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eet achinima aster Eridian Gray

What is in store this coming season?

Survivor - Photo by Ninisims

The pre-SIFF festivities are UNDERWAY NOW

Follow Us @simatography

Letter from the editor Whoa, we really went crazy overboard this issue. We are just so excited about character creation, the coming SIFF season and how well our new monthly format is going that we couldn’t stop coming up with ideas. I hope you enjoy the jam packed issue inside. We are still experimenting with our reporter characters, the types of articles we want to include and some new ways to showcase and feature our members. We are hoping to have a nice system going in time for next issue, then you will really know what you can expect to find in the coming months.

Assistant Editors

Jorgha Haq

One important thing I would really like to emphasize is that we really do want YOU to get involved. Our monthly themes are a way to do that, and not just by submitting photos, but by taking on bigger challenges. If you have ideas and you want to know if it can fit into the magazine, just let us know and we will help you. We really do want to encourage even more community involvement because we know that there is so much undiscovered talent out there. Contributing Editors



Lunxi Weis


Intern contributions - Nanami, CatKetty

Our Sims sometimes take on a life of their own, and at other times we force them into a character style whether they like it or not. There truly are limitless possibilities when it comes to the type of characters we can create, be it for films, photo shoots, modeling, story telling or just for our game play. For some, our Avatars take on a whole personality of their own, whether we mould them into that character, or they simply grow to take on a virtual persona. We can create simselves, giving them characteristics based on ourselves, or we can swing to the complete opposite side of the imagination spectrum and create completely otherworldly characters. This month we explore the many creative aspects of getting our Sims into CHARACTER.

We hope that you will consider joining us each month in our theme challenges. You can submit anything you create machinima, advertisements, custom content, stories, photos, tutorial etc. Anything that fits the theme. Check for more information towards the back of this issue and you will discover that our theme challenge for January through February to publish in our next issue, will be‌

Crazy Little Thing Called Love Photo by Demeter

Jorgha Haq bring us Newt Davies and Siren Storm of the popular punk-rock band Toxic Dream. In a recent challenge Newt and Siren were to take on various character roles, dressing up in costumes that took them into weird and wonderful places, maybe at times out side of their punk rock comfort zone. Front Cover - out of this world Below - futuristic Right - original Punk Rock Next page - plain vanilla

The Many Faces of Jorgha Haq Like so many of us, Jorgha’s avatar has gone through quite a few changes over the years.

Male Modelling with Ninisims

One of the most common ways we take our sims through a variety of characters are for modelling competitions. Ninisims shares this sim’s transformations as he goes from this, his natural before shot to what we see over the next few pages.

Above - saving me. Right - dragon tamer Ninisims

Above - Berserker Top right - Warrior Bottom right - Survivor By Ninisims

Elven A

By D



So many possibilities when it comes to creating Sims - truly there is no limit to the charac Here we meet Andre by Anches - Andre is a rich snob, living in a manor house. And

cters we can create for ourstories, our photos, our roleplay, our machinima and our games. dre musical virtuoso and very creative - perhaps this is an outlet for his darker side.

Faun Twins by Demeter

Peacemaker’s sim Ryan takes on many different characters and faces, a far stretch from the mild mannered and clean cut original.

Above and Right - demon -

By Peacemaker

Left - Rockabilly. Right - Avant Guard.

Left - Undead Above - Fire Sprite Next Page - Not So Super By Peacemaker

Sancho DiMorales and Honey Chiffon I love how our characters take on a life of their own and we grow attached to them. Honey Chiffon was created originally for a plus sized modelling challenge. In her adventures, her story developed. Along the way she met Sancho, a professional photographer. As more time passed, he too had his chance at the modelling spotlight.

Honey Chiffon - Blizzar By Minraed


Left - Beachwear Above - Down and Dirty Left - the original Sancho


Tango Au Naturel Super Villain Wine Merchant By Minraed

inspires us with her wow-factor Sims 4 Sims characters. It is hard to imagine that such things are even possible, but she proves that they are, and she credits the versatility of CAS for this. Louisa

Flame Aria

Wrecker Gunther

Alvin DeForest

Dirge Revler


Kiana Reever

Salvatore Phoenix

Anime Inspired by Fadhil of Bahariawans Studio

Fadhil has a way with humour, and his characters always come to life in his productions and photographs. He has a style that is inspired clearly by Anime and Japanese pop culture, but he also has a style that is all his own. Seeing these characters and comparing them to Sylent’s on the previous page really showcases the impossibly limitless characters that we can create with The Sims.

Click the icons to find more Fachil

Yes, even I, the cool, calm and collected Minraed, has been know n to go weak in the knees on occasion. While I am loathe to publically admit that I have such a crush on a Sim, I know I am not alone. I hope you will indulge me my infatuation as I take Minraed into the life of Titus and the lovely woman (yes, woman) behind him. (Afterall they do say that behind every great man, is a great woman) How did it all start with Titus? What inspired his creation? In the year 2008 one friend of mine told me about a game in which you can create your own characters. I got to know her at my Japanese lessons where we met one afternoon each to draw manga characters. After I tried out my first sims creation on her pc I was all excited and fascinated. I bought the game and started with the Sims 2. I created my very first sims on my own pc and it was Titus Linde. I designed someone who couldn't have been more different to me. I'm dark haired, he's blond. I'm female, he's male. I’ve never decided to play MYSELF in a game. I created a unique character like I did for my mangas. I live myself everyday in real life ;) I think I was inspired by one of my favourite anime and book characters: Howl from Howl's moving castle. I did often paint and draw portraits of him. So he got a lot of his look and I gave many of my own characteristics to him. I don't like to recreate things or to copy anything, that bores me a lot. It's much more interesting to realize own fictions. Sooner or later a story character comes alive in your head the more you think about him. Every writer will understand what I mean. I know it sounds strange, but it's really like he would start to argue his own thoughts in my head. What made you decide to use Titus as your avatar rather than any other character you created? He was my most important sim, the only one I was playing with. When I started with filming I opened an account with my female name and I got strange messages from unknown men. I started using Titus Linde for my accounts and I never got such messages again. Of course there are always artists in history who use a gender-contrary name so I did too.

I have noticed Titus coming alive now in The Sims 4. Tell us abit about his evolution through Sims 2, 3 and now 4. In the Sims 2 he was the character I was playing with. I didn’t show him in public so people didn’t know anything about him then. Still today, and in every game, he has a similar look and characteristics. When I opened my Facebook account I met a lot of movie making friends and soon I needed to create a “simself” for the usual interactions. A Sims 3 Titus was born and for the first time he started his public life. It was a very interesting and new experience for me. He grew into a kind of entertainer with stories about his life. Now a new era has started with The Sims 4. Unfortunately I never have enough time for my big, big hobby, so it took some time before I could open my new game. I thought I should start the new game like every other Sims game… with Titus Linde.

Already there is a lot of wonderful custom content and this helped me to let him look similar to my Sims 2 and 3 versions. Actually as I explore the game a little bit with him my first impressions are that it has very nice gameplay and I was reminded a lot of The Sims 2 - I loved Sims 2 gameplay. I can well imagine that The Sims 4 will be a great platform to create artwork and videos. Let’s hope that it will run stable and continuously with the coming expansions and a lot of content downloads. I am definitely obsessed and it would be great if this game can handle custom content as well as The Sims 2. What do you think it is about Titus that makes him so popular? Minraed, that is the hardest question of all. Maybe you should ask others. First thing I am not sure about his popularity, but there are some true fans and friends. Maybe they like to be surprised. You never know what will happen next with him. He’s not a perfect beauty, that makes him more human. He succeeds and he fails. He shows a lot of emotions, and from time to time a bit of sexiness (ahem… A LOT of sexiness if I might correct that) that makes him kind of loveable (or hateable). He doesn’t care what others say about him and he always stays true to himself like me. Everyone should be aware, however, that he is a created character and not ME. He was born of my own mind and the explosion of all of my craziness and fantasies. I think “son of my brain” would be the best description. (brainchild as we call it in English)

Find Titus in all of his bad-boy glory on tumblr click the icon

A Very Goth Christmas by Cleverbox Pictures watch it HERE

Bella Goth by Remi Marocelli watch it HERE

Lady in Red by Itamar Medeiros watch it HERE

Machinima Star It cannot be denied that some of the Sims characters that have been around through all of the generations of the game grow on us over time. Clearly one such simmer faves is Bella Goth and the Goth family in general. We could not possibly do a character issue without paying homage to Bella. We honour her here with her roles as a machinima star.

What project was your character originally created for? The sim was originally created so I could have a better avatar on an online game, Popmundo. Aaron Challis was one of the preset names on there, I just added the "Lee". Since that game didn't offer many roleplaying opportunities, however, I decided to give him a whole new life when I joined a different rpg a few months later. And then there was SIFF Battle of the Bands, of course!

What are your favourite things about this character? His lines are very easy to write for me! Which is funny, because we couldn't be more different. I'm shy, socially awkward and rarely enjoy company, he's outgoing, talks A LOT and loves being surrounded by people. He loves fashion, shopping and makeup, I rarely wear anything more than eyeliner, shopping bores me to death and my idea of "fashion" is jeans and t-shirt. We do have some things in common, however. Like being both extremely short-tempered. And drawing silly doodles of people. And giving nicknames to EVERYTHING.

What research did you do before creating the character? Strangely, not as much as I did for some of my other characters. I already had a lot of material I'd gathered both as a heavy metal fan/music reviewer and through research for a story I wrote in the past, with infos about the music

industry, contracts and production, as well as tour organization and some not so pretty stuff about addiction and substance abuse. Most of the additional research I did was about the Brooklyn area, where Aaron was supposed to live. Is the character inspired by or based on anyone? He owes a lot to actual rock musicians biographies and interviews. Mostly The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx, the official Queen biography and random articles featuring interviews to W.A.S.P. members. Also, although it didn't occur to me until later, the "Lee" part of his name was totally taken from 80s female singer Lee Aaron!

Tell us about the character. Lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of Wicked Hearts (as well as producer, tour manager, makeup artist, fashion counselor and, according to his band mates, full-time tyrant), Aaron ‘s biggest dream was always that of becoming a legend of rock music. Despite the mysterious accident that led him to leave his band for a couple of years (no, he won’t talk about it, although you may hear him muttering something about “abandoned”, “toilet” and “highway” if asked), he and Wicked Hearts are now back together, ready to rock again. You may remember seeing him as a contestant of the 2014 editions of SIFF’s Battle of the Bands, where Wicked Hearts were the winners of the fall round. Aaron indentifies as bisexual and has been married for two years to Michael Stymest, tattoo artist. The two have adopted a baby girl, named Shaylee.

"I write people" ~ Neil Gaiman Writing and developing an interesting character, whether it's for a story or machinima, proves to be difficult for many people. Venturing into Create a Sim we all known what we want a character to look like. We then assign them an aspiration and traits based on the idea of what we think will fit the character. Those traits that EA allows us to assign are just surface paint. They give a starting point. Nothing more. Every character is a blank canvas waiting to be painted. Think about the people you know well. You know what makes them tick. You know if they are close to their family, their religion, their nationality their sexuality, their job and why they are in that field. These are all small things that motivate them to do the things they do. You know if these same people chew on their lip while nervous, fidget when bored, or if they start talking so fast you can't understand them when excited. These are just a few of a long list of things that make up a persons personality.

Characters should be approached as if they are people you are getting to know, after all, your Audience is getting to know them. Ask yourself what you would want to know about this character. Pay attention to the small details as well as the large ones.

The small details can make all the difference in the world. It is always tempting to put a Sim in the most fashionable clothes, to dress them up, but consider what you can convey with wardrobe as far as your character and their personality. A character who is a mother isn’t going to look perfect. They aren’t going to wear a fancy dress with meticulously groomed hair while going about every day things. It’s not realistic. Think about how your mother looks, or your friends mother, or that lady in the grocery store with two small children. A band shirt or wrestling shirt can tell what sort of music your character listens to, or what they watch on TV giving unspoken insight into the character.

Use game traits as a launching point for personality. Expand on them. You need more to go on than if they are perceptive or have a green thumb, if they love the outdoors or if they are a coward, if they are eco-friendly or rebellious. The love of gardening came from somewhere. Is the ability to keep plants alive and thriving something that came natural or were hours upon hours spent researching how often to water each type of plant, what fertilizers work best and if each plant prefers direct sunlight or shade? You need to ask yourself the same thing about each character trait. Is the character a product of their environment and upbringing or are they rebelling against it, for better or worse? Is it nature or nurture? If you don’t know something, research it. Google is your friend. Ask people who know. Explain to them you are putting together a story and you need to know about this culture or that, what it’s like to live in the country, or whatever it is you need to know. Don’t make assumptions about religions, life-styles, or cultures. you want to keep things as realistic as possible and you don’t want to offend anyone. To really get inside your characters head consider using The Most In-Depth 30 Day Character Development Meme You’ll Ever Find. It will make you really think about about your character and consider things you overlooked helping you create an interesting and memorable character you and your audience will fall in love with.

Click HERE to join us for this month’s theme

COMING SOON I am very excited to announce a new partnership of sorts. As a representative of Simatography and SIFF I will be contributing a column to each issue of My first appearance will be in the next issue released, so stay tuned for an update and I’ll let you know. I will be writing about machinima, so there will be machinima reviews, updates about SIFF and features on some of my favourite and most inspiring machinima makers. I hope we will be able to entice the Smag community into becoming fans of machinima as much as we are.

our team of talented reporters Our reporting team is warming up for SIFF already so here is a sneak peek at some of action around in the celebrity and film communities. With Filmore Noir Shantel Potins Tabby Lloyd Mercedes Vaughan Grace DeLuca Read up on past issues HERE on ISSUU

Presented to you by Demeter, CatKetty and Nanami

Click HERE to watch it

Click HERE

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to watch it

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Click the YouTube icon below to watch episode TWO

Dog x Bunny is back with episode 2 and more of the adorable Neminy and her tormented hero Akitto. This episode reveals Akitto’s past, while leaving us wondering what is in store for Neminy next time. Don’t miss this fabulous new series’ with its strong cast of voice actors and “sim” actors alike.

Radioactive is off to a promising start with notable character development and suspenseful plot. A variety of different character types along with a solid cast of voice actors to bring them to life makes for a series that you will want to see more of. Note that there are also Spanish subtitles. Click the YouTube icon below to watch episode TWO

Rose Blood was well underway before it showed up at SIFF and it is still going strong with Episode 8 now available. The link below will take you to the playlist where you can pick up where you left off or go back to the beginning and binge watch the entire series. You will recognize some of the most prolific Sims voice actors in this series too. Click the YouTube icon at the left to get to the Rose Blood full season playlist

Click the YouTube icon to the right for BLOOD

Blood made it’s premiere with SIFF last season, Fall 2014. Recently we discovered a sneak peek trailer for episode 2 so it should be coming soon. In the meantime, check out Blood’s pilot - Purebloods while you wait.

With SIFF right around the corner once again I thought we would have a peek at some of the Sims Series’ that we have seen at SIFF in the past and see how they are coming along.

Here are a few more series’ updates from last SIFF…

Ludo episode 2 is expected at the end of January - watch episode 1 HERE Duck episode 2 is now available for viewing - HERE Shadow is expected to return January/February - past episodes HERE The JDK Production informs us that the director’s cut of Hidden Lies will soon be released with plans for episode 2 soon to follow - watch the pilot HERE Twist TV’s director Echo Devereaux informs us that 723 is in fact in production, but as it is a huge undertaking, production will take time . We will hold our breath. Watch the pilot HERE Our goal is to showcase many more Sims Series’ with each monthly magazine. If you have a Sims Series’ and you release a new episode then be sure to share it with us through YouTube or Twitter (by tagging @simatography)

The Sims 4 might be the new kid on the block but when it comes to machinima The Sims 2 is alive and well, and people are still doing amazing things with it. All of the Stars is a perfect example. A heartwarming love story, an Ed Sheeran song and some killer camera work make this a video you have to check out!

The Only Love I Ever Needed comes in at under two minutes and showcases the kind of spectacular cinematography that we look for when determining who will be Elevated to Masters level at SIFF.

Speaking of Masters, Nittens has released a music video for Not About Angles, a song written for the movie The Fault in our Stars. Nittens has found the fault in their characters stars and shares that story with us in this beautifully tragic music video.

Love her or hate her, Miley Cyrus has made an impact. Now, Amy Hasting brings her to The Sims 3 to continue that impact. Creative camera work coupled with custom animations makes this video something that we will be talking about for a while.

Moving on to The Sims 4, Electric Blanket Fort shows all of us what can be done in TS4 with a little creativity and Forethought. The Sims 4 is new enough that people still Haven’t quite figured out how to work with it to the best of their ability but Electric Blanket Fort has jumped right in with this catchy song and story about finding your own place in the world.

The violin in TS4 was made for making Lindsy Stirling videos. In fact, it begs to be used. There is a right way and a wrong way to use special effects in machinima. Rosanna Machiavelli does it the right way making this video a visual joy ride.

Cross - by Simmerbelle

Hi-5 by Simsapience

Battle of the Bands - endorsement ad challenge submissions

With Gus Rockman and Jorgha Haq Machinima Masters is a new monthly feature looking at the masters of machinima. What defines a master? These are those machinima makers that take their films to the next level. Those that we look up to for their creativity and attention to detail. These are the people that make us say, “I wish I could do that� and inspire us to keep improving.

Spring SIFF is nearly here and we thought we would kick off the Machinima Masters column with an interview with one of the newly named Masters from Fall 2014, Meridian Gray. Meridian has undertaken adapting the Merissa Meyer book Cinder into Sims 2 machinima. Last season brought us Episode 5: Just a Mechanic. It walked away with 9 awards and promptly Earned Meridian a place among the Masters.

Best Film Trailer Best Film Poster Fan Favorite - New Series Outstanding Set Design Best Costume design Best Opening Sequence Exceptional Dialog/Writing Best Soundtrack Best Editing

Why did you pick Cinder? Cinder really stood out to me in the endless sea of Young Adult literature in general. There are plenty of fairytale retellings you can read today, but the originally and scale of where Marissa took Cinder was unbelievable. I'm both a sci fi nut and a fairytale geek so Cinder really just made sense. Also I must add that the series hasn't become widely popular yet so that gave me a little breathing room to adapt it into a machinima because I figured I wouldn't have TOO high of a demand for episodes or people being on my back about making a perfect adaptation. I guess I had no idea the reaction I was going to get!

As versatile as The Sims is, there are some things you can't just can't do. How hard has it been adapting the book to fit The Sims? It has definitely been the most challenging project I've worked on this far. Making an ordinary machinima is hard enough, but throw in some cyborgs, space, a palace, another planet and talking robots and I'd say you've gotten yourself into some deep trouble (heaven knows what I was thinking). To touch on one specific issue, it is most challenging to incorporate the f uturistic aspect into the series. Sims 2 doesn't offer a whole lot in that category so you kinda have to make do with what you got which has proven itself to be next to impossible. Naisi as a folded robot (the weird square thing) is just a deco amplifier. I even have to break my rule about green screen (I try not to do it) but really I had to in order to achieve the effects I wanted. You have gotten some slack about your machinima not matching the book perfectly. Does this come from "purists" (those with the mindset that everything must follow every single detail and dialog to the letter or it's "wrong") or from people who don't realize what goes into making machinima and how do you deal with that kind of negativity? Both. Whenever a machinimator does a book adaption they attract two kinds of people: machinimators and book fans. The machinima directors are normally very gracious and appreciative of the amount of work I put into the series because they have experienced the tears and long hours first hand. The book fans are quite a different story. They know next to nothing about creating a sims machinima and expect that every single detail be conveyed in my videos with the Sims

(plus the domestic age ranges from like twelve to eighteen year olds). You can try to explain to them the amount of work that goes into these thing but really it's next to pointless. I've been called racist about how my characters look and a bunch of other stuff - but as a wise man once told me - h8rs gonna h8.

On average, how long does it take you to put together an episode of Cinder? Depends on the intensity of that particular episode. If it's mostly dialogue and little action, it will perhaps take a month or two to really create a good piece of machinima. If there are a lot of scene changes, many characters talking at once, or intense action then it will take a number of months to complete. Episode one still stands as the longest I have ever taken on an episode: four months. What kind of problems have you encountered in production so far? Technical issues are always the hardest to deal with because you really have little control over what it does to your game. A few months back I experienced a game crash and lost all of my sims (managed by a miracle to save a good number of lots) and had to start from scratch. Those are always frustrating to deal with and sets back a good amount of time actually working on the episode. Sometimes I take it as divine intervention that I should be taking a break or focusing on other things because real life is import too ya know.

Do you make a storyboard before shooting things? If not, how do you go about planning out an episode? I ALWAYS storyboard! Especialyl when there's a bunch of dialogue and character interaction. You have to

sort of convert your imagination into the world of what sims has to offer. I would say it's good to think outside the box but in this case, think about how much the box can handle before breaking it. You can see in an image here my fabulous Disney quality storyboard of Cinder and Kai's elevator scene. That scene was my favorite scene so far to film and I storyboarded every second of it! Storyboarding really makes a HUGE difference in filming machinima. You basically walk in knowing exactly what you want so you don't waste time figuring out what you want to scene to look like in game. Even if you're not a dazzling artist, stick figures are enough to convey what you want. Why did you pick The Sims 2 over The Sims 3 for Cinder? Now, I don't want to look like a Sims 3 hater but I'll say it anyway: I strongly dislike the Sims 3. The sims look too much like puddy to me and there are so many restrictions in the game itself that I find beyond frustrating to work with. I had already just mastered the sims 2 when sims 3 was released and I wasn't going to completely switch over just like that. Sims 2 has better CC, the sims are more customizable and flexible to work with, and the neighborhood options are more of what I needed to create machinima than sims 3. I had the game for a while and got maybe one or two expansion packs, but never really warmed up to it. Sims 2 will always be my canvas. What is the hardest part about doing an ongoing series, do you think? Uh, doing an ongoing series is the hardest thing about doing an ongoing series. The commitment is almost full time. You have to constantly remind actors that they still have a priority to you when there's major down time, people are always asking when the next episode is coming out - I mean - all of its hard. But I love it all the same. Directing has always been a passion of mine so sometimes the imminent chaos is what drives me to do better and produce better videos. I think also in the back of your of your mind there is always the lingering possibility of quitting that scares you. I've had to almost pull the plug a number of time through out this past year because of real life issues or other complications such as the

game crash that were out of my control. I'm content with whatever happens to the series from now on because we had a good run as a family with fm cast and I, and it's been a wonderful learning experience for all of us.

Marissa Meyer, the author of Cinder, acknowledged your machinima during the fall 2014 season. What was that like? Did she find it on her own or was it sent to her? Marissa and me have been in contact a few times before I had even considered doing Cinder as a machinima with stuff like fanart, fan mail etc. So once I announced that Cinder was going to be a video series she sorta just snatched it up (with the help of tweeting at her)! She even showed a promo video of the series at her book tour of Cress, book four of The Lunar Chronicles! She's so great when it comes to supporting and interacting with her fans.

How did you find your voice actors? did they need to have read the book to know what kind of feel you needed for things? The thought about holding casting auditions for this makes me want to shoot myself in the head. I've been down that road and I'll never wander again. I actively searches out the voices I needed on a great website called I suggest this site to all voice actors and directors looking for some talented pupils to work with. I have worked with Charley before in the dark ages (Vampire Dairies - don't ask) and he was more than willing to replace an unresponsive Prince Kai immediately. Olivia is simply amazing, I couldn't have found a better Cinder to be honest. All fans agree her voice perfectly fits the character. Holly was a gift too, she provides such a stirring and royal voice for Levana that is hard to come by. I didn't require that the actors read the books to understand their part, but some of them have taken it upon themselves to really get into the mind of their character! How is working with those voice actors? Do you send full scripts, or just their parts? How much guidance do you give them along the way? The entire script is written out by episode in standard script format on Goggle Docs. I just give them the link to the folder with every episode and tell them when I need each episode by. Pretty simple, much

easier than what's been done with past projects, yikes - live and learn. This way they won't really have any excuse such as "I didn't get the script" because yes, they have every episode of the script. Luckily I have actors who are dedicated and responsible about their lines. Directing is hard enough in real life, and over email and Skype is even harder. I have to find ways to describe what I want. In certain cases I might link a certain actor to a video clip on YouTube from a movie and I will tell them "what how this actor does with with their voice" or "I want that tone here". It makes things a lot easier for both of us this way. I like to think I'm pretty good with my words and as we've gotten closer as a cast, they understand my directing style more and what I expect of them. With the number of awards that Cinder received during Fall 2014 SIFF, does that put more pressure on you? How does it feel be named a Master for your first SIFF entry? Not really. Whatever happens happens. I was more than honored to participate in Fall SIFF 2014 and be aware as Machinima Master but my mind stays on its original course of 1. God, 2. Family 3. Work 4. Hobbies. I know my priorities and I'll stick to them so I don't feel pressured at all despite the comments and mail I've been getting from angry viewers about where the next episode is. You'll never accomplish anything if you let people that don't matter away your actions. How long have you been making Sims machinima? I've been making machinima since 2008.

What are your next projects? Next projects? Unfortunately nothing I can discuss at the moment. There are a couple possibilities I could move forward with but realistically Cinder is probably going to be my last.

How did you find out about SIFF? I found SIFF through PumpkinsAtTheDisco, a fellow Sims 2 director who had submitted a short film for Fall 2012 called "Wild." I had no idea that an online sims festival was a thing and I was eager to interact with it as soon as I could. Of course when I saw that it was more Sims 3 focused I got a little discouraged. My Sims 2 friends said they always knew about it but always thought it was just for sims 3. That's why I'm here today! To represent that Sims 2 machinima is alive and well! What drew you to making machinima with The Sims? Storytelling and animation have always been a passion of mine ever since I was little. Sims was an opportunity for me to express myself and practice my skills as a young age. It taught me things like patience, writing skills, working with others on a project, planning ahead and scheduling - you can learn a lot by making machinima! I think if I had never gotten into machinima my people skills, directing skills and writing skills wouldn't be where they are today.

What was your first machinima like? We're taking bets that, like most of us, you have that one thing that never seen the light of day. You're going to laugh. My first Sims 2 video EVER was a Brittany Spears music video. I know, the shame. You can actually watch it here if you want to laugh at me: Are you looking to expand or learn how to work with other media outside of machinima? The career I'm heading for in the future is to be a storyboard artist and screenwriter for Disney Pixar. The project that is currently my number one at the moment is my digital graphic novel

Benefactors. Benefactors has been a six year long process in writing and concept design and will consist of three books in the series. This project is very important to me because it focuses on characters of color, disabilities, and challenges the popular American theme of "follow your heart" that maybe it's not such a bright idea after all. I think it's something fresh and original that will be much anticipated for book one's release in 2016! The genre is Steampunk, fantasy, action adventure with a Disney and Tim Burton art style hybrid. What advice would you give someone just getting into machinima? Don't go into it thinking you're going to be big cheese. If I've learned anything over the years about this stuff, it's you do it for you - not your fans. As much as you might want to please your viewers, pleasing yourself and balancing your time is most important. Don't let machinima become your God and pull you away from responsibilities and relationships at home. It's a game. A fun one, but just a game!

What’s hot at SimsVIP I am probably imagining things, but if you ask me it looks like this couple is ready for a Red Carpet date at one of the many celebrity filled SIFF VIP screening events. In reality, the staff at SimsVIP are so busy keeping up with all of the most important Sims news, that they probably never have time to play. Maybe we should invite them to the party don’t you think?

Clearly the hot talk this week is focused on Outdoor Retreat. Get your game on with this game guide, reviews, screenshots, and lots of other great information on this new game pack. If you are still undecided, everything you need to know is right here.

For so long now we have been talking about making more of an effort to show our appreciation for the many voice actors of Sims machinima. In a voice over machinima the voice actors bring the characters to life by bringing that human element to the role. We hope you will enjoy our first Voice Actor Spotlight on the coming pages. Our plan is to include this in each monthly issue.

Important notice to voice actors Three important additions to our programming: Ÿ A voice actor directory has been added to our forums HERE Ÿ We have started a voice actor demo reel playlist on our YouTube channel HERE Ÿ Voice actors who are in this season’s SIFF films can submit their voice roles for voting. See details in our rules booklet HERE Watch WhiteBlueCherry’s voice actor reel - thanking so many great Sims voice actors HERE

We have heard your voice acting in many great machinima films showcased at SIFF. How did you get into voice acting? Do you have any formal training?

I got into voice acting watching the Sims 3 voice over series Finding Mine by 3wordsarentenough. I thought it was so awesome that this person had voices to go along with her story. To me it was so cool. I was always watching Butterflyidentity's videos where she was talking about how to be a voice actor. She herself has been a notable voice within the voice acting community. She has voiced in a lot of Sims machinimas. So between watching Sims 3 voice over series and watching Butterflyidentity's videos, I thought I should try it out. I had a usb mic from my Guitar Hero video game and that was the first mic I used. It was decent quality and it got the job done. I started making simple audition videos and posting them on YouTube and then just waited. In the beginning I did not get a lot of roles, but the first role I did get was the main character in a Sims machinima which unfortunately never happened. But it was a good experience and I got my first taste of working with directors. I kept auditioning and working and then I got cast in some more projects, many which did not happen, but the ones that did got my name out there. I continued to make content of my own, other than auditions and people started subscribing and I gained a small fanbase. I remember when I got 50 subscribers, I was overjoyed. I wasn't into voice acting for the fame, but I did want to contribute my voice and talent to a great community or artists. I have never had any formal training in acting at all. Most of my talent has been learned through experience voice acting. In the beginning I was pretty terrible at acting, no emotion whatsoever, but I learned and practiced and got better. I had been in some plays at my church and school, but there were no formal acting classes.

When you are preparing to audition for a voice acting role, what do you do to prepare? Is there any thought or research about the character you will be voicing?

When I prepare to audition for a character I make sure to read what type of character it is and try and get my mindset into that character. Looking at the images of the character also helps because I can form more of a character. The way characters look affect the way I approach the voice I am going to use. I like to think about what type of person the character he or she would be in real life. A little boy character is going to be a lot different than a mother character. I also try to bring some of my own personality into the character, if she is a funny character, I'll add my sense of humor to her. I really try to focus of what type or character I am voicing. voice reel 2014 - click HERE website

Lilly Palm A Fine Line by Lyramiamovies

We believe that the best voice actors “get into character which makes for a more convincing personality. What tips can you offer about this idea? Do you think it is important too? The best tip I can offer is observe how people in real life act. Go anywhere there are people and observe them. See the way they interact with others and their surroundings. Find a person that seems to fit the character you are going to play and take notice of them. Then try to emulate that when it is time to play the character. Become that person you observed while still putting a little bit of yourself into it. The best actors make you believe they are that character. If they are a villain, you truly believe they are a villain and hate them or if they are the hero, you love them. You have to make it seem to the audience that this character is real, even if they on a movie or tv screen, they are real. So getting into character should be second nature. It's very important to accurately portray the character on the screen.

Tammy - Coming From The Heart by WhiteBlueCherry

Linh Pearl - Cinder by GrayLeeStudios

The BUZZ returns in Fe SIFF. In the meantime, some of our SIFF repo in store for you d

ebruary to keep you informed about all things check out the next few pages to get to know orters and for a sneak peek at what we have during THE one and only SIMS film festival.

As of ??? Dat we have ??? Films so far - list some notes on countries, sims 2,3,4 split etc.

As of January 17th we have 35 submissions 4 Masters, 16 Films, 5 Music Videos, 7 Sims Series, 2 MEP and 1 Miscellaneous ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW about how to enter SIFF in one handy guidebook Film Submission Forms Deadline is March 1st (films are not due to be ready until March 15) Click HERE to get your copy

Tutorials for Machinima Makers

The Only Exception is a wonderful example of a machinima maker dedicated to helping others grow and improve their film making. While her focus is on The Sims 2, you will find that some of her tutorials are helpful for all platforms of the Sims as she discusses editing and other universal features. Parameters and Filming Types of Camera Angles Editing and Colouring

Image by Anches

#15 Sorrow by Demeter

New Beginnings by Titus Linde with The Sims 4

NEW BEGINNINGS I thought this was a great first shot for this month’s showcase seeing as it is January, and The Sims 4 is making a showing in our gallery for the first time. We also take a step back in time as Titus Linde adds the first of the Sims 2 photos to be presented in this photography challenge to date. This is a no-deadline, never-ending photography challenge so join us anytime.

Click HERE to join in

#41 The Weather Outside All in The Sims 3

Right - Dice Smith Bottom left - Ninisims Bottom right - Zoey Zuko

#14 Opposites by Ninisims - the Sims 3


gha Haq - The Sims 4

Above - Zoey Zuko - The Sims 3 Below - Titus Linde - The Sims 3

Above left - Zoey Zuko - the Sims 3 Above right - Titus Linde - The Sims 2 Bottom left, Minraed - right SylentWhysper - the Sims 4

Dice Smith The Sims 3

# 42 My Avatar # 83 Group Shot # 86 Fear

Jorgha Haq The sims 4

Above - #24 Home Right - # 22 On the Job

Left - Party Time - above Jorgha Haq, below Zoey Zuko Right - above Titus Linde, below #81 Candid Camera Jorgha Haq

#76 Garden

of Mystery Jorgha Haq - The Sims 4

Titus Linde


Sylent Whysper

Garden of Mystery

Thank you to Titus Linde for bringing us back with this creative nostalgia. The Sims 2 is still holding on as a contender for beautiful photography.

#12 Fire #56 Birthday #25 My Hero

Titus Linde The Sims 2

Sylent Whysper - #58 - On the Bridge - the Sims 4

Titus Linde - The sims 3

Simatography monthly January 2015  

This is a whopper with so many gorgeous pics from our members. This one has more tips, showcases and features than ever, lots of machinima a...