When I was 13 years old, I happened upon the wonderful world of Sims 2 machinima.
I’m not sure which one I saw first, but I remember getting really, really obsessed with AliaMovies’s A Pleasant View. I totally disagreed with some of the shipping choices (Lilith/Dustin? even if it was only a brief one-time thing, HERESY!), but I liked watching what the creator had done with her Pleasantview, and she was pretty good with cinematography. So, I decided to make my own miniseries.
Main character choice was obvious: I would make it all about Lilith Pleasant. She was (and still is) my favorite character, and I kind of had a crush on her, though I hadn’t fully realized I was a lesbian yet. I would touch on all the families of Pleasantview, but Lilith would be the hero. In the course of writing this, I turned her into an utter Mary-Sue, which is kind of funny since Mary-Sue is literally her mom’s real first name. In my defense, I was a teenager, and Mary-Sue Pleasant is a canon character whom I did not name.
The series was called Lilith’s Journal.
Yes, I am the true identity of the former YouTube machinima writer LilithPleasant13.
Looking back on the series, the thing that makes me cringe the most is the music. Some tracks are blatantly lifted from A Pleasant View, and the rest are from my own personal taste from the time, which meant it was mostly crap. I recently went back and watched some of the videos and hearing the specific Avril Lavigne songs I used kind of makes me want to stab my eardrums. In the years since making Lilith’s Journal, I happened upon the wonderful world of symphonic metal, and since then I haven’t really been able to listen to pop music without wondering where the crashing guitars and full orchestra are.
I was also truly horrible at writing characters. As previously mentioned, Lilith became an utter Mary-Sue. Her dad and sister became largely one-dimensional villains, and most of the characters were reduced to flat cardboard cutouts of their personalities as my uninformed young-teen brain saw them. I even made a love interest, Mallory Ink,* from scratch; now that I think about it, she was a blatant self-insert Relationship Sue. If the series had continued, she would have gotten even worse. The story was simplistic and I pretty much wrote it as I went along, though as I got toward the end I started to figure out where the plot would go. I was even planning a second season.
Why did I stop? Well, I got a new computer, and I didn’t know back then how to get my savegame from the old computer to the new, and I never got around to constructing stuff on the new computer so that I could continue the series. Plus, I don’t think my new computer even had Windows Movie Maker. I found some new obsession to work on, probably one of my ridiculous Raven-ripoff characters. I was a teenager.
Oddly enough, at that point, the series was pretty popular. It wasn’t as popular as A Pleasant View, but I just looked up my old channel… and it still has almost 300 subscribers, which is roughly a third of AliaMovies’s current subscriber count. It makes me kind of proud.
If you’re wondering why I never deleted that channel, or why I left in the first place… well, I forgot the password a long time ago, and the email address the channel was attached to is now defunct, so I can’t really recover it. Plus, sometimes you just need to look at your old work and remind yourself how far you’ve come.
If you want to watch the series, I won’t stop you. Just… prepare yourself.
On the other hand, if you’re a fan of Lilith’s Journal, and you want me to make Episode 11… I probably won’t be doing it, at least not how I originally intended. The way it was going to go was, their plan worked, and an alien tagged along with them because she wanted to go see the Curious brothers and their alien baby. Then they returned to Pleasantview just in time. Dina ran off in a huff, preparing some new scheme… and was promptly struck by lightning. The final shot would have shown Mallory watching, implying that Mallory is some kind of witch. Yeah, that’s why I said she gets worse in terms of Mary-Sue-ness. She has magic powers.
In my defense, I was a freaking teenager.
*I don’t think I ever mentioned Mallory’s last name in the series. So if you used to watch the series, now you know. It was Ink.