BY WRITER FERAL MOSSRIDER
I was asked recently who would play my part if a movie was made about my life. I can’t imagine anyone would ever want to make a movie of the life and times of yours truly but, if they did, I’d have to play myself: I just can’t think of anyone that I could picture in the role, apart from me! However, if the film was based in Second Life, that’s an altogether different matter and there are several stars of the big screen that pop into my head whom I’d love to have play me.
This prompted me towards a cinematic frame of mind… what if Second Life were to hit the silver screen? I know that there were rumours of ‘Second Life: The Movie’ making the rounds a couple of years ago but nothing seemed to come of it – but can you imagine what might result if some of our favourite film directors did get round to committing Second Life to celluloid?
Here’s some of my favourites…
Tim Burton’s ‘Edward Secondlife’
A moving story about Edward – an avatar whose creator sadly dies before finishing his prim feet. Forced to slip and slide through life on substitute toes made from freebie bananas, Edward is befriended by a young girl, Kim, who attempts to integrate him into society. Ridiculed and laughed at for his fruity appendages, Edward manages to turn the tables on his detractors when he shows a remarkable talent for tap dancing. Edward’s luck seems to be changing as people flock to learn his style of dancing from far and near, enabling him to set up a profitable business in poseballs and tailor made chimeras. Then, one day, his luck changes when Kim accidentally slips on one of Edward’s discarded banana skins – the townspeople suspect foul play and Edward is hounded out of town to live out the rest of his lonely Second Life in solitude. The film closes with a dreamlike cameo of Kim, dancing in her garden on one of a pair of poseballs, as a slices of banana rain gently down on her from the skies.
The lead parts, originally offered to, but turned down by Johnny Depp and Wynona Ryder are played instead by Johnny Rotten and Anna Ryder Richardson.
Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Prim Fiction’
Several interconnecting but separate stories which unravel before our eyes, somewhat akin to a room full of people slowly rezzing out of hazy particle clouds, each contributing their own part to the puzzle, as they appear. Rather than try to explain the storyline, it’s probably easier to pick out a few of the films highlights and memorable moments…
The execution scene: in which hitman Jools, sporting a scripted flexi afro, recites from the TOS before letting rip with an over-ripe tomato gun;
The dance at Jack Rabbit Sim: in which hitman Vinnie and Mrs Mobster, (played, unsurprisingly by Uma Thurman), wow the crowd with a steamy performance that you won’t find on any dance machine;
The bloodbath in the car: much dark humour ensues when Vinnie accidentally discharges a melon launcher in the car, resulting in pixel stains on everything in sight. A frantic cleaning session ensues, in which various body parts are hidden away in inventories and Vinnie and Jools drive away from the carnage sporting a complete change of outfits and freshly rebaked textures;
The diner: The film ends as it begins, in a diner with Pumpkin Resident and Bunny Honey canoodling over their coffees before deciding to rob the joint. As they attempt to deprive everyone present of their Lindens, they find it’s not their lucky day, as Jools and Vinnie are revealed amongst the clientele.
M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Second Sense’
Warning: this contains a spoiler!
Doctor Bird is a child psychologist who is presented with a difficult case when he takes on a young boy whom nobody else has been able to reach. In a shocking revelation, the lad tells bird, “I see ghosted Lindens, walking round, just like regular Lindens”. At first, Bird thinks the boy is delusional but, as time goes on, he begins to suspect the boy is able to communicate with the avatars of ghosted residents. Bird feels the only way forward is for the boy to try to help the avatars he sees – this he does, leading him to the Linden home of a young ghosted girl on the anniversary of her rez day. Standing amongst the gathered mourners, the boy is directed by the girl to show a Youtube clip in which we see her Second Life father slowly de-rendering the girl’s alt sister.
The film ends with a twist – as Bird attempts to log out, he comes to the terrifying realisation that he too, is a ghost!
George Lucas’ ‘Sim Wars (Episode 1 – The Phantom Object)’
A bit of escapist science fiction for all you Jedi masters out there! Lots of swashbuckling heroism and eye-popping special effects as Jedi apprentice Yogi Wonton Kendobi learns how the force is strong in him (probably due to a superfast internet connection) and discovers the hard way that the life of a Jedi isn’t all fun and games. They come upon yet another kid, Panikin Firecaster, in whom the force is also strong, and along with the usual rescuing of princesses, and blowing up of planets, the heroes eventually save the day.
Highlight of the movie is an homage to the Ben Hur chariot race, when the young Firecaster takes part in a no-holds-barred scooter challenge, three times round Penny Lane and, of course, wins despite all the odds.