This week, I took a studio session in machinima during the nmc’s Symposium on Creativity. Machinima is a form of film-making using virtual environments as the setting and avatars for actors. It started in video games and now has found a rich tool in Second Life. The word actually comes from the combination of machine and cinema.
I kicked around ideas for a couple of days, but nothing seemed to be grabbing me. As the deadline loomed, I struggled to find a topic more interesting than just walking around. Luckily, Thursday morning I awoke with a spark of creativity. I literally got out of bed, sat down and wrote the script. I’ve "upgraded" to Vista and noticed that my old video editing software wasn’t compatible. Most of the morning was spent getting the technology in place. I ended up using Fraps for the in-world capture and Windows Movie Maker for the editing. I captured the in-world video and RL scenes in the afternoon and started editing that evening. Friday, Maali Beck (my dance partner) and I did the voice-overs and I did the final editing.
Overall, I was pleased with Movie Maker, but two things disappointed me. First, the lack of additional audio/video tracks makes it hard to do some complex splicing. For instance, I couldn’t have voice, audio, sound effect. My work around was to do the voice first and create the movie. I then opened a new project, imported the first video and added the music and sound effects. It was a little clunky.
If you would like to take a look, the movie is on blip.tv at http://blip.tv/file/354462/