LEO BERKELEY
FILMMAKER

Machinima Me

5 Aug 12

I have something of an interest in machinima and have written about it in the past:  http://www.swinburne.edu.au/hosting/ijets/journal/V4N2/V4N2abstract_berkeley.htm

I’ve recently been looking at Moviestorm as a software package that provides a whole range of machinima tools.

On one level, something like Moviestorm undermines the ‘rebel’ quality of machinima as a practice that is aligned with hacking culture.

On the other hand, it is great for someone like me who does not want to spend ages on the back-end elements of the process but still play around with the creative possibilities of the machinima form.

One of the short essay film ideas I am working in is focused on the ‘57 tram’ that goes past my house.  I thought I should be a presence in this film but I’m a poor actor at the best of times.  While I’m not as self-conscious as I used to be, I’m definitely a ‘behind the camera’ personality type.  This raises some issues for me in relation to making essay films.  So I thought I would explore the possibilities of having a machinima ‘avatar’ appearing in the film.  I asked one of my daughters who likes to play The Sims to have a go at creating a character in Moviestorm that looks as much as possible like me.  This is what she came up with.

Hair colour was a problem.  In Moviestorm it has to be either all dark or all white, not the mixture I’ve got.  The same with the encroaching baldness.  Couldn’t find the right type of glasses.  So while there are seemingly thousands of slight adjustments to eyebrow shape, the range of choices with some other elements was a bit limited.

I was a bit unnerved when I first looked at my machinima self.  I guess it’s good if an avatar does not look too much like you.  Hopefully I’ll get used to it.  Things might improve when I start talking.  One of the big limitations with machinima a few years ago was lip-sync sound but it now seems like there are strategies and techniques to achieve this, which I’m attempting shortly.

 

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