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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Machinimaxed out

Sounds like you poor bastards stuck in SL have been having a bad week. Sorry to hear it. You really should try Open Sim. It's like Cloud Party only without the lameness and the capitalist imperative.
woo. Cloud Party. I may have to sit down.
Judging time for Machinima UWA!! 
Funky, impossible, varied, sumptuous, distubing, crafty, vivacious, studied, memorable. Those are the ingredients one yearns for. And there's plenty of it this year - yum!!!
Having just watched all 51 entries, how to choose a top 10?
Everyone starts out with full marks. You lose points for the following no-no's:
What does this film convey to someone who's unfamiliar with SL? We may be used to the sight of cheesy avatars, cheapo clothes and clunky poses but it really doesn't fit the theme here: the excellence that places like UWA foster. Nor does a low frame rate, and crackly or corny audio content. Luckily, the quality is really high, this year. No points for ma-cringe-ma.
The ideal machinima makes its point in 3 minutes or less. The ones that are 10, 15 or even 30 minutes long are acts of clueless arrogance. Brevity is the soul of wisdom. Because, whatever you write in the comments, people are just going to skip ahead through your exaggeratedly soulful headshots.
Voice overs are bad, unless you're a poet with a lovely voice. Hypatia and Karima both come out brilliantly, while most of the others sound like middle aged school teachers. Unwise. Those penguins are plain annoying for content and quality. Kill them.
If you've not arrested our attention in the first 5 seconds, you didn't do it right. Don't ask your friends, you know they're going to lie to you. This batch of beauties include many that have you riveted from the start, not always an easy task with such an ethereal subject matter.
Big fancy logos followed by low production values are self defeating. You're not Lion's Gate or Pixar, and your ludicrous logo invites us to draw an unflattering comparison.
Quotable quotes that stay on the screen forever lose their thrust. (OK, most of them are ghastly truisms that lost their thrust before appearing on the screen.) The average person can read 5-6 words a second. In the aeons it takes for your quote to fade off the screen, the audience thinking: 'Should'a spent less time coming up with that fancy logo at the beginning, and more time in the editing suite.'
Machinima that are just about you, and not about the theme, get a zero, also, I'm creeped out by child avatars in any context, and Papyrus font.
There are dozens of judges in this competition, and as happened last year, my top 10 won't make a dent in the actual final result. So this is a suggestion of what you should see, if you don't have the 7 hours necessary to watch them all through to the bitter end.
Bear in mind, THERE'S A CASH PRIZE FOR THE MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC whose top 10 is closest to the Judge's overall list. So this should at least get you started!!
Don't forget to turn up at the UWA on August 6th at 6am SLT to see which, if any, get the big prize. I hope it's you.
Tutsy Navarathna 's The Last Syllable of Recorded Time
Tikaf Viper's Run Ram
Arrow Inglewood's  ?
Lala Larix's  The 3rd Eye
and not really 'on theme' in a spiritual way, but the best businesslike,lively tour through the whole thing, capturing the spirit of the event in every way, is this little number by jjccc:

Back to the beach for me.