Linden Lab, creator of the virtual world SECOND LIFE, announced the release of BELLS AND SPURS, a machinima film based on the cowboy poem "Silver Bells and Golden Spurs" and created entirely within SECOND LIFE. The film will have its real world premiere Saturday, March 11, 2006, during the Screen Burn Beta Festival at the 13th annual SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin. To see the film and tour the virtual back lot where Bells and Spurs was filmed, visit www.bellsandspurs.com.
Combining built-in video capture capabilities and a range of building, scripting and avatar customization tools, SECOND LIFE is a comprehensive platform for movie making. The open environment and resident ownership of all intellectual property allows SECOND LIFE to function as a back lot, soundstage, choreography studio, costume and prop repository and special effects house. To date, filmmakers have worked in real-time collaboration with people from around the globe to create dozens of movies including short films, music videos and a documentary.
"The world premiere of BELLS AND SPURS establishes SECOND LIFE as the foremost independent studio for machinima production," said Philip Rosedale, ceo of Linden Lab. "We allow film directors ultimate control over every aspect of production, from character creation to sets, lighting, music and editing. We are certain that our open environment and current resident base of talented machinima artists will attract the attention and interest of existing and budding machinima auteurs."
"Filming BELLS AND SPURS proved that the only limit to film production in SECOND LIFE is your own imagination," said Eric Call, director of BELLS AND SPURS and senior artist at Linden Lab. "Production costs are minimal and production time is reduced thanks to SECOND LIFE's existing population of actors, designers and production staff. Moreover, since no external equipment is required, filmmakers can produce and distribute full-fledged films without ever leaving the hard drive."
To encourage the growth of the machinima industry within SECOND LIFE, new residents who sign up with the machinima promo code MACHIN will receive a Machinima-Maker kit with all the tools they need to get started making films in SECOND LIFE including:
* Alt-Zoom Studios Camera Kit -- includes camera and scripted camera gear for more complex crane-cam shots* BELLS & SPURS 10 Gallon Promotional Hat* Blocking Block for ease in setting up camera shots with multiple actors* Random Plot Generator to overcome pesky creative blocks
SECOND LIFE is free for a basic membership and grants residents ownership of all intellectual property. For more information on machinima in SECOND LIFE, visit http://secondlife.com/showcase/machinima.php .
Linden Lab was founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience. The former cto of RealNetworks, Rosedale pioneered the development of many of today's streaming media technologies, including RealVideo. In April 2003, noted software pioneer Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corp., was named chairman. In 2005, Linden Lab was designated as one of the AO Top 100 Innovative Companies by AlwaysOn.
Based in San Francisco, Linden Lab employs a senior team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking. Team members have previously worked for market leading companies such as Electronic Arts, Maxis, Disney, Macromedia, THQ, Acclaim, Hasbro, Mattel and RealNetworks.