Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First Machinima Footage Posting!

Here is the a very rough cut of the footage I shot yesterday with Maya and Lynsey at the Bicylorama in Woodstock.  The sound is not done, it is not really edited down to a real piece, which will be much shorter, but you can get the idea of what I am up to making machinima.  There is a lot of footage of the bikes and the bicylorama in the middle, but some interesting interview takes with Maya towards the end.  There will be a voice over throughout, maybe with Maya's narration, too, from a voice interview.  Maya and I will also reshoot the interview, and maybe have a voice interview with Lynsey, too, to replace what we shot at our happy accident meeting late at night here/early in the morning there that I put at the end of this cut.

It has been a real learning experience getting this far with this piece.  First time working with others, which is much more fun and rewarding than with my alt avatars, but also adds an element of pressure.  Of course the lovely ladies in the video and who I am now lucky enough to have in my second life are nothing but supportive, encouraging, and well-humored no matter what time of day or night it might be in Holland or England, but I am relieved to actually have something to show them (and others) that gets this project out of my head and glimpsed by someone else.  

I am also desperate to turn off L1Aura's speech gestures, which are no longer active, but persist.  In a year when I have no students and I am not lecturing at all, my avatar is in constant lecture mode as soon as she goes into voice chat, gesturing and opening her eyes, leaning back self-importantly, blathering on and on, interminably.  After a whole day spent filming her, trying to get her to look in the right direction, staring into her face with her flip-flapping mouth, I wish she would shut the f*** up.  How's that for a person-avatar relationship?  What's the Proteus effect there?

So here are some of my thoughts: Virtual subjectivity is even more individualized, more, well, subjective, than in real life, I think, because of how differently each one of can be seeing the same thing physically with the camera feature, how no one knows what any avatar is really doing or looking at.  Add in the lag, and we are not really experiencing the same thing even when we think we are.  I see the difference between my different avatars when they are together, what they see, sometimes what they are wearing, where they are in the space.  We are liberated from so much of the mundane in SL, but we don't really have synchronicity yet.  It is still a "consensual hallucination," as Gibson imagined in Neuromancer so long ago (1984!!!!)   The gap between our own and others' perceptions and experiences is one of the elements of real life that is made literal and visual and played out in Second Life.  OK, enough blathering with only 5 hours sleep  (the really good stuff comes from 4 hours or less).

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