Arrivals & Departures: A Tale of Two Journeys
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES, released on 22 July 2018, is a new machinima from CEH Productions – Caledonia Skytower of the Seanchai Library, Elrik Merlin of Radio Riel and Designing Worlds, and Honey Heart of Elite Equestrian. The 15-minute film, shot in Second Life®, is based on a short story written by Caledonia and originally recorded for Fantasy Faire Radio as part of the 10th Fantasy Faire, the annual SL-based fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society.
The story was inspired by, and performed in, a superbly-imagined Steampunk-inspired spaceport created by leading virtual world creators The Looking Glass – Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen – for Fantasy Faire 2018, and loaned for the shoot.
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES presents a glimpse into two individual journeys that are brought together and shared for the last time. It is about the one who leaves, the one left behind, and the essential role of each. Though the word is never uttered in the film, it essentially addresses aspects of our attitude to death.
“He has accepted the journey on which he must now embark,” says real-life professional storyteller and theatrical designer Skytower. “His last act is to pass along that which has been most important in his life to someone who is remaining behind – requesting their commitment to carry on the work.”
“She is dropped without warning into loss, grief, and accepting his legacy with no warning or time to become accustomed to its inevitability,” Caledonia goes on. “She must choose to be present for him in this moment, accept the commitment with which he tasks her, and be prepared to continue on – while at the same time dealing with the shock and weight of it.”
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES also highlights the vital importance of storytelling, harking back to an earlier time when tales were woven into a verbal tradition that was handed down by word of mouth from one generation to the next.
Technical Director Heart re-erected the spaceport as a film set, and used a range of in-world animations and path-scripting techniques to realize the action, which was shot by Skytower and Merlin, who also performed the two lead roles. The footage was then edited conventionally by Merlin.
The project was a transatlantic collaboration, with Skytower in Washington State, Heart in Michigan and Merlin in Scotland. The soundtrack recording and production co-ordination was carried out in Skype, sharing screens while shooting, and ‘dailies’ were viewed via the cloud.
The theater site custom created by Honey Heart for the Sunday release, evoking the The Looking Glass Erstwhile Station setting of the machinima, will be open to the public from 7 pm Sunday evening slt through 4 pm Tuesday afternoon slt. Teleport to Silver Sands, home region of Elite Equestrian, and look for the panel to teleport you.
For further information, please contact Caledonia Skytower firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEH Productions – the people
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES is the first project that the Caledonia, Elrik, and Honey have worked on together, and they look forward to creating additional productions in the future.
CALEDONIA SKYTOWER is an artist and storyteller with over 30 years of experience as a theatrical designer, production manager, and non-profit administrator. Since 2008 she has worked as a volunteer presenting literature live in virtual worlds, logging in over 1000 hours to benefit a variety of charities, and develop engaging experiences to promote reading and literature, as part of Seanchai Library. She continues designing for the stage, works as project specialist, a small non-profit consultant, and has self-published ten titles of fiction, poetry and reflective essays.
ELRIK MERLIN has been in Second Life for over a decade. Virtually from the beginning, he has been involved with in-world media, as a DJ, a presenter (and Technical Director) on Radio Riel, and on Designing Worlds, the popular weekly TV show on design and designers in virtual worlds, which he films and edits, and co-hosts with Saffia Widdershins. He is also involved in Fantasy Faire Radio and his voice can often be heard on promos and sponsor messages, and on several of the “Tales from the Fairelands” stories that are broadcast on FFR. He has frequently taken part in in-world and radio drama over the years, with groups including the Radio Riel and Fantasy Faire Players.
HONEY HEART is the owner of two award-winning in-world companies, Ladies’ Pleasure and Elite Equestrian, where she heads a team of highly talented designers and scripters specialising in developing innovative horse avatars and accessories for equestrian enthusiasts. At the same time, she also has a design practice in real life. She originally began designing in SL because she couldn’t find tack and accessories for her and her first horse, Dancer, so she started making them herself. Then others wanted to buy what she made, and it grew from there. She finds growing a business with her partners to be the best fun in SL.
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES was released on 22 July, 2018 and is available on:
The pre-release trailer is available on Vimeo.