My New Blog

Well, I finally did it. I caved in to peer pressure and started a blog. But I still refuse to make a Facebook page or Tweet my most mundane bits of personal trivia to the world. Who would be interested in those kinds of details about me anyway? I bore myself daily. I can’t imagine inflicting that on everyone else, too.
 
However, I do have some projects in the works that probably need some attention. First is the website: www.sims2machinima.com . This is not another forum or community for directors, but hopefully will serve as a type of Yellowbook listing for all active Sims 2 and Sims 3 machinima directors. It won’t be a very interactive site, so you won’t find folks just hanging around there in chat rooms. But what it will do is streamline the process of finding good machinima when fans are in a mood to search for it. If all goes well with the database, directors will be sorted by platform and genre, making it easy for viewers to watch the kinds of movies they like, such as series, music videos, drama, horror, comedy, etc. Each director who registers will get their own page, which won’t be entirely customizable because that’s what their own website  or channel page is for.  But the goal is to get browsing fans to visit their own page, so shameless self-promotion is encouraged.
 
In designing and creating this website, I and my site builder have run into problem after problem. These problems wouldn’t exist if either of us was a professional coder. But we’re not. I can barely figure out how to check email half the time. He has experience with some aspects of web design, but works a full time job that has nothing to do with IT. Yet we both agreed that the advantages of building a site from scratch (i.e., Dreamweaver as opposed to the packages available online) far outweigh the disadvantages. The site is now live and more or less functional. But we’re focused on behind-the-scenes issues, like security to prevent malicious attacks that might result in site defacing, redirecting, or harvesting of user email information. And this is where the whole process has ground to a halt. Learning this stuff takes time, so I certainly hope everyone will bear with me.
 
In other news, I’m still hard at work on my next machinima project. “Left On Stonehaven” is a novel written by a dear friend of mine, and it simply begged for a machinima trailer. I can’t do a “real” trailer because of the EA Games EULA which prohibits commercial use of any type. But I can do a “fan fiction” machinima, which gives me a little more creative license anyway. So I’m really “letting it rip” with this film, and I think it’s safe to speak for Carol (the author) and myself when I say we’re having a blast with it!
 
Anyone who has read my posts anywhere on the Internet for the past three months has heard me talk about working on this new video. Yet I seem to be making no progress. Oh, but I am! The holdup on that front, just as it is with the website, is the very steep learning curve I face. For this machinima, I’ve had to learn to mesh new objects, mesh new accessories, do more advanced post-production work, and synch dialogue. Gaah! This will be a very different type of machinima than my previous four, and I’m excited about its release.
 
Some images from the Stonehaven set:

And this is where it all begins. . .at the end. 😉

Is he really there? . . .or not? (The dogs knew. . . .)

a vision in white

 

Oh, how clever the ruse.

"Stronger than ropes or locks."

 

When the alternative is nothing, you'll wear anything.

Yikes.

‘Til next time,

Rhonda

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18 responses to “My New Blog

  1. Rhonda, I love this!! Your captions are clever, with all the double entendres. The first one baffles me. Instead of // And this is where it all begins. . .at the end.// maybe you could write, “What was left on Stonehaven Road?” or left something behind –? The images are all intriguing and your machinima techniques are mind-blowing. You’ve rocketed to the top of a new genre, and you’re sure to launch it farther than anyone dreamed it could go.

  2. Hmmm. . .I wonder if there’s a reason you’re keeping mum about the fact that it’s actually your novel I’m making the machinima for? 😉

    Oh, and just look at my horrid grammar. The shame, the shame. . . .

  3. Me — mum? Just humble. But hey, now that you mention it, you have done great things with my novel, and I am so grateful, and I owe you! People say “the book is always better than the movie,” but in your case, the machinima made me realize how much better the book could be. Your economy and skill at selecting the most important images, disregarding the lesser details — there’s a skill we novelists need!! I’m eager to see the final footage, but nervous too because then my novel has to be as finished as your machinima. Then there’s Romany, the novella, Romany’s life BEFORE she’s kidnapped and held in a historic rural house on Stonehaven Road… by the way, we used to live on un-named roads, until emergency responders demanded named roads. So now, instead of Rural Route # 3 or #2 or whatever, it’s Yale Avenue (gravel road, past farms!). Sorry. I digress. You see why I need you, Rhonda, and your machinima, to show me how much stuff I can cut. 🙂 Thank you!

  4. p.s. It’s now okay to end a sentence with a preposition, so your grammar above was flawless. 🙂

  5. Gasp! Okay to end a sentence with a preposition? Who made (or un-made) that rule? I could just kiss them.

    I read something on the writing list a while back about the goofy way that “rule” got started in the first place. Kind of like Elmore Leonard’s nobackstoryforthefirsttwentypages mantra, or always opening your first scene with blood on the floor. Nice in theory, but downright suffocating when applied as a blanket to everything one writes.

  6. I love the machinima pics. They are so cool! I can’t wait to see the finished movie and I’m so glad you have a blog! 🙂

  7. Hi, Amanda. Fancy meeting you here! 🙂 I hope you can see I haven’t forgotten Sygyzy, not the least little bit, but am still snowed under with this project. Making the machinimas doesn’t take this long. But learning how to make all the custom content I need is a Class A Time Bandit. Hey, at least I know how to do it now.

  8. You’re blazing new trails, Rhonda. What a pioneer! Getting a Sims character to hold a pink drink. Or fire a shotgun up a tree. Who knew what would be hard, and what was standard (available, already done)? Not me! In one of your videos, you drew attention for something I’d take for granted — “You got your character to sit on the hood of the car! HOW?” — and my favorite is your comment that it can be tricky to get your “actors” to take their clothes off, i.e., even for a guy to stand around shirtless. Those silly Sims people. Then Romany showing up at the cornfield one day, without being asked, when you were filming — and you have no idea where she came up with the clothes she was wearing. Just got herself dressed and showed up at the set. Quinn, surprising you with a disapproving shake of the head when Ruza starts chatting up Romany…. amazing…. where does free will begin, and directions from the creator (you, the Sims player) end?

  9. Yep, all true. I realize–really, I do–that my game is hacked to death, and weird things like people walking around with their heads on backward does occur. 🙂 But still, what does account for the surprises, like Quinn shaking his head at the two girls in the bar at precisely the right moment? Algorithms, I know. It does add an interesting twist to the filming process, though. . . .

  10. I like what you’ve done to the place!

  11. Hi, Gary! Good to see you dropped by. For all you authors who check out the blog. . .this guy can write dialogue like nobody’s business. Had me laughing so hard at one of his productions that I nearly rolled off the sofa–and the movie’s not even a comedy!!

  12. Gary, hello! Rhonda sent me a link to your first-ever video, which has the funniest dialogue! The opening music scared our cat. 🙂 Love the grainy B&W visuals that evoke a 1950s film noir. Then we go color. And when people start talking, the bobble-head effect is funny (but not in a bad way). I love it — “I’ll have the usual. And some coffee.” Heh heh heh. More in a minute….

  13. Omigosh. Pet therapy. That’s in my own novel. But your little blonde is full of surprises.

  14. Gary, your sheriff has so many good lines, you need to put him in a series of his own.

  15. http://www.youtube.com/user/simsmovieschannel “for fans who love sims movies but can’t find them” — oh, I’ll never get anything done if I start watching this stuff….

  16. YAY!!! I’ve been waiting for this day. Releasing the novel. Send up the balloons, throw the confetti, call out the crowds! Rhonda–this is beautifully written. Clean, economical prose. GREAT characters and conflicts! Witty dialogue. https://dolittlesaymuch.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/the-hurricane-novelette-before-our-time/#more-43

    Kyle is quite the mystery man until Mandy sifts through the rumors, probes beneath the mystique and finds what’s really in his heart and on his conscience.

    At 13,500 words, this is a quick and easy read with lots of rich material to ruminate on. I look forward to discussing it with fellow fans.

  17. Ha Ha thanks Rhonda! Kean88 the Sheriff is a little under the weather (six feet or so under) I wander if anybody will notice that his mouth isn’t moving when he does his lines?

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