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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grim's Tails

Not that I'm one for name dropping, but Oh yeah, Oh yeah, that's me 'n' the late great Roy Scheider, on the deck of the Orca. What's that, Roy? You think we're going to need a bigger boat?
Here I am on me holidays on Amity Island, I decided to come early and miss the 4th of July crowds, not to mention the fact that July is a Bad Time for swimmers in these parts. Amity is, of course, a tribute to the Steven Spielberg classic Jaws, one of the finest fish films of all time. Steven Spielberg was just 27 (ooo the same age as you and me!) when he co-wrote and directed this low(ish)-budget masterpiece shot on location on Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts (thankyou spellcheck). Many of the townspeople in the film were actual Vineyard residents, including the lady whose son dies, you remember, the one who gives Roy Scheider that slap across the face. That's my favourite bit. I have issues. The mechanical shark (named Bruce, after Spielberg's lawyer, Bruce Ramen) broke down countless times. This severely limited the opportunities to film it in action, but had the collateral effect of producing box-office breaking suspense back in 1975 and, I think you'll agree, some sharp intaking of breath even today.
The sim is by Grim and Nita Bracken and I love it. There are shops including Grimworx (they specialize in all things gothic horror, including collectables and custom interactive monsters - I want one!!!) and Serenade, a photographer's paradise. Also a mermaid hangout, which I didn't see, well, not yet, I will have to go back... I originally TP'd in here to see Second Cinema, which is a real cinema, where you can watch real films and virtually eat free popcorn. I don't know what this film was, mostly because I was too lazy to open the link to the cinema's perfectly legible online schedule. Anyway it was some sort of horror film, possibly Dreamscape. It was night when I first arrived, so I thought this was all the sim had to offer, and walked out a little disappointed, though I did like the posters on the walls - free copies are available, which is a nice touch. I've always loved movie poster art, and since I'm redoing my place I had a good rummage in the Braken's impressive collection, mostly from the 70's onwards, you know, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters ... getting a Spielberg theme here...Outside the movie theatre I found the Drive In, it was unoccupied the first time I passed through, but that must have been a fluke I've been back a dozen times and never found the sim empty again, and not your usual newbies either all kinds of people are drawn here to watch a little bit of film in good company, or to take the rides. Speaking of rides, lots 50's convertibles and pickups, all of them cherry, of course. The Q on the wall is a reminder you have to get Quicktime to be able to watch the movies, it's worth it, I saw a bit of Star Trek V The Final Frontier in a pink soft-top, since for reasons of personal dorkiness I still have not had a chance to see the new Star Trek film in RL, I thought it would do me good to take a trip back to a time when a corset and a toupee were sufficient to make Kirk a younger man. It did. I ended up sharing the front seat with a dude named Chris something, "-Call me Dave-" who made some funny jokes about the film and then borrowed 20L off me. It's that kind of place.
When you're tired of watching the films, turn the sun back on and go for a walk. If you go downtown, you'll find Quint (Robert Shaw) scowling in the square. Apparently Shaw decided to spend the whole Martha's Vineyard shoot in character, whether because he was a method actor or simply PO'd at the confusion that surrounded the making of the film, it's hard to say. Here is a Robert Shaw bit from the film. There's lots more to do on Amity, you can sunbathe, or go windsurfing, or on the Bumper Boats, if you dare. There's a nice Ferris wheel too, you'll find a pic down in the Italian bit, just make sure you sit down in one of the gondolas before you press the signboard in front of the ticket office!
Immersiva builder Merlino Mayo took a break from scripting and joined me at the Bumper Cars at the other end of the Boardwalk, which was a hoot even though a very uneven contest, I blame my teeny tiny graphics card. I explained about the theme of the sim and he flew over to take a look at the Orca himself. Merlino was in a reduced sized avatar (actually, he was a milk carton when he showed up) which was appropriate because in the movie they filmed Hooper's anti-shark cage scenes using a Little Person in a scaled-down cage, to make the real life shark look bigger. I may have spoilt the effect... There's a gypsy swim ball on the shore and I couldn't resist. Whether you're in the mood for some quiet movie magic, or want somewhere new to take a stroll, or a date, head over to Amity Island. Don't forget to send me a postcard!


"Ci serve una barca più grande..."

Eccomi a Amity Island, l'isola dedicata al cinema e in particolare al film Lo Squalo di Steven Spielberg un posto meraviglioso nato dalla fantasia di Grim Bracken e sua partner Nita Bracken. I Bracken hanno creato una simpatica versione dell'isola Martha's Vineyard, ribattezzato nel film Amity Island, dove per 156 giorni nel 1974 l'allora 27enne Spielberg e il suo equipaggio hanno lottato contro il tempo, i rivoltosi attori, e l'inaffidabile squalo meccanico chiamato Bruce, come il legale di Spielberg, Bruce Ramer. Il sim è anche shopping, qui troverai Grimworx, un negozio specializzato in oggetti da collezionisti : gothic horror, B movies, e in più script e mostri interattivi fatti 'su misura': se hai in mente di costruirti un tuo incubo personale, gli artigiani di Grimworx possono aiutarti... Un altro bel negozio, un vero paradiso per i fotografi e le modelle, è Serenade, ma ce ne sono molti altri, tutti interessanti.
Sono capitata a Amity Island alla ricerca di Second Cinema, un cinema vero qui nel metaverso, nel senso che ci sono posti a sedere, puoi vedere un film - sono i classici del genere orrore e fantascienza per la maggior parte, ma non solo - in santa pace, o in compagnia a secondo il tuo gusto. A me piace commentare i film, (mi credo spiritosa) e specialmente i film scadenti, e grazie a chat, questo è un luogo ideale per questo passatempo. Non che i film sono tutti scadenti! Sulle pareti del cinema troverai cartelloni di vari film famosi, anche questi opere d'arte, e sono disponibili al pubblico gratuitamente come per altro il popcorn e la birra ... da cui si capisce che non siamo più in RL... Se non vuoi stare al chiuso, nulla di più facile, accanto al cinema troverai il Drive In. Le auto americane, pickup e decapottabili con i sedili a divano quasi, sono molto comodi. Se non riesci a vedere il film, prova a cliccare sulla Q per ricevere il programma Quicktime. Vale la pena, poter visionare un bel film come Star Trek V L'ultima frontiera sotto le stelle. Eccomi con un certo Dave, povero aveva paura di guardare il movie tutto solo... Per sapere quali films sono in programma questo mese, basta cliccare qui.
Ma Amity non è solo cinema statico, diciamo. Ci sono tante cose da fare, tutte gratuite. Puoi nuotare grazie ai Gypsy swimballs, puoi andare a vedere la balena nella baia. Oltre al windsurf, ci sono i Bumper Boats, e una bella ruota panoramica (attenzione siediti nella gondola prima di avviare la ruota toccando il cartello accanto alla biglietteria!).A me da bambina sono sempre piaciute le Bumper Cars e per fortuna, uno dei bravi builders di Immersiva e amico di ArtsParks, Merlino Mayo era online, l'ho convinto di fare una piccola pausa e venire a vedere l'isola con me. Gli è piaciuto moltissimo la barca Orca, e ha voluto subito provare la gabbia anti-squalo di Matt Hooper, io invece, ho voluto fare la vittima, come al solito...
Tutto sommato Amity Island è uno dei più simpatici sim in SL, un vero parco d'arte cinematografica, che offre qualcosa di diverso di divertente e spettacolare. Se ci passi, non dimenticare di mandarmi una bella cartolina!

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