Catching up on old emails, I see that there is a 48 hour "virtual reality filmmaking" competition coming to Second Life in January. This is good news for both Second Life and the machinima community, potentially attracting new filmmakers and audiences to this cutting-edge artform. Teams will have from Friday January 11 until Sunday January 13 to script, shoot and edit their film. From the press release:
Up to twelve teams will compete to write, shoot, and edit an entire
"virtual reality" film… all in only 48 hours. Teams will be
challenged to film entirely within the popular, online,
resident-created 3D virtual world called Second Life. This relatively
new art form is known as Machinima and enables filmmakers of all levels
to showcase their talents in a low-cost, high-creativity environment.
The challenges will abound as traditional filmmakers learn new, virtual
world filmmaking techniques and experienced Machinima artists stretch
creatively to help showcase this relatively new art form.
It will be interesting to see what the experience is like for entrants who have no prior experience with Second Life or machinima, who will obviously have a significant handicap competing against machinimists who have been working in Second Life for years. Frankly, I have a hard time imagining a complete newbie to SL and machinima coming out with anything half-way decent, knowing all it takes just to get comfortable with the SL interface, plus all of the technical aspects of shooting, editing and post-producing machinima.
First time SL machinimists will know the joys of having their perfectly lined up shot ruined by lag or a newbie bumping into their camera avatar. They will curse the broadband gods and their pokey video card for serving up such pathetic frames-per-second. And they will experience the withering scorn of machinima auteurs when they neglect to turn off the SL user interface before shooting.
Then again, maybe they will bring fresh energy and perspective to the genre. One can hope. (The full press release follows….)
Contacts: Melissa Robison and Michael Domingo
Second Life 48 Hour Film Project Producers
THE 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT VISITS SECOND LIFE
SECOND LIFE—December 06, 2007, 12:00 noon EST—The 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) invites filmmakers from all over the world to compete in an exciting, fast-paced, virtual reality filmmaking contest to be held in January 2008. The competition will be announced and registration will begin on December 06, 2007 at noon EST.
Up to twelve teams will compete to write, shoot, and edit an entire "virtual reality" film… all in only 48 hours. Teams will be challenged to film entirely within the popular, online, resident-created 3D virtual world called Second Life. This relatively new art form is known as Machinima and enables filmmakers of all levels to showcase their talents in a low-cost, high-creativity environment. The challenges will abound as traditional filmmakers learn new, virtual world filmmaking techniques and experienced Machinima artists stretch creatively to help showcase this relatively new art form.
Competing teams prepare hard by gathering cast and crew, equipment, and anything else needed to make a virtual movie in just a weekend. Then, on Friday, January 11th at 4:00 p.m. Second Life Time (7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time), the competition kicks off with a representative from each team meeting in Second Life to receive a genre, a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue to be worked into their film. Teams have until Sunday, January 13th at 4:30 p.m. Second Life Time (7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) to submit a completed entry. On the following Wednesday, January 16th and Thursday, January 17th starting at 5:00 p.m. Second Life Time (8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time), filmmakers, family, friends, sponsors, local celebrities, and the media will be invited to invitation-only screenings of the entries. The screenings will be held "virtually" in Second Life at the New Globe Theater provided by competition sponsor Millions Of Us LLC.
Entries will then be judged by traditional filmmakers, Second Life celebrities, and Machinima artists. One of the judges will be Douglas Gayeton, producer of the HBO acquired Machinima film "Molotov’s Dispatches in Search of the Creator: A Second Life Odyssey ." The winning film will then go on to be screened at 48 Hour Film Project’s Filmapalooza to be held at Cinequest in San Jose, CA, March 2008.
"People in every city tell us, ‘This was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done’", says co-executive producer Liz Langston.
"Filmmakers are rushing to get into the Second Life 48HFP competition," says co-executive producer Mark Ruppert. "It’s a weekend of stress, adrenaline, creativity, and fun. And at the end of it, you have a movie."
"This relatively new genre has untapped creative potential and independent filmmakers are eager to take advantage of it", says Second Life 48HFP co-producer Melissa Robison. "In addition, artists not ready to make an entire Machinima film are volunteering on a team."
"Second Life Machinima artists can’t wait to showcase their talents to the more mainstream filmmaker crowd", says Second Life 48HFP co-producer Michael Domingo.
"The 48HFP is one of the most prominent ways we’re supporting the arts in virtual worlds and large online communities," said Reuben Steiger, CEO, Millions of Us LLC. "Several of our employees have created pioneering machinima, and we’re enthusiastic supporters of the 48HFP not just because it’s a worthy cause, but because it helps build both the talent and audience pools for this incredibly democratic new medium – and our business."
ABOUT THE 48HFP:
Back in May 2001, co-executive producer Mark Ruppert came up with a crazy idea to try to make a film in 48 hours. He quickly enlisted his filmmaking partner, Liz Langston, and several other DC filmmakers to form their own teams and join him in this experiment. The big question back then was: "Would films made in only 48 hours even be watchable?" The answer was a resounding yes, and now six years later and with more than 100 competitions having taken place around the world, it is amazing to consider the success of the Project.
The winning teams’ films go on to screen at the annual awards weekend, Filmapalooza, which has been held at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas and Cinequest, in San Jose, California in the past. The Project debuted in 2007 at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival with the Best of 2006 films, including eleven films made especially for Cannes.
Cities competing in the 2007 tour included: Amsterdam, Asheville , Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Brisbane, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland , Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Fargo, Ghent/Gent, Greensboro, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Madison, Miami , Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville , New Mexico, New Orleans, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Phoenix , Pittsburgh, Portland, Maine, Portland, Oregon, Providence, Richmond, Rome/Roma, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco , San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis , Tampa, Tel Aviv, Virginia Beach and Washington, DC.
The 48 Hour Film Project’s mission is to advance filmmaking and promote filmmakers of all kinds. This Second Life 48HFP competition is a special project that opens the definition of filmmakers to include machinima artists. Through its festival/competition, the Project encourages machinima artists and would-be machinima artists to get out there and make movies. The tight deadline of 48 hours puts the focus squarely on the machinima artists–emphasizing creativity and teamwork skills. While the time limit places an unusual restriction on the participants, it is also liberating by putting an emphasis on doing instead of talking.
ABOUT SECOND LIFE:
Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely created by its residents. Second Life users create an account then download and run a program that allows them to interact with other Second Life Residents in a virtual world. Residents come from all over the physical world and are given the freedom to create anything their imagination can dream of. The result is a huge virtual environment where members can meet friends, attend events, create art, build a home, shop, and interact with other avatars to build a community.
Second Life is a 3D online world with a rapidly growing population from more than 100 countries around the globe, in which the Residents themselves create and build the world which includes homes, vehicles, nightclubs, stores, landscapes, clothing, and games.
The Second Life Grid is a sophisticated development platform created by Linden Lab, a company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience. The former CTO of RealNetworks, Rosedale pioneered the development of many of today’s streaming media technologies, including RealVideo. In April 2003, noted software pioneer Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, was named Chairman. In 2006, Philip Rosedale and Linden Lab received WIRED’s Rave Award for Innovation in Business. Based in San Francisco, Linden Lab employs a senior team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking.
Note to editors: Second Life® and Linden Lab® are registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.
ABOUT THE SECOND LIFE 48HFP PRODUCERS:
The Second Life 48HFP producers, Michael Domingo and Melissa Robison, are long-term Second Life residents. Between the two, they have also produced films, videos, podcasts, and machinima. Participants with questions can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or in Second Life by looking up Panther Chenille (Melissa Robison) or Kit Mikazuki (Michael Domingo).
ABOUT MILLIONS OF US LLC:
Millions of Us LLC is an agency specializing in virtual worlds and large online communities. Founded in 2006 and based in San Francisco, the agency’s clients include 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Toyota, Microsoft, and Intel.
- Register here: 48 Hour Film Project in Second Life: http://www.48hourfilm.com/secondlife
- To volunteer on a team, enter your info here: http://www.48hourfilm.com/join/?city=secondlife
- Second Life: http://www.secondlife.com
- Create a Second Life Account: https://secure-web3.secondlife.com/join/index.php/Choose-Name