Anthony Brownrigg (AB): The film is a drama/horror set in the world of the Second Life game "City of Lost Angels" (CoLA). It surrounds one of the factions of that city, an undead faction known as the Archaic Redemption. What we did was much like a comic book or video game. We got the rights to many of the characters to include in the real life film, and created an original story that fit within the virtual world. It's really kind of an adaptation, if you will, of the roleplayers there. The story surrounds a man named Gabriel Fisk, a human who is searching for his sister. His search brings him towards Lost Angels, only to get stopped in a nearby town of Necroville by the Archaics. It's his story and struggle to get away from them and find his sister. We really wanted to make a character-driven horror film, not a typical "formula plot." The interactive virtual environment of Second Life gave us the opportunity to not only get inspired by the roleplay around us, but actually involve real characters there in the project. We thought how neat it would be to watch a film, and then visit the virtual version and interact with the very characters they just saw on the big screen. Second Life is the best platform I believe which can give us the flexibility to do this.
AB: What really inspired me for the script was the background of the Archaics and of CoLA itself. Suzanna Soyinka really penned a great background, and Tempest Ella a great job of integrating the undead faction within that city. It's a different view on the undead. They're not mindless, they know what they were, who they are. And for my own inspiration it really delved into some interesting concepts. If you don't have death to worry about, what happens to the human mind and its morality breakdown. It's a theme that the main character struggles with all through the story. We see the human resistance as well and their take on the issue. Within the CoLA universe, werewolves, vampires, demons, angels and all sorts of things in between exist. So the storyline for the film really intermingles varying viewpoints and fleshes out the story to become more of a drama within a horror-filled matrix.
AB: I have been absolutely sucked in to the potential for utilizing Second Life for film production and even future distribution options. The Phantasmagoria theater in SL was fabulous, and worked with me to help me understand the potential of SL as a tool for marketing. The virtual premiere was a stunning experience with a virtual audience that was composed of people from all over the world, I was able to get on voice with my avatar, and welcome , field questions...and all of us sat back and watched the film together. This is something we plan on utilizing heavily as "Archaic Redemption" ramps up. We can even have virtual "press junkets," actor interviews, sneak peaks...and not be limited by a certain demographic. Indeed, I already know some press folks that have made SL characters in anticipation of this. "Red Victoria" garnered fans all over the world from those screenings, and we'll definitely be repeating that and more with "Archaic Redemption."
Another element is the utilizing of the SL build options to actually construct our sets based on our real life locations. We can build them to spec, test out scenic design and even costuming. We can then utilize the camera and make storyboards -- all before we shoot one frame of film. On top of that, many of the actors and other producers have now gotten SL characters and are delving into even more promising elements of the SL world.
AB: There is a Facebook page for the film right now, which is http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Archaic-Redemptio
Next, we spoke to the person who inspired the film -- Archaic Redemption faction leader Tempest Ella.
Finally, we spoke to CoLA owner and CCS co-creator Suzanna Soyinka.
DG: The Community Combat System (CCS) has become hugely popular in Second Life. Can you briefly explain the CCS for those Residents that have yet to experience it?
Images courtesy of Anthony Brownrigg, Tempest Ella and Suzanna Soyinka.
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