We needed a train!
Not just any old train, but a 1970’s Diesel Train, detailed and very real looking inside and out. Nat and I scoured every train-store, Marketplace train offering in SL, and could not find what we wanted. One of the reasons I think our production took as long as it did (close to 5 months) was finding that illusive train. So being hopeful, even while we were being disappointed, “I heard so and so made a train for so and so” and finding all leads running into dead ends, we decided to build a track and maybe..”The train would come.”
Then I remembered a builder an old SL friend who always said, “Show me a picture and I can build it for you.” He built my Brahma bulls, back in 2008 see “A Story full of Bull.” I convinced Nat we should talk to him, and although he was busy with RL and SL projects, he said he was willing to give it a try.
The first time we saw the finished train in his sandbox (a few weeks after he began) we were awestruck. It DID look like the pictures. It was beautiful, detailed and amazing! We we were so excited, we couldn’t wait to rez it on our skylot. I had even cleared a few prims away down below, thinking that this train might need a few hundred of them…Imagine our surprise when, with more than 1500 prims to spare, we got the message “There were no free prims on LINC Island..” not even enough to rez the locomotive.
I kept putting away houses, castles, primmy fish and jet planes, and freed up another 2000 more, and we still could not rez the locomotive with one car attached. In other words, a homestead could not hold our 3-car train!
The locomotive turned out to be a little over 2700, and the passenger car and the baggage car took it over 5000! How could we ever use a train like this? I stripped half my island below, and we finally could rez the three cars all together, and by shrinking it a bit, and changing the object type settings (Thanks to Dale Innis) we brought the three cars down to only about 3000 prims in total. Only.
So yes, the obvious thing was this was going to be a “green screen deluxe” as this train was never going to budge. Well, during this time, Nat (single handedly) built an amazing set, an agricultural town set in the mountains. It was sim -wide and it was wonderful.. and we had our train parked (forever parked, it seemed) at the station. We shot all the other scenes as we could, and rounded up almost 14 extras over the months to be in them.
Every time Nat looked at that monster train, that could never move, I know she felt that pang of disappointment. When you have a gorgeous train, and a million cam angles going around in your head, and you will never shoot a one, because the train will never move down a track….that is disappointing!
Without giving away any secrets, just know, one day our train moved.
It was less than a month ago when it first moved and before it did, Nat was thinking of seriously making a “fake train’ out of prims, and it looked so fake it was very very funny. We laughed instead of crying, but the truth is Dale Innis stepped in again, after seeing Nat’s “fake train” and he did something, which I am sure he will tell on his blog, (in detailed geek language) or in an extended comment here, (hint hint) but he got an unlinkable big fat train to move as a train should, smooth and fast. I could say so much more, but I will end here so you can see the movie. I will just say, the day that train moved down the track…we cried…we whooped..we were awe struck, and I think we made train movie history in SL. I think the scenes and angles Nat got..well they are pure Nat..pure genius, but without a moving train..our movie would have been so much less, than….it turned out to be.
Thanks to Lucho Ceriano for his original mesh train and to RAG Randt, for the VIVO truck and that poignant wave, to Jer Straaf who took the time to try and help us, and for his great moving traffic in our town, to all the wonderful extras who gave up their Saturdays to come in and ride a train, or go to a wedding, or dance at the Prom, and a very special thanks to my co-star, Odracir Wrigglesworth. Thanks to all our friends, who were interested in how it was going, and thanks to Dale Innis, who once again stepped into our film, in a way no one else had…..or could have. Thanks to Freesound.org for amazing train sound files, that I incorporated into my Garage Band sound track. Thanks to WaMark for his Florida Rain.mp3 and to everyone who believed in our project.
UWA Vl, our next station…. Here we come!!
And please remember, as Nat says in her (eeehm) charmingly directorial way, “Watching our film without being in full-screen and HD (720p) is Prohibited!”