I used Xtranormal to make “The Barrier”, but was unable to properly finish the movie because the company shut down before I could finish it. Now a new company, Nawmal, is releasing software based on Xtranormal. Maybe I can now finished my movie.
Nawmal (http://www.nawmal.com/) sent me an e-mail this week that the official release of their new software, nawmalMAKE, would be September 30, 2015.
Target Market and Cost
So far there isn’t very much information on the website. The impression I got was that the initial release, a commercial version, it is aimed at the corporate video market. The applications they list for the software are pretty much limited to that market.
The price they have set for it, $1,000 a year, which I think would be appropriate for the corporate video market. They offer a monthly rate of $100.
Finishing “The Barrier”
I don’t consider the version of “The Barrier” I have on YouTube to be final. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATcKnFAwlU0)
My objective for the next version of “The Barrier” is to hire actors to redo the dialogue. With my current personal commitments, I don’t think I can devote the time and effort to make that happen for a while yet. There is no real urgency for me to make any kind of decision about how I’d use the software just yet.
The Nawmal website says that they plan to release two more versions of the software. One aimed at the education market, nawmalEDU, and the other for “fun” users, nawmalFUN. I don’t really fit into any of the markets they seem to be going after. I would need many of the features that would only be available in the commercial version. But, the price is kind of steep for me.
I thought I might be able to use nawmalFUN to develop the movie, then switch to the commercial version when I want to finish the movie for release. From the description of nawmalFUN, that doesn’t look like it would work.
If there are enough movie makers like myself, maybe we could negotiate a different kind of license that would work better for us. Of course it wouldn’t work if there were too many.
nawmalMAKE as Script Writing Software
I know that one of the original goals of the software was to help script writers visualize their scripts. Their thought was that writers would transfer their script into the program to generate the movie.
My experience with the software makes me feel that it would work better the other way round. When I created “The Barrier” I transferred some scenes from the short stories I wrote, while other scenes I created from scratch within Xtranormal. I felt the scenes I wrote within the program worked much better and were easier to write.
A good example of this was the scene between the Mayor and Brandon Baker. My initial idea for the scene was a few short lines that set up the threat to Arthur. But, as I worked on the scene, the personalities of the two characters started to solidify and that changed how they interacted. I started to see how the history between the two characters underlay the scene.
You can watch this scene at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATcKnFAwlU0 starting at 1:36 and running to 3:09.
I think there would need to be some additional features added to make it viable option as a script writing tool. For example it would need to output to a script format. I created a simple process to do this with the old STATE files. (http://dynamiclethargyfilms.ca/the-barrier-progress-and-file-conversion/) It wasn’t very reliable, but I think it shows that it can be done.
I hope Nawmal is successful. I want to use it in the future, but I know they can’t make a go of the business if I’m a typical client. The focus on the corporate market, if it works, could ensure their future.