One of my favorite examples of machinima is Freeman’s Mind.“Freeman’s Mind is a [online] science-fiction comedy series that follows the thoughts of Dr. Gordon Freeman, a 27 year old physicist and protagonist of the [video] game Half-Life...In the game Half-Life, Freeman is entirely silent and has no actual personality. In Freeman’s Mind, he is a highly vocal and neurotic individual with paranoid and delusional tendencies.” -- Ross Scott, creator of Freeman’s mind, www.accusedfarms.com
I was thinking how cool it would be to find a video game about a writer and add all the thoughts in voice-overs. Let’s imagine this scene – part of the series Anna’s Mind. The writer/heroine is jetting off to Puerto Rico for a thrilling week of writing, dodging bad-ass iguanas, and drinking staggering quantities of rum.
A tall, handsome dude sits next to the heroine on the airplane.
She opens her laptop, mulls how to revise the sucky opening scene, and he asks, “Are you a writer?”
The adrenaline rush heats the heroine’s face.
In voice-over, she says with arm-pumping certainty, “YES! He talked to me and knows I’m a writer. He peered into my repressed little soul. He probably thinks I’m cool. I am cool. Well...I’ll pretend like I’m cool.”
Then Mr. Hero-lookalike asks the dreaded question, “What do you write.”
“About you,” she thinks aloud.
As the animator, I’m going to push button “A“ to move her laptop out of sight because she doesn’t want him to see that what she writes really is...crap.
Her voice-over says, “Jeesh, I hope he didn’t see what crap I write. I hate it when people try to read while I’m writing. It’s almost like having someone watch me go to the bathroom. I wonder if he’s a perv. He doesn’t look like a perv, but you never know. I hope he doesn’t put on those cheap-ass ear phones to listen to Kenny G. “
Hey, who invited that neurotic and paranoid Dr. Gordon Freeman into my machinima?
This isn’t going to work. No one will ever make a video game about the act of writing. It isn’t exotic or thrilling. It doesn’t involve guns or take place in underground tunnels full of aliens and radioactive goo. It involves lots of coffee and reward snacks and takes place in semi-daylight. For example, let’s look at where I wrote today. This morning at the coffee house, I sat facing an electrical outlet. The holes look like a sad face, like someone who’s disappointed that I ate the last piece of cheesecake. Voice-over: “Hey, you neither licked it nor put your name on it. It was so delicious.” Later, I plopped on the orange couch in the photo. It used to be a frou-frou, fugly country-blue plaid monstrosity, but I recovered into a mod masterpiece. Impressive, n’est pas? I wish someone would be that impressed by my writing. You put your soul into writing, but only your blood into upholstery (lots of blades, staples and big scary needles required, kind of brain surgery). By the way, that’s Pauline the Cat hanging on the window screen. Voice-over: “Get off the screen, you fat blob. I just let you out two seconds ago. You can’t want in already.” I stop everything I’m doing and let her in.
Alas, the act of writing will remain un-machinima-ed.
So, do you mind when people read your stuff while you’re writing?
PS – please leave a comment, but I might not be able to read it right away.
I’ll be in Puerto Rico on a wild writing adventure when this goes live.