Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Quiet on the set ... Roll cameras ..."

"ACTION!" - by Chic Aeon

If you ever dreamed of being a movie mogul, the time is now. The Machinima Open Studio Project (MOSP) at LEA20 offers a wide variety of locales and sets built with filming in mind.  Nine structures dot the countryside with more to come. Peaceful Valley sits in the shadow of tall mountains, should you keep the region Windlight setting, while the cottages and outdoor locations along Beach Walk are definitely a sun lover's paradise.

There is that open spaces advantage in affect also. Houses have been situated to encompass vista; more shots are available and directors may never even need to use that derez option. Ground level is fun to explore even as you may wonder how railroad tracks appear and disappear, seemingly going nowhere -- how a bunkhouse turns into a schoolroom when you enter. No, it isn't the twilight zone; it is simply the set designer taking advantage of spaces.    

The welcome area is your starting point, and where you can get the amazing new HUD to navigate the sim locations. If you prefer not to use the HUD, boards with photos let you choose your venue or opt for the notecard with the full list of locations. Phase One of the project includes a duo of sound stages. I hear that food services just dropped by on Stage One, so heading over there is most likely your best bet. And what do you know? It really IS a sound stage. Well, perhaps a bit neater than the norm and with fewer cords and less gapher's tape, but still the ambiance is evident. Chose a set and of course take some pictures! 

MOSP, while designed for machinimatographers, is also a friend of static film. In fact there is a Flickr group where you can add your shots and maybe garner a bit of fame with a photo of the week award. Beginners in either field are welcome! And I understand that if you IM Chic Aeon with questions, she is happy to share her expertise.

Another impressive area is the High Corporate Offices which are open for meetings and classes -- and of course filming. Just ask for a group invite if you need to put an ad in the Events listings. There is also a movie camera, an anchor desk and a widescreen backdrop that let's you click for different stills to help tell your story.

MOSP has been open during the building process, but the extra fun start on October 1 at noon. Come on over and explore. Details, as any good director knows, make the shot. So keep your eyes peeled as you wander around the sets. There are fifty (yes FIFTY) gifts to be had. It isn't a hunt in the traditional sense. Everything is out in the open. Pick up a notecard at the landing point, spend a little time looking for those details and head home with more than just photos!

- Chic Aeon

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