Aug 282007
 

THE VIRTUAL STORY
Film Making and Cinematic Experiences Using Virtual Worlds and Games

There is a revolution happening in the way both users and professionals are creating films and story environments. YouTube, Machinima.com and many other video portals are filled with thousands of short films made in game engines and virtual worlds. It is a fast changing space and even in the past week HBO have commissioned the world’s first machinima series to made entirely in a games environment and the first episode is a nominee for an academy award. This two part course consists of a seminar which introduces participants to the exciting work being produced in this area, and a one day workshop that provides a hands-on introduction to the tools that are available.

Virtual Story

SEMINAR

The one day seminar, presented by award winning machinima and virtual world creators, will start with state of the art examples, live demos, a panel review show and presentations on the art and craft of machinimation. The second half of the day will look closely at Story Environments – places where rich virtual experiences encourage users to “live”, role play and create their own stories. Several case studies will illustrate the tools and design techniques being used to create these rich story spaces. The day will end with a panel where traditional film industry practitioners discuss how their various crafts apply to films being made in these virtual worlds, followed by another live, theatrical machinima.

Presenters include (see Bios below):
* Gary Hayes, AFTRS – Director, LAMP and Head of Virtual Worlds The Project Factory
* Jackie Turnure, AFTRS – Lecturer, Interactive Storytelling, and co-creator of machinima feature Stolen Life
* Gary Wisniewski – CEO of Second Life Cable Network SLCN.TV
* Ian Brown, AFTRS – Lecturer, VFX and Animation
* Richard James Allen – Writer & Director
* Karen Pearlman, AFTRS – Curriculum Designer, and Writer, Producer, Editor

Special Guest Presenter:

Gary Wisniewski is the CEO of the Second Life Cable Network (SLCN.TV), a professional video network designed to expand the in-world audience as well as deliver virtual entertainment to the real-world. SLCN.TV was started in March 2007 and has now established itself as the leading broadcast service in Second Life. Live broadcasts include The Transformers’ press conference, the largest in-world event ever staged, as well as in-world events for the Die Hard 4release, the 300 press event featuring Frank Miller, as well as events for the ABC and many more. Gary will be demonstrating some remarkable techniques and camera technology they use in the some of their four camera live machinima captures in the seminar and the workshop the following day.

Guest Panelists include:

* Mark Ward, AFTRS – Head of Sound
* John Rohde, AFTRS – Head of Design
* Teresa Rizzo, AFTRS – Lecturer, Screen Studies
* Timothy Smith, AFTRS – Screen and games writer
* Melvin Montalban, AFTRS – Directing student

Speaker details below and full registration details here

SEMINAR DETAILS:
Date: Wednesday 12 September 2007
Time: 9.30am Registration – 10am-5pm
Registration: Pre-registration and payment is essential. Please use the online Registration Form
Cost: $30 (Light lunch and afternoon tea provided)
Closing Date: Friday 7 September
Venue: Museum of Sydney, (Cnr of Bridge & Phillips Streets), Sydney CBD

TOOLS WORKSHOP

This one day workshop builds on the themes presented in the seminar and provides participants with hands-on experience of the tools used to create virtual stories. This practical session will introduce the best tools available, including: Neverwinter Nights, The Movies, Second Life, Unity, World of Warcraft, The Sims 2 and Console Games such as Halo. We will also explore specific craft aspects of production including cinematography, character animation, sound and set design. Attendance at the seminar is a pre-requisite for attending this workshop, which has limited places and application is essential.

WORKSHOP DETAILS:
Date: Thursday 13 September 2007
Time: 10am-5pm
Places: 24
Application: It is a pre-requisite to attend the seminar, as well as having a familiarity with games/virtual worlds and navigating in a 3D environment. Please use the online Registration Form
Cost: $50 (Light lunch and afternoon tea provided)
Closing Date: Friday 7 September
Venue: LAMP LAB @ AFTRS, Cnr Balaclava and Epping Roads, North Ryde

PRODUCTION WORKHSOP

Participants of BOTH the seminar and one day workshop ONLY are invited to submit ideas for an original machinima film or story environment to be developed in an extra three day workshop. There will be a maximum of four projects chosen. Further details will be made available at the seminar and workshop.

DETAILS:
Date: Wednesday 26-September – Friday 28 September 2007
Time: 10am-5pm, 3 days
Application: Details will be available at the Tools Workshop on 13 Sept.
Cost: $150 (Light lunch and afternoon tea provided each day)
Closing Date: TBA
Venue: LAMP LAB @ AFTRS, Cnr Balaclava and Epping Roads, North Ryde

SPEAKER DETAILS

Jackie Turnure
Jackie was the script editor and voice director on Stolen Life, an animated feature produced in Machinima, written and produced by Peter Rasmussen. Jackie is a lecturer in interactivity and cross media at AFTRS, where she is also a mentor for LAMP (Laboratory of Advanced Media Production). She brings a unique perspective to the role of narrative in cross media production. Recently she won a development award at Milia 2007 from Ogilvy and AMEX for her Alternate Reality Game project ‘Diamond Reef’.

For the last 15 years she has worked across film, television, games and online production, with a particular focus on animation and children’s content. She has written and produced numerous 3D animated kids’ games for PC, including Bananas in Pyjamas – It’s Party Time, Oz – The Magical Adventure and Oz – The Interactive Storybook. The games have won awards and been distributed in 18 countries. Jackie recently completed story producing and writing three episodes on Deadly, a half hour animated TV series based on the books by Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman.

Gary Wisniewski
Gary Wisniewski is the CEO of the Second Life Cable Network (SLCN.TV), a professional video network designed to expand the in-world audience as well as deliver virtual entertainment to the real-world. SLCN.TV was started in March 2007 and has now established itself as the leading broadcast service in Second Life. Live broadcasts include The Transformers press conference, the largest in-world event ever staged, as well as in-world events for the Die Hard release, the 300 press event featuring Frank Miller, as well as events for the ABC and many more. Gary will be demonstrating some remarkable techniques and camera technology they use in the some of their four camera live machinima captures in the seminar and the workshop the following day.

Gary Hayes
Gary is the Director of LAMP and the Head of Virtual Worlds at The Project Factory. He has led The Laboratory for Advanced Media Production at AFTRS since 2005 who have developed 54 Australian emerging media and pervasive entertainment projects and run hundreds of workshops and seminars. As Head of Virtual Worlds at the Project Factory he has personally produced and built Second Life presences for Australian brands, including Telstra, ABC TV, Tourism Victoria, Physical TV and many more. Before coming to Australia Gary was Senior Producer at BBC New Media for 8 years devising and producing many of the BBC’s digital ‘firsts’ – the first 24/7 Interactive TV service, the first live internet documentary and the first truly interactive programming for Broadband TV. He also created over 20 other enhanced TV shows, several future BBC cross-platform navigators and was part of BBC Imagineering developing early ‘inhabited TV’, Virtual World and TV Mixed Reality formats.

As BBC Senior Development Manager he worked on global BBC digital strategies and externally chaired the Business Models for TV-Anytime (the global personalized TV standard) and then moved to the US to develop on-demand TV with broadcasters such as NBC, Showtime and CBS. He recently co-authored a UK Department Trade and Industry Report on Personalised TV and has been an International Interactive Emmy juror for the past two years. Gary recently keynoted on virtual worlds at CeBit, AIMIA and presented on education and brands in virtual worlds on radio, podcasts and many seminars. He produces dramatic and corporate machinima and runs workshops for cinematographers, designers, and script writers exploring the potential of shared, social online virtual worlds for collaborative production, creativity and education and runs a popular blog on media personalisation, digital brands, new media forms and creativity at www.personalizemedia.com.

Dr Richard James Allen Dr Karen Pearlman
Dr Richard James Allen (writer, choreographer, director) and Dr Karen Pearlman (editor, choreographer, producer) are founders of The Physical TV Company and explorers of media and the mind. In New York as That Was Fast they brought content back into dance in The Laughing Movie, Alphabet x 2, The Charlie Stories and other works in their original ‘cinematic blend of text and dance action’. In Australia with companies such as
Dance North and Tasdance, they explored the nexus between fully fledged original play scripts and dance scripts to make ‘dance plays’ such as If War Were A Dance and Blue Cities, bringing movement into character development and choreography into story.

They have been world leaders in the exploration of video dance and dance film and their work in this area as The Physical TV Company has taken them to a deep integration of the languages of cinema, literature and choreography as witnessed by short films such as Rubberman Accepts The Nobel Prize, No Surrender, and Down Time Jaz, and the short feature Thursday’s Fictions. Always engaged by new spaces in which meaning can be explored and communicated, they have recently delved into mobile content with the adaptation of Richard’s 9th book, The Kamikaze Mind, into animated phone poems, and the adaptation of the Richard’s 8th book, Thursday’s Fictions, from a play to a film to a 3D online immersive world in Second Life.

Ian Brown
Ian has been writing and playing games since the days of the Commodore 64, and is the proud owner of a scratch-built cocktail MAME machine. He is currently interested in the impending cross-over of film drama and games technology. For the past ten years Ian has worked in many disciplines and capacities in the film and television industry, encompassing 3D artist and supervisor, art direction, matte painting, production design and storyboarding.

His feature credits include The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Moulin Rouge, The Quiet American, Hero, Mission Impossible 2, The Man who Sued God, The Great Raid, Red Planet, Garage Days and The Thin Red Line. His TVC work includes over 50 high-profile international commercials. As a director his work spans both shorts and high-end music videos, earning both local and international awards and nominations, including an AFI.

Panellists

Mark Ward

Whilst studying creative writing and literature Mark became infected with the filmmaking virus and has never fully recovered. A graduate of AFTRS in 1985 (Directing and Sound), he founded a sound design company, Counterpoint Sound, in 1987 with fellow graduates of the School. Counterpoint was a “script-to-screen” service for sound, and built its reputation in documentaries, short and experimental drama and TVCs. In 1991 the same team formed Oracle Pictures, a production company aimed at developing and producing documentary and drama.

By the end of 2000 Mark had put Counterpoint into a box and shifted focus to feature films, working on such features as Lantana, The Quiet American, and In The Cut amongst others. Mark has been a member of both the Australian Screen Sound Guild and ASDA since 1995. Since entering the industry over 20 years ago, Mark has experienced the transition of screen-sound from sprockets to analogue multi-track to software-based design and production. With the same feverish curiosity he looks forward to the creative opportunities of interactive sound design.

Jon Rohde
Jon Rohde has worked in the TV and film industry for over two decades working his way up through most Art Department positions. His most recent position was Production Designer on R.A.N. working in the Torres Strait for Chapman Pictures. Rohde’s other credits include:

  • Police Rescue – Assistant Designer, Blue Murder – Assistant Art Director, Wildside – Art Director
  • Art Director on Australian features including Risk and Bootmen (AFI winner for Production Design)
  • Segment manager for Sydney 2000 Olympics Closing Ceremonies
  • Production Designer for Columbia Tri-Star films; After the Rain and Heroes Mountain
  • Production Designer for Southern Star; Young Lions, Fireflies
  • Production Designer for Screentime; Jessica.

Jon completed a Diploma of Arts in Film and TV at QCA in Brisbane and worked for the Seven Network. He then moved to Sydney and began work in Art Departments for ABC Drama while completing a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts at UTS. He has worked for numerous production companies and with a wide range of producers, directors and other designers.

Teresa Rizzo

Teresa Rizzo graduated from Murdoch University, Western Australia, with a BA Honours in Communication Studies in 1994. Her honours thesis-video On Becoming won numerous awards nationally, and internationally. From 1994-2005 she has worked in the pay television industry in various producer roles, in organisations such as Teleitalia, Galaxy Media and the Premium Movie Partnership. She recently submitted her doctoral thesis in Film Studies at the University of New South Wales. Teresa’s research interests include Deleuze and feminist film theory, the modern horror genre, and the pay TV industry in Australia. Publications:

  • “The Molecular Poetics of Before Night Falls,” Rhizomes, forthcoming Sep. 2005.
  • “The Alien Series: A Deleuzian Perspective,” Women: a Cultural Review, Volume 15, Number 3 / November 2004.
  • “On Becoming-An Interview with Moira Gatens,” Southern Review vol. 28.1(1995): pp. 53-68. Questions and Interview by Teresa Rizzo.
  • On Becoming. Experimental documentary. Dir. prod. and writ. Teresa Rizzo 27mins. Winner of Flickerfest 1994.
May 112007
 

MIXED REALITY BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT

Audiences are already spending up to four times as much of their entertainment time in virtual spaces than they are watching TV. EA Games have just partnered with Endemol to produce TV shows inside virtual worlds, MTV Networks have virtual versions of their popular TV program Laguna Beach and there is a growing tide of shows from virtual worlds which mirror our experiences in the physical world.

This exciting afternoon seminar will examine a wide range of cross-over services that work between games, virtual worlds and linear TV. This seminar is intended for games creators, social network managers and film and TV producers looking to merge their entertainment worlds. It will also be of interest to designers of games that work across media in the physical world using mobiles, print, viral techniques, TV and the web.

Join:

  • Tony Walsh (Emmy Award Winning Canadian Games Developer)
  • Guy Gadney (General Manager PBL Digital Services & President AIMIA) and
  • Gary Hayes (Director of LAMP and Head of MUVE at The Project Factory)

at the AGL Theatre, Museum of Sydney (MoS) 1-4pm Thurs 17 May.

Registration for this FREE event is essential. Register here.

Programme:

  • 1.00 PM: Peter Giles “Welcome and Speaker Introductions”
  • 1.05 PM: Gary Hayes “Welcome to Mixed Reality?”
  • 1.20 PM: Tony Walsh “The Real, The Virtual and The Mixed”
  • 2.20 PM: Break
  • 2.30 PM: Guy Gadney “TV can I introduce you to Games?”
  • 3.10 PM: Panel Discussion & Audience Q&A. Mod Gary Hayes
  • 4.00 PM: Close

Speakers:

Tony Walsh
Tony WalshTony Walsh is a Toronto-based creative developer and consultant with a background in professional illustration, writing, and design. He has helped plan and build compelling social media and game projects since 1994, including the Gemini Award-winning “This is Daniel Cook” web site (2005), International Emmy Award-winning “Regenesis” alternate reality game (2006), and the SXSW Web Award-winning “Fallen” alternate reality game (2007).

Walsh is a part-time Game Design instructor with Centennial College (undergraduate program) and George Brown College (postgraduate program) in Toronto. In 2007, he conducted game prototyping workshops for the Canadian Film Centre Media Lab in Toronto, joined Australia’s Laboratory of Advanced Media Production as a mentor for a series of workshops based around the “Story of the Future,” and joined San Francisco’s Producers Institute for New Media Technologies as a mentor for a week of new media production workshops. Walsh is a member of the “Pool of Masterminds,” a group of consultants and educators working with the Interactive / Media / Design program at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, The Netherlands. Walsh is an Advisory Board member for the South by Southwest Screenburn game conference in Austin, Texas.

Walsh maintains an active public profile by giving presentations, contributing to panel discussions, and by commentating in the media. He has been filmed for two pending documentaries about virtual worlds, and has consulted two other pending documentaries on the same topic. In March, 2007, Walsh lead a panel discussion on “Avatar-Based Marketing in Virtual Worlds” at the Screenburn game conference. In 2006, he moderated a top-rated panel on “The Secret Sex Life of Video Games” at South by Southwest. Walsh has been cited in such publications as Wired Magazine, Discover Magazine, Utne Magazine, and Harvard Business Review.

Walsh is interested generally in the intersections between culture, business, and technology. Specifically, he finds virtual worlds such as Second Life among the most exciting results of those intersections. He has been researching and writing about Second Life since 2004. His blog Clickable Culture is recognized as one of the world’s most interesting sources for virtual-world criticism and analysis.

Tony Walsh can be found online at www.SecretLair.com.

Guy Gadney

Guy GadneyGuy Gadney has been involved in new media since 1992, and produced his first interactive online story for Penguin Books in 1996. He produced and directed two others in the late nineties that tapped into the power of story-telling as a dialogue rather than a monologue. He produced and co-wrote the MMORPG Diaspora in 1998 with over 50 interwoven storylines which formed the basis of the interactive user-generated game.

He has worked at the BBC, FoxKids, FOXTEL, BigPond and is currently General Manager of Digital Services at PBL Media developing digital strategy for the group companies including ACP Magazines and Channel Nine. He is President of AIMIA, and is involved in a number of companies worldwide who specialise in virtual worlds and interactive narrative.

GARY HAYES

Gary HayesGary is currently Director of LAMP @ AFTRS and Head of MUVE Development at UK based The Project Factory. After joining the BBC in London as an editor Gary quickly moved on to lead the BBC’s development of the internet, interactive TV and emerging platforms from 95-04 as Senior Producer and Development Manager. He devised & produced many of the BBC’s ‘firsts’ – Digital Text, the first broadcast interactive TV service – ‘Nomad’ the first live internet documentary – ‘X-Creatures’ the first broadband TV service and in ’96 introduced the first video and audio onto the BBC’s internet sites. He also produced and devised over 20 other eTV and broadband TV services including Top of the Pops, Travel Show, State Apart and several future BBC cross-platform navigators. Gary created numerous courses and seminars on Interactive thinking for linear producers, was active in the Blue Sky Imagineering and R&D depts and was a leading part of BBC strategy teams from 2001 in preparing for on-demand, cross-platform services.

Living & consulting in the US during 2004-5 he line produced Showtime’s PVR enhanced L-Word, as part of AFI digital labs and devised a range of new on-demand program formats for two national TV networks. Gary also produced & chaired conferences around LA including Hollywood industry panel seminars and Digital Days both looking at emerging media super-distribution models. He also chaired the Business Models Group from 99-03 for TV-Anytime (the lead media-on-demand standards body) and co-authored a Department Trade and Industry Report on Personal Video Systems. He has been an International Interactive Emmy juror for the past two years.

Gary is also currently building and devising commercial and game-like services for virtual worlds, having recently produced and built both Telstra and ABC Second Life presences in Second Life. He runs workshops in multi user virtual environments for cinematographers, designers, script writers and directors exploring the potential of shared social online virtual spaces for collaborative production, creativity and education. He is speaking about brand opportunities in Virtual Worlds at CeBit Australia, The 8th National Public Affairs Conference, and The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association amoungst others. He runs a fictional MUVE blog JustVirtual and a renowned blog on media personalisation, digital brands, new media forms and creativity at www.personalizemedia.com. As a published music producer, composer and performer he has had over 200 works performed live and on TV/Film and Radio.

PETER GILES

Peter GilesPeter has worked as the Head of the Digital Media Department since 1998 and has established Australia’s leading postgraduate and professional programs in Visual Effects, Interactive Media, Broadcast Design and Computer Animation. The Department has produced short films that have won both Australian and international awards for artistic and technical excellence.

Prior to joining the AFTRS Peter worked as Digital Media Manager for Metro Screen where he initiated programs to develop the skills of new and emerging filmmakers. He managed a wide range of innovative production workshops in partnership with organisations including the Loud Youth Festival, IBM, the Australian Film Commission, the NSW Film and Television Office, ABC Online, SBS TV, the Performance Space, the Australian Centre for Photography and the Australian Network for Art and Technology.

Peter has developed digital media curriculum and taught workshops at the University of Sydney, the University of Technology, Sydney, Griffith University and the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

Over the past 15 years Peter has produced projects for radio, television, film and interactive media. His video artwork has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Peter is a well known commentator on digital media and is currently the Chair of the Sydney Chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH, the leading computer graphics industry body.

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Free Seminar: 1-4PM Thursday 17 May 2007. AGL Theatre, Museum of Sydney

MIXED REALITY BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT

“Where Social Networks meet Games meet TV”

Which side of the wall are you on? TV and Film OR Games and Virtual Worlds? That wall is about to crumble. This is a wake up call to all entertainment producers and consumers to prepare for an almighty collision.