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Audio & Text from Machiniplex Premiere of "9"

My thanks to everyone who came to last Sunday's Machiniplex Premiere of Claus-Dieter Schulz's film "9". At one time, I think we had about 20 people participating. Due to technical problems, we had to shift the Premiere from Hathead's lounge to Bree Birke's performance space at the last minute. Thanks to the quick-thinking Hathead and the grace of Bree (an accomplished composer), we had a location that was not only beautiful but worked very well for our Premiere.



gtoon on the left; rohan on the right.

Phil Rice was kind enough to direct folks to the new location AND to record the audio from the Q&A with Claus-Dieter. We were also able to grab the text chat in Second Life. After a bit of editing, I was able to get it into a form that's easy to understand (I hope).

You can listen to the audio of the Premiere right here (Phil composed some wicked music for the opening of the voice chat):




You can download the text as a PDF file here, or read the Scribd version at the end of this post.

9 Premiere Text Chat PDF

The mood of the Premiere was exactly what I had hoped it would be: intense curiosity, interest and finally admiration for the year and half that Claus-Dieter spent creating this short, abstract work of art. Despite his reservations about speaking in English (his native tongue is German) Claus-Dieter did a wonderful job of communicating often complex ideas and feelings.

He discussed the inspiration for the piece and the tools he used to create the often mesmerizing imagery in "9". He places himself squarely in the tradition of the "concrete" artist, that is, the artist who is focused on concrete shapes like lines, points, surfaces and colors. In concrete are there is no attempt to create symbolic imagery, rather each shape is simply what it is, no more no less.


Sol Bartz listening intently. Nice Crowd, huh?

Good questions were asked about the music used (Boards of Canada), the process of creating the film and what the director was trying to say with his film. I was glad people were so interested in this style of art and I hope the event will inspire filmmakers to attempt their own abstract film. Phil Rice created a new film "Responsibility", which is his attempt to create an abstract film.

One of the major criticisms of abstract art is that it lacks an emotional connection with the viewer. I can understand that is the case for some people, but it certainly isn't for me. Like poetry, which concentrates and isolates words to create poetic effects, abstract filmmaking forces the viewer to create their own context for what they see in front of them. And, of course, there is poor abstract art just as there is poor art of any kind.

I think, however, that Claus-Dieter is the real thing. His film "9" is a wonderful poetic work of machinima art that deserves a wider audiences. Amid the stunt videos, and Halo gags, it's a heartening experience to see someone using their imagination to create a very unique style of machinima.


We screened "9" three times. The last time with two screens!


My sincere thanks to Claus-Dieter for putting himself in the awkward position of being interviewed outside of his native language and for his help in putting the Premiere together. Also, Hathead, Bree and Phil Rice were indispensable in getting this event off the ground. And special thanks to Digital Phil who provided these photos and blogged so nicely about the event at his excellent Tekbreeze.com site. Thank you, sir.


Machiniplex Premiere of "9" Chat Text

Last Minute Change of Location for Today's 99/13) Premiere of "9"

Due to problems with Linden Labs, creators of Second Life, we've had to change the location of today's Premiere of Claus-Dieter's "9". The new location is:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Nitida/239/102/228

We will be on hand at the old Hatheads' lounge to steer people in the right direction. So sorry for the inconvenience.

Dragon*Con

Yesterday I returned home from Dragon*Con. I was there to attend the machinima screenings, which included some of my own work.


Myself with Christina.


The first night was the achievements reel, where I met up with Christina (who did a great job putting together the sessions) and Sarah Howison, one of the cast members of my show. Felicia Day was at Dragon*Con as well and while she was another cast member, she had other things scheduled at the time so couldn't make it. Ben Grussi was also there, much to my surprise and came up to talk to us after the screening was over.


Sarah and I.


Here I am with Felicia.


The second night was a special screening of Stolen Life and the third night was comedy. Sadly I missed that last one as I needed to be at the airport.

However, the first two sessions both attracted a good audience and the films were well received. After Stolen Life, people had requested some kind of discussion so Christina held and impromptu Q&A session which she invited me to take part in. Together we were answering questions from those who wanted to know more about the film and machinima in general. Hopefully we'll see some new people in the community.

There's a complete list of everything that was screened here on the Dragon*Con Film Festival website.

For those interested in knowing what else I got upto there, there is a complete write up on my personal blog and more photos can be found here.

Reminder that Claus-Dieter Schulz's film "9" will Premiere this Sunday

Machiniplex will Premiere Claus-Dieter Schulz's film "9" this Sunday, Sept 13 at 11AM - 1PM (Pacific Time). Claus will be on hand to comment on the film and answer questions. His film "Liberty City" was recently nominated for a Bitfilm award and his "Ausgedacht (Dreamed Up)" and Desassossego have both been highly praised in the machinima community.



"9" is one of the very few abstract machinima films. Looking back to filmmakers like Hans Richter and Stan Brakahge. I, for one, am very interested in why he chose to make this film and in his production methods. Claus-Dieter Schulz'a website is here. You can watch some of his other films there and catch up on what's happening with him.

Come on by for a screening of "9" (perhaps even two screenings as it's a short film) and a Q&A with Claus afterward.

Of course, our screenings are held at the elegant Hathead's Lounge in SL. Slurl:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/HatHead%20II/68/125/756

If you've never been to Second Life, it's a free virtual community that is an excellent place to have screenings and meetings like this. More info on how to join and learn the basics can be found here:

http://secondlife.com/whatis/

http://www.secondlifebasics.com/


We'll be conducting the Q&A with voice chat, but if you don't have a mic/headphone that's OK because we'll be texting most of the conversation.

Feel free to show up a little early and get oriented. I'll be there at 10:30Am Pacific if you need help. Just look for my Second Life name gtoon jun and text me.

Hope you can make it!