Notes from the Media Landscape: Can avatars act for film?

The 48 Hour Film Project is getting ready to launch its first timed film competition in-world with Second Life.

The Washington-based 48 Hour Film Project will launch its first ever virtual film competition in Second Life next month. Now in its seventh year, the group is inviting teams to create films that are written, cast, shot, edited and viewed within the virtual world in 48 hours. The clock starts tickin’ on Friday, January 11 at 4 pm Second Life Time (7 pm ET).

The group, which has sponsorship this year by Panasonic and Visa, will meet with representatives from each competing team inside Second Life, giving out genres, characters, props and lines of dialogue that must be worked into the films. Virtual world filmmaking techniques will rely on the art form known as Machinima (or machine cinema).

Virtual screenings will be held in Second Life at the New Globe Theater on January 16 and 17, sponsored by Millions of Us, a California-based agency specializing in marketing programs designed for social media platforms. The winning film will get a real-world screening at 48 Hour Film Project’s Filmapalooza, which will be held at Cinequest in San Jose, CA, in March 2008.

About 48 cities (including Toronto) and 22,000 participants are expected to take part in this year’s 48 Hour Film Project.