Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Nightmare Before... er... Halloween

This is the second post in part of a series featuring Brady Rowell’s’ photography projects for Jake’s of Second Life.

The set was spooky, the characters ghoulish, and according to Brady… composing this shot was pure torture. Few people realize how much thought and work goes into a photo shoot (be it RL or SL) to achieve a certain artistic look and also communicate the advertising message you are tasked with incorporating. In this case, communicate the theme of Halloween and present it in a sexy way. Leave it to Brady and the Boys of Jake’s to eventually pull it all off – the photography task that is, they don’t pull their clothes off 'till the after party.

First, the costumes. Everyone who is going to be in the shoot needs to be notified of the theme a couple days before the shoot and conversations about who is going to wear what take place so that each person doesn’t show up wearing the same thing. Not to mention making sure that everyone’s costumes make sense for the shoot. Generally several group shopping trips evolve out of this process each week.

Second, find a set or location fir the shoot. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Imagine finding that perfect location - perfect look, all the elements are spaced right and in the right proportion for the models. Now you realize that you can’t rez a posing stand cause there is no building or scripts allowed and the land owner is not around to contact. Or in the case of this shoot, I helped Brady and found a great cemetery site complete with fog rezzers, crypts and grave stones. Building was turned on and it looked like it would all be a go until I got attacked by flesh eating zombies. Well, that will certainly mess with a shoot… Run Baz Run! BTW - I only got bitten once. Eventually, Brady opted to have me build him a set for this shoot. (If you happen to be interested in running with the zombies, visit the Hauted Cemetary Shop and Treasure Hunt, then use the teleporter to the cemetary)

Third, shoot everyone! At least take their picture, although with all the unsolicited advice Brady gets from his models, I wonder if he ever considers the alternative. Brady was now faced with arranging seven models in such a way to balance color, accommodate wing spans, hide flaws in the back ground, minimize alpha channel conflicts (invisibles that fight) keep the shot tight enough to get close and also manage to keep the look and feel of the set in the shot... this is no small task. But on top of that, the models all need lighting. Ritch’s dark panther skin needs a brilliant lighting source, but that can also wash out the rest of the models and the set. A yellow light on another model will make the black of someone else’s costume look green. This whole process can take a couple hours to get just right – bet you had no idea. Rarely do the first-time models realize this process and they can get cranky till they finally get told the torture is over.

Ok, so no Brady has his shot... but is still just a raw screen capture, saved in high resolution to his hard drive. This is where Brady now works his magic. He applies various filters and does color adjusting. Oh, and a little Photoshop work to get rid of that darn lighting orb that was lost in the fog but showed up in the finished shot... damn, I hate it when that happens.

Now the finished shot, after hours of work invested gets set to Jake to be placed into the next weeks event poster and sent out to the metaverse so that all who are interested will know where, when and how to dress for the next big party. The next time you come across a poster for Jake’s (or any ad in SL really) take a minute to appreciate what when into the creation of those images. If you are a patron of Jake’s theme parties, maybe consider tipping the guys a little extra too – after all they only get paid tips. They do this each week out of love for the club and a desire to put on a great party!

Halloween Party at Jake’s Club

Jake’s Club (temporary location)

Click here for the SLURL to Jake's


9:00 SLT – Midnight

DJ Syriana Paine will be spinning her amazing tunes and taking requests

Costume Contest for Best Halloween Costume with a minimum L$1,000 prize

And then of course, the after party…

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Dream of Dejerrity

On Monday, Club Bonobo hosted the theme party 1001 Arabian Nights and sent out the following notice:

Calling all Sheiks and slaves to join us for a silky, sexy hot time for our Monday party, 1001 Arabian Nights at Club Bonobo! Let’s celebrate the times of Aladdin and Ali Baba and uhh…..JEANNIE!

Well, how could you not throw on your turban and attend?

I no sooner rezzed in when I caught sight of Dejerrity Mycron, I chuckled the rest of the afternoon. For some reason the juxtaposition of this hulking leather daddy dressed head-to-toe as Barbara Eden just struck me as funny. If that was not enough, Dej was playing the TV Theme song while he danced and chat gestures that said simply said "{Blink}{Blink}" along with that well known blinking sound you would hear as Barbara Eden would cross her arms and blink her eyes. Sadly, Dej didn’t win he costume contest, but I must tip my turban in his direction for his humor and creativity.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mikee Lives Forever... I wish I'd known him

I logged on yesterday to the following Ironworks group notice from Marcus Steeplechase.


Mikee Larnia passed away today. A blood clot from his earlier accident found its way to his heart.

I have heard from his friends that he would have wanted us to get together, to be together for him. So if you wish to bring flowers or perhaps a candle, we will be in Heroes Square at 6PM, and Angel Square at 8PM. We will be playing songs that he enjoyed.

This kind of message will cause you to take a moment, no matter who you are. I didn’t know Mikee and now I feel a little sad that I never met him. I had big plans in SL for the day, several parties to go to and things to do, but wondered if maybe I should take some time to go pay my respects regardless. Well, I pulled Mikee’s profile and looked at it for a bit... Nope, this is not someone I have met. I decided against going and moved on with my day.

Later, while dancing at the Zippers party, a friend told me that he did remember Mikee and that he wanted to go. My friend didn’t want to go alone and asked if I would go with him. This seemed more appropriate so I agreed, changed clothes and TP’ed over the Heroes Square to support my friend. Once rezzed, all I can say is that I was really moved by what I saw.

We had gotten there late and apparently missed a speech made about Mikee, I would have liked to have heard that. What I did hear were people talking about what a great guy he was, how funny he was and how much they loved him. Black T-shirts were passed out saying, “Mikee Lives Forever” across the front and those who wanted, were encouraged to leave flowers, candles and notes in the center of Heroes Square to honor and remember Mikee. Although I didn’t know Mikee, I was moved by the outpouring by those who did and this got me to thinking about what a special place Second Life really can be.

For a lot of us, we bring much or our real selves into Second Life. This place becomes an extension of our First Life and the people we meet here become part of our life as a whole, regardless of which world we are in. Some people claim to want to keep their First Life totally separate from their Second Life, how does that work really? I guess if someone like Mikee had done that, then one day the people he called his friends would just not see him here anymore, no one would really know why or what events had transpired to shape (and now end) his first life. Such a sterile existence in Second Life seems - at the very least - little empty to me. None of your “friends” would truly know you at all, none of it would be real. I’m glad that didn’t appear to be the case with Mikee… inquires regarding his condition from the accident and the news of his passing circulated in the Ironworks group channel, people truly cared. Mikee’s second life was real.

I regret I didn’t know him.

If you did know Mikee and would like to leave something in Heroes Square in memorial, this is the SLURL

Heroes Square

Thanks for voting for me

First of all, I was surprised that I was the ONLY person who thought to come to a Vegas Party dressed as Elvis.. come on, hasn't anyone been to that town.. Not only does Elvis live, but he lives in Vegas. Ok, I did say that I was gunna do Elvis in and earlier blog and that no one else should do it.. but really, who reads my blog.

Anyway, I really do appreciate the votes. I appreciate the votes this week, and the votes from last week and the votes from the week before that.. but come on guys, I am starting to get the feeling that people are voting for me because of the work I do on the club set designs and not because of my costumes. I do the club designs cause I love helping out Jake and I love designing sets for theme parties. Yeah, I don't get paid for doing it, but it is certainly not good for the club if I end up winning the contest each week either. So for the time being, I am not going to enter on the contest boards... we need to vote for some of the other hot guys there and some of the other amazing costumes.

Elvis has left the building... for now.