Boris Twist walks the virtual worlds among the famous. Although he is one of the top photography and machinima artists, he is humble at heart. His works speaks the words of constant improvement for perfectionism. He has studied from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of music. He is a musician and pianist at Saint Francis of Assist Portland Oregon. His love for music has translated his passion in virtual life as well. One can listen to his piece at https://soundcloud.com/boristwist
Debby Sharma: You are one of the most renowned artists in Second Life. When did you start as a photography artist?
Boris Twist: I've been in SL for 4 years 6 months. I remember thinking way back will I last that long, in the second year of crossing the boundary into Second Life I began to realize the many approaches everyone had to life here, not merely as a social forum and all the amazing wonderful things in SL were built by it's residents. It would take time and practice but I knew that some part of my musical life needed find this place too. And that's how and when it started building skills, mesh skills, photo skills, many third-party software skills. Along the way I went to classes, talked to artists, builders and architects, Filmmakers and Scripters. It takes time.
Debby Sharma: Please tell us something more about yourself and your work in Second Life.
Boris Twist: The back story is when I was new in SL, my God! I could barely understand anything, let alone talk to anybody. SL made an enormous impression me, I found out about it watching a friend do a live show here in Portland including collaboration in real-time with a dance troupe in SL all on a big screen as part of the stage. Those first months were a life changer. While I'm good at telling this story in many ways and words let me just say there was a point I found myself in SL, with balance, understanding, calm... in other words I made enough boo-boos, got trapped in my own embarrassing situations and climbed out enough to feel the “been there, done that” transcendence.
I remember looking at the Edit Box! WTF! This feels so uninteresting and what's it for? Sure I can build a cube. What now? Do I sit on it?
I've never wanted to work “at” or in Second Life, although I admire the ones that do, including many of my friends. I'm a loner driven to build, create in anyway, that releases my formal background as a musician. Conservatory training and concertizing, my teachers all asked me to listen, to other students, to listen to myself too, one of the harder things for a student to learn is how to be alone in a practice room and make progress without turning off the ear. It applies to all the Arts. SL challenges me to take it's tools and find a way to sooth my soul in crafting something beautiful or grotesque, something that lingers, that pleases me.
|credits: Boris Twist|
Debby Sharma: Your photographs tell a story. When you take a photograph, do you think of a particular theme or does it all happen in a flow?
Boris Twist: Well with photos if that's the Viewer's choice, probably yes. I'm not thinking consciously how that happens. It may go back to lessons, and how we tell a story in the melody or harmony. Question and answer. It's a little tip to a student who needs a bit more in the performance. And yes (laughs) I am a story teller. I always try to tell a story when I play. SL has allowed me to create one of the best concert grands ever in mesh and make performable in-world.
Credits: Boris Twist
Debby Sharma: During the SL11B, I came to know that you are the one who are the quickest in taking pictures and making a video. What is the secret behind it?
Boris Twist: Looking back . . . probably excitement. Job specific. If it's brand new to me, then I do a bunch of mistakes and organize the flow, redo, until I have it all built into a macro in my brain. This includes organizing content on your hard drive. And there's probably a better way, when someone teaches me how. The mistakes make you learn, true in RL, true here in SL.
The real me never rushes, when I do there is always something I miss. I think we all get that.
I've noticed over the last year of posting films that there's a need in me to perform, to get it out there, to reap the glory, just like standing on stage after you have just performed. Each film needs to be better technically, better focused. In post-production you need to take time to listen to it, watch it, let it grow. You'll know when it's ready.
Debby Sharma: Did you always wanted to be a Mechanima artist?
Boris Twist: No, I had no clue I would like this so much. I think it made me improve my social skills, which is still up for debate. There are several parts to it. While it can lead you anywhere, you must gather source material. We formed a small group on Face Book of devoted souls and artists, who talk and meet up for projects. Joseph Nussbaum in SL is amazing at this, as a producer of film, composer of music, and as an organizer, I've learned a tremendous amount from just hanging out. After sourcing you may have 65GB or more of data to sort though, I watch it all. You decide what's in and what's out. Editing it into a form, writing the music, many hours and weeks of work depending on the size, and I'm just immersed in it, loving it all.
My latest project, working with Colin Bell for Poetic content, and Joesph Nussbaum for scoring, plus a great cast of talented people: “Sortie” A Film for the Holidays, a film of the beautiful dark. Filmed on location beneath the streets of Paris in Second Life.
|credit: Boris Twist|
Debby Sharma: Do you visit any other virtual world? If so, which are they and what do you do there?
Boris Twist: I've done that, tried a few of the offerings, but no, I'm not comfortable.
Debby Sharma: What are your future goals?
Boris Twist: To lose about 50 lbs, use my new juicer, and get back in pool. :)
Debby Sharma: Would you like to say anything to your fans and friends who appreciate your work?
Boris Twist: Of Course!.. Those of you in the Dance and Sway film group, we rule. Yays to Bianca Xavorine, Walter Gedenspire, Joesph Nussbaum, Tomais Ashdene, Ginger, Stephano, Elleonna, Holter, Joanna, Wolfgang . . . you make me smile. To the Madonna in Second Life group, Sasha, Gina, Antinodorus, Aloe, Krystal . . . you are all amazing! To my friends on FB, thank you indeed for your support and comments. It's wonderful to hear from you.
Debby Sharma: If given a chance, would you make tutorials for new young artists?
Boris Twist: It's what I've done for over 40 years in RL, so yes. I love a chance to either teach or tutor. :) I may think about this as a goal for 2015. Great question!