MachinimaMondays

Founded in 2010, MachinimaMondays group is for everybody interested in virtual worlds and filmmaking – machinima. We meet every Monday at 1 pm in Second Life at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Samandiriel/208/225/1797

We watch virtual movies, we create short themed films ourselves, work together, share thoughts and discuss and help each other. It is a safe environment, with positive feedback. We welcome filmmakers and streamers from all games and platforms.

If you are new to machinima, this is the place to be! You will be making your own virtual films in no time at all! The MachinimaMondays facebook group shows films that were made and shared so far. https://www.facebook.com/groups/MachinimaMondays

The weekly meetings (at 1pm California time) are visited by a good crowd that welcomes builders, musicians, storytellers, graphic artists, sim-owners, actors, filmmakers and fans, educators, all you need to do is download the free Second Life viewer, create a free avatar, and take the teleport to our spaceship venue. Meetings are in chat and sometimes in voice.

Join our group and drop in on Mondays, 1 pm

This is a picture taken in 2010 🙂 — so oldschool but fun!

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MachinimaMondays pays tribute to Natascha Randt

On September 13 2021 we paid tribute to Natascha Randt, a machinima creator that was a creative, gentle spirit and friend. She passed away on September 4 2021.

She created over 500 machinima’s, her YouTube account is a joy to watch (do yourself a favor and go there 🙂 )

Nat worked together with artist Karima Hoisan, each brought the best of the other to the surface and some genius film and artwork was created. Karima led the tribute meeting (click HERE to read her report) and many filmmakers attended. The mood was emotional and respectful, Natascha will be missed. We are in awe of her work.

Here is the script, that was put together by Karima, for those that came to the tribute.

Karima:

Good afternoon, good evening, I’m Karima Hoisan, poet, composer, world creator and machinima maker in my own small way and I am very honored to be here today, at MachinimaMondays to talk about a very special SL filmmaker and my creative partner for the past 9 years, Natascha Randt, who passed away this last 4th of September in Germany of heart failure. She was only 40 years old.

Thank you to Chantal Harvey for inviting me and for planning a tribute to her today. Also thanking Dorian Cao for letting us use his wonderful space ship venue.

I will show you a few of the films we made together.

Nat has such an extensive YouTube Channel with 509 videos!! Many of these are about flights, planes, helicopters , helos she called them.  Also she made funny videos, dancing, helpful videos for machinima, e.g “How to make a Mirror in Second Life”, etc.

I am sorry that time does not allow me to show more of this side of Nat, but. please explore her channel when you can, She came into Second Life in 2007 and made her first machinimas in 2008.

Nat’s Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/NataschaRandt

Nat loved the sky, She was a great virtual pilot and proponent for Second Life aviation and she teamed up with incredible builders here like, Sylvia Halcyon (Shergood Aviation,  Amok DynamicsTHI) THI and as soon as they had something new, they would send it to Nat and she would test fly it and film it. It was a great  win/win.

Glasz DeCuir interviewed Nat in 2017 for a segment of “When Women Talk:

I have taken many quotes from this interview to let Natascha speak in her own words about her process.

Glasz asked her what was the most difficult or interesting scene she ever shot.

This was her answer:

“The most difficult or interesting scenes were the train scenes in Window on a Train. Karima and I wanted our train to move and look real and that was a big problem. Every train in SL look like it was wobbling. We finally had to have a train built; it was a great train just like we had imagined…  (Lucho Ceriano builder)however it had more than 3,000 prims, it was clear that this train could never move and we were near to our projects deadline.Dale Innis is one of Karima’ close friends and programmer; he came to our rescue.He made our train move..and with Dale’s scripts, I was able to make the train move as I needed it to.We were back in business; I think we made almost the best train scenes ever for a movie that was shot in Second Life. “ I want to add that Nat gave Dale The Biggest Credit I have ever seen in credits  Ever!!

Let’s take a look at this movie, “Window on a Train” 

There are people in the audience who were part of the cast.. Nat always adored working with actors… she would say in the beginning, “It’simple. Think of me as the Queen of England and just do what I say”   

That broke the ice and made all our shoots, even the very long ones fun right from the start. She was a great Director and planned ahead, knew what she wanted and got it infer takes.The set you see was all built by Nat… Something unusual about us, we always created our sets for each film. We had a few thousand prims we reserved for a skylot we built for that purpose in SL. Nat did almost all the building in SL..I created 4 of the sets we used in Opensim on Kitely.  As Nat says on YouTube : This is the 11th collaboration of Filmmaker Natascha Randt and Poet/Composer Karima Hoisan. It is our Costa Rica-Germany-Connection video for the MachinimUWA VI challenge “Reflections”.  (June 17th 2013)

In her interview Glasz asked Nat about what her style of filmmaking is? Nat answered:

It’s not easy to answer…

The most important thing for me is to find the right camera angle that’s why I have my notes but not really a storyline. I am more flexible than that and most of all free to make decisions  spontaneously. Sometime I  reject the scene as is and shoot it another way. because I had an inspiration just at that moment.

When Karima and I work together, the story line comes from Karima’s poem.

The movie grows when we put together our ideas and discuss them and then see if it works like we wanted and if it is possible in SL. brainstorming We improve making test shots and watch the results and maybe doing it again.

For me it is really important to give a movie its own atmosphere the correct lighting is crucial and the post Pro which determines the look of the movie. I allow myself the liberty to break the rules to give the movie that special style mine, or when Karima and I work together our style.”

The Changes Changes… Feb. 11, 2017 

The next film shows this in action. Nat fell in love with my poem.. I had made a soundtrack on Garage Band and showed it to her. She said, Let’s do this next…just for fun..no competitions or challenges, just for the love of doing it. Why Not?? (one of her favorite expressions)

So she built a city!! I mean a whole city sim-wide upstairs on a platform. I was working on special effects lottery balls, lottery wheels, falling dice, a choreographed dance scene, production, and with Dale Innis help we also had moving traffic! and lots of other scripty things. We made posters to paste on street walls, an elevated train..  IT was fantastic..all our crazy brainstorming…we did it!!   One little error was in credits. Nat’s credits are always a movie unto themselves & very polished. Neither of us noticed this until it was up on YouTube a week later. She spelled my name wrong…twice:):)

The next movie, Where are you now? is a short 90 second movie we made for a MadPea Competition, “Nightmare at The Carnival” in 2012.

This is the only competition we ever took a first place in.. by the way

Neither of us was even interested but it took a little push from my friend Rag Randt (no he’s not related to Natascha:) one of the many gifted artists there, to give us a heads-up that there was to be a contest.

I took Nat back with me to see the sim and both of us got inspired.

Nat was wielding her Nav and camming and I was thinking of an  idea.. Not a poem, but a bizarre soundtrack. I went to Garage Band  and in a few days wrote the soundtrack with music and voices. Now Nat was locked in:)  Whenever I showed her a finished soundtrack she almost always was hooked..She called it my carrot for her donkey:) So she said, “Let’s do this” and we Did. They asked for a nightmare….we gave them a Nightmare…

Now I would like to talk about one of Natascha’s favorite projects  from 2017. Shot in both SL and OpenSim and in her own words This challenge is not a continuation of the UWA Machinima Challenge, which ended in 2015, rather it is a “new hope” if you will, funded primarily by LaPiscean Liberty & Slartist, as well as by Singh Albatros and The Writers Center, Singapore.

Basically, it’s about promoting collaboration between artists and filmmakers. Though filmmaking is somehow an art too 🙂

Well, how we, Karima and I, came up with it was something like this:

Me like this: Have you heard of the new UWA Challenge?

Karima: yes …

Karima: did you see anything that you like?

Me like this: I think this is not for me

Karima: I’ll go take a look at the works of art

Then two days later

Karima: I have an idea …

Karima: There is a work of art there called the Funerary Ship.

Karima: That could be interesting if we work with green screens.

Me like this: darn greenscreen 🙂

Karima: But what else could you do with such a part?

With that, the whole story really took off. Karima spoke to Silas Merlin, who built the ship in SL, and suddenly we were in the middle of the preparations for our 25th film! Because Silas not only gave Karima a mod / copy version of the ship, but also the textures and, what is particularly cool, he also sent Karima a version to Kitely.

Kitely – Virtual Worlds on Demand is another virtual world that is based on Opensim and has been home to Karima for a long time.

The point was just, you have this ship. What does a ship do? It drives on the water. So in order to put a ship in the limelight, it has to move. Otherwise it won’t work.

At this point I must first create clarity. The River of Forgetting is Karima’s original idea. At first we wanted to make a film of her poem she had written but then Karima read the motivation that led Silas to build the funereryl ship. That pretty much changed everything.

Karima wrote a new poem of the same name, and provided the appropriate music, “Between Worlds” by Roger Subirana Mata, for which she then also acquired the license.

Together with Dale, she also created the matching set in Kitely. A whole SIM with flow. With so many great things that I can’t even describe it. So the two of them built a whole Sim while I was taking care of bringing mesh clothes to Kitely, luckily there are some free usable parts that “just” need to be textured. In addition, a complete mesh avatar, which should be quite special.

Jeez, the ideas just flowed out of us.

A zillion ideas, but this time we have definitely implemented half of them. Following the text, we wanted to be able to throw things “properly”, the ship should move properly on the river and a thousand more things.

I can’t really build, assemble more like that, which is why I put together a dock for the SL scenes and took care of the right WL settings. Because exactly one second after hearing Karima’s new version of “The River of Forgetting” I saw the beginning of the film … The special effects we used, except for a few things in the postpro, are all made by Karima and Dale. You could call them Virtual Practical Effects.

Opensim in 2017 had more basic Animations, avatars etc. and to throw something even in SL is done through Mouselook. We had to invent a strange hybrid but in the end, those things thrown worked. And also how the bridge works and that the ship travels the entire river and and and … Fantastic!

I can’t thank Karima and Dale enough for that. Although Karima, as she describes in her blog ,  went pretty crazy, whether the clothes were rigged or unrigged things, with script, without script, with this or that function, with physics without physics … and four times, for each of our actors. In addition, we had to bring the shooting times under one roof, as we all come from different time zones.

That then led to the insider joke of the rigged and un rigged time 🙂

In all honesty, it was stressful but also funny and above all, we learned so much again that it is amazing. I’ve used up disk space like never before and all other stuff “ 

*note Nat used about 50G filming this movie.

So please enjoy..

The River of Forgetting. Dec. 2017 

I would like to break the pace a bit and show you one of Nat’s many many many flight videos.

Nat loved and filmed so well, anything that moved, trains, cars, ships, but her love was in the air..planes and helos (helicopters)

Because of time, and I want to show a helicopter and a plane video  had to pick those not 5 or 6 minutes long and many of her best are. I invite you again to explore her channel. especially if you are interested in aviation and the history of aviation. It was Nat’s passion and she flew and shot all at the same time….Not an  easy skill to do, but she did it brilliantly as she filmed everything in her unique style.

Nat’s Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/NataschaRandt

I invite you to watch The first film is a request from Ataro Asbrink

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E   made in 2015

The second is a helicopter made by her dear friend Syl Halcyion at Shergood Aviation

H160 Helicopter -Teaser made in 2018

This brings us to The Connection, made in 2014.

As Nat says on YouTube:

“The Connection”  made by the Costa Rica-Germany Connection, Karima Hoisan and Natascha Randt. This is our entry to the MachinimUWA VII: “Transcending Borders” made in 2014

The Connection is a meta look at how Nat and I bridged the distance and how  we learned to work together, to make machinimas as a team.  We literally  or virtually transcend borders every day. As we point out in the video, we worked entirely through chat. We never spoke to each other.

I will let this last one speak for itself and then, I hope there is time to share some words of Nat’s about collaboration and maybe one last video. Hope you enjoyed The Connection… “Ours is just one story” in SL.of artists connecting and collaborating.

Just a small brief history of how Nat and I met.

She was a moderator back in 2011-2012 For The Website , Machinima Artist Guild, and  I was terrified of her…really.. She could be pretty critical at times and said that a machinima more than 3 minutes better be a masterpiece, so not to waste her time.. All of mine were between 4- 6 minutes

I was just starting out, had a small macbook pro and used a basic iMovie to edit..but I had an idea and I wanted to realize it. I made a very beginners series called The Two, with 13 episodes no Navigator, I did compose my own music, used some tricks to make it look smoother, and yet. Natascha saw something in me.. She was pretty tolerant of my episodes, and always found something good to say about them… I got more inspired and encouraged and finished the series.

One day, Nat said to me, You and I should make a movie together. The rest is history. We joined forces  for the first time in 2012 for the

MACHINIMUWA V..Theme  “Seek Wisdom”

Miraculously we won 2nd place and also were the winner of the OPEN THIS END CINEMAPOP AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN FILM. (by the way we never did that well again:) Beginner’s Luck.)

“I want to end by sharing Nat’s ideas on collaboration and our form of collaboration>

This was taken from her blog post.

“Let’s talk a bit about collab. (collaboration)I’ve heard a lot about collaboration and teamwork these days and some really weird things.And it seems to me that many people have wrong thoughts about the meaning of teamwork, our teamwork. Or let me say different views.A collaboration is not a thing of “I make this and you make that”. It is a thing of “we make that together”. It is not something like “Oh look, I have this poem (or Installation, or picture or whatever), what can you do with that?” It is more like “Oh look, I have this poem (or Installation, or picture or whatever) what do you think about it?”And then it is not a “Oh look, what I’ve done with your poem (or Installation, or picture or whatever)” It is a “I think we can do this and that (put in a zillion things) and then the magic of teamwork begins. Brainstorming, discussions, just talking about, mixing up all the ideas, make compromises and so on. There’s is no place for something like envy or jealousy, we always give our ideas or tricks or whatever to each other.Being honest, sometimes it can happen that we, let me say, go different ways. BUT and it is really a big but (no pun intended  ) we always find back to the path we go together. (If that is the right term).It’s a we, a together, an our. We both do it, from the very first beginning to the end, together.Trusting each other. It’s a process of give and take and of learning. It’s not my or your fault. It’s our fault, when we bombed out. On the other hand, when it is successful, it is our success. And it is only finished when we both say: “YES! That’s it!”Two things are the most important. First, trust each other, the second is, successful or not, we always stand behind our baby!Maybe all that sounds a bit confused, but I want to write that, to let some people understand how it works. Oh I can say that just in other words, with a quote from Laibach:“Our souls are from the wildand wings to reach the skylet the sun fall into the ocean,let the earth erupt in flameIt is enough to have the strengthand knowledgeto raise our dream machinesinto the sky…We are driven by the B-machine (Wild B-machine – that never stops)”

I will never find another like Natascha.. her loss is still so fresh for those of us who knew her well and loved her. I am so happy to share her  with maybe some, who had never seen her videos. For me, Nat was a genius.. and my creative soulmate.. I am so grateful I had these years to connect in true synchronicity and work 9 years with her.

Thank you. Karima Hoison.

I (Chantal Harvey) want to end this tribute with one of my favorite machinima’s by Natascha:

I want to dance my name

And with the poem that Ataro Asbrink wrote for Natascha:

EMESCARA

Black coal heaps in the first snowstorm

Red-illuminated clouds over the coking plant at night

The red and green signal lights of a freight yard

The blossoming chestnut tree in the wind

A forgotten mud pond to sink into

A garden full of roses

A little girl rattles her hand along the green picket fence

Men with briefcases walk quickly along the long wall of the colliery

to the main gate

The hand of a clock advances

The wheels of the winding tower move in an enigmatic rhythm

The perpetual falling of a towering chimney

The scent of jasmine bushes by the swimming pool

The elder bush between the factory wall and the sewer

A very slight smell of sulfur in the air on mild summer evenings

A pair of lovers on the stone slope overgrown with wild flowers

A red mouth

A humming power plant in the evening purple

  • MachinimaMondays is a weekly meeting in Second Life, for all those interested in machinima, music, building, acting, scripting, movielovers, all welcome!

Location SLurl:   https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Samandiriel/184/226/1800

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MachinimaMondays