Exploring The Pioneers of the Video Game Industry with World 1-1!
The history of video games is long, rocky, and complicated. Many people often overlook the era before Nintendo. An era that paved the way for an entire industry. The triumphs and mistakes made by the companies that established the home console market are equally important when thinking about the game industry today. And there is no bigger company to talk about than Atari.
Two filmmakers, Daryl Rodriguez and Jeanette Garcia, decided to bring their idea of capturing the stories of those who helped pioneer the video game market to Kickstarter. A little over a year later, their film is completed and released! We had the chance to get a few questions answered by the creators of World 1-1. First, check out the trailer below:
Retro Dustbin: Can you give us some background on your film?
Daryl: A few years ago I was reading Replay by Tristan Donovan and immediately fell in love with it. I wanted to see this in film form. A few years later I decided to bring this idea back when I learned what Kickstarter was.
Jeanette: Daryl came to me with the idea one day and encouraged it. We then started to think about how we could develop this into a film. The one thing that was missing was funding. We had the story we wanted to tell, the people we wanted to feature, and a plan but needed the financial support.
RD: The trailer shows a lot of famous faces for Atari fans. Who can we expect to see in the film?
Daryl: We have about 24 people from the industry, not all of them from Atari. People such as Nolan Bushnell, co-founder of Atari, David Crane, co-founder of Activision, Dona Bailey, creator of Centipede, and lots of others from the early and modern video game industry.
Jeanette: In addition to those mentioned, we also have Steve Mayer, chief engineer on the Atari 2600 and Joe Decuir who was also on that development team and worked on Combat. We also have Howard Scott Warshaw, creator of Yars Revenge, ET, and Raiders of the Lost Ark and Owen Rubin who made Major Havoc alongside Mark Cerny.
RD: What are some of the biggest challenges you faced creating World 1-1?
Daryl: The Kickstarter was definitely one of the biggest challenges of the entire process. Without a solid marketing campaign and lots of connections, it’s not easy to finance something, even if you have the confidence that you can make it happen. The other biggest challenge was traveling; moving around with 7 heavy bags and two people doing the lifting is not easy!
Jeanette: Daryl pretty much summed it up. We are a two person team and a bigger crew would have increased travel cost but it would have made it a lot easier in terms of moving around. We also rely on each other for every other aspect including self-marketing, distribution, scheduling, and budgeting. We do it all. Despite those challenges, we learned a great deal that’ll help us in future projects.
RD: What has been the most rewarding experience during the filming process?
Daryl: Definitely the premieres we did in San Francisco and Miami. Before the premiere, it’s a tough, nervous experience. But during the viewing, when the audience laughs at something. That’s what it’s all about. The first time was one of the best moments of my life.
Jeanette: Seeing people enjoy what you made is incredible, so the premieres were quite special. What was also unbelievable and unforgettable was meeting everyone, getting to share time with them, hearing their stories.
RD: You are just about ready for release! Any plans for future projects after World 1-1?
Daryl: The movie will be available on our website at first. That is the best way to support us as it goes directly to us, without any middlemen. We are truly independent, and need the support in order to continue making these things. We also have a lot of ideas for what’s next, including of course the natural sequel to World 1-1. Someday soon we will talk more about that.
Jeanette: Right now our focus is on releasing and spreading the word about World 1-1. It is on VHX for digital sale on January 15. Down the line we want to bring it to DVD and Bluray. We have a lot in mind for the future which include other documentaries, continuing the series and also non-documentary ideas.