iClone Fan Film Challenge

The iClone Fan Film Challenge is open. Prizes — three copies of iClone 4 (it seems to be the Standard version?). No need to actually make the film to enter, just pitch the idea…

“In order to enter you need to submit a fan film story pitch and how you would utilize the iClone software in making that pitch a reality. There’s no minimum to the length of your pitch, but please make the pitch no longer than one [plain-text] page.”

An example of a fan film would be the 40-minute The Hunt for Gollum, made unofficially by fans, and which fills in a gap in the story in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy…

RIP Malcolm

With the death of Malcolm McLaren it seems apt to ask if the creative underground is once again underground. It may seem silly to ask such a question, in an age of creative abundance when everything appears to be instantly public and “just one click away” and covered in depth by a multitude of online blogs and e-zines. The problem is that the online English-language audience for creative intelligent content has broadly plateaued. Yet the amount of quality content being produced grows exponentially every day. And the amount of e-smog clogging up search-engines is growing even faster. So there are ever-fewer eyeballs or ears to go around — for even the most high-quality content, even if people could find the stuff for themselves.

The thinking audience naturally gravitates towards making space in their busy lives for the very best content — guided by curators who can point out the best stuff (nerdy newsfeeds, we love you). Intelligent audiences also make space for the quirky, the niche, the local, and the highly-specialised. There’s even a place for uproariously silly no-brain-required jewels (e.g. 2012, Plants vs. Zombies, substitute your fave), since even quality gets tiring if consumed as a staple diet. Everything else flows past unheeded, unless it has a million dollar marketing budget. Mainstream journalism in the English-speaking world is largely senile, and is rarely capable of conveying the subtleties of new forms of cultural expression. Fan bases are inherently insular.

That’s why I’m thinking that the creative undergrounds are once again more-or-less “underground”, much as they were before about 1995 and the arrival of the mass Internet — in the sense of being unknown and largely unheeded, and the province of the cognoscenti. Which is ironic, since it’s all being done in the open. It’s just that almost no-one notices it. If that’s indeed the case, then in a way it’s probably a good thing for our new global culture, our open “diaspora of talent”. Since one of the attractions of underground creative scenes has always been their scope for wild experimentation, away from the cynical eye of the masses. Yet what’s different now is that there is always the chance that a product of a cultural underground scene can suddenly go viral and spread autonomously through multiple worldwide audiences in a matter of minutes.

2012 Paralympic Games film challenge

The 2012 London Paralympic Games is inviting British 11-25 year-olds to make a short film. There will be an Olympic-sized programme of 100 free film-making workshops at venues around the British Isles — more details of these in the early Summer. In the meanwhile, 11-25 year olds are invited to start creating short films (must be no longer than three minutes) celebrating the values of the Olympic Paralympic Games: respect, courage, excellence, friendship, equality, determination and inspiration. Any style will be welcome, including animation. Submissions will formally open in June when the project website goes live, and the deadline for entries of films will be 1st October 2010.

The Change

A newly-posted short film by Halenow in the UK, made in DAZ Carrara and apparently with a little help from iClone. That’ll be the rising terrain near the end, I’d guess. Overlook the text-to-speech voiceover (someone please buy this guy a copy of MorphVox and a microphone…), and there’s a whole lot to like here, including a real story…