MachinEVO: a machinima workshop for educators

MachinEVO logo, used in accordance with licence requirements
MachinEVO logo, used in accordance with licence requirements

I received a poke about MachinEVO, a 5-week workshop for language educators to learn how to create machinima in virtual worlds, which is once again taking place in Second Life.

Building upon the successful 2012 and 2013 series, this year’s workshop commences on Monday January 13th, 2014, and concludes on Friday February 28th, 2014 with a special film festival and awards ceremony hosted at the 7th SLanguages Annual Symposium.

The entire workshop is offered free-of-charge, and registrations are now open and will remain thus until Sunday January 12th. Those interested in participating can register via the MachinEVO Google group. General information on the workshop can be found at the MachinEVO wiki.

“Moving pictures, sound and stories are the most powerful way of communicating learning content,” Heike Philp, one of the workshop’s organisers states. “MachinEVO takes up the challenge of ‘video as a new language of learning’ and purposes to train and equip language teachers to produce visually appealing videos in virtual worlds, commonly called machinima. In this EVO session we will learn how to create machinima, from filming to post-production until the video has been uploaded onto a video hosting sites. ”

Location and Schedule

The five-week course will primarily take place on EduNation Island, but will include visits elsewhere in-world. The workshop will comprise the following activities (also listed on the event’s Google Calendar):

Kick-off event: Sunday January 12th, at 11:00 SLT (19:00 GMT / 20:00 CET).

Week 1: January 13th – 19th, 2014:

  • SL Fast Track – for those educators who have not used Second Life or virtual worlds before, the fast track course offers essentials in logging-in, movement (including the camera), communications, outfit changing, shopping, etc.
  • Film crew group building – brainstorming ideas and forming film crews, developing ideas into a storyboard, etc.

Week 2: January 20th – 26th, 2014 – Basic Filming and Editing: This includes selecting actors, props  and scenarios for filming (using the storyboards developed in week 1), learning basic film production techniques and how to upload videos.

Week 3: January 27th – February 2nd, 2014 – Advanced Filming and Editing: building on week 2  to add things like animation, lip synching, add music, credits, pictures, video-in-video (including live footage) and other essential skills of the filmmaker.

Week 4: February 3rd – 9th – Advanced Editing Techniques: Enhancing productions with special effects, credits and music. Search for free music on the web and learn how to create an intro and an outro (credits) for a video.

Week 5: February 10th – 16th – Final Editing & Uploading: finalising a video and handing-over for jury review. All videos must be handed-over for inclusion in judging for the festival and awards ceremony by February 16th.

Throughout the five weeks, participants will receive practical guidance and feedback from the workshop moderators and also feedback from their peers, making the workshop a collaborative, interactive learning environment. Additionally, the courses will be streamed via Adobe Connect.

MachinEVO Award Ceremony and Film Festival

The MachinEVO Award Ceremony and Film Festival will take place on February 28th, 2014 at the 7th SLanguages Annual Symposium. The jury will be asked for their evaluations and also the public for the ‘People’s choice award’ at what will be a red carpet event (so black ties and gowns requested!).  The awards comprise: Best Director, Best Digital Story Telling, Best Machinimatography (Best Camera), Best Film Editing, Best Visual / Special Effects, Best Machinima as a Whole, Best Language Learning Machinima, Best Informative Machinima, People’s Choice Award and Honorable Mentions.

Further information on the event, including a detailed schedule, moderator biographies, information on suitable software for use on the workshop, etc., can be found via the MachinEVO wiki.

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