Saturday, April 2, 2016

Making Movies in Second Life

 Everything I learned I learned from the
Audrey Hepburn  

          Through Twitter, I recently met Suzie Anderton of Inworld Films, an independent film producer in Second Life (SL).  We struck up a conversation as folks are wont to do on Twitter and became friends inworld. (Significant Other says it’s a wonder that I’m not labeled a “stalker.”)  Realizing what Suzie did in SL, I quickly asked for and received an interview to talk with her about making movies inworld.  What follows is the story of Suzie and Inworld Films based on her answers to my questions.  (Real Life (RL) scheduling precluded our
meeting in person.  So, Suzie was kind enough to reply to my written questions.  This was not as Significant Other suggests because Suzie was trying to avoid me!)

          Suzie first came to SL in 2007.  Inworld Films wasn’t established until 2012.  She claims her motivation to create InWorld Films was a pure fluke.   Suzie had been gifted a virtual reality (VR) panoramic warehouse by a friend at the same time Gangnam Style  dance animation was coming out.   As Suzie puts it, “SO what does a girl do... dance in the VR room and video it.  Eeeekkk !!!!!”   (Emphasis is Suzie’s!)  

          Suzie had gotten “the bug” so she decided to learn how to improve her filming techniques and using Adobe Premier CS6 started self-teaching from the Internet.  She received many hits on YouTube and decided to launch her website too.  

There are many aspects from concept to creation involved with the production of
Suzie’s films.  A creative eye and mind are emphasized first by Suzie!  Some of the tasks involved with a production are needing a story board or theme.  Dress code, style of animations to be used, permission to film on a sim, permissions to rez on a sim (sometimes), environmental settings to enhance the scene, visual effects (background film animations overlayed), audio effects and non-copyright audio, capturing on Fraps Program, editing on Adobe CS6 program, rendering and then uploading are just a few of the other tasks necessary to complete one of her productions.  Then, once uploaded, the marketing and public relations efforts begin!  (And, here I thought getting a blog out once a week was impressive.)

Mostly of the work is done by Suzie herself.  She does receive some technical advice from my team comprising TheHellChild Resident, and Wax who has considerable knowledge about the programs she uses. 

          As for actors working in her productions, InWorld Films has its own group and occasionally notices for actors and actresses are sent out.  Also there are other groups in SL which are purely for standby actors and actresses which she has used.  Occasionally, Suzie may ask nearby SL residents to get involved which they are more than happy to oblige according to her! 

          Production involves can vary considerably depending on the film’s theme.  From concept it can take weeks of creating a storyboard from which a theme is generated before filming and editing to the style of initial concept.  Music videos are basically easy, just dance and make it look great!  More in depth videos are much harder and need much more thought and planning behind them.  Top Gear's (Suzie’s latest production) is definitely a tough subject.  Fast cars and filming don't go hand in hand according to Suzie.  But, she loves the challenge and appreciates feedback on each episode.  

          Suzie’s work is not available to be seen inworld but can be found at YouTube, AviewTV , Machinimaartistsguild, and SL Artist. 

           Inworld Film productions have also been in RL film festivals.  Suzie had been contacted by the Director of the University of Western Australia to participate in a film festival called Pursue Impossible which she did undertake and thoroughly enjoyed the experience meeting many of SLs top machinimists at the closing ceremony. This was a very humbling experience for her.  Suzie’s entry can be found here

Suzie also attended a RL film festival and submitted a very short film which was her first attempt at green screen.  The film is titled BUTTON BOY GOES TO FILM FESTIVAL and can be seen here.  

Asking Suzie about which of her films is her favorite is like asking a mother which is her favorite child.  (Except my mother, she always gave my sibling’s name.)  She said this a very difficult question to answer because each is so very different and brings its own new challenges.  But what she’d say is she’s self-taught, every day is a “school day” and she tries to “up the bar” for each video she creates.  Finally, Suzie selects Echo Kids Music Video as her personal favorite because it was really fun to do. 

          When asked her pipeline of future projects, Suzie mentioned several. 

At present Suzie is filming a TV miniseries, Second Life Top Gear’s (similar to BBCs Top Gear.)  This was supposed to be a “one off” video, but Suzie received so much good
feedback that they are now filming episode 4 with a list of car builders waiting for their turn to showcase their cars.  So, Suzie guesses that they’re not done yet by a long shot!  

Suzie is also involved with Fall Films’ owned by Rysan Fall, in a new miniseries coming out shortly involving narration and voice over which is a new string to her bow.  Suzie says that these are exciting times for her!  

          Once again, the creativity of the SL community shows itself.  Suzie’s passion and commitment are evident in her work!  I strongly recommend watching her films and keeping an eye out for her future releases! 

InWorld Films has a Top Gears TV set open to all to drop by and see what is being showcased.  The set is located here.  

          Suzie’s Facebook page is here.  

          Suzie’s Vimeo page is here

          Suzie’s Twitter handle is @InWorldFilms.  

          I’d like to thank Suzie for taking the time from her busy schedule to answer my questions and I look forward to her future releases!  I'd also like to thank her for supplying the pictures in this story and for permission to use them!

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives!  

          My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.
          Open roads and kind fires!               

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