At the interns’ weekly meeting on October 21, Chantal Harvey visited the team via Skype. Chantal has a professional background as Dutch television producer and artist. Since 2007, Chantal has been exploring Real Time Animation through the medium of virtual world machinima. During the meeting, she shared several of her machinima, including an educational series and the first machinima from her new fun machinima series, “Robi.” Chantal discussed many aspects of machinima development, which she referred to as “virtual world animation.” She shared many production tips from basics to advanced techniques that are key to creating a professional, quality machinima. Her advice on sound editing and frame rate optimizing will prove especially helpful in the interns’ next two machinima projects, “The Christopher Story” and “Forgive: A Poem.”
Why did Chantal decide to explore machinima? On her website she explains, “I started working with machinima after completing film school in Belgium, I was attracted by the creativity and possibilities it offers. You really are only limited by your own imagination and by how much you have mastered the concepts that are involved. Because the cost of machinima production is so low compared to any other form of animation, there is a whole new market opening up, in education, children’s entertainment, art, multimedia, books and commercials.”
Yes, it is true that Chantal is very talented at what she does, but this is not the only reason why Chantal continues to produce machinima, as she explains, “[It’s] a little like jumping inside your computer and directing animated characters, creating your own film crew, with your own film studio. It is . . a ton of fun.”
The entire JJIE Virtual Worlds team is very grateful to Chantal for taking the time to share her passion and expertise with them. The team will make good use of Chantal’s advice in their next projects showcasing a young man’s story and a young woman’s poem through the medium of machinima filmed in virtual world.
The dire urgency for the need to complete numerous important tasks during the tenth JJIE Virtual World Team Group Meeting was expressed in Professor Witt’s meeting agenda sent via email on Tuesday, October 20. The e-mail reflected the importance of structured task lists necessary at this point in the project as we approach the end of this Fall semester internship. Our meeting followed the agenda precisely as follows:
-Get machinima, “The Kid, The Cop, The Punch,” PR ready for distribution Wednesday & Thursday
-Polish release text for release, add logos and photos
-Assemble email and social media lists
-Plan strategy distribution strategy
Journalism — Determine:
-What do we have?
-What must we still get?
What pressing questions need answers?
-Who is on what?
-Recheck our deadlines
9:00 – 9:30AM — Guest Speaker Chantal Harvey Chantal Harvey, expert Dutch machinimist, visited the team via Skype to show some of her recent machinimas and share suggestions to improve the quality of our team’s machinimas. Chantal commented that she was impressed with the Machinima Team’s first work “The Kid, the Cop, the Punch.” She answered several questions we had that we will implement during the production of our next machinimas, “The Christopher Story” and “Forgive: A Poem”.
9:30 to 9:45AM— App Update
After Chantal Harvey signed off, Derek presented the web and mobile app he had been working on with Soloman Negash, Executive Director of the Mobile Application Development (MAD) Center and our project app expert. Developing an interactive app to for one of our machinima is part of our project’s original grant proposal. As a Computer Science Major, Derek Maier has html coding skills. He put them to good use creating the draft version of an interactive app that allows people to walk through the machinima story, making decisions at critical action points as if they were that person. Their choices will be polled and they will see what other viewers chose. The group discussed the possibility of creating another app from the same template that would be an interactive quiz about Senate Bill 440 (SB440).
10:00AM: Discussion with Tom Rawlings & Pete Colbenson
Right after the app presentation, we met with Pete Colbenson and Tom Rawlings. Tom is currently practicing law and previously served for over seven years as Judge of the Juvenile Courts of the Middle Judicial Circuit. He was also appointed as Georgia’s Child Advocate for the Protection of Children by Governor Sonny Perdue. Since Tom has had so much experience in law practice, he was able to answer many of our questions about Christopher Thomas’ case and trial. Tom helped us to think of more questions for the lawyers and judges involved in the case so that we can better understand each aspect. Furthermore, he helped direct us to lead themes for our Long Text Story, from trauma to parole. He explained essentially how the world’s perspective of children has changed since the time of the crime, and how that would affect those past decisions if they were made today.
Pete Colbenson, who has been so deeply perturbed by this case, has recently contacted Steve Reba to ask if he can make certain efforts to help Christopher. As our project comes together and more people become involved, we see that we truly do have the ability to make a difference in CHristopher’s life. From what Pete and Tom were suggesting, our project may bring significant attention to the injustice of the highly enforced SB440 laws and parole issues. We could end up helping a lot more juveniles than we originally imagined.
After a long, busy group meeting, we concluded once again that we still have many tasks to complete to accomplish all of our goals. Many of these tasks can be attributed to the fact that our goals just continue to grow. Our original goal of giving a voice to juveniles in the Justice System has grown to include highlighting major questionable aspects of Georgia’s Juvenile Law. More and more, we have come to realize that these bigger goals call for a substantially larger workload. Although we are all very busy with our jobs, classes, and other activities, I hope that we can all agree that this is the time to come together with resolute diligence as we advance towards our goals. The call is out for additional dedication to completing our individual tasks. I hope that we are all saying one thing: Bring it on.