Machinema (machine/cinema) is a great way to express visual art in a video-based medium, because little budget can be involved for actors, sets, and props. A machinema creator can use the game they are in to produce the final product. Getting others to help in the creation process is a great way to get a quality product completed.

Getting everyone together, however, is still the same in RL as it is in SL.

Our group had the idea to create a Mission Impossible themed machinema. Ingredients: City area set, car for the actor to drive, a tape recorder for the playback message, and… a phone booth. My job was to create the phone booth.

After a preliminary meeting (in which I finally discovered why my voice chat wasn’t working) we decided on meeting again after class on October 4th to showcase what we’ve made. My phone booth, at the time, resembled a gray box that an avatar can walk inside. There were some changes that needed to be made to it, and I was making edits to it while our group was in SL. However, they were working on the storyboard in the classroom as a group. Needless to say, my communication with them (as they’re all away from the keyboard) was limited to one individual keeping me up-to-date.

I was relieved to know that they had a plan set out a date to record the piece, which wouldn’t be that afternoon. “Awesome,” I thought. That would give me time to finish up my phone booth. I ended up finishing it, and awaited hearing from the rest of the group via e-mail as to when this date would be.

So, when I started getting e-mails with the rough edit of the final product, I was concerned about how my booth would be implemented if the rest of the group didn’t have it. After a few e-mails were sent out, I found out the video was completed days earlier, Saturday to be precise, by two members of the group… without my booth. That’s all well and good, and quite frankly, their booth was better. Less work for me to do. But, I did do work for the project, and it didn’t make it in.  Even if they had used the booth, I was left out of the process for the filming. Yes, I’m aware very little help was needed in filming, but I still would have wanted to be there to watch (and veto my phone booth as a group).

Well, if anyone’s interested, below are screenshots of my phone booth:

Phone Booth 3 Phone Booth 2 Phone Booth 1

And a link to the final video (again, I like the final phone booth far better than mine):

Maybe the other group could use a hand on their filming…


~ by Cliff Huizenga on October 9, 2007.

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