My hybrid machinima/film/video machine i am premiered this weekend in Real Life at the 2nd Annual MaMachinima International Festival at Planet Art in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and simultaneously in the virtual world of Second Life. I was tele-present for the whole event via Second Life. The MMIF was an exciting, star-studded, jam-packed day of machinima with entries from all over the world. It was awesome to see so many machinimators in one place and to learn about how they are all working. Machinimatographers are pushing hard in all directions and in multiple dimensions of the metaverse to advance the medium of machinima forward. It was great to be among others working with the same vocabulary and to see how the themes other machinimators are working with resonate and intersect in so many places with the work I am doing. It is downright heart warming, really. Read MMIF founder Chantal Harvey’s MMIF Opening Remarks, from her blog.
Here is a link to machine i am on youtube – this will only be up for a limited amount of time before I do one final tweaking edit and release the finished, finished version. You will have to watch it in three parts, here is Part One, you can find Parts 2 and 3 on my YouTube Channel
There was so much to love at the MMIF – the fabulous Pyewackey Kazyanenko showed a piece of 3D machinima, Double Dutch – and I just happened to have my 3D glasses handy. Trippy!
Fau Ferdinand submitted Therapy by The Second Front which I loved to see again – shot by Osprey Therian of one of our performance pieces.
I learned about new tools people are using for machinima including In Movies (PC only) and Movie Storm (Mac friendly) – these are not virtual real time spaces but machinima generators. Not as interesting to me as online spaces, because of the missing element of virtual embodiment – but the animations are quite seamless and I have downloaded and am going to experiment a little with Movie Storm.
A very memorable piece from the MMIF was from Ogogoro called In Pursuit of a Third Term – a machinima made in Movie Storm about police corruption in Nigeria. View it by going to the Nollywood Channel – In Pursuit of a Third Term.
Like Ogogoro, taking risks and raising consciousness is a focus of many machinimators. There were commentaries on war, especially historical-based pieces and many others with references to the ethos of WW2 – reflecting and questioning our own troubled times. Machinimators are also exploring the classic “fairy tale” through machinima, as well as examining the notion of idealized space and of reconciling our relationship to the natural world via the loving application of technology to nature (and vice versa). I saw these ideas reflected in many pieces, such as Osprey Therian/Vivian Kendal’s most awesome sci-fi piece Virtual Reality in the Future (if you saw my 2002 installation Museum of the Mind this is actually kind of freaky):
There was also some downright brilliant artistry, as in this surrealist gorgeousness of Lainy Voom/Trace Sanderson’s Push
There was more and more blurring of the boundaries between different virtual worlds, something I play with in machine i am and illustrated with some fine comedic prowess in Phaylen Fairchild’s entry to the festival – Phaylen Seeks a World of Warcraft Guild. Nothing I like more, really, than mixing up one virtual world with another, especially when WoW is involved, so much potential for comedy:
In total fifty four machinima pieces were presented at the MMIF. You can view them ALL by going to The MMIF 2010 and clicking the On Demand button and then MMIF 2010 selections.
Here’s a few shots taken by Pyewacket Kazyanenko of lizsolo Mathilde presenting at the MMIF in Second Life, the film playing on the screens in the background. Here you can see me smoking three cigarettes at once. I was a little nervous.