Sunday, December 21, 2014

Simplicity of the Season

I recall the first stanza of a famous Robert Frost poem - Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My father had me memorize that poem over countless holiday trips from Long Island through upstate New York to Canada.  Needless to say, but I will, plenty of wintry scenery accompanied us during our drives.

The image above is not related to the poem but its imagery projects poetry.  To me, that is a critical element of a good machinima, especially one which captures your heart upon first view.

This holiday season I decided to keep this column simple.   In fact, as 2015 approaches, that is my personal and professional goal - to simplify my life so as to better enjoy it.    I think back to those road trips with my family as we took in the sights, those now etched in my memory.

Sometimes you come across a machinima that is not necessarily perfect, but even its flaws contribute to its charm.   That is true of Kawanishi Yana's short piece "Never Ending's Christmas @ Papillon" (Second Life).    The sim both contrasts and complements the character/filmmaker who leads our way.

The simplicity of color, music and the solitary nature of a lone avatar (albeit adorable) journeying across a winter wonderland was all I needed to muse on this dreary Midwestern day.   Simple and beautiful.

May your holiday season be joyous and simple, so that you might savor the beauty of life.  May you capture it on film, machinima, and at least in your mind's eye for keepsake.

Keep filming in 2015, and let your style and story shine through the downy flake.

-  Soni

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The Professional Machinima Artist Guild and Lowe Runo Productions graciously host Magnum: The Machinima Review.   Sonicity Fitzroy is author of Second Life, Media and the Other Society (2010) and Machinima: The Art and Practice of Virtual Filmmaking (with co-author Lowe Runo, 2012).