by Marc Hirsh
Do you have a movie in you? Is your cinematic vision being held back by things like prohibitively expensive equipment and a frustrating inability to corral (or make) enough friends to properly collaborate? Are you looking for a way to punt anywhere from 15 minutes to an entire day's worth of work?
Fret no more: Xtranormal is here to help. Choose a setting, drop in some characters, type out their deepest secrets (or some fart jokes), pick a few camera angles, add some gestures and sound effects (see above, re: fart jokes) and voila! You're an instant John Lasseter.
The example above comes from the opening of Linda Holmes' "Couch-Potato-ing The Grammys With NPR Music's Stephen Thompson" blog post from last night. I think you'll agree that it really captures the essence of the conversation, without having to do any of that pesky "reading."
It's also important to note that, start to finish, this entire thing took little over half an hour to create. (Yes, even with Linda retching at the merest mention of Katy Perry.) Brilliant as it is, just imagine how amazing it would be with a solid hour's worth of effort. You'd be hearing a lot less about WALL*E, I can guarantee you that.
It is, of course, not perfect. In order to save and share your cinematic masterpieces, you'll have to register (thus bringing the number of times you've registered for something on the Internet to a cool hundred thou). You'll have to wait for your work to render itself into a final product, which can be nearly unendurable when you're a gifted artist with an urgent message that just needs to be shared with the world. And for some reason, the voice software struggles with the correct pronunciation of "shouldn't" while clearing "Saadiq" with minimal difficulty.
But that's a small price to pay for a degree of freedom and control that your Sims characters could only dream of, if they could only dream. (They can't; they're not real.) And heck, for all the limitations of the slightly wooden dialogue, the characters are already more expressive than Milo Ventimiglia. Have at it, and we'll see you at next year's Oscars.
The above post, in Xtranormal form: