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Creating Machinima Film - looking to hire SL expert and location manager


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I am creating a machinima film. I have a crew of 3D animators in Canada and wish to hire someone in-world to:

 

Help secure land that we can freely import 'meshes' to and build our own locations. Help determine if I need a private island or if this can be done on the mainland. If I am purchasing land, I want to know that I can get rid of the land easily after  I shoot the film there.

I am hesitant to rent since I cannot risk a landlord shutting down the land if we are in development.

My locations (which are being created) are:

1. A Japanese inspired magical island, with a cliff, a small river with swans, cherry blossom trees, a bed made of flowers, a throne, a peacock, some swans, birds, a campfire and flowers.

2. The Rainbow Bridge from Tokyo

3. A church ( surrealist similar to Sagrada familia)

I cannot use locations that already exist since I need to have FULL COPYRIGHT to the locations under Canadian law. Therefore, I want to find the cheapest empty plot of land (that has water access), and I want to ensure I can get rid of the land as soon as I am done (as I don't want to pay tax on the land if there is such a thing).

If anyone can help me or I can hire you to help me, I would welcome applicants.

 

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You should be able to obtain a homestead or full sim (depending on your LI requirements) for as long as you need it.  Most of the time if you rent a full region there is no covenant and you are free to do as you please there.  You'll also probably get estate agent rights, giving you just about complete control, and can change the land textures and terraform as needed. 

No premium membership is required .  You would pay by the week and could just stop paying the rent when you are finished, as I am sure you'll need it for a few weeks at least to build your sets and do the filming.  If you rent from a reputable estate you should have no problem with being shut down if you keep your rent up.  You can also deed the land to a group of your own thereby controlling access and who can rez or run scripts there.

Mainland is possible, but you have no control over what will surround your land.  Even if it's empty someone may come and stick a ugly big build right next to your land, even on an adjacent sim too.  You can't change land textures or terraform unless you buy the mainland. and then only + or - four meters with the exception of a few mainland regions.  Waterfront mainland can also be expensive.  Of course when you're done you can just abandon it to LL, but probably will still owe a full month as mainland tier is only monthly and billed based on how much land you owned in the past 30 days, even if it was just 30 seconds. You would also have to be a premium member.

If you rent mainland it's doubtful you'll be able to terraform at all and others in your production may not be able to build or rez, as tenants have to belong to the landlords group and most landlords only allow the tenant and perhaps a partner.  If you want to rent a large enough property for a good period of time, you may find a landlord that would be cooperative and let you have what control you need and add all your production company to their group they create for the purpose.

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CinemaMachinima Grau wrote:

I am hesitant to rent since I cannot risk a landlord shutting down the land if we are in development.

That's understandable, there certainly  is a lot of monkey business going on in that market. There are many serious, reliable actors too though and the trick is to find them.

One thing you can do is look at the top 10 Estates list at gridsurvey.com. These are all estate owners who are in for the long haul so they can't afford to cheat their customers and they're certainly not going to close down a sim as long as somebody is paying rent for it.

I do feel a bit bad for suggestion this solution, not because they don't deserve the recommendation but because there are many others who do too. Unfortunately, in an unregulated market like Second Life it's very difficult for a customer to distinguish between the serious providers and the crooks.

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I agree with the others that you likely want to rent as you can never be sure of selling land in SL :D.   

THAT being said, I suggest that you read the Second Life Terms of Service VERY CAREFULLY as there are some clauses that were added a few years back that could very easily negate your FULL COPYRIGHT.  Some real life mesh makers, scripters and the like were forced to leave SL back then (some not even being able to pick up their money before exiting as logging in would have broken the copyright agreement that they had in real life).   

None of that was ever tested, but if you are spending a lot of money on this, I suggest having a Canadian attourney look over the Terms of Service to see if making a film here would really address your needs. 

 

As an alternative you could set up a standalone sim on your company's computer using Opensim software. You can do most things on Opensim that you can do in Second Life. It can be just a pretty if you have skilled folks making your environment. 

 

So a couple of things to think on there. 

 

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Thank you, Chic. Since this was posted in the Land Forum I only thought of the safe rental aspect and overlooked the other complications. There are a few more we haven't mentioned yet and to sum it up (so far and including those extra complications):

  • You can find a reliable private sim owner to rent from but you have to be careful.
  • Using a Mainland property may not be a good idea since there is no way of knowing what kind of clashing builds the owners in the neighbor sims put up while you're at work. Also, on Mainland you probably won't be able to use the system ground since it can't be retextured and there are limits to how much it can be reshaped.
  • Buying a sim for the purpose will cost up to 600 USD in setup fee. It may or may not be worth it.
  • Don't expect to be able to sell the land quickly afterwards. The SL (un)real estate market is already oversaturated. You can always abandon the land though - there's not that much money to regain from reselling anyway.

As for content and copyright:

  • According to the Terms of Service you do not under any circumstance have full copyright to anything made in or uploaded to Second Life.
  • Although there is an abundance of ready-made content in Second Life, it is very unlikely that you can find much you can use. Generally there is no rhyme nor rhythm to scales or proportions of Second Life content and LoD issues may also be critical. (You also have to be careful to avoid the depressingly large amount of illegal content on the market but usually those items are disqualified for LoD reasons too.)

If you consider the Opensim option Chic suggested:

  • To clear a possible misunderstanding: despite the name an Opensim sim does not have to be connected to the OS grid or any other grid. You can run it yourself as a free standing sim or as part of a small private grid.
  • Opensim uses the same athmospheric/shader software as Second Life so you can expect to get the same visual effect there.
  • Although there is a lot of content available for Opensim, you probably don't want to use pirate copies for a project like the one you describe and that means you are lucky if you find any ready made and optimized content at all. With a free standing sim you should be able to use content from Turbosquid and such legally but any 3D models not made specifically for SL/OS need to be optimized for the environment (especially the clumsy LoD system) and that may well require almost as much work as creating the items from scratch. And of course, there are no legal mesh bodies available for Opensim so if the system avatars aren't good enough, you'll have to have them all custom made.

In any case:

  • The content you need to create and/or adapt is likely to cost far more than renting or buying land.
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LOL. Maybe this needs to get moved to the machinima forum :D

 

For those of you who do NOT know I have been making machinima for many years and yes, of course have a YouTube channel and am also on SLArtist which is now on Roku (oh my the fame) -----

 

ANYWAY.  Along with all the slightly depressing bits I wanted to add that most items purchased or taken free (legally although I don't see how one can have copyrights on anything purchased as one only has the rights to USE ) are not good for Opensim. Hopefully the people making the 3D mesh for the OP's project know the ins and outs of this ("these" really --  as Opensim is very much the same except for bells and whistles) platform. 

Every once and awhile -- at least in the past when I was more of a machinima maker -- folks would contact me to make them a mov-ie.   Smiling here as the biggest hurdle was not LAND or even legalities as most of those folks didn't need full copyrights. The largest issue over and over again was that they had no idea what could and could not be done in Second Life.  They didn't understand why you couldn't just film any where (against the machinima policy) , why I couldn't film a naked sceen on the beach on an LEA sim ^^ etc. One person wanted a shot of someone moving their finger across a dusty table signifying time going by. And of course the funny part was that the machinima was supposed to be about Second Life where -- we HAVE NO dust LOL.

 

That's just one example in a big handful. 

 

Nowadays and with Bento and lovely mesh bodies we can do much more, but we cannot do everything.  If the 3 D content (optimized for our platform) is taken care of then I would say a stand alone Opensim of a completely private nature would be the best bet.  Note that "renting" a simulator from an Opensim grid (there are many) or hooking up to the hypergrid would loose the ability to prove total copyrights. Opensim has issues and one is the ability of any grid owner (just like Linden Lab ) to take your stuff. It is on their server. 

So some homework is definitely needed IMHO.    

 

And now I bet my Blender texture is good and baked and warmin in the oven. 

 

 

 

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Note as I reread Chin's last comment.

 

There are indeed legal mesh bodies available in Opensim through Kitely Market which delivers to opensim grids. There are also mesh clothes, some good and some very and free. Not much on par ( I can think of one clothes maker) with Second Life but there are quite a few of SL folks also in Opensim (Chic waves hand).  Many very nice items can be found on the Kitely Market.  And just like the SL Marketplace a lot of not so great stuff too.  

 

Again, I am not sure how much purchased content could be used because of the copyright issue. That is something the OP must decide. 

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