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A Bitter-Sw Well, the rumours, if you have heard them, are true. I am leaving SIFF, or more accurately I have passed it on and I am backing out entirely. There have been questions, concerns and discussions going on around our community, so I hope that this will help everyone know what is really happening and to help you feel comfortable with the changes, or at the very least you will understand more about what it takes to run such a huge project year after year. This page is the short story, but if you read through I will tell more tales of my years with SIFF. There are several reasons I have decided to leave SIFF behind, and it was a long time coming, though the final decision this season came swiftly this seaon when I realized I just would not be able to hold up my obligations to everyone else involved, including you, the fans and participants. These are my main reasons. SIFF has unfortunately become too stressful and time consuming for me. For some time now it has interfered with many things in my real life, the least of which was that it was cutting into my social life and relationships. I often found myself turning down invitations in order to fulfill my obligations with SIFF. Aside from this, I was finding less and less time to do fun things with the Sims for myself. I had less time for making machinima, taking photos, playing the game. Essentially The Sims as something fun to do was non-existent. Because of this, I was having less and less fun running SIFF and therefore I was losing interest. So I am sure you can imagine that between the lack of time, not having fun and losing interest, I was gradually caring less about how things were run, and paying less attention to the quality of things. This bothers me a lot, because I never wanted to let people down, but I was doing so more and more often. Let me be clear - SIFF would have stopped a few seasons ago if it were not for Jorgha, Gus, Peacemaker and the others supporting me to keep it going.
weet Goodbye Before this season began I threw out the idea of NOT having this season go ahead, but Jorgha stepped up and declared that â€œthe show must go onâ€? and that she would make sure it did. I promised not to commit to anything that I could not do, but that I would do what I could. It quickly became clear that what I could do was very little. I have gone back to school part time, and I have made some goals in my personal life regarding pursuing dreams and such, so I have been very busy and really very detached from everything that is going on, other than The SIFF Buzz which allows me to keep connected when I am putting it together (even though more than half of the content is being prepared by Jorgha, Tender Wolf and others.) So, for those of you who are wondering what it will be like when I am gone.. Well, it already is as if I am gone because all of the important stuff that has happened on time and in an organized way is because of Jorgha who is doing most of it this season on her own. SIFF as it was is ending, but the new era that is coming will take SIFF in a direction that I have never been able to. I am feeling very optimistic as it is being handed over to a team that has, for the past couple of seasons, been more dedicated to SIFF than I was. Trust me, these guys have put their heart and soul in to keep this thing going. I hope you will enjoy this souvenir of memories from me to you. Creavitely yours,
In the Beginning . . . I originally started Simatography in my early days with The Sims 3 when I quickly became fascinated with machinima and the photography possibilities that this game offered. I was very into the interior design aspect already, but quickly realized that there was no established web community for machinima n the Sims that I could find so I decided to start one. My first two recruits were two of the simmers who inspired me most in those early days. SuperPogimon (top left) for his awesome photography, and Mmyoko for his machinima. The both agreed to join so I was overwhelmed with joy that this might actually catch on. It was Pogimon who created the original logos too. SIFF was born very soon after, as a small project that I had no plans for other than the one time thing that I was planning. The idea was inspired by my love for the Toronto International Film Festival - so I thought it would be a great idea to have a festival and showcase simmer machinimaâ€Ś and the rest is hisroty because it never stopped after that first season. I have to shout out special thanks to the first staff members that made SIFF possible from the middle left and downward Molly360, CMPye and IdaNoReally. None of us really knew what we were doing then, but we were having fun and that was what SIFF was all about.
Support from EA Super Pogimon used some of the Sims Guru’s created sims on our Red Carpets to pretend that we were having special visits from the Sims Staff at our very prestigious film festival. There was nothing official about this - there was no official support from EA or The Sims Team at this point. Then one day, after just a few seasons of SIFF, I got an email from a Sims community manager inviting me to attend a Sims Community Day. I was completely blown away. I had joked with my husband when I first started playing The Sims, and I had been watching a video of the gang of simmers that were at The Sims 3 Creator’s Camp and I said, “one day that will be me. I want to go to one of those events.” I don’t know what made me say that, or even think that it would ever be possible, but then this happened. I had never known up until then that The Sims had their eye on what we were doing. I was not doing anything in particular with this goal in mind, it just happened out of the blue. I remember feeling so proud of EVERYONE on our team, our fans, moderators, contributors, and participants for what we had built together and I was honoured to be able to attend
and The Sims Team
At my first EA event I met Sim Guru PopTart and Sim Guru Hydra for real, in person. I admit, I was fangirling just a bit (I am sure it creeped them out totally). I attended 3 events in total, so I will share a few memories of those on the next few pages because these meetups kept me connected and dedicated to SIFF at times when I really felt that I wanted to set it all aside.
The Real People The most amazing thing about these opportunities was that I was able to meet other simmers who were equally dedicated to the Sims player community. While I cannot meet everyone in person obviously, having met these people made me feel very connected to the community as a group of REAL people, and not just a bunch of make believe, pixilated faces. This connection kept me going with SIFF when I started having the feeling of slowing down, or giving it up when it was feeling like the work load was getting to be too much for me to handle. The people I met were from all over the world and with very different ways of working with the Sims. I was always so proud to be representing our little machinima community and also of SIFF being the only thing like it in the Sims communities around the world, at least as far as any of us are aware. So ya, Together we built something pretty amazing here over the years, and the Sims team noticed!
e behind the Sims
Top left - Sim Guru Team for Supernatural and the introduction of Seasons (TS3) Bottom left - AsiaShaMecca (SF Magazine) and Myself (front right) with a group of simmers testing out Supernatural. Top right - RuthlessKK Bottom right - myself and Madison of SF Magazine
Top left - yup, Curitis Paradis in the flesh, being crazy as always. Top right - We were so excited when it was revealed that Seasons would be next. Bottom left - AsiaShaMecca, RuthlessKK and Myself. Bottom right - Some of our sadly missed Gurus from the Sims 3 team preparing to present to us..
Aside from the boost that I got from knowing that the Sims Team and EA were on our side, the number one most important thing that kept me going was you - the fans, supporters, friends and what I called Patrons of SIFF, the simmers who have been around and involved since the early seasons. At season 10 I was feeling done. I was ready to throw in the towel, but I couldnâ€™t tear myself away. Each season I get messages from people, or I read comments on social media that would ignite that spark once again, and for a moment I would forget all of the reasons I felt I needed to quit SIFF. Ultimately, for me, it has always been about the community and I cannot thank you all enough for the great times we had together. I want to share some of my favourite things from SIFF over the years. The parts of SIFF that I personally enjoyed the most and that inspire me creatively.
By 2012 I was already feeling that burnt out feeling and I was starting to wonder if I could or should continue with SIFF. when I received this note in the mail. There was no way I could quit right after getting this, so I pushed forward. Thankfully I have always had a supportive team behind me to help me get through these rough patches, and having the support of the Sims Team really gave me a spark.
Ten of my favourite Things
1. The official posters The poster challenges is something I have always loved. Over the years there have been some truly outstanding, and professional-looking graphic art showcased. It just added to my amazement of the various talents in our communities. For the Sims 4 I have created this collection of my personal faves that were not selected as winners. I am willing to share them with anyone who might want them for their game. Just send me a message. The winning posters have been made available each season.
2. The Film POsters My favourite film posters do not always represent my favourite machinimas, but often they do. I have always loved posters that have a real-life film poster feel and that have a polished graphic arts appleal to them. Soâ€Ś here are just a few of my faves.
3. Titusâ€™ Performances Titus Linde has been a long standing Patron of SIFF. Along with Vampire Vincent Wies, the first performance at SIFF started a new tradition. Each season since Titus has collaborated with a group of friends to present a performance of some kind. Thank you Titus and friends for your never-ending support
4. SIFF Stuff Pogimon started making customized SIFF custom objects, clothing and other souvenirs and the tradition continued. On the left is a series of ads created by Byrony that have always made me laugh. Everytime I would randomly come across a Sim photo where the Sims were wearing a SIFF tshirt it always made me smile. I even have a collection of my own real-life SIFF stuff that I will always cherish.
5. Battle of the Bands I started SIFF Band Search on a whim one season, sparked by my love of the Sims band NOISE created by MiriusDark (aka other names). It was totally off topic, but what the heck, it was fun. I didn’t intend for it to be a permanent feature, but Jorgha ran with it and has now built it into it’s very own feature. Watch for it to continue with the new SIFF team.
Left - Michael of NOISE - Minraed’s brief fling with the alluring vampire triggered the start of SIFF Battle of the Bands My favourite bands have had a few common qualities… 1. A unique and creative band 2. Characters that were brought to life through role playing 3. Passion of the creator with a variety of media and promotions. 4. I often had an imaginary pixilated crush going on.
Cacophony was probably my all In particular my sim Mimi the C Creator - Jorgha Haq - a star wh The Nobodies were just hot. I loved the style and their look. I was unfortunate that that they didn’t make a better showing at SIFF, but Paula Crow, their creator, has built quite a life for them. You can find them on Facebook.
One Erection had a hilarious thing going on, with a huge fan base that even drew Minraed in. Wicked Hearts is a throwback to my own teenage years so I had to love them, but I also loved how they came back over the years.
Creator Astrea Nevermore
time favourite. I am still in love with them today. Clown is madly in love with Calico the drummer. hen it comes to fun, unique and creative bands.
6. The Red Carpet of Course
Everything about the Red Carpet has been awesome in my eyes. It has always been an opportunity for machinima makers AND non-machinima makers to join in on the fun in a variety of creative ways. However, my favourite has always been the story telling side of it. My favourite Red Carpet photos have always been the ones that really show off creative photography, roleplaying out the sims as if they were real stars, fans, paparazzi. I canâ€™t even begin to showcase my faves here, so watch for my Facebook/Flickr and Tumblr updates in the future where I will create a SIFF Memories photo collection.
There have been some very fun characters introduced over the years of SIFF, and I know I am going to have missed someone so please forgive me. I just loved the reporters and paparazzi that were created, so many with such creativity. I have always envisioned SIFF as a bit of a role-play event, a way to bring out sims into the spotlight and give them a life of their own, so when The Exposer showed up on the scene it started a new wave of creativity at SIFF, introducing the paparazzi for the first time. Soon after came Pippa Razzi, an all time fave, and then more over time.
7. SIFF Paparazzi
There is a regret that I want to express, and I won’t go into detail because those involved know who they are. I am sorry that it didn’t work out. I really loved your concept and I hope you can forgive me if I didn’t handle things in the best way. It is never my intention to hurt people. :)
LEFT to RIGHT - Filmore Noir, Fan Girl, Shantell Potins, Lunxi, The Exposer, Pippa Razzi, Felicity Eclaire, and Grace DeLuca. Midnight / Norbert Szucs is missing because I don’t have a proper pic for him, but he is always remembered for his antics.
8. Minraedâ€™s Crushes While Minraed is now 100% settled and committed to her relationship with her University sweetheart Asher, she has dabbled in a few flings and held several others in her little black book of crushes.
Michael Rush of Noise Those vampires are just impossible to resist.
7. Fun times withMitchell Friends Landon The star of her own machinima Goodnight Moon
Newt Davies Then and Now
Vincent Weis and Titus Linde
9. Minraedâ€™s Friends Thank you to everyone who helped bring Minraed to life over the years as we celebrated SIFF and our friendships over the years. I know we will still have many more fun years together even though Minraedâ€™s official connection to SIFF is ending.
10. The SIFF BUZZ and Tabby Lloyd Tabby was created for me by Mystery Jack and I absolutely LOVE her! I am definitely going to be using her for future projects, and I have already created her Sims 4 version as many of you have already seen. The SIFF Buzz was a huge success over the years and I was a wonderful addition to the festival as a way of keeping people connect and keeping the Buzz going, but also, I had always hoped, was a way to express how awesome everyoneâ€™s creative projects and contributions were. There is just no way I could keep this already out of control publication to a reasonable size if I began to add all of my fondest memories of SIFF into it, so I encourage you to go back to the special edition SIFF Buzz that I created for our 10th anniversary as it has many of my special memories and thank you messages there.
Click HERE to see the special commemorative issue that I made for our 10th season.
Final words and a new Era Currently the Sims 4 is my game of choice. I still love The Sims 3, but I need to really work out some issues if I am to be able to use it comfortably, so for now I am enjoying the new inspirations from The Sims 4. I will continue to play, and to keep my main characters alive with new stories, photos, builds and more. As for Simatography. I am taking a bit of a breather just now, but once SIFF wraps up my goal is to breathe new life back into Simatography. Now that the extra work of SIFF is out of the way, I want to focus on my own creativity and carry that inspiration through to the community that we have built. On a final note I want to add something with a bit of a more serious tone. Those who know me know that I have always had great pride in SIFF and Simatography as being a community of support, fairness, encouragement and most of all a community of respect. In the past few seasons there have been fairly obvious forms of “cheating” in the polls, which takes a lot of energy and time for us to rectify in order to ensure that SIFF is fair to all, especially to those who do not resort to silly tactics to win in unfair ways. This was the final straw for me. I just could no longer accept the level of stress, frustration and upset that the official, business side of SIFF that was sucking the life out of me creatively. I don’t suspect that the people who do these things are the type to be here now, reading this, but I hope that the rest of you, those who have supported my philosophies over the years, will continue to spread the sense of community that we have built. Aside from a few very minor incidents, Simatography as a community has never had a breakdown. I am VERY PROUD of all of you and I hope that we will find a new breath of creative life blood to pump back into it to keep it going through this new era.
Minraed and the others will be back to play with you all again soon. In the meantime, a HUGE shout out and thank you to the new SIFF team, the secret, behind the scenes team that has been keeping SIFF alive for these past few seasons.
Gus Rockman, Jorgha Haq and PeacemakerIC