10 Little Aliens came jumping for fun....
In March 2010 we entered a competition organised by Aniboom.com, who were looking for the next characters for Sesamestreet.
Our team thought Second Life machinima would be the perfect platform to create Sesamestreet characters, so we got together and crossed ideas and made a plan.
Judi Newall started with script and rhyme, Madcow Cosmos went to create avatars and props, Lorin Tone signed up for music, I cleared my sim to make room for the set, and can you believe it? - I spent 3 days shopping for the right grass textures, before giving up and searching the SL Library to come up with standard green green grass of home).
Lauren Weyland agreed to do narration, and I lured Annabelle Fleury, L1Aura Loire, Ze Moo and robwag Soothsayer into acting. How could they refuse, with the avatar as pay? (....).
Yes, like most of our machinima productions, it was only talent spent, no money involved.
We set a day and time to film, and after a tough edit (dont be fooled, it looks easy but this one was perhaps one of the hardest edits yet, for me) - the machinima was send to Lorin Tone for audio. I was so pleased to hear real drums - Lorin, you did it again, wonderful stuff.
Lauren Weyland started narrating, I received their creative work and went back to the editmachine to finish the machinima and do the credits.
The team agreed, this was the proper Sesamestreet feel, and we were proud to submit our work.
Surprise came the next day, after the upload to Aniboom.com. They turned us down. As they stated in their email:
"Unfortunately, “10 Little Aliens” is not eligible for this competition.
Machinima animations is forbidden due to right sakes, video games design materials are shown in this video."
Several thoughts went through my mind.
* there is no mention of machinima not being allowed in their contest, I entered their fox contest last year on Anibooms invitation, and there are more SL machinima's already in the contest.
* Second Life allows machinima, no restrictions, as long as their TOS is followed, and it was. We created and own all shown in the film.
* I was delighted with the compliment they gave us, really - stating our creations are game design material is making me realise how good we are!
I did send them a reply, including the TOS and rules that Second Life gives, and explained that SL is a platform where all can create their own characters and moviesets.
I also thanked them for their comliment. ;o)
After this, I was totally pleased when i recieved an email telling me that they had put the machinima back into the competition, stating:
"We are checking the issue with the rights that are been giving from "second life", we also returned your movie to the competition.
If there is a copyright issue with it we will be forced to removed it.
Sorry about the inconvenience and thanks for the understanding".
That all sounds very reasonable, and again, I think the decision to refuse it on grounds of copyright issues and game design material was an unfair one, and I am glad we are back in.
Word spread in the Second Life community, and people started contacting me and asking if they could help. Basicly, I really like Aniboom.com and I am part of their community - so I recommended people to go there and check out the Sesamestreet competition. And yes, rate both machinima's that are shown amongst 351 entries, mostly animations and stop motion films.
When it comes to WOW (World of Warcraft) machinima, the community stands behind their creative users, Second Life community is more distant in these things. I really believe in Second Life as the perfect platform for machinima.
So I urge people; please go to these direct links and rate the machinima's:
http://bit.ly/9JAwtx (10 Little Aliens by Chantal Harvey)
http://bit.ly/9oKQ45 (The letter Q by Pooky Media)
Metanomics did a community forum on the above, to create awareness and to support us.
Madcow Cosmos agreed to put the Little Aliens up for sale, and the lindendollars earned go directly into a funds for machinima - so many good projects will come from this.
http://slurl.com/secondlife/RastaOpen4/131/62/41 will take you there directly, and they are 55 ld a piece only.... so get them now, while they are cheap!