Confessions of a Machinima Junkie

Launching a full multimedia production like an opera, film, or concert doesn't require a budget of six figures, hundreds of personnel, and a gigantic venue. If you are willing to go virtual and use the amazing multimedia tools at your fingertips, you can create incredible works of art without breaking your budget. The artist is only limited by technology.

LIbertaria Virtual Opera movie Poster, machinima
Machinima Opera Libertaria: The Virtual Opera
Two years ago when I embarked on my modern opera, Libertaria:The Virtual Opera I wanted to create a full-scale opera production. Experience had taught me that just because I created a large-scale work doesn't mean that it would see more than a few live performances in my lifetime. Of course, that has always been a major issue for composers, with most of our famous composers today never enjoying even a modicum of the popularity that they experience in the modern classical music scene. Instead, I decided to use my film school chops and create a feature-length animated opera using machinima. If you have ever seen a movie created from your favorite video game engine like Quake or Doom, you have watched a machinima film. Today there are software programs like Moviestorm and consumer-friendly animation programs like Poser that open up the possibilities of filmmaking to anyone who is willing to put in some time and work. 

WARNING: Machinima can be addictive!

Below you can watch Death in Venice, a machinima work created in Moviestorm directed by Kate Lee and Sherwin Liu. 

Moviestorm is affordable and pretty easy to use. More advanced modders have taken the software to new heights, incorporating third party software. Libertaria will be created in Moviestorm by a talented animation team including Lucinda McNary, Caroline Damian, and Kera Hildebrandt. 

A Moviestorm set is not the only virtual venue that you can use for your multimedia project. The popular online game Second Life hosts countless rock, pop, and classical concerts, as well as multimedia projects on a virtual plane. From Pink to Duran Duran to the Wall Street Protesters, Second Life has become the venue away from venues for multimedia and musical concert experiences outside the physical realm. Other artists have used traditional video game engines and even Sims. If you love video games and you love film/multimedia, you may never stop doing can get addicting and it's fun.

The Internet and social networking has made impromptu concerts and random acts of art and music as easy as texting your bff (or hundreds of them). Many artists and musicians have found that crowdsourcing and flashmobs make excellent means of creating large-scale art with minimal resources. There are countless opportunities and possibilities. You are only limited by your imagination.

So make that film, write that opera or musical, create a virtual concert or machinima art gallery. Expand your ideas beyond the physical.

Here are some helpful links to get you started on your multimedia journey:

How to get started with machinima:

MEGA List of Machinima software and more:


Crowdfund your project at Kickstarter 

Amazon Mechanical Turk: Crowdsource your projects 

Share your comments on machinima and technology in the comments below! 
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