Thursday, January 5, 2012

Einstein's Avatar, and "The Virtual Marathon for Medical Research" Machinima

Made by BobE Schism and Susan Writer, this machinima is about a fundraiser for the IMRIC (Institute for Medical Research for Israel and Canada). With a marathon theme, "each avatar runner represents a condition or disease that is the subject of IMRIC research and funding in partnership with Canadian laboratories and universities."

The machinima itself was started during the fundraiser, but not finished until the results were known, BobE shooting multiple endings ahead of time and selecting one only after the winner was officially announced.

Hamlet Au talked to BobE, whom told him his objective was to dramatize the outcome of the fundraiser, "The avatars represent real-life people who were raising money for medical research in real life." He did his best to make the avatars at least somewhat similar to the donors, which often had them looking a bit weathered instead of fresh young athletes, "Originally I was just meant to make ten 'representations' of the real-life people, but on review of the test shots, I was asked to make them as close as possible to the real thing, which ultimately made them much more endearing and believable than the ten young superfit aves I had originally created."

To add to the challenge, not everyone showed up at the same time, "At most there were four of us logged in, controlling ten to eleven avies, sometimes scripted, sometimes manually." He credited Elizabeth Calderwood and Katje Jewel for helping him out. Despite the help, much time was lost due to various SL bugs from avatars going off-sim, lag, and the runners sinking into the ground.

"No avatars were harmed in the making of this film, though some might have shed a few pounds."

Also in the video was an Albert Einstein avatar, also designed by BobE Schism. Approved by those in charge of the great physicist's estate, it is the official Albert Einstein Avatar in Second Life, created for the purpose of helping out with the Marathon. The voice of the avatar was the only German speaker BobE knew, who used special effects to lower his voice, "now every time I speak to him on the phone, it sounds like I'm speaking to Albert Einstein on helium."

Sources: New World Notes, IMRIC

Bixyl Shuftan

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