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Second Life Spotlight - Shawn Gunner


Linden Lab

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Today we’re shining a spotlight on Shawn Gunner, whose decade-long journey in Second Life has transformed from a curious newcomer to a pivotal machinima artist, DJ, and educator.

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How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it?
I have been a passionate follower of Second Life for nearly ten years, finding this virtual realm to be a constant source of amusement and social connectivity. Surprisingly, I initially discovered this platform through an online forum dedicated to IMVU, another well-known virtual world. However, upon entering Second Life, I immediately recognized its superior qualities compared to any other virtual world I had encountered previously. With its captivating visuals, limitless customization opportunities, and thriving community, Second Life has undeniably become a cherished sanctuary for me.

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You are a talented machinima artist, how did you get into it and do you have a background in video production?
Upon discovering machinima in Second Life, I was immediately drawn to its captivating and imaginative possibilities. Initially unaware that real users were behind these creations, I mistook them for a feature available for purchase within Second Life. I recall reaching out to a machinima video creator, expressing my interest in acquiring something similar. It was only after they enlightened me about their personal involvement in the video's production that I truly appreciated the depth of their creativity, and my fascination with the realm of machinima was born.

Spurred by this encounter, I developed a passion for crafting my own machinima videos. Although I initially considered commissioning a video from the creator, I ultimately declined due to cost and resolved to embrace the challenge myself. My friends, impressed by my non-Second Life video creations, wholeheartedly encouraged me in this pursuit.

Countless hours were devoted to researching and honing my craft. I carefully studied a multitude of videos on YouTube and reached out to numerous experienced videographers for guidance and assistance. I eagerly absorbed insights into various techniques and software, integrating them into my creative endeavors. Experimentation with camera angles, lighting, and effects played a crucial role in achieving my desired outcomes.

While I lack professional experience in video production outside of Second Life, my ardent interest in the art of filmmaking has always remained steadfast.

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You’ve recently started teaching film classes at GPS Studios, can you tell us more about that and how Residents can sign up if they are interested in learning?
Due to my passion for teaching, I am thrilled to have begun my career as a videography instructor at GioNation. During my time there, I had the pleasure of meeting Sergio Castellanos, the school's founder. Although initially nervous, Sergio's polite and welcoming demeanor helped put me at ease. Following a successful interview, I accepted a teaching position at GioNation until its closure.

Undeterred by this setback, I sought guidance and support from Sergio to continue my teaching journey. With his invaluable assistance, I established GPS Studios, where my team and I offer comprehensive filmmaking classes. These courses cover essential aspects of videography, such as lighting techniques, camera movements, and numerous vital skills.

At GPS Studios, we take pride in our straightforward teaching style, striving to make the learning process enjoyable and accessible for our students. Additionally, we provide a wide range of effects for Premier Pro, which can enhance video quality.

If you are interested in creating machinima in Second Life, we would be delighted to have you enroll in our classes. Our team is excited to share our knowledge and expertise with you. You can find our sign-up page here: https://forms.gle/mJtBQgnHU4CSvxnP7 

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You’re also a DJ, how did you get into DJing in Second Life and which venues do you regularly play at? Are there any upcoming shows Residents can see you at?
I have always had a deep passion for music. My sister Junie Hendrixx and I started from nothing on Second Life, playing music and slowly building a following of people who appreciated our talent. Through hard work and dedication, we honed our skills in mixing and blending, which eventually led to the creation of our esteemed entertainment company, Sneaky Link Entertainment.

Although we initially started small, over time our company grew, and we were fortunate enough to bring on my best friend and business partner, Kevo B. Wylin. Together, we have established ourselves as one of the premier entertainment companies within our virtual world. Our diverse roster of DJs, including DJ Kevo, DJ Lola Bunny, DJ Ultra Violet, DJ Blackice, DJ Fang, DJ Brockie, and myself, offer a wide range of music genres, catering to various tastes from Rap/Hip-Hop to R&B and House.

Behind the scenes, our exceptional team of managers, including Symone, Dee, Luna, Lola, Lyric, Kacee, and Slaughter, plays a vital role in keeping our company thriving. Additionally, we have a highly dedicated hype team consisting of over 15 members who assist us in promoting our events and reaching a larger audience.
To stay updated with our upcoming shows, you can join our in-world group or follow us on social media. Our Facebook and Instagram links are provided below:
FB: https://www.facebook.com/SneakyLinkEntertainment 
IG: https://www.instagram.com/sneakylinkentsl
Inworld Group: secondlife:///app/group/2f521f16-f593-e83a-90b1-59771471c838/about  

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Are there any other interesting projects you are currently working on? What can we expect from you in the future?
I am currently involved in multiple projects that hold significant professional importance for me. One such project is a collaboration with Moon Studios, where we are working together to achieve an exceptional result. Additionally, I am working closely with Peasant Tater, a highly regarded videographer and voice actor in the Second Life community, on a detailed project. Our focus is to compile various scenes into a cohesive work that will undoubtedly impress. Peasant is making significant contributions to the project by creating multiple custom animations.

Furthermore, I am collaborating with a carefully chosen group of individuals on a music video project. The casting call for the video was overseen by Sauda Moon, the CEO of Moon Studios, and Revienne Decosta, CEO of Revienne. Ryah Plastique, the founder of Mu Alpha Chi Sorority, is responsible for animating the dancers in the video.

In summary, I consider myself privileged to be involved in these projects and eagerly anticipate their final outcomes. These projects hold immense professional significance for me, and I take pride in being able to contribute my expertise to their success.

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Tell us about some of the other Residents in SL who inspire you and whose work you admire.
Within the realm of Second Life, a multitude of gifted and imaginative individuals exist, uplifting and propelling others to new levels of achievement. Fortunately, I have had the privilege of encountering a handful of these remarkable residents who have left a lasting impact on me.

One such individual is DJ Brockie, who, in my estimation, stands as one of the premier DJs in existence. Sadly, I believe he does not receive the recognition he rightfully merits. Nevertheless, his prowess behind the turntables is unparalleled, and his passion for music is contagious. He is unquestionably a role model for me, and undoubtedly, my entire team feels the same.

With respect to videography, the Second Life community is teeming with countless talented figures, too numerous to mention entirely. However, several individuals stand out prominently to me, namely VrutegaSere Vene, Sergio Castellanos, Malus Castamere, Peasant Tater, and many others. Each possesses a distinctive style that sets their work apart, showcasing their exceptional abilities and the unwavering commitment they pour into their respective crafts.

I would like to emphasize my deep reverence for each of these individuals. I wholeheartedly support and admire them in their endeavors, whatever they may be. They serve as a wellspring of inspiration for not only me but also for many others within the Second Life community.

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Where can people see your work? Please share links to your sites and social media accounts.

https://www.facebook.com/GunnerKlips 
https://www.instagram.com/gunn.klips
 
https://www.facebook.com/GPSStudiosSL
https://www.instagram.com/gpstudiossl

https://www.facebook.com/SneakyLinkEntertainment 
https://www.instagram.com/sneakylinkentsl


Watch this moving machinima created by Shawn for this Spotlight interview, where he shares his unique connection with Second Life.

Thank you, Shawn, for enriching the Second Life community with your talent, creativity, and musical expression.

 

Each of our Spotlight posts features a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup      

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