In my last blogpost of 2019, I briefly mentioned Stömol, the feature-length machinima by my dear friend Huckleberry Hax, and that I have played a part (or two…three…) in this Sci-fi movie.
People often ask me ‘Cait, what is it like? Being an actress in Second Life?’
Well, to be honest. Nobody has ever asked me that, but I will be happy to share my experiences anyway! So in this blog, I will tell a bit more about my life as a Second Life actress and how it is to work with a brilliant producer like Huckleberry!
What is it like? It is so much fun! And it can be extremely boring. It is exciting, it takes a lot of time and patience and you have to listen very carefully to the director. Huck has the story in his head and he will make sure the actors do exactly what he wants, by explaining the scenes upfront – sending us manuscripts and storylines weeks in advance.
OK, that was a lie. The part about the manuscripts. I did not get any. None. In fact, most of the evenings I was just minding my own business, when he would pop online and offer a teleport with the question to dress as a certain character, because: we’re filming tonight!
Once arrived he would briefly tell me the scene and position all the props. Well and often also position me and/or the other actors. Then he would make sure he got all the windlightsettings right, derender every unnecessary object and avatar, etc. This usually took a while, so in the meanwhile, I would have fun on social media – keeping an eye on the Second Life screen for instructions. Or, when it was not my turn yet, I goofed around with my fellow actors.
Depending on the scene, it could be an easy evening (I would be posed in a static position and not move) or an exciting one where I was actually moving around myself. This could be fighting – yeah, I have kicked Huck’s ass soooo many times, racing around on a bike or walking the same street for 132 times till the shot was perfect enough for Huck.
We filmed a lot of scenes on amazing locations in Second Life, but we also spent much time in sandboxes or in decors built by Huck himself.
In between scenes, we were sometimes allowed to have some short breaks to relax a bit – before Huck dragged us back on set…
Now, most of the actual filming is done, Huck is busy editing the movie and working on the audio and effects. Every now and then there is a reshoot of a scene or an extra scene he comes up with – but as things go we are still going for a premiere this summer!
My life as a Second Life Actress was cool, I would not have missed it for the world and while it is not as glamourous as you may think, it was (and is) an experience of a (Second) lifetime!
In a next blogpost, I will tell and show you some more behind-the-scenes!
Links you may want to click for more about Stömol: