Building a Different Kind of Machinima Community

Welcome to Del Sol Valley. Sims from everywhere come here hoping to be The Next Big Thing™. The lucky ones make it. The not so lucky ones fade into obscurity. Then there are those sims that are abused for hours, days, weeks, sometimes months on end to make a 20 minute machinima.

The script must be written. The sets must be built. Custom content needs found…or made. Sometimes voice actors need to be found. A lot goes into making a machinima and sometimes it feels like machinamators are living out some weird version of the Midnight Sun Challenge from the Sims 3. Sometimes I feel like the Sims Community looks over at the machinimators in their own corner and sees us as “the weird kids”. Some of us are pretty weird. There is a certain CC maker that has gone on record saying machinimators are flaky. They know who they are. XD In short no one gets us.

I am going somewhere with this. Stay with me.

Now, when it comes to the machinima world of SimsFilmFest some of us have pretty big ideas and we really want them to happen magically overnight. We want people to watch and enjoy our projects. We put a lot of work into them. Yes, I know it’s hard to find machinima that isn’t about some creepy teenage drama. Going through the new machinima on YouTube to find stuff for Machinima Monday I feel like I need some Retina B Gone.

Seriously, I have no idea where people come up with this stuff. Everyone wants to bash the abused pregnant teenage runaway vampire machinima. There’s worse out there. Oh, it’s true. I honestly worry for some of these teenagers making this stuff. I digress. There is well made good machinima out there that we pour our heart and souls into. Look around this website and you will find a lot of it. These are the sim stories we want to tell.

We want to bring other parts of the Sims Community into our world, if we can. Just because someone doesn’t make machinima doesn’t mean they can’t be part of the Machinima Community. This is a place for builders, directors, voice actors, viewers, screenwriters, storytellers, photographers, graphic artists and so on. 

The truth is, we could use your help in your areas of expertise and in return you will get another venue to showcase your creativity. We love showcasing everything sent to us. Really, machinimators credit everyone. You should watch some of the end credits sometimes on machinima projects. A lot of people get credited for custom content, builds, and sims that are used in projects. Without cc makers, builders, sim makers, our thing would be so much harder and we appreciate the people who share their creations with the community more than they know. We want you to come sit at the “weird kids table” with us where we have more reasons to tell the Sims Community how talented you are.

I have already tried to open the door to builders on Tumblr, but I feel like people are over thinking things. I really don’t want to retype everything that I have said, but the posts can be read here, here, and here. We would really like to put together a list of builders who are willing to collaborate with people who aren’t so good at building to help them build their sets. It would be another way to showcase what you can do. Personally, I don’t have an issue with downloading things from the gallery but not everyone wants to use the same coffee shop that 56,972 people have in their game that everyone has seen 900 times. I have had people message me excited that I used one of their builds in a project and one person who was equally mortified that I picked what they thought was one of their worst builds. Honestly, there are a number of directors that would love to have someone build sets for them because they just aren’t good at building or don’t enjoy it. The problem is, they don’t know who to ask.

Going back a number of years in SimsFilmFest history we used to have a thing for builders where they could build red carpet venues for the festival or theaters. Some seasons we would get a number of venues, other seasons we wouldn’t get any. We would love to have venues made for us again. We would love to see people who like taking sim pictures to dress their sims up and send us pictures from a SimsFilmFest premiere to showcase in our end of season magazine. 

We want voice actors to be a bigger presence. Most of us know where to go to find voice actors, but we would like to hae their feedback, know who likes to play what kind of characters (I had someone tell me once that Super Llama Man was too weird for them), how they wish we wrote things because I am sure every director/writer does something annoying that voice actors want to choke us for.

Having graphic artists around to help people learn to make and improve on their posters would be a wonderful thing. I have been told more times than I can count that people hate making posters to promote their machinimas. They aren’t photographers or graphic artists. Some people barely know their way around paint. I fake that I know what I am doing in Photoshop. There are at least two people here on staff that will say the same thing.

You get the idea. Films and TV shows aren’t made with one person doing all the work. There are crews for everything. Why can’t machinima be the same way?

Gus Rockman and I were discussing the possibility of a contest to replace Project Bluelight that we are currently calling “The Dreaded Group Project” where several people work together to make a machinima. Someone writes it, someone else might film it, someone builds all the sets, and so forth. We have no idea if anyone would be interested in this sort of thing. We’d love feedback on it.

What would it take to get you involved?

Let us know what you think. You can comment on this post, you can send us an email, you can message us on Twitter or Tumblr. If you want, you can even answer anonymously in this Google Form.

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