Better Life. (Machinima Film #1)
I was inspired to make this film after seeing the 'Silver Bells and Golden Spurs' movie by Eric (Linden) Call, (Snr. Artist, Linden Lab). Really I just wanted to see if I could do it, and wanted to find out what would be involved in taking a project such as this through to the end.
The film plays much like a music video and tells a tale of one man's escapism and search for a 'better place' in a virtual world.
Having first identified the music I wanted to use and decided upon the general story line, I created the props and story-boarded the whole film using a series of in-world snapshots. This allowed me to get a view of the pace, continuity and balance of the film before committing to any filming.
I was surprised by how much this felt like making a real world film, moving the actor and 'camera man' (my alternative avatar) into position, checking the lighting and at times having to wait for things not directly under my control to be right, the cloud density for example. Second Life is a great platform and backdrop for this type of movie, you need a prop or effect?, so you make it...
At the heart of this project is a great soundtrack. In my real life I work as a composer and so although I did not write the music in this instance, choosing the right music for this project was a very important initial consideration and provided a good framework for timing. The song (also titled 'Better Life') was written and performed by one of my best friend's band 'Angry Man', based in the UK.
Edit: 'Better Life' has just been released as an iTunes Podcast, here