Shopping Cart Disco has all the info and links you'll need for Witch Hunt 2011, a Halloween-themed fashion hunt that runs until the 30th. You can also get info by joining the SL group The Witch Hunters 2011, or sending an IM to Kat Alderson. I'm kinda digging this cat suit from TrinityBelle Meriman here; wonder if I can get Iris Ophelia to model it in a Halloween fashion post.
R2D2 Creator to Judge a Machinima Contest - And Explains the Pros & Cons of Machinima for Filmmakers
Tony Dyson, the veteran film effects creator who built the original R2D2 model, is judging a machinima contest, The Machinima 48 Hour Film Project. Known as Azar Shelman in SL, Dyson designed the original R2D2 for Star Wars, then built eight copies of the beloved droid for The Empire Strikes Back. And speaking as a veteran filmmaker, he's now interested in machinima as a new platform:
"I think 'machinima' has the same untapped potential that we found when we switched over from early animated films using frame by frame drawings to Computer Generated Images (CGI)," he tells me by e-mail. "[T]he secret is not only to spot and learn what new potential this platform may open up to the film maker, but to also identify exactly what are the negative aspects of this new media, only then can we really move forward."
The benefits: "[L]ow investment and production costs plus speed of production will open up a vast new market place in today's digital world, for example in Education, Entertainment and Advertising fields..." The challenges: "[L]earning about the differences in camera techniques involved... [and working] in a totally new world, a 'virtual world' that has a very strong culture of its very own. This brave new world... has a very steep learning curve for many, but the rewards are and will be truly amazing for any one that has the imagination to meet this challenge.
Update, 9/12: Corrected original description from "Second Life machinima" contest, as machinima from other platforms are also accepted. Apologies for the error. See more details in Comments.
The contest to create the official SL avatar of Albert Einstein has been extended to September 16th at 11:59 PM EST. Because creating the metaverse representation of the 20th century's greatest mind, that shit takes time. Read more background about the contest here, and click here for all the contest details.
Einstein's Official Avatar is Coming to Second Life & There's a USD$2500 Contest to Recreate Him for the Digital Age (UPDATE: Deadline Extended)
The official avatar for Albert Einstein is coming soon to Second Life and social media to promote medical research, and there's a contest to create him, with $2500 in cash prizes for the top three entries. By "official", I mean it's being done with the authorization of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which owns the rights to Einstein's likeness, and by "coming to SL", I mean the avatar is going to make appearances in-world, as well as in machinima made for audiences outside SL, to promote medical research fundraising for the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, or IMRIC. It's a campaign being run by Remedy Communications, the social media firm of Doug Thompson, a longtime SL advocate. (In-world, he's Dusan Writer.)
"We were approached by an international research collaboration that funds medical research across a huge range of conditions and needs," Doug explains to me via e-mail. "IMRIC requested permission from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which owns the rights to the Einstein image, to use it in an international fundraising and awareness campaign across social media and virtual worlds."
Here's how avatar Einstein will be used in this campaign:
The Netherlands-based MaMachinima International Festival is taking entries for this year's fest, which hits June 17. (No idea what the extra "Ma" is for, but there you go.) The brainchild of Second Life machinimist Chantal Harvey, the festival will also screen in-world, but you can submit videos made on other 3D platforms (say, World of Warcraft or , Portal 2). Submission deadline is May 1st, and therefore hurry: Click here to do so for God's sake.
The University of Western Australia is sponsoring a Second Life machinima contest with prizes totaling L$500,000. The theme is Journeys, the submission deadline is May 1st. Read more here.
Machinima makers, click this link, because it's big news: The renowned Tribeca Film Institute, co-founded by Robert DeNiro and affiliated with the influential Tribeca Film Festival, just announced the TFI New Media Fund, which will finance "four to eight non-fiction projects... [with] a non-fiction story focused on social issues and include an integrated cross-platform or new media component", each getting $50,000 to $100,000 in funding. As the Tribeca publicist who told me about this pointed out, among the new media forms they'll specifically accept is video games, i.e. machinima. Submissions start on April 4, but they're now taking feedback from media producers interested in the Fund -- go here to participate.
Harper Ganesvoort has a Halloween photography contest for members of multiple virtual worlds (though you need to also have an SL account, to claim your L$ winnings.) Also, the University of Western Australia campus on Second Life in holding a massive Art & Design Challenge contest, and is taking votes on the winners from the public. Here's how to check out the art and vote on it.
I just got late word that the American Library Association has a presence in Second Life, and that they're running SL-based promotions around their annual Banned Books Week. Among the most promising is a machinima contest around the theme “Think for yourself and let others do the same”. Winner gets L$10,000 and their video hosted on the ALA's site. Even better, it's for an awesome cause. Deadline is September 25 -- Moonletters has the rest of the details.
Peter Greenaway, the acclaimed British director of The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover with Helen Mirren, and The Pillow Book with Ewan McGregor, will be a judge on the 48 Hour Machinima Film Project I mentioned last week. Greenaway is probably the most renowned real life film director ever to judge a machinima contest, so this is a great recognition for the medium. That it's Greenaway is not entirely surprising, because as 48 Hour curator Chantal Harvey notes, Greenaway has been involved in other machinima/Second Life art projects, registering his support for the embattled Second Life art of Rose Borchovski, and with The Blue Planet, a multimedia theatrical production by Greenaway and Saskia Boddeke which incorporates Second Life machinima. Knowing this background, Chantal contacted the director about joining the panel, and is duly stoked to have him involved: "To have a real life filmmaker in the jury is like a major recognition for the teams and their work, and [machinima] being the creative new way for young people to film -- makes this so very different."
And now you have another reason to join the contest: Go here for all the details and to start the sign-up process.