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Old 07 October 2014, 20:06   #1
lifeschool
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From Bedrooms to Billions - have you seen it?

Yes, the Movie was released to the public only a few days ago. Head on over to their web site and grab a copy right now.

http://www.frombedroomstobillions.com/

My Verdict. 9.5 out of 10

As you can see from my score, this movie is perfect, it is mind blowing. Compared to the AVGN movie you may have seen put about these days, this movie is actually AWESOME. Let me explain.

In order to get an idea of the history of retro machines, first you must present the story from the eyes of the kids and teens who made the games, and why they made them. Then you must bring in the story of the UK games industry, moving through the BBC and ZX spectrum range, and the frontier of Memory Vs the imagination. Then the Commodore C64, and the frontier of audio. Finally the Amiga, as the final frontier of gameplay and graphics. Then 'the console gap' which lead to the modern day; where games are now versions of revisions. In short, this documentary covers it all, from the eyes of the makers who made it happen. Rather than an emotional rollercoaster, instead this is a soft and gentle deep thread of facination from end to end. Everything about Crash and Zzap64! is in there; which was written by young adults of my own age-group (something I didnt realise at the time!), and even though every topic is here, we as an audience get the feeling of only just skimming the surface.

The games are far and wide. (I recognised about half to 2/3rds, including Midnight Resistance - arg!), and include many hits from the three big machines, ZX, C64, Amiga; and in the Amiga section they feature many 3D games: such as Stunt Car Racer, Midwinter and Damocles. Jon Hares story of Wizball has already been published exclusively on the LemonTube64 channel, and another 5mins dedicated to Sensible Soccer can be found in the Special Edition. I thought the Amiga content flew by quite quickly, but there were a lot of Amiga guys throughout the whole movie, talking about the general idea and logistics of producting games.

The whole production feels like it was produced with so much love and affection, the homage to the period so vivid it's almost as though its still here with us. A time when we could all be friends, together as gamers, having fun, living a dream. If you are reading this message, YOU were there; now you can relive those times again and again forever.

http://www.frombedroomstobillions.com/

The extra material in the Special Edition is also worth a look for us Amiga fans, with Jon Hare on Sensi Soccer (5mins), Mike Montgomtery on creating Speedball 2 (a 1min 30 clip of this was on youtube, now you see almost 6mins). The making of Shadow of the Beast (8mins), Peter Molyneux on Populous (15mins). David Braben talks about the original Elite (31mins), plus there are a rake of C64 related materials, including 17mins of Geoff Crammond talking about The Sentinal, and his time on the BBC Micro with games like Super Space Invaders and Revs. And even an extended interview with the legend Matthew Smith and his days with Manic Miner (6mins). Plus more!

As you can tell, I think this is the most glorious tribute to that whole period, period! So gather all your friends around and make this a celebration. This one is definately worth watching.

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Old 08 October 2014, 02:59   #2
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Goes without saying that ill be buying this next week.
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Old 08 October 2014, 14:20   #3
Raislin77it
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yes, backed it
unfortunately only bbc micro was covered , nothing for the c64

(yes i know the bbc is the first affordable comuter in england, but still i would have appreciated more c64 stories)
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Old 08 October 2014, 21:48   #4
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Thanks for the reminder and summary lifeschool. I vaguely remember hearing about this a while back and had totally forgotten all about it.

I shall be buying this (though I can't watch it until I have seen Pretty Little Liars season 4 and the box set of Made In Chelsea seasons 1-5 first!)


Edit: Wow my order number is 1xxx, so they have already sold over 1,000 copies Anyone else order a hardcopy (e.g. DVD/BluRay)? When it went to calculate postage, it calculated it as £0.00!! Not sure if that is correct or not... but I have paid them anyway. I guess they'll be in touch if it wasn't...

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Old 09 October 2014, 21:20   #5
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Was going to get the bluray...but £50! (For the SE) bit too steep...
Bit weird asking £10 for the dl, and then double (£20) for the extras. Will get the £10 dl then, will miss out on the Amiga interviews too.
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Old 10 October 2014, 11:45   #6
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Obviously you have no idea how much it costs to produce such feature... Yes, it's steep, but therefore you get the real deal, not some quick and dirty junk as on free tv.
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Old 10 October 2014, 11:56   #7
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Any other review apart from the 9.5? Is it so good?
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Old 10 October 2014, 23:28   #8
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I've decided to go with the standard digital download version, downloading as I write this..MP4 1080p weighing in at 6.69 Gigabytes.

I have the feeling I should have went with the special edition, but I suppose I can always purchase the additional content another time.
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Old 11 October 2014, 01:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.vince View Post
Obviously you have no idea how much it costs to produce such feature... Yes, it's steep, but therefore you get the real deal, not some quick and dirty junk as on free tv.
No, why should i know!? I base my purchases on content and cost and if its worth it to me, not how much it cost to produce.
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Old 11 October 2014, 01:10   #10
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Originally Posted by Retrofan View Post
Any other review apart from the 9.5? Is it so good?
Once the DVD's arrive, I shall watch and post my review score.
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Old 11 October 2014, 01:54   #11
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf10 View Post
Once the DVD's arrive, I shall watch and post my review score.
That's nice. I have to know how good it is to decide how much I do spend getting it (if any).

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Old 11 October 2014, 07:30   #12
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10/10
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Old 11 October 2014, 11:47   #13
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I pre-ordered the standard edition blu-ray a few months ago so I'm currently waiting for that to arrive in the post. Hopefully will be soon.
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Old 11 October 2014, 12:35   #14
lordofchaos
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8.5/10

If you already have a modest understanding of computing from the early 80's onwards then this documentary is very accessible. However I wouldn't recommend this to someone that has no interest in the subject, they would probably find it overwhelming with it's constant barrage of nerdy details and name dropping from the industry.

The overall style/feel of the documentary is very forensic in it's approach and story telling, this might seem quite dry and slow paced for some people. I personally enjoyed the direction they went with, and given how vast and dense the subject matter is the 2 hour+ running length seems mostly justified.

Another thing I should mention, it does come across as very UK-centric, this shouldn't be surprising as it's told from a mostly British perspective. It would have been nice to hear more from other developers around the world to get their take on the UKs impact on the industry, but it's only very briefly touched on.

I immediately knew I was going to enjoy it from the moment the title sequence started, it does a great job of setting the scene. Clearly a lot of hard work and research has gone into film and it shows. The real meat of the film are the interviews themselves and they are handled very well, most of the people featured are very candid about their experiences and the film does well in showing both the positive and negative aspects of the business along with the personal tolls it had on some of the developers. I only bought the standard digital version costing me around £10 and for myself it was worth every penny.


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Old 11 October 2014, 22:05   #15
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I was/is kinda dissapointed that the special edition is just a bunch of avi`s you download still.. they are good though.
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Old 08 December 2014, 22:23   #16
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Just a note to those waiting for the physical releases of the DVD and Special Editions on Discs:

Without going into all the detail, the Masters have been shipped to Sony; who are pressing the DVDs right now, and they expect to get the first shipment by the middle of december. I still feel a bit guilty advertising a product which is only available in digital form, but I will begin to advertise the DVD as they are hoping to have shipment dates by Wednesday this week. I'll look out for the newsletter. In the meantime, here are the highlights from the last one.

NEWSLETTER - DECEMBER 5TH
As you know we finished and uploaded the digital version of the film and all its special features on 3rd October. From that moment on the project has been with the authoring house Premier Communications. The authoring phase of the project has taken longer than originally estimated due to the complexity of some of the component assets such as 6 subtitle tracks, audio commentary, DTS surround audio etc as well as the build up to Christmas where everyone else is also trying to get their products out therefore making the authoring house and replicators very busy.

However we delayed this newsletter until today as two days ago the check discs were finally signed off by us, and the DVDís and Blu-rayís are currently now with Sony being manufactured and packaged right now and are due to be dispatched to us mid-December. As soon as they arrive to us they will be mailed out to everyone without delay, the packets will be ready and addressed all prepared to go out. The key for us is they will be out to you before Christmas, we had no intention of cutting it as fine as this but Nicola and I have spent 2 and a half years making this film, it is all we have done and we took this final mastering stage as seriously as every other aspect of the project and worked closely with the authoring house, Premier Communications in London who are one of the best in the world to ensure every part of the picture and sound encoding, the authoring and all menu artwork and packaging were as good as they could be. Hopefully when you see the end result you will agree it was worth all of the effort.

We can at all times only do our best, the production of this film like perhaps life in general (when youíre trying to achieve something) it is a series of hurdles thrown at you to leap over. You try to plan and predict them as best you can but sometimes, certainly with creative and complex technical projects things can raise their heads. There was also a couple of times in recent weeks when something just didnít look or sound as good as it could be and we had to make decisions to work with the authoring house to redesign something. No one failed or didnít do their best, but in a creative environment sometimes you canít really tell until itís there in front of you. In the end we are really pleased with the level of design, picture and sound of not only the film but right across those discs and we have to say a massive thank you to Steve Hunt, Lawrence Francis and all the team at Premier PR for a total professional top job!

We know from your emails that many of you have been really interested in every element of the film production and enjoy it when we go into details, however in this instance the last 8 weeks have been incredibly intensive and time consuming, ranging from endless form filling in to supervision of all the encoded visual and audio assets (menus, sound design, covers, packaging etc) but the truth of the matter is sitting here typing this today weíre a little shattered. Now that Sony DADC finally have those masters and are making all the units we donít even want to think about the last few weeks, at least not until the next newsletter.

The next newsletter Ďwillí come out next week, most likely by Wednesday in fact as we need to sort out once and for all addresses, perks, T-shirts, CDís, posters and all the other things that will give us back our spare room.

TOUR DATES
There are two upcoming screenings of the film coming up, in Nottingham Broadway Cinema at 6pm on the 9th December, with an intro and quiz straight after with the very fine Paul Drury of Retro Gamer fame, tickets available here; http://www.broadway.org.uk/events/fi...s_introduction

Also there is a screening in Sheffield at the fantastic Showcase Cinema on the 12th December at 10am here; www.showroomworkstation.org.uk, yes at 10am you can still taste the toothpaste in your mouth but this is british video games on the big screen at cinema's with the foresight to reach out to us because they think people such as yourselves would like to see the film at a cinema. When these screenings are over they are over and at least you can go, sit with your feet up, chew on a packet of Toffos (remember them?) point at the screen and say 'I helped make that!' It really is something to see on the big screen so please support these cinemas if you can.

BBC NEWS INTERVIEW
Oh yes I almost forgot to mention, some of you may have seen Nicola and I on the BBC 1 Breakfast sofa last Sunday morning talking about both the film and a collection of classic computers and games on the table in front of us. We only got asked the day before if we could come in by a BBC producer who had discovered the film and wanted us to come in and talk about it. It still feels like a surreal dream that it even happened, but it did and the presenters asked us some really decent questions as well. We tried to not make the interview about us but about the fantastic people and achievements of the British Games Industry and the presenters responded in kind. We are just documenting their hard work, graft, pain and importantly joy. It still seems that the general public still know very little about the story, that is why we need to make any press about the story and not about us.

You can watch the interview here;
[ Show youtube player ]

However what we can also add about our experience at the BBC that morning is that when those computers were laid out on the table all morning (before and after as we were on the sofa twice) people kept walking over (BBC Tech staff, politicians and celebrity guests etc) and going all wide eyed, slack jawed and saying Ďaahhhhhí and then nostalgically running their fingers over those computers and pressing the keys (interesting itís always the red keys of the BBC Micro when they see a BBC) and it proved to us how just the images of those very simple machines can resonate so deeply into our childhoods.

Until next week!

Best wishes,

Ant & Nic
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Old 13 December 2014, 23:11   #17
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Thanks for the update lifeschool.

Do you know when you recieved that newsletter? I didn't get anything in my inbox from them since I ordered the DVD version (October 2014). I shall check my spam folder incase it ended up in there.
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Old 18 December 2014, 22:40   #18
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The DVDs arrived in the post today

So far I have seen 1.5 hrs so far (just 1 hour left to go) and it is awesome. Seeing all the old games, computers, magazines and listening to the views/opinions on the gaming industry at the time from such people as Jeff Minter, Peter Molyneux, Jez San and many more.
I would recommend it.

On the DVD box it said "All Regions NTSC" (I haven't verified that the DVD content is actually NTSC yet), so just make sure you have equipment capable of playing/displaying NTSC. Most (all?) modern TV's will.
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Old 19 December 2014, 03:01   #19
Adrian Browne
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf10 View Post
The DVDs arrived in the post today

So far I have seen 1.5 hrs so far (just 1 hour left to go) and it is awesome. Seeing all the old games, computers, magazines and listening to the views/opinions on the gaming industry at the time from such people as Jeff Minter, Peter Molyneux, Jez San and many more.
I would recommend it.

On the DVD box it said "All Regions NTSC" (I haven't verified that the DVD content is actually NTSC yet), so just make sure you have equipment capable of playing/displaying NTSC. Most (all?) modern TV's will.
So its available to buy on dvd now?
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Old 19 December 2014, 15:45   #20
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It's a shame that Sony is involved, because of course I and many others won't be buying it for that reason.

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(yes i know the bbc is the first affordable comuter in england, but still i would have appreciated more c64 stories)
The BBC was always overpriced. (£235 Model A, £335 Model B.) ZX81 was probably the first affordable computer in England (£49.95 kit, £69.95 assembled).
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