Watch Here: STÖMOL, The First Feature-Length Cyberpunk Thriller Shot Entirely in Second Life!
Update: Bumped up for weekend viewing!
As promised, New World Notes is very proud to debut the feature-length machinima by Huckleberry Hax. Put your headphones on, dim the lights, and press play. And join me below for director’s comments (with potential spoilers) and running comments from the audience in the aisle!
“Filming started in February 2019. Since then I’ve shot in 12 different sims as well as a couple of stand-alone sets, one of which I built… a mixture of animations and static poses were used, from over 40 different content creators.”
“One of the most challenging aspects of creating the movie was the short lifespan of many sims – often as brief as a month,” as Hax explains. “For example, I was filming at ‘Kun-Tei-Ner’ (by Lotus Mastroianni and Fred Hamilton) right up until the hour before they started dismantling it. It’s a huge barrier to the creation of longer, story-telling machinima in SL. Of course I understand why sim creators do this — they have money for one sim and they want to move on and do something different.
“Another barrier is the dearth of quality animations that are not dance animations or adult animations. This surprised me – I imagined that, over the lifespan of SL, there would be pretty much any animation I could think of somewhere on the Marketplace, but actually sourcing animations became one of the most time consuming aspects of the movie.”
“The main character – Epi Stömol – is looking for two coders,” he tells me. “One is a deepfake scripter, the other is able to retrieve old media files. The woman in the scene – Istinito – used to be room mate to one of the missing coders. In the future the movie is set in, old media has been rendered unreadable through corporate software infrastructure, making it hard to work out actual history. It’s an Orwellian sort of situation, where there is only official history. The movie as a whole is about truth and the triumph of ‘fake news.'”
Enjoy From all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands