There is a huge area of common ground between male and female movie makers, but it isn't necessarily that area which interests the organisers of festivals (the kind of festivals which accept machinima anyway) There isn't currently the space to explore these kind of films, so they don't grow.
In the live film industry, the 'cross-over' films, the ones that pay attention to both genders, and are appealing to a wide range of ages are the big films, the A films. The mostly single gender films are B films, the guy movies, B-male and the chick flicks, B-female. To get an A movie, you need to combine B-male and B-female.
Festivals are important, they highlight, showcase the best that is around. The ideas contained within the best films feed back into the community, they recharge creative batteries, inspire new thought.
Currently, most of the festivals which showcase machinima are B-male orientated, they are happy to live in the geek stream, to encourage minority interest films based on cult genres. Some of those much needed female creative and inspirational sparks are missing.
I'm sure there would be many that would disagree with that statement, remember, a b-film looks like an A film if you are the right gender, age and interest group to watch it.
An A film appeals to both genders, but for different reasons! It manages to be two films at the same time.
'A' films do win at festivals. For example, I would consider 'the days after', the bitfilm 2006 winning film to be an 'A' film, but by my own definition, I can't be sure.
I think this one got in almost by accident, there's enough of a b-male film in there to get through the selection process.
If I were a male film-maker, capable of making festival popular films, then that is what I would do. I would do my best to sneak in something different, under the cover of being a b-male film.
I should think I might get creative cramp a lot of the time but what is the alternative?
Women don't have that option. Not only that, but many festival films don't offer clues forward either, there's not much to go on.
I believe that when female machinimators do find an outlet for their best work, men will follow, hopping with pins and needles from the creative cramp, not having fully realised the restrictions under which they have had to work in order to find an audience.
Once you escape from a creative constraint, there is no going back - Kate
The rules for jellyfish pigeon.
Choose a film which the players have never seen before (or have seen an equal number of times)
Each player must choose an animal and inform the other players of their choice before the start of the film.
The first player to spot their animal wins, providing they don't see five other examples of the same animal within the film.
Players should decide before the game whether animals need to appear 'live', or if images, sound effects and dialogue references count towards the score.
To keep things interesting, by mutual agreement, a player can change his or her choice of animal after 1/2 hour, but the new choice must be an animal which has not yet appeared in the film, and if it then happens that an example of the discarded choice appears the player will instantly lose the game.
Jerry Maguire is heaving with aquarium fish, both live and depicted. They even appear as stickers on a door at one point. Thankfully I switched to pigeon just before the start of the film, or the five or more disqualification would have been applied multiple times already. My son decided to abandon his intial choice of jellyfish after the first half-hour, even though in an intial, and somewhat random dream sequence, Mr Maguire finds himself in the ocean, there were no sea creatures visible. Son is now looking for cats, and muttering 'come on, night scene, night scene' under his breath, whilst I am scouring football pitches, airports and window sills for my surprisingly elusive bird.
We have a half hour to go yet, and the 'no shouting rule' has been broken several times, once by the chief enforcer of that rule, my hubby, who is not playing the game at all but exploded with an indignant 'how on earth can Tom Cruise hit his head on a ceiling light?????'
So the tension mounts, and if, in the final scenes Mr Maguire is attacked by a swarm of jellyfish I win by default.
Music video with a storyline, quoting from the creator's blog
Our interpretation of their song is a tragedy which unfolds as you see flashbacks from the perspective of an undead warrior who recalls how he fell in love with a beautiful blood elf before his undead existence, a forbidden love which was unacceptable to her people.
Another female machinimator working within the WOW community. (see also Selserene)
I have issues with the raw game textures in WOW, and both of these film makers overcome those problems admirably, playing to the strengths of the engine.
Thanks to Artgirl for linking to this artist. I was particularly fascinated by the album Transmorph-ography, a series of performance shots, each image scanned line by line as Sanderson, formally a choreographer, uses her body movements to alter the images in real time (see third image here as an example) -Kate
I am always interested to see how female creators use machinima engines with which I am not familiar. Selserene is a popular film maker within the World of Warcraft community, so some of you may have come across her work before.
This sample is the prologue to a drama series. I admire how Selserene has optimised the look of the sometimes tricky to film WOW world, brought out colour and smoothed over the edges. This leads to some really colour rich dreamy looking sequences.
Life seems so short at times, but then again with the correct perspective, it can also evolve into lifetimes.
For the past 8 years I have been helping my widowed mother adjust to a slow decline, mostly due to dementia. And last week she just faded a little more each day until she gracefully just slipped away. Sad but for me, it was very elegant. What an interesting life she had. She lived up the street from the Disney Hyperion Studios. Later she was an executive secretary at Twentieth Century-Fox working for the top Art Directors at the studio, she then became a very successful housewife and finally took a brief career as a stock broker, before easing into “retirement”.
As my mother was this week making this final transition here on earth, I was also aware of the news of Walter Cronkite’s passing and the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. These events got me thinking about life and careers.
Wow, it’s been 40 years since the Apollo 11 moon landing? That event is one of those moments that you remember where you were.
I had just graduated from High School and was preparing to start attending the University of Southern California (USC), looking into Public Administration as a major, following 2 generations of Joyce’s into a career of city work. My Grandfather had been an associate of William Mulholland (shades of Chinatown) and my father was a Commissioner on the Board of Public Workers (he actually had to ask Steve Allen not to do a stunt in the street outside his studio for the Tonight Show – Allen dragged my Dad into the studio, live on the air. I guess Steve Allen figured he had some 'splainin' to do)
So forty years ago, as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were putting small footprints on the surface of the moon, I was perched to carry on the family legacy to be a City of Los Angeles civil servant. As the fates would have it I paid my tuition by working as an intern in the City Planning Department (5 long years). I hated civil service. So half way through my University career I decided to become a Cinema major. It required the least amount of courses required in the subject (so I could study other areas such as Literature, Archeology and Logic).
What was great about the school of Cinema in those days, was that it was conducted in the old World War I riding stables. Old stalls had been converted into classrooms, the soundstage was an old barn (thank you Andy Hardy) and our equipment was old but reliable. Lunch and slumming sessions were always in the center paddock where old picnic tables served as congenial meeting spaces.
Upon graduation I went from studio to studio and lucked out getting a job filing index cards in the Employment Office of Twentieth Century-Fox. And because I had a film degree, it fell upon me to start and stop the backlot crews and to interview potential film crew members. At this time the Union halls were stretched thin, so if you happened to be hitch hiking down Malibu Canyon to surf, a Fox construction truck heading out to the Fox Ranch to build the sets and miniatures for Towering Inferno could very well pick you up. And if you could swing a hammer for 30 days, you could be on your was to a Union card and a new career. (Imagine being impressed into service for the studio – reminds me of Clark Gable impressment gangs in Mutiny on the Bounty)
The first film set I stepped onto (dealing with timecards and such) was for “Young Frankenstein”. Today I hear people refer to that film as an old classic. Well it is a classic, but old? Heck I was working with those filmmakers when it was made. “Gone with the Wind” is an “OLD” classic.
Well what I’m getting at, without rambling forever on a career in film, is that 40 years ago, I was a primordial amoeba without form or function. Now I have had a successful film and producing career, finally leading to my retirement. Is it all over? Is it time to shuffle off to the great beyond?
Hmmmm, I think not. For the past few years as I adjusted to not being the Producer in Charge of everything, I have entered into the world of Machinima. What a great artistic tool it is. Because I come from the edge of the old days of film (cutting on a Moviola or hoping when we crashed the Silver Streak through the Chicago Train Station set built out at a Burbank Lockheed Hanger – the one off shot would work). This new fangled computer technology has stretched my little grey cells. But then I have to look back on 40 years and I realize that my cinema learning curve was also very slow and intense.
So given that my DNA is like my parents, I figure I’m good for at least another 40 years. Time enough for an all new career.
Looking back to that July in 1969 so much has happened, so much has changed. As I now think abut tackling a new career, I wonder if I should be looking for Doc Brown’s DeLorean with the flux capacitor in order to keep up with the changes to come.
Please see previous post, for some reason I can add film directly from photobucket, but any attempt to change title of post or add text seems to generate errors.
I was asked to find my first film, and really didn't think I would be able to dig it up. Amazing to look back and see that I had the Anymation bug right from the start.
Not sure if Mike has even seen this.
Mike and I are pursuing parallel paths. Whilst he is absorbing the technicalities of Opensim, including working out reliable methods of saving set elements, I am pursuing facial animation using Crazytalk.
Our current plan is to use crazytalk on opensim avatars, and then , when open sim lip synching becomes available, to use a combination of the two.
Creating this series of animated fruit and vegetables is giving me plenty of opportunities to try things out for our upcoming series, and it is wonderful to hear my words being given life by such talented voice artists.
Crazy talk 6 can also be used to portray a range of emotional expressions, and although it is possible to 'press and go', greater control requires diving into the myriad of sub-menus which populate the interface.
There seem to be two modes to everything Reallusion, the easy-peasy straight out of the box mode, and the advanced features which are sometimes very well hidden.
I am looking forward to seeing what is possible.
This vimeo video already has close to two million views registered, so you may have seen it already.
It is a great example of animation being used to communicate complex ideas in a simple way.
I particularly like the three 'waterfall' trays Jarvis used to demonstrate different levels of risk in investments, and the way the animator uses humour to make points, (the 'bad risk' family seen in silhouette)
Using a simpified colour palette and icons keeps visual overload to a minimum, and allows the viewer to concentrate on the points being made.