Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Forum MVP - Silver Screen

While no longer a "weekly" MVP, forum events are always a great opportunity for players like myself to showcase some of our out-of-game talents.  They allow us to push our own limits of creativity and oftentimes help us expand our own knowledge base as we strive for better and better results.

This particular MVP event was a video and poster submission.  The theme of this MVP was that we were required to act out a scene from a movie using the Fiesta game engine.  For the posters, we just had to recreate a famous movie poster using Fiesta elements.  Pretty straight-forward.

This is the first video event I've entered so I hope I do well.  The prizes were definitely a factor in deciding to take on a project like this.  There are three grand prizes for the video category being awarded, a "custom Fiesta themed HD Flip Camera" + 30-day SparkCash item, and seven honorable mention prizes, "permanent SparkCash item".  Looking at the prize list, I figured I only needed to land in the top 10 to qualify for a decent prize.  We have no idea what the "permanent SparkCash item" really is.  Is it a costume?  Accessory?   I hope it's not a mount....

For the poster portion of the event, the prizes are what we typically expect, three grand prize winners receive a 30-day SparkCash item, five honorable mentions receive a 7-day item.

For my video submission, I had originally planned to find a movie scene with a female voice-over and recreate the scene with my Fiesta characters using multiple computers.  I had considered the opening scene to Underworld, where Selene (Kate Beckinsale) gives the backstory of the movie, or Lord of the Rings, where Galadriel explains how the One Ring came to be.  I finally decided on a scene from Terminator 2, where Sarah Connor contemplates the situation she finds herself in, entrusting the safety of her son, the last hope for humanity, to the very machine that previously tried to hunt him down and kill him.

Here's that original entry:

After giving it some thought, and watching it over and over, I just didn't like it.  The voice-over quality was extremely poor and it just wasn't exciting, so I decided to rethink it.  Instead of a monologue-type scene I decided to go with something a bit more action oriented.  A scene that had no spoken dialogue but was still powerful all the same.  For that, I turned to TOP GUN.  Anyone who's seen the movie immediately remembers the opening sequence with all the fighter jets taking off and landing from the aircraft carrier, the ground crew hustling about, inspirational, powerful music playing in the background... So that's where I went.  I figured I could use movers to simulate the jets, use some newbie looking male characters to work the grounds crew detail.  Well, here's the result:

I'm much, much happier with this entry.  Although the editing isn't perfect, I thought it was decent.  Since I only used Windows Live Movie Maker to edit the video, I was fairly limited to what I could do.  I wanted to best replicate the original scene, but I couldn't do the close-up zooms, or backlit, shadowy actors like the original.  I did what I could just dropping a sepia-toned filter over the movie and dimming the brightness to try and match as best I could.  Like the original scene, the brightness gets amped up as the scene progresses, simulating more daylight.

We were only allowed one video submission, so I chose my second one.  I think I made the right decision.

For the posters, we were allowed three entries, I only squeezed in two, but I think they're good enough to land in the top 8 at least.

The first submission was based on the I Am Legend movie poster:

The second submission was, of course, based on Jurassic Park:

The event submission deadline passed about 2 hours ago and the GMs closed the submission thread.  Hopefully we see the results back shortly!  Wish me luck!

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