In May 2008 I watched The King of Kong, a documentary about two guys competing for the high score in the classic arcade game, Donkey Kong. I didn’t realize at that time, but it was a watershed moment. I’d been a long-time fan of documentaries like Ken Burns’ Civil War series, but suddenly I discovered that there were documentaries out there about pop culture, geek culture, things I cared about. It motivated me to start blogging about what I called geekumentaries, and genres I felt deserved a geekumentary about them.
One such genre was designer board gaming. I scoured Google for information about such a project, but to no avail. So in November of 2009, I decided to do it myself. With no prior film experience, and not even a YouTube video to my name. Three years later, Going Cardboard: A Board Game Documentary launched, and was very well-received by reviewers and the board gaming public. The film played at conventions and screenings around the world. I presented it at MIT. I was a guest on podcasts, and did blog interviews. It was fun, and I learned many things.
I wasn’t sure if I would do another documentary, though. I had some ideas for topics, but wasn’t sure if I could commit another three years the way I did for Going Cardboard. I’d stumbled into a new hobby, pinball ownership, and I felt like there was a pinball resurgence going on in America, and that once again, it deserved to be documented. But where Going Cardboard was the first feature-length documentary on designer board gaming, there were already a number of very good pinball documentaries available. I sat on the fence about it for 6 months or so, watching growing evidence emerge to support my suspicions, until I came across this video:
It skillfully and artistically captured the beauty of pinball, and was clearly shot by someone who understood the game and what makes it special. I contacted the owner of the channel, praising this video and casually commenting, “by the way, I think there is a pinball resurgence going on, you should film a documentary about that…”. The response I got back, “You know, I’ve been thinking about doing a pinball resurgence documentary…” was yet another watershed moment. As of May 2013, filming has begun for Shoot Again: the Resurgence of Pinball, a partnership between Producer/Director Blake Faucette, and Associate Producer Lorien Green. Life found a way…