Friday, June 29, 2007

TRANSFORMERS Second Life highlights!

TRANSFORMERS Second life event highlights are available to download here!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

TRANSFORMERS Q&A Written Transcript and Stills

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Monday, June 25, 2007


HOT FROM SECTOR 7 - The Transformers Q&A Video - Watch it now right here!

The Transformers Q&A Video and Audio Podcasts - Download them now right here!

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Friday, June 22, 2007


HOT OF THE PRESS - The Transformers Q&A Podcast - Listen to it now right here!

And don't forget to check out Sector 7 in Second Life, if only to collect your OFFICIAL Bumblebee avatar.

So much to report about everything that went down in Sector 7 today, but not right now. The bar is calling. I'll settle for posting some pics of the build hours before it opened, and will be back as soon as the video podcast is available.




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Wednesday, June 20, 2007


One exciting aspect of the TRANSFORMERS launch event is that SLCN are going to be filming it and streaming it live, in conjunction with some major promotional partners in some of Paramount's key markets.

I've embedded the test stream here:

Check back at 5.00pm PDT on Friday to watch it go live.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

More than meets the eye

HUGELY exciting to be able to publish the first snapshot of one of our largest and most challenging builds to date - Sector 7.

A sim-wide build, Sector 7 opens to the public at 6pm on June 22nd following a Q&A with the film-makers and cast behind what promises to be one of the biggest movies of 2007 - TRANSFORMERS.

To find out more about the launch, and for access to a selection of high-quality movie stills and video clips, check out the official press release and digital EPK.

For my part I was a massive fan of the toys when I was a kid - I owned a couple, watched the cartoons, even wrote a couple of extra episodes of my own - so this is a chance to be involved in meta-marketing yet another movie that's really close to my heart, this time for Paramount. Even as I type the sim is teeming with some of the rarest talents in the metaverse, working around the clock to bring Michael Bay's phenomenal creation to Second Life.

In the unlikely event that you haven't a clue what I'm talking about, just watch this...

...then watch this.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two weeks on...

...and Ed Douglas at brings us a comprehensive write-up of the Die Hard Q&A, focusing on the questions and answers likely to be of greatest interest to the broad audience of film-goers and movie fans the site attracts.

It's immensely gratifying to see that Ed has managed to take such a substantial and engaging feature away from this event - it reinforces our belief that Second Life's value lies in its viability as a medium for communication and commerce, not as a headline-grabbing end in itself.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Mezamashi TV (and much, much more!)

Almost ten days on and it's time to post a second DIE HARD buzz report:

Mezamashi TV
In terms of raw media value, this is the pick of the coverage we've received so far - an 8-minute feature for Mezamashi TV, one of Japan's leading entertainment shows. Notwithstanding the language barrier, you can see from the few minutes posted here that they really got into the gonzo spirit of covering a virtual movie junket:

Another keen proponent of the gonzo approach is MTV's LarryCarroll Carnell, rapidly becoming a Silverscreen regular - he attended the 300 Q&A, and came along again for this event. As well as giving it a great write-up on MTV News (syndicated to VH1), Larry also entertained the crowd with his distinctive blend of humorous banter and human pyrotechnics (which is to say, he talked a lot, then wandered to the front of the stage and exploded).

The Silverscreen auditorium moments after LarryCarroll Carnell explodes

The Avastar
Second Life's self-proclaimed tabloid offering, The Avastar is a colourful and well organised weekly PDF chock full of news and views. With a circulation of 100,000 regular readers across the English and German language versions, front page coverage is a great result:

New World Notes
Another big 'local' news outlet, New World Notes, wonders aloud what really constitutes an 'appearance' in Second Life. I've commented on the post by way of offering my take on an interesting metaversal conundrum.

That S'Life
I also had the opportunity to appear on a special edition of That S'Life, a bi-weekly 30-minute show, using a magazine-format to showcase the biggest attractions in Second Life, produced and broadcast live by the Second Life Cable Network (SLCN). Liam and I walked That S'Life presenter Starr Sonic through the Die Hard expo, and talked through some of the logistical challenges associated with the Q&A:

SLCN worked with us to facilitate the live broadcast of the Q&A itself, and appear well on the way to becoming the key player in this space. To find out more about them you can check out this interview with Second Life Insider.

And much, much more, including...
As with 300, it's been a joy
512 Megas
Movie Marketing Madness
Virtual TO Reality
TV 2.0
Scribble King
Second Life Observer
Second Style
Geek Girl
Mundo Linden
Pendejos anónimos
The Artistic Eye
Ana Lutetia
Smart Company
fumi's blog
iF Magazine
Second Russia

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Event transcript, plus loads of snapshots

We now have an official EVENT TRANSCRIPT, available to download as a Word document.

We have also posted some of our favourite EVENT SNAPSHOTS to Flickr - this is one of them:

If you see one you like and want it at best quality you can request it via

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Adding our voice to the conversation...

As I prepare to travel back to the UK following last friday's Die Hard launch in Second Life, I though I'd post a round-up of some coverage the event has already received, along with a couple of observations of my own.

I have to start with a news item which ran on Danish national television on Saturday evening, if only because it sees Bruce giving all of Denmark its very own 'Yippie Kay Ay' (Scroll down to the link reading Bruce Willis giver pressekonference i cyberspace to launch the archived clip).

This is very much a Second Life novelty piece, the kind of high-value free media coverage a lot of brands and corporations are targeting by moving into the virtual space. Even though this kind of exposure is getting harder to come by, I do think that the 3D web is a vibrant and versatile enough medium to go on making headlines in the way that Web v1 and Web 2.0 have, and I expect there to be a continuing, mainstream interest in new developments and high-profile events in each of these realms.

Likewise, 20 Minutes, France's free daily newspaper, has run a fairly light-hearted story both in its printed version and here, on the website.

The piece is positive overall, although they seem to suggest that Willis's avatar was a poor likeness, and too inanimate. The (virtual) reality is that this one of the best likenesses I've seen created in Second Life (put together by our resident avatar designers Sachi Vixen and Damen Gorilla) and that it featured five custom-created looping avatar animations. That said, to the uninitiated I can imagine that it looks quite rudimentary, especially when you consider how somebody like Bruce would be rendered for something like the Xbox, or PS3.

Image reproduced from article on dead pixel life

What you have to keep in mind when assessing anything created in SL is that almost everything you find there is user-generated, and that the design tools built into the SL viewer tend to sacrifice visual sophistication in exchange for accessibility and performance. I've found myself suggesting more than once over the last few days that the current aesthetics of Second Life will one day come to be regarded in much the same way that we look back at something like Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds. This feels like a promising analogy, since however dated and rudimentary it appears, Thunderbirds is also the irrefutable foundation-stone of so much of what you find in cinemas today, albeit that deluxe CGI has replaced tottering marionettes.

I can't tell you what the article on Mexico's Supermorelia!com says - my Spanish isn't good enough, nor, as regards the printed version, is my eyesight.

Another great piece of coverage I want to pick up on, with a very different emphasis, is Mitch Wagner's write-up on the Information Week blog. With more of tech focus, Mitch examines the rationale for the Die Hard activity; that of reaching an influential few rather than the cinema-going many.

Personally I'm amazed how often I find people decrying SL as a marketing medium on account if the fact that it only has about 500,000 genuinely active residents. If Web 2.0 has taught us anything it surely is that all 'hits' are not equal, and that marketing is no longer a straight numbers game, but a challenge to communicate with the right audience in the right way, be it five people or five million.

Next up is UK-based blogger Neville Hobson, with whom we worked on the "300" activity. He made it along to this event notwithstanding the fact that it was around 2am local time by the time it got fully underway. Neville has posted a typically exuberant and insightful write-up, as well as twittering some of the Q&A content and posting a selection of images on Flickr. If that isn't 'superwired' I don't know what is.

Reproduced from a post on

In terms of the SL press, first out is a write-up on Second Life News Network, who are always quick to turn copy around. Contrary to what they report in the opening paragraph Bruce had seen his avatar, and had declared himself very happy with the likeness. I can go on the record that he didn't operate it himself, and that the interview was conducted over the phone. This was not how the event was initially planned, but it's what needed to happen for it to go ahead, and our own position is that if we can engender real-time interaction between film-makers or talent and a Second Life audience, we can be said to have brought them 'into' the medium in a meaningful sense of the word.

See also a mixed bag of other write-ups, including Wired Blogs, apt blog,, Appearance Mode, Guillaume in Zevillage, Pro Game News, Zabatika, Dead Pixel Life, AP LINK, MindBlizzard and The Flack. These typify the many different points of view that tend to spring up around activity like this, and in the end it's this diversity of tone and opinion which makes the conversation so compelling (not to mention the various viral machinima flotsam and jetsam appearing to complement it).

Just to add my own 'tuppence worth', for me one of the most interesting aspects of Friday's event was the presence of fans in our invite-only audience, winners of a hugely-subscribed competition which itself increased the traction and 'digital footprint' of this strand of activity. It was great fun to witness the extent to which their questions - and their unrelenting enthusiasm for Bruce and the Die Hard movies - unlocked a side of 'Bee Dub' we wouldn't necessarily see at a normal press conference.

I also found it significant that we were able to broadcast the event live on the web and within SL itself (with the help of the Second Life Cable Network), in terms of how this can be used to increase the accessibility of this kind of event, as well as the value. We've posted a video podcast of this on the Silverscreen blog, which will aso be playing in-world around the Die Hard expo for its six-week duration.

That's all for now. See you on the other side.

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Die Hard Q&A podcasts - *Updated to include VIDEO*

The Die Hard Q&A AUDIO PODCAST is now available right HERE as a 20MB MP3.

Also, check out a VIDEO PODCAST of the whole session, as a 100MB MOV. This was broadcast live by Second Life Cable Network (SLCN) both in-world and on the web, and was enjoyed by additional members of the press along with a number of Fox execs who wanted to know what the fuss was about.

We have lots of pictures of the event, and will be posting plenty of them, but here's a personal favourite - Karube Nikolaidis, representing...

(Gotta love the mic. Just in case you don't spot the placard :)

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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Die Hard in Second Life - the first pics!

These are some of the snaps taken shortly before the launch of the Die Hard virtual movie expo, now open in Silverscreen.

The stage was set for our launch event - a 30-minute Q&A with star of Die Hard and Hollywood legend Bruce Willis and an invited audience of digital press, bloggers and competition-winning fans.

This is one of the builds we've created allowing visitors to step inside a key moment from the movie. We called this 'Joint Strike', after the name of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter you can see bearing down on a Freightliner Classic XL Big Rig being driven by McClane.

And this is 'Airborne'. Here you can see Liam Kanno, head of Silverscreen's resident build team the V3 Group, leaping to safety clad in one of the free outfits we're giving away around the expo.

Finally, if you visit the expo be sure to drop into ace hacker Warlock's 'Command Centre'. Plenty more freebies to be had in here, and some beautiful texturing and lighting for visiting SL design connoisseurs.

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