“Window On A Train” ~ Our Entry For The UWA Vl Machinima Challenge 2013 ~

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.”


Build it and it will 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!


One heavy 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.

Beautifully non-moving

Beautifully non-moving

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!”

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49 Responses to “Window On A Train” ~ Our Entry For The UWA Vl Machinima Challenge 2013 ~

  1. Dale Innis says:

    Yay! As I jumped the gun and commented on the teaser 🙂 this is so good; I am honored to have my name attached to it in the credits, and even more to have been even a small scripty part of it. Such creativity, Vo and Vis! And such emotion; you set us up… well, I shouldn’t give it away. But very impactful! Whether or not it wins the contest-thing, I think it deserves to, and everyone seeing it will remember it. (Now I can go write a geeky weblog entry about what actually got the train to move smoothly, despite its enormous priminess!)


    • What can I say? You made the difference..What a wonderful process to live something like this with you and all who took part. Thank you for your generosity..the open sharing of your wonderful talent. It meant a lot to us both Dale….thank you again.


  2. joyce says:

    WOW! wow! …rubs the goosebumps on her arms! That was utterly BRILLIANT! Did I say “WOW”?


  3. Charlotte says:

    Everyone did such a wonderful job on this – it’s amazing. I think it is the best one yet 🙂

    Good luck with the competition, I know you will do very well!


  4. janbetts says:

    Powerful… speaks deeply… the visuals, the audios… the complexities of putting such a masterpiece together… Wow… almost speechless… so many elements of this profoundly moving experience that i want to address, many brilliant creative geniuses put their talents together… Natasha, oh my the hours she must have spent, the perfection in every frame.. Karima’s haunting poetry, music and voice, her vision… i cannot say enough… just BRILLIANT… a winner. i am left with having been touched to the core by this. Thank you to Natasha and Karima… you are MAGIC together… and have once again outdone yourself!


    • Hugs you tight my Artist friend.,.You make me smile through a few emotional tears..I am glad we could touch you..Isn’t that what this thing called Art is all about? I just thank my lucky stars for pairing up with this genius..bossy and dictatorial Natascha:). .but she sure knows how to film a train *smiles..and a few other things too. Thank you Jan for always being there Always…Takes a Magician to see another’s MAGIC 🙂 smiles


  5. sannctuary says:

    The Productions keep getting better and better. I loved playing a small part as an extra and amazed to see how it all came out, Congrats on the set, it was extraordinary considering your struggle to find the prims. A captivating Thriller once again , Karima’s Melifluous Voice connects the wide and sweeping scenes riveted with small sudden shock component cameos of intense focus on story line, it stops and starts us. One can only watch and feel helpless as we are subsumed in the continually moving dare i say it train of events. Thank You Natasha and Karima.


  6. Thank you Sanne for playing a part in it and for your time and your comment, and always your always profound eye into things. Hugss


  7. Richard A Goldberg says:

    The collaboration is growing a life of its own. Nice to see how you two are continuoing to develop and merge your skills into a great team. This is definitely the most successful project yet (and I hope it wins). I know you are already thinking about your next machinima and I am sure that THAT one will be your best! Create on!


    • Thanks RAG…and glad you are part of the repertory of collaborators! We loved your VIVO truck..It seemed to have been born right there in that town, and as I said in the post, your poignant wave was what I searched for. I owe you a big one! This was our biggest, most frustrating, but in the end most rewarding..Life is like that sometimes..:)


  8. Steve Rogers says:

    That’s really awesome… definitely the best yet – incredible lighting, shading and movement. It’s almost a feature film trailer. And the scale of the poem is pretty huge isn’t it? A whole lifetime. Congratulations.


  9. kagestratten says:

    gorgeous, ladies. such depth of emotion and power. i am mezmerized by the beauty of the images and that exquisite voice that takes us to worlds of cinematic imaginings coupled with some spectacular images….astounding! another masterpiece!


    • Ohh thank you dearest Kage, talented and very funny exra, who was a part of the whole.You have a way of taking our movies in and seeing them in such a human way.. but a deeply human way..How many times have we cried together over shared Art..Takes one to know one. Soul of an Artist…you eat color and you can’t help dancing either:)


  10. kagestratten says:

    Karima: I just wanted to add that you make these miraculous portals with your work….seduce us to enter….and we always find something heartbreaking but strangely uplifting in that space. We are at once uncomfortable, cold, and frightened…but oddly peaceful and at home as though we are weeping together, clasping hands for an emotional journey.


  11. Thank you all, for your nice comments and support and all! Before I will blog “my view” of the story in German, I want to say something here about our new movie.
    In my point of view it is really a Churchill video, blood, sweat and tears. Really. I remember the day Karima came online with words like “I have an idea for an UWA video…” after some seconds brainstorm modus was on:) and as always we shared zillions of ideas, hahahah so funny. Karima told you most of the tragedy of the train. A train MUST move! If not, it isnt a train, its a bunch of prims, darn, a bunch of zillion prims. But on the other hand I spent my time in building the set and a very low prim set, cause of the zillionprim train. In these months I was up and down and not sure we ever could finish this movie and one day I was sooo upset. I thought I cant work no more on our project. But then, magically, our train moves. IT MOVES!!! Darn, after tears of sadness, I had tears of joy (if thats the right term) I shot and shot and shot and shot. and made small movies to show Karima what can be done, when a train moves! YAY our train moves! Dale was the cavallery, saving our movie!!!
    Two days later, I got the message, that one of my best and dearest friends in sl has gone west. I was so shocked, you cant imagine. He taught me how to fly in sl and the love of all cars, planes, helis, all things that can move in sl. I still miss him. After some days I decide that I will work harder as ever on our movie, to give my very best, cause I knew that Walt would want it that way.
    So finally “Window On A Train” is really our Churchill movie. Lots of our lifeblood (in German we say Herzblut) and much much more flowed in it. And if you watch it attentive, you can find many “insiders” (not really inside-jokes) in it.
    Sooo THANK YOU again for all the help and support and all the nice comments and to all the extras I was allowed to boss around:) Sometimes it is great to be the director:)

    Oh and btw. Karima and I earned many nicknames, we can be proud of and our newest is, we are:


    • Natskers!!! My Nat!! Fate made us The Team:) not the A-team or (god forbid) the B-Team..but the Only TEAM. No one else I could ever work with like we work..No way,no one..so you are not allowed to ever doubt that:) I adored your comment.as I always do:):)
      Here’s to a few more videos..and then a few more after that..Let’s keep losing count..but keep making them anyway. HUGS Here’s To Us!!..Randt & Hoisan


  12. menubar says:

    Wow, what a great collaborative video! Excellent effects and visuals. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project!


    • Buddeh!! Ohh so glad you loved it..I wish to watch it with you in avatar- person on our Video Night//Thank you Thank you for leaving this comment.. You know it means a lot!


  13. Dan Linn says:

    I am smiling in wonder at the detail here. You are setting bars and breaking ground. To think that I am here at the birth of such breathtaking creations. It gives me great hope. This draws new boundaries around what can be done, uplifting us all.


    • How nice to find your comment here Poet:) Your praise sparks us to push that bar higher and higher…as you know Second Life creations are only limited by limited imaginations..All is possible..all can be done..and collaborations are the key to success. What we can imagine..we can somehow create..oh my… such a heady thought:)


  14. Scottius says:

    What a masterpiece! It is quite a marvel to see how both of your talents blend together to weave this story. From the visuals to your words, it all comes together nicely. Best of luck with the competition!


    • Dear Scottius..I know otters don’t usually make such open and lavish displays of praise.. I take this as a great compliment, and thank you sincerely from us both:) Thanks too for your sincere good wishes


  15. Hoyt Heron says:

    A charismatic, creative and intriguing piece of work. All the pieces fit together. The music, filming, poem, actors, connected to produce a beautiful and rewarding production. I think many viewers will feel a profound spiritual connection to the story line. Kudos to Karima, Nat, and all who contributed to this lovely work of art.


  16. Aww Thank you Hoyt for your praise and your kudos for our movie. You are the one who has been in the audience from the very beginning. Hugs mi Ruco!! Thank you for your loving support of me and of The Team!


  17. I’ve lost count at how many times I’ve watched the movie from the first day of the ‘teaser’ to twice more this morning alone (lol). The long term combined efforts of so many people went into this and I know the trials and tribulations seemed unbearable at times – but you two never gave up and thus… a masterpiece was born AGAIN (smiles)! The music is haunting, I hear it often in my head which conjures up the images over and over. I love how it is a complete evolution in the story, too. As always, this is a brilliant collaboration of genius thought and masterful production, without a doubt the best so far! *Applauds in a standing ovation*… Thinks ya’ll will bring home ALL THE BANANAS with this one!!


    • Ohh Diz, you are our best audience and also shining extra, even though you “nodded off” on the train a bit while you were waiting for it to leave:) Yes, you know our little sufferings, and I cried on your shoulder a few times too..but Happy Ending..we finished it and well your words make us both feel it was worthwhile to stick with it, surmount the odds and just see it through. Haha you sound like me seeing something over and over (my cheap form of self-hypnosis) but if you still feel it’s a “Banana Winner” even after so many viewings..that makes me smile from ear to ear:) If we bring any bananas home, we will make a table full of banana splits..and you can help yourself..and pass some on:) Big big hugs to you!!


  18. Shesa Quandry says:

    Karima! I wanted to comment on YouTube, but I really wanted a cool avatar pic to go with it, and Gamma finally found the perfect one ;o) So I commented there, and I will echo that here… but, I ran out of words… and there was so much more to say! So… starting with:
    With each new creation, I am re-captivated. The poem tells a tale, not a pretty one, but one to which we have all born witness. When we are young, we have such ideals about love and marriage… but life is long, and too often those ideals ‘rez’ into a different reality. As only Karima can… her words capture this so clearly.
    NAT! OMG! You really belong in Hollywood ;o) Your cinematography is absolutely amazing. Such fun we had that day on the train… and you turned it into genius.
    Congrats all
    Now… that I am not counting characters… ;o)
    I am so choked up with excitement for all of you. The way Nat portrayed Karima’s poem was just brilliant. I couldn’t begin to imagine it, that day we filmed on the train. It brings the words of the poem right off the page. You made it all look so real! I really can’t help but watch it again and again.
    Speaking of making it look real… Dale… WOW! What you did to make that train come alive shouldn’t have even been possible with all of SL’s limitations… but you DID IT! As usual on the computer… we don’t really see the programmer’s genius in the same way they do. It isn’t lines of code to us… its a train, going down the track. I’m sure you could explain it to us… but we wouldn’t understand LOL. No matter! You did a wonderful job, dear one.
    I’d say more… but I’m off to go watch it again. ;o) Hugs you all. Congratulations on such a compelling and passionate work of art. Unless the judge is completely blind and deaf… its a winner for sure!


    • daleinnis says:

      Aw, Shesa, thank you, 🙂 I just gave Nat a little script to move some random things more or less smoothly forward more or less together; she did all the magic from there! A great joy to be involved with the entire everyones…


    • Thanks a lot Shesa:) Yes the day with all of you in the wagon:) For me it will be unforgettable, because I shot one of the best scene I ever shot. Its only 2 seconds, but wow! I think scenes like this one, and we have a lot in our movie, I call them keyscenes, a bit subliminal, so you don’t know why, but they open your mind. With the music and Karima’s voice the pictures work then on many many levels.


  19. Wow Shesa, your YT comment was wonderful and I love your Steampunk portrait (Tell Gamma Please)..but this one that you left us here is beyond amazing. Awww, when you get choked up, I get even more and your excitement has rekindled my own..days later. Yes.. smiles well that little genius film partner, had some new and wonderful tricks up her sleeve for this one..and what we were thinking might be impossible to do (about half way through production) proved to be more than possible (and there is Dale to thank for that magic too:).. It’s one thing to brain storm for weeks about how we will lay it out and another when Nat applies her eye and that camera she holds so adeptly..and so differently than most. I kid her about her shadows ( how she LOVES those shadows) but those shadows in a few places made me hold my breath for real. Anyway we are The Team…I think we are just so lucky to have begun these collaborations, and as I said on YouTube, my only wish is may they go on and one.. With inspiration like yours and our friends who have taken the time to support and spur us on..well how can we say “No.” to the next one…and the the next one………:) I adore you Shesa..Thank you for your massive and loyal support for what we do!!


  20. db bailey says:

    There is much I liked about this film but for me the most powerful was the imagery of the train. As one gets older, and I’m of the age that I can start to pontificate on such subjects, life seems like a ride on a speeding train going faster and faster into oblivion. The shots of the streaking train across the landscape are terrific but I did notice that the tracks seem to disappear in each shot into a gray fog. There is something very existential about this film. I think the ultimate message may be clearer to women than to men but it certainly speaks to the commonality of the human experience. I find that the overriding experience of life is the constant reminder of its forward thrust into inevitability. Along the way one has experiences such as love, loss and escape. And as profound as they seem at the time they are really rather common and transparent like reflections in the windows of a train. The image is never free from the ubiquitous passing landscape.

    The lighting, the camera work, the editing are all better than just superb for SL but in fact professional in every respect. The only thing holding back this film is the limited technology of SL. I think the talent shown here is even much better than an SL film could possibly reveal. With the coming of oculus rift and other immersive technologies I can’t wait to see what this team is going to create with the technologies worthy of their talents. The only thing I would like to see them exploring in the next film which is in their realm of power is to address the appearance of the avatars themselves. These avatars always look like Ken and Barbie to me and I find that it keeps the film from emerging into something more profound. They don’t have to be ugly but maybe a bit more realistic or at least something to which we can all relate and emote more genuine emotion.

    This is Karima at her most classic. I have no idea how autobiographical these in fact might be but she always tells the stories with such sincerity that they sound like they are confessions to an old and trusted friend. One would assume that such insights would reveal more about who Karima really is as a person in real life. In fact they only add to the mystery and complexity. Anyone who’s ever attended a poetry reading knows how much deeper is the experience when hearing the poetry read by the author. But rarely does one have that experience and of course for poets of the past we have no idea what their work would’ve sounded like read in person. But we do know that distinctive voice of Karima so profoundly a part of her work. In a different time and age and circumstances she would no doubt have been the toast of Broadway, a great diva of La Scala, or wealthy philanthropist and patron of the arts as well as lover to all the great living artists with a few revolutionaries thrown in. Her standing in the virtual world is the digital version of this persona. She has crafted an image truly unique in style, compassion and intimacy.


    • I know I am late:)

      A really great review of our movie, thankies DB 🙂 Let me begin with Ken and Barbie. Yes you are right, but thats a limitation of all virtual worlds and for this movie I think we have done something to let them look not soo Barbielike 🙂
      On the other hand it is true, you cannot show alot of emotions with these avatars. Sometimes a bit with facial expression, but then they look like they came from the uncanny valley. But I am happy you wrote about that, cause now I have some ideas how to bring avatars a bit more to life.

      And yes the train! Allegorically on so many levels.
      One level is the journey to that undiscovered country called future. You never really know what comes next. Sometimes you wish to go back to a beautiful station, but you can’t. This train called life takes you away through time and space. And you know that.

      Another level is, you are sitting in a train and this the endless landscape passes by and you are thinking, why I am here what’s going wrong and you see many faces and events of the past in the clouds or just as reflections on the window…

      That are some of the thoughts I wanted to show, with my opportunities behind the camera and in postpro. But there are many others, maybe everyone who watches our movie has her or his own thoughts about life, the past, the future and many other things. And not every train ride ends at the terminus, some ended earlier.

      When I read all the comments here and at yt and the many likes we got, I think we did it right and we reached our target.

      I really like that you talked about the things we must do better. With this in mind, we can, no we will, break our own barriers 🙂


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  22. Oh DB, you rendered me a bit speechless with your comment, your short “essay” on our film. I was very moved by what you said, as it was a generous act, of taking, I am sure, quite a bit of time out of your own busy life, to view and leave these well-thought-out observations.
    Since you wrote this in three paragraphs, I will address all three, beginning with the first.
    Yes, I agree the train ride is very existential, and very metaphoric of our individual and collective journey in this fluxing state called Life. It was why I set the poem on a train…as I too see this. Ironically and very funny looking back at it, the first machinima I ever made,(so badly made) was a train video, from a poem called “Too Far For Me.” (banned in Germany because I used a Hank William song) I borrowed one of my own lines from this poem to put into Window…but it is the same thought..and sometimes we even get left behind on the tracks..while someone else’s moving train speeds out of sight and out of our lives. Nat, truly captured what you call that existential quality..the tracks leading to nowhere. We referred to it as the surreal train ride..nothing real about it at all…and we took liberties to express that…once again Nat’s camera zooming back, or flashbacks on the pane. I too love the train, the relentless moving forward, even in the background of the flashbacks..and yes that is really the point, as you say, all that seemed so important one time or another, along the tracks it becomes a mere reflection of its original self. Maybe the part you referred to, about women might understand better than men, could be a small statement, about how we, many times, run old flashbacks in our mind, remembering the good times, to not be forced to make any drastic changes in our bad times. This of course is true of men as well as women. We use the past to give us a (perhaps false) hope for a better future, and that keeps us from changing our lives…for years..or even a lifetime.

    Nat , for me, is a true virtuosos with a camera, or with her editing tools, and she directs each scene with a trained eye. You are so right DB, we Are limited by Second Life, so many movements we can’t even make, I had to ask RAG Randt to please make me a movement to slowly wave goodbye. Yet under these”adverse conditions” many filmmakers are making some really great videos, and for me (ok I might be biased as she is my film partner) but Nat is at the cutting edge; she holds her camera, has an eye, that is so distinctive of her. One can only imagine, as your say, what could be created using occulus rift.(I do wish you so much enjoyment when you get yours:) Our process of making a movie involves as many hours or more of “brainstorming” as it does Nat’s actually filming it. I love what she does in the editing part. I think it is her favorite part, and mine too. DropBox buzzes with files being sent and then we comment, and then Nat does something even better…and that is the process. I agree, the final version is a polished, professional example of what can be done in SL.
    Interestingly enough, Nat and I did try to make visual characters who were not so Ken and Barbie. My leading man, was a sort of weak-chinned type, and I had bags under my eyes. We had a great older man on the train, but he wasn’t in any close-ups. I think this is something we both will take very seriously..and we are about to start our next film, and I am thinking about this point right now. When we use extras, I think they should also maybe try to normalize for whatever occasion we might be filming, but sometimes, it’s just good enough to have them show up. It’s very hard to organize these shoots with more than 10 avatars. Your comments on this have been taken seriously. Let’s see what we can do:)

    Now, the last part, your comments about me personally, smiles… well to keep the mystery in tact, (Hoyt refers to me as a “Chinese Puzzle”) I will not say much about the autobiographical nature of the theme of the movie. I think at any stage in our life, we can look back and reflect on things..I one time wrote about my machinima series “The Two” that it was a fictionalized semi-true story, where poetic license ran rampantly through many scenes and chapters.. I think that is good enough for this one too. Thank you for your words to me at the end, I think you and my readers know, what a powerful influence you and your work has had on my own creativity both in SL and on Kitely.. You and Nat have something very much in common..you are unique in your area. I think that is why I have enjoyed working with both of you so much over the years. I treasure this comment for what it means to me DB, for what you mean to me, and how beautifully it was written. I feel humbled and honored by you, simultaneously. Thank you.


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  24. lunabranwen3 says:

    Dearest Kari and dear Natasha,

    You know I would have commented when you first posted the film, if I could have. When I watched this, those few weeks ago, Kari and Nat, I was awestruck with emotion; by what your poem conveys, Kari, and from the images that depict the memories, reflections, the storytelling—via your camera images, Nat.. and the collaboration of the two of your minds and hearts come together to tell the tale.

    I watched it twice that night, but had no words through the tears. Tonight I finally watched it again, having a reprieve in my own emotional tale that has been unfolding, and I let myself be carried away by that train of emotions and ‘memories’, in those reflections in that window, that are so unabashedly displayed. Were the tears that came this time in response to the emotions depicted, the hurt rendered, the past we seek to find answers in? Yes. But, they were also tears for the beauty beyond the existential movement forward, beyond the pain of the past, and tears of joy for the ability to see those stations passing and the scenery racing backwards. Amazing! The ability in terms of human strength to endure, and the ability of you two to convey it!

    Truly brilliant within the constructs of Second Life, animated avatars with limitations, withstanding, the image of the train and the town and mood that comes with the era, the rain and the memories as mirrors. Wow! Holy wow!

    The movement of the train was clearly as profound in this production as the coming together of the story and images translating it, and, Dale.. your “little scripty thing” is truly magical to those of us who appreciate the motion that carries our emotions. Hats off to you for bringing your gift together with the gift of these two amazing women.

    And hats off to this production, Ms. Hoisan and Ms. Randt! I love that storytelling via poetry, voice and vision has this place and that you two have found it! Inspirational in all ways.

    Inshallah, dears ones~


    • Thanks a lot Luna! What more can I say, that Karima has not yet written?
      Sometimes I wish I would have words like you poets.
      But your comment shows me that we “caught” you and as Karima wrote, this is the biggest compliment for us.


  25. Well Luna, maybe your comment needed a little time to digest, as what you left here was a very beautifully written and honest portrait of how our movie was able to move you. This is the biggest compliment for us, and the reason we make these kinds of films. I love how deeply you entered into it, the train, the movement that leaves it all behind us, that little existential pull that DB also referred to. An idea , a poem, is one thing, but then when it gets brainstormed, and set to music filmed, and edited and brainstormed some more… by the time the credits roll..it has turned into something else..It has turned into its own creation, and even we who were part of the production have our eyes opened, as to what was in our film, things even hidden at times from from the very creators..It’s what I love so much about the marriage of poetry-music-machinima. It is a menage-a trois that SL has shown us can work and can touch people. It is a polyamorous but mutual love affair between the spoken word, music, and moving visual interpretation.When it works, it’s like a honeymoon of bliss, and when it doesn’t, it feels painful. We learn from our mistakes, and we laugh at our errors, but always hopefully do a little better. Our friends , our audience, is the most important ingredient..in the end..we make these movies to delight, to move, to ponder, to affect.
    People like you who support us so warmly and so enthusiastically, are the reason we keep thinking “maybe we should do one more.” I won’t go into much interpretation about what the movie says or even “what happened in the end.” I think this is best left to each person’s imagination, and if we can spark a little of that,”oh it was this.” No, it was that.” kind of conversation..well even better:) Thank you Luna for your beautiful and affirming comment on our film. I always say it takes a generous person, to give up a chunk of time, to do that, and your act of loving generosity, is very appreciated. Thank you for your loyal support and for your sincere friendship. Poet to poet..this last line comes straight from my heart.


  26. Maria Vought says:

    A late and short, but nevertheless heartfelt comment from me sis…gosh, I really did have such a visceral reaction to this one. Is it the words, the images and the music combined which had me running my own journey through my mind and wondering what more I would see and feel before the train vanishes into the grey mists? Whatever it is please don’t stop – immersing oneself in your and Nat’s art is thrilling, soothing, thought provoking and so many other things that my words can’t do justice to 🙂


  27. Never too late sis..and very welcome your comment..as I know how straight from the heart they always are:) This will always be a very special movie for us personally…all the struggles and then the joy and then the disappointment (need to be honest here) that it didn’t do as well as we had hoped in the UWA challenge..still..as Nat puts it, seems like fate that we two combined forces and we plan to keep combining them too.because people like you..really seem to get into out final products Hugs..sis..your comment means a lot:)


  28. Crossposted from my FB: Karima Hoisan and Natascha Randt made this very moving film in Second Life based on a poem Karima wrote. It really gets to the feeling of moving on from a painful period in one’s life, reflecting back on it, violence in the home, and also how to separate oneself from the judgments of others–letting someone else be the mirror for how we perceive ourselves. Bravo to both of you for the art and for the honesty.


    • Thank you so much Daniel for leaving your FB comment here too. For Natascha and I, it’s always good to have all the comments in one place:)
      I really enjoyed your take on it, your perspective was very well-expressed, and yes this film can be seen in many ways. I thought your statement about “separating oneself from the judgement of others” to be right on the mark, and interestingly enough, I think you have been the only one to comment on that aspect. The theme of the challenge was “Reflections” and that point was a very big one. Nat’s camera work and eye for this surreal train-ride really brought all the scenes and even though we did not so as well as we had hoped (7th out of 64) this will always be a very special video for us both. Once again, I appreciate your taking the time to watch our film and re-comment here.


  29. Pingback: SLE Radio | Digital Rabbit Hole-“Window On A Train” ~ Our Entry For The UWA Vl Machinima Challenge 2013 ~

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