Nin9: the making of a machinima series

Marx Catteneo is a name perhaps known to some. He’s been involved in Second Life since 2007, and has made his mark as a machinima maker with an eye for detail, as with his video of the 2012 Fantasy Faire, and a quirky sense of humour which has created Staying Alive, a somewhat different take on the SL zombie scene to that portrayed in the official promo videos…

As a successful applicant to the 2013 Artist in Residence programme, Marx opens up the doors on the machinima film-making process in May as he starts work on his new web series Nin9, and is offering SL residents the chance to see the sets of the 9-part series, which will be debuting in Spring 2013.

The Streets of Felice, Michigan - a part of a set from Nin9
The Streets of Felice, Michigan – a part of a set from Nin9

Set in the fictional city of Felice, Michigan in late 2000, the series is described as a dark and disturbing psychological thriller playing in an alternative reality and which influenced by the likes of Se7en, Twin Peaks, Hitchcock, Basic Instinct, European Graphic Novels. The introduction to the series frames the story:

Francis Maddox, lieutenant and head of the homicide division at FPD, comes across a very nasty Neko murder.  It has all signs of a serial killer’s first victim. The crime scene brings back traumatic events from Francis’ past. The investigations will lead him into the seductive world of Neko strippers. Will he be able to withstand the charms of Layla? Is she just a colleague of the first victim, is she involved herself, or is she next on the killer’s list?

Felice, Michigan – a part of a set from Nin9

The set is currently open to public viewing from now until the 15th of May, when filming the series commences. Built by Rachelle Raviprakash, it packs-in an incredible amount of detail into the comparatively small space of a single region, which beautifully renders the run-down heart of an aging city. Several of the principal locations are present, including the Police Headquarters for District 13 and the strip club where (I assume) the mysterious Layla works.

Felice, Michigan – a part of a set from Nin9

I’m not sure if the region will remain open to the public during filming, or only open between the times when shooting in going on. The LEA blog post on the project suggests the former might be the case, but without sight of a filming schedule, it’s hard to be sure.

If you do opt to pop along and filming is going on, do note that the region is rated Adult, and that Nin9 is aimed “at an adult audience (it’s not porn but there will be nudity and violence). European graphic novels have a long tradition in this kind of adult genre and many of them are on the edge of art and entertainment (Moebius, Enki Bilal, Jacques Tardi, Schuiten & Peeters).”

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