"Lunatics" Project Needs Your Help!

The "Lunatics" project is moving on to the next stage, which is audio production -- recording voices, mixing sound effects and music, and putting it to an animatic which will be used later in creating fully-animated scenes. But we have a couple of problems for which we need free software help. We're also trying to meet a Kickstarter goal to get just this part of the project completed.

I've been posting for some time in FSM about my Lunatics free culture project, and I really hope to post about some of the free software we are using on it, though I've been so busy with it, I haven't had much time to write. After a failed attempt to raise all the funds to support the production a pilot, we decided to make another attempt to get just the money we need for the next step -- which is to produce the voice and audio (it'll also include a fairly nice 2D animatic).

We are doing a lot of new and exciting stuff, but I had originally decided to "punt" on the video conferencing technology and use the "Hangouts" feature from Google+.

It is of course, a closed, proprietary system, and it requires that you give up a lot of your rights to privacy in order to use it, since you have to join Google+, whose privacy policy looks rosy only by comparison with Facebook's. But it did seem pretty easy to set up a multi-party video conference, which is what I think we need to do our virtual "table reads" for Lunatics.

Skype is less onerous, and we may use that this week, as all of the actors appear to have it. However, Skype does not have screen sharing to collaborate with others without premium, which makes it difficult to review parts.Also, it's still not a free software platform on either server or client end. It might be possible to use it with a free software client, though I have never attempted to. Alternatively, it may be possible to use Skype clients with a free-software server.

One of the actors involved -- Paul Birchard -- is also a free software advocate himself, and he just couldn't stand the compromise of using Hangouts, and I do empathize.

So, regardless of what we wind up using this week, we're going to want to use free software video conferencing tools in the future. This is an area I'm still very ignorant of, so if you know VOIP or video conferencing technology, and in particular how to configure free software packages (such as Ekiga, Pidgin, Jitsi to accomplish these goals, please consider joining us on the project and helping us set it up.

Here's what we'll need to be able to do:

1) Get 5 actors (with a variety of operating systems including Linux and Windows and maybe Macintosh) and myself into a video conference online

2) Read through the script and discuss any directorial decisions

3) Practice

4) Record all of this so they can have access to it

Then they go offline and record their lines, using the recording as a reference.

Can we do all of that with free software -- and if so, how?

If you know VOIP technology, please consider contacting us about this! You can reach me directly at my Gmail account ( "digitante at gmail dot com") or just leave a comment.

Lunatics needs help raising money for voice and audio production this week and on VOIP/conferencing capabilities with free software


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With thanks to Fremantle Counselling to keep FSM editors sane.