In Second Life we see groups and videos for machinima and people who create videos in SL.
While looking at what’s new in Machinima, I came across a video which was not only creative but had something about it that kept me watching till the end.
I watched a few more to see if they were as good as the one I had just watched and they were. I decided to contact the creator Chic Aeon and ask her about her work and also the lady behind the camera.
Piers. How did you start creating machinima in Second Life?
Chic: Having been with a real life movie group for a while, I was fascinated with the possibilities of machinima in Second Life. I wanted to make my own films long before I had a computer that could comply with my wishes. Eventually I bought a hefty machine that would let me film full screen and with shadows. Doing a little happy dance, I downloaded a watermarked version of screen capture software and started experimenting.
Piers. Can you tell me a bit about your background in Machinima?
Chic: Other than my real life filming and a lot of photography skills from many years of blogging, I really didn't know much about machinima. I went slowly, studied what tutorials I could fine and I experimented over and over. When I finally got to the point I could do a smooth cam, I was definitely hooked.
Piers. For someone wanted to start out in Machinima what advice or top tips would you give?
Chic: Start out slowly and see if you enjoy it. Machinima that tells a story can take a very long time to produce. I have which I am sure I am not alone in this, spent two hours getting six seconds of film with the actions and look I needed. Other times it just flows.
Download some free capture software (FRAPS is the most popular) and start filming. There is no need to buy expensive software and hardware. You can make a visually pleasing film using Windows Movie Maker or the Mac equivalent. I started that way and I believe many folks did. Eventually you will likely want some better editing software, one that has more options.
I currently use some Corel software for editing, not new by any means and very inexpensive. You don't need the high dollar packages to produce good machinima. If your computer is a little on the low end side, you can film in a smaller video window and on a lower graphics setting. It won't look as great as some film does, but it will let you gain experience.
I have a Machinima 101 handout that I am happy to send to folks that want to learn. They can also pick it up from a poster in the classroom at LEA7.
Piers. Your machinima has you drawn in and captivated from the start till the end, how do you start creating a story before filming?
Chic: Thank you! I usually don't have a story when I start. I may have a very vague idea. Then I start filming what I think of as "fill shots", things that may be of interesting within the movie. Eventually I think of a beginning (often in the bathtub where the typist does a lot of thinking and sleeping). Then I work out an ending, sometimes "bookending" the beginning to bring the story around full circle, sometimes not.
From there I keep filming and let the story unfold as it may in the editing process. While I do know how to make storyboards, I happily find that I don't need to use them in Second Life.
Piers: Chic, How has machinima changed since the time you started to present time? and is it for the better or the worse?
There are perhaps more opportunities now. MoMac and the University of Western Australia were part of the machinima scene when I started in July of 2011. Now we have the Machinima Open Studio Project housed at LEA7 (yes, shameless plug) where there are well over 50 sets and locations covering many genres. Short term rezzing is permitted and there is no need to ask permission to film (a part of the Linden Machinima and Photography Policy).
Some of the big names in machinima when I started have moved on, a few into real life filming. Newcomers have entered the scene, some very talented.
Piers. What else do you like to do in Second Life apart from filming?
Chic: I wear many hats in Sl and usually put in 10 to 12 hour days, all in the name of fun and creativity. I have been a fashion and design blogger for over five years. I currently am the curator for the Machinima Open Studio Project (MOSP) at LEA7. I have had a collection of small shops with my current one (prefabs, surrounds and niche items mostly made for MOSP) having the greatest longevity.
Piers. What new things can we expect to see from you in the future?
Chic: I have a sci fi film in preproduction. I had started planning it before I heard that there would be a sci fi machinima contest this Fall. There are no details yet, but I am hoping my film can work into that. I always seem to like "rules" and a purpose. And, having a great amount of time, I won't need to hurry at all.
And who knows what small projects may happen in the interim.
Piers. Thank you Chic
Chic. Thank you! :D
To find out a bit more on Chic Aeon:
Here is the welcome area slurlfor MOSP: http://slurl.com/secondlife/LEA7/127/129/22
YouTube channel is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/chicaeon
MOSP group key is: 7d057620-0f25-709b-bed7-5386acf26702