I'm talking 'bout that secret project again... ;)

Hope you'll enjoy visiting the site! There's also a new link added to the navigation bar of this blog!
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