11-30-2012 05:08 AM - edited 11-30-2012 05:17 AM
I'm a PHD student In London UK. I've been doing a project on a series of events surrounding the suicide of a guy in the USA who had a private collection of animals. I was just there in Ohio filming and interviewing people and I found 288 pages of Police reports. I had the idea to record parts of the reports as voice overs and have reconstructions of the reports as 3d animation. But then i thought that if this could be reconstructed in SL it could become way more collaborative and interesting. So i would like to build the whole situation in SL with some collaborators and film various reconstructions of events as machinima. So as far as i can think at the moment, the elements would include:
-A farm where all this could be staged. Basic buildings with green hills, fences, etc. Pickup trucks and junk, cages for the animals.
-Cows in a pasture, skinny with bones showing (Thompson had trouble with neighbors because of starving cows).
-A dead hole near the farm. This is a ravine where animal bones and carcasses are thrown.
-The animals. Tigers, Lions, Bears, wolves, Apes. More the better. But we can replicate.
-Terry Thompson avatar, dead and alive would be nice.
Below there's a bit more info.
What do you think about this? My problem is that i have absolutely no idea how to do it in SL!
The project opens up event surrounding the suicide of Terry Thompson October 2011 in Zanesville Ohio.
In brief, Thompson had a private animal zoo (menagerie) with over 60 lions tigers bears wolves monkeys etc. In october 2011 he released his animals after cutting the locks off the cages. He then shot himself in the head with an old Ruger 365. Before doing that he had laced his body with chicken parts in order to be consumed by his animals. Sometime later the sheriff received a complaint. A Woman had just seen a lion bounding next to the highway near the parking lot of an abandoned krispy kreme. She was hysterical. The deputy arrives at the Thompson farm. His cruiser rolls up to the property. Some lions are milling around. A grizzly bear begins to approach. Over by the house a man's body is lying down. A rare bengal tiger is eating the man's head. It is 2 hours to dark. The sheriff makes the call, shoot to kill. The police go on an all night hunt.
This is the event matrix that unpacks a multitude of threads binding society in a tangle of barely seen connections. Private property, the spectacle, fear, wilderness, pioneering etc. I went to Zanesville in October of 2012 and spent 2 weeks filming and interviewing people. The interviews are audio and there will be no talking heads in this film. I also have 288 pages of police after action reports from the event which i will use to record audio reconstructions with actors.
I'm in the process of putting together a structure and a "paper edit" of all the textual material.
Another thing to consider in any question of animated reconstructions, is that previously Thompson had been in trouble for malnourished cattle. Starving cows. A dead hole that he used for the dead animals. All of this was investigated by both the police and the society for the protection of animals. I would like to do reconstructions of that as well.
11-30-2012 05:57 AM
That is so sad! And crazy!
Good luck. It wouldn't be that difficult of a project I don't think. There are lots of role play sims with active police depts, etc. And rural living.
11-30-2012 06:03 AM
Stacy I'm looking for someone to really guide this because i am less than a newb here. If you know anyone please tell them to be in touch. This could be an actual $job.
11-30-2012 02:45 PM
This would be a fairly easy project IMO. There are any number of people in this forums familiar with recording SL via Fraps and other systems, and setting wise, avatars, props etc I don't think would pose great difficulty. If your stuck and no one else wants to help you I would be willing to offer what assistance I can, but there's likely people more experienced in this than I who could do as good or better a job. If your stuck IM me and I'm happy to talk to you about it.
12-01-2012 01:48 AM
Wow, such a senseless loss. It could certainly make a dramatic and poignant machinima, Starkhaze.
What exactly are you looking for, help-wise? Someone to mentor you on film-basics and/or direct and help build sets, or are you seeking someone to film and edit it, or...? And also, is there an agenda behind the film? As in, is it animal-rights driven etc. or are you just re-telling events in a non-biased way?
I'd be interested in helping in some capacity.
12-01-2012 01:57 AM - edited 12-01-2012 01:58 AM
Also, just to add: this forum isn't always the most active place to talk to other machinimists. There are a couple of really good machinima groups in-world... I haven't been involved in them much in the past year but there's a group called Machinima Mondays which (I assume still) meets weekly, and they have a great group of new and very experienced film-makers.
12-01-2012 02:01 AM
@Kobuk on one level this will be pretty descriptive (ie. without an agenda) but I certainly have a point of view. IMO this is a case of OVERIDENTIFICATION. For me Terry Thompson overidentified with the dominant ideology of his environment and pushed it all a bit too far. For me all of the paradoxes in the USA are visible in his story and i would like to use these tragic events to tease out the threads and unpack them a bit. But as far as an animal rights perspective I only have a deep interest in ideas of the animal, and certainly the seperation between animal and human and ultimatley... the machine and how intelligent machines are somewhat a hybrid of animal and human.
If you want to get involved I welcome you with open arms! I'm a newb in SL but we could meet up and chat about it.
12-01-2012 06:49 AM
I wouldn't have time to get involved. I have so many projects going on right now. But, I would love to see how this comes out. I doubt I'll even be able to get involved anytime in the next year. SL is full of creativity and so much to choose from. Good Luck!