"The Dumb Man" Premiere with Lainy Voom
But back to the premiere: the conversation with Lainy covered some of her background as a filmmaker and the tech behind her film. Lainy started out in Sims2 (as tracechops) with the highly regarded "Annika" and a very well-done music video for "The Hives" (I'm also partial to her "Mothra" because I'm a nut for Japanese Monster movies), but gradually migrated to Second Life because of the freedom of the toolset and the ability to own her own work. Her "Images of Black Swan" took Second Life machinima to the next level. There was quite a buzz when that film came out. I hope to archive it at some point at machiniplex. You can see some of her work at her YouTube site and Truveo. There's a nice interview with her on the Second Life site New World Notes. She is a talented artist and a promising machinima filmmaker.
During the Q&A, Lainy in responding to the question of how she got the idea for "The Dumb Man" mentioned that the first image that came to her as she was listening to Alex Wilson's passionate reading of the Sherwood Anderson story (the story which is the basis of the film), was the woman leaning against the wall upstairs. She branched out from there and prepared a script in Oct/Nov. But coming back to the film after the holidays, she found that she wanted "The Dumb Man" to have a more dreamlike, surreal quality and so began to shoot the film that way. Frankly, I'm very glad she did this, not only because I'm always in favor of a more imaginative, experimental approach to machinima films (there are so few of them), but also because it fit perfectly the subject and style of the writing. Hard to believe this is the same Sherwood Anderson of "Winesburg, Ohio", one of the great American novels of realism.
Ingrid and I were very impressed with "The Dumb Man" as was everyone who attended the Premiere. The almost perfect blending of story, performance, animation, sound and style creates the film spell that all good movies do. And despite the surreal imagery, there is a definite feeling and attitude developed for each character. Of course, the film is backed (or fronted, as the case may be) by a passionate and nuanced performance of the story by Alex Wilson. I hope more machinima filmmakers will be inspired by Lainy's film to adapt existing literature or to seek out newer writers to bring their stories to machinima. I think many filmmakers could benefit from this approach while they develop their writing skills more. BTW, Alex's site "Telltale Weekly" is a great site for discovering other authors and listening to them via audio. Perhaps someone out there will use another of Alex's readings for a film? He seems to be very pleased with Lainy's film.
My thanks to Lainy and, again, to all of those who came to the Premiere. I enjoyed it immensely.
Here is the transcript of the Skype Q&A chat with Lainy Voom. You can scroll through the document here in this post, or download it for viewing on your computer. If you choose to read the document here there is a magnifying icon at the top of the screen that allows you to enlarge the text. Thanks to Scribd for the ability to embed this document.