Some of you will be aware that the acting roles in STÖMOL went to people in my friendship circle in Second Life. Making machinima is my hobby, and part of my enjoyment of this hobby is doing it with people I get on with. It’s also just easier to follow a learning curve as steep as that required of machinima when you’re doing it alongside friends who know you and are patient with you.
However, when STÖMOL was published online its function went beyond being just a private hobby and it took on an additional role as a piece of distributed media, along with all of the social responsibilities which go with that. One of these responsibilities is the representation of a racially diverse culture so that people from as broad an audience as possible can identify with the characters portrayed. This is something that science fiction has not done well as a genre (see the superb Remnants \\X// Afrofuturism animation by Jeremy Grant, Matthew Langford and R Alan Brooks for an exploration of this topic – with thanks to Ivar Zeile for making this available).
And, in this respect, STÖMOL also fell short of expectations. Whilst the film did include a character of colour (‘The Eye’), this was a small and silent role, and one which I played myself using an alt.
I would like to do better than this in my next project, a feature-length science fiction machinima filmed in Second Life, and which now requires a new, female character to co-star alongside the main protagonist (who is also female). I would therefore like to welcome a female (trans or cisgender) actor of colour into the friendly team involved in creating this movie. Whilst specific racial descent is not important to this role, it is important to the plot that the role is a person of colour.
The (very tentative) release date for this movie is Summer 2022. Scenes for the new Character will be filmed primarily between August 2021 and February 2022. If you are interested in applying for this role, please read through the requirements below (I’m sorry they are so long, but I really think it’s best that these things are understood up front) and follow the application steps after them.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Requirements (please read in full before applying).
By applying for this role, you will be signifying that you agree to the requirements below. This is not a legal contract; this is just so you have a good understanding of what I will need from you as an actor on this project.
1. You will have an avatar which represents your RL heritage.
2. Your avatar should ideally be of high quality in appearance (by which I mean, mesh body and head). I don’t want to exclude talented voice actors who are not able to meet this requirement, however, so If you don’t have this and are successful in selection, you will agree to work with our avatar design consultant on a new avatar (we will meet the cost of this for you).
3. You will agree to record lines in voice.
4. You will understand that this is a significant time commitment and agree to set aside time for shooting sessions. This is likely to be quite a lot of time, both in the length of individual sessions (usually one to two hours) and in the number of sessions. Shooting is often long and boring work for SL actors; sometimes it can be repetitive and frustrating when a scene of technical complexity is being shot. Please be mindful of this in considering whether you would like to apply. Additionally I mostly shoot between the hours of 2pm and 5pm SLT. I regret very much that this will likely exclude some people, but my RL schedule just doesn’t allow for times outside of this window. Please only apply if you are regularly able to make this time.
5. You will understand that this is not a paid role. My machinima is not a commercial endeavour and is created on a small budget. If I require you to buy a particular outfit, however, you will be recompensed for the cost of this.
6. You will understand that the final film will be distributed through internationally accessible platforms and that you have a responsibility to participate in discussions about scenes planned or already filmed – including expressing any reservations you have about them. It is my very strong desire that all actors should be delighted with their scenes and how they fit into the overall movie. The precise scenes required have not yet been worked out (see this interview for an overview of how I work out my storylines). The movie will be a science fiction film and include elements of action, violence and adult themes. If you have not already done so, you should watch my first movie, STÖMOL, as a broad reference point.
7. You will agree not to give out details of the film prior to its release. It’s just more fun to keep things a surprise.
No prior experience of voice acting is required, however skill in this area will be a key judged criterion in audition.
You will not be required to disclose your RL identity at any part of the process.
Step one – application
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- Your full SL name (including legacy name).
- Identification of your RL cultural heritage.
- A brief statement (one paragraph maximum) on why you would like to be considered for this role.
- A recent picture of your avatar.
- An audio recording of you reading a poem you love.
It is my strong preference that you send this from an email account associated with your SL identity (ie, not your RL email account).
The deadline for applications is the end of Tuesday 1 June.
Step two – audition
Once we have looked at all applications, we will be contacting a small number for an audition. All applicants will be contacted to let them know if they have been successful or not in being invited to audition.
Auditions will consist of an interview in voice lasting approximately half an hour. The interview panel will consist of two to three members of the current movie team. Please don’t be nervous about this. We are a friendly team and will endeavour to make it a comfortable and welcoming experience. Further details about the audition will be sent to you with your invitation to audition.
Will there be further casting calls for additional parts? There might! As you will see from this interview, my storylines evolve as I film. Right now I’m focused on this new role, which the story as it stands has made necessary. There is a very long way to go yet on this project, however, so keep an eye out for any future announcements.