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Old 21 May 2016, 04:55   #121
Mark Wright
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I wasn't impressed with the original Bedrooms to Billions. As a video professional myself, I wondered where all the backer-pledged money had gone. Without wanting to cast aspersions, it occurred to me that the Caulfields' film included huge amounts of archive footage falling outside the scope of fair-use, thus requiring clearance fees. I'm not suggesting such content wasn't paid for (as it should be for a charged-for film) but the lack of on-screen attributions made me wonder. It doesn't cost *that* much for a passionate, dedicated film-maker to rock up with an HD camera, passing the footage to a passionate, dedicated editor, armed with Final Cut Pro and a few hours to spare. Unless they're a bit skint.

But anyway.

Cynicism aside, now that I've paid my 10-odd to watch The Amiga Years on Vimeo, my only advice is that you should do the same. Right now.

You've never seen anything like it. Seriously.

Forget those blurry YouTube clips of Amiga history that we’ve all watched (although many are included in the film). Now, for the first time in (living) HD, you’ll see and hear from virtually each and every (living) mover and shaker in the Amiga world, all of whom are ready to share entertaining, engaging and insightful anecdotes. You’ll actually learn new things from the people who made them happen. It’s not just a “best-of” of Amiga folklore.

Bearing in mind my low opinion of the original film, thus expecting the worst, I can honestly say that The Amiga Years is an astonishing achievement. There are moments that will make your spine tingle, causing you to rewind and re-watch. You’ll be constantly taken by surprise at the choice of “talking head” contributors – so many Amiga heroes and luminaries, right there on your screen, fully animated, with something interesting to say. You’ll laugh out loud; you’ll gasp in awe. To date, this is the definitive Amiga film worth paying for.

For me, the original Bedrooms to Billions was somewhat lacking. It smacked of a cash-in project, aimed at easily-pleased fans of nostalgia. What little narrative it had was driven by often awkward contributors, leading to an atmosphere vacuum, left unchecked by the producers who seemingly knew no better. But The Amiga Years is very different. It’s been made with absolute care and obsessive attention, thanks largely to the enthusiasm of the diverse range of interviewees.

A quick and unimportant nit-pick: in the section on piracy, I was surprised not to see the classic Paranoimia vector intro in the cracktro montage – surely one of the most-seen intros of all time. Nevertheless, the demo scene is covered in a respectful and exhaustive way, as is just about every other aspect of the Amiga from inception to death. Even a cynic such as I would struggle to find fault with the existing footage or quibble over “what might have been.”

In conclusion: stop reading, go download, pay and support!
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Old 01 June 2016, 20:04   #122
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Mark, after reading your review I wonder how different it is to the original. I didn't like the original either, mainly because it's just a bunch of people talking mostly about stuff I already know, and two and a half frickin' hours long, WAY TOO LONG for what it delivers.

Is the Amiga documentary shorter? Felt to me like they didn't know how to edit the previous one too well. And the least said about over/mis-exposed shots plus discrepancy in sound volumes/recording/editing, the better.
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Old 01 June 2016, 20:13   #123
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Originally Posted by Akira View Post
Is the Amiga documentary shorter?
Duration is 151min. + about 30min. of bonus videos + another 150 min. of extra content in the Special Edition, to be released in a few weeks or months.
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Old 01 June 2016, 21:03   #124
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So about the same. Way too fucking much for a documentary of this type.
Will see it whenever it becomes available on Netflix or something.
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Old 01 June 2016, 21:13   #125
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In my opinion it has issues, but length is not one of them.
If anything, I thought it was too short. They didn't go in-depth into anything in the 2nd half of the movie, felt like they were racing to the finish line...

The first movie was dedicated to the software industry in the UK and touched very little on the HW itself.

This new movie can't decide what it is - first ~70 minutes are about the Amiga HW history & development (nothing new here).
The rest touches on the Amiga market impact (especially on the few SW people interviewed) and a little on software milestones (again, not enough).
The part discussing piracy & the demo-scene should have been much much longer, IMO.

Overall I enjoyed it, but wished it would run an extra hour & go more in-depth on everything but the HW.
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Old 02 June 2016, 15:29   #126
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Yeah, i enjoyed it but it was low on any info about commodore particularly the behind the scenes machinations etc- however I guess thats what commodore the amiga years is for by brian bagnall.

Actually the free extras have some of the best bits; there is still more to come in the special edition of course so yeah good times.
Not as good as I'd hoped- once viva amiga comes out sometime in 2030 we will be able to draw comparisons...
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Old 03 June 2016, 15:16   #127
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The last half of the film was very disappointing. I guess I was hoping for more of a video version of the Ars Technica Amiga restrospective, which the first half was, but then the last half degenerated into developers repeating over and over why they liked the Amiga so much.
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Old 05 June 2016, 11:03   #128
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I watched the whole 2 1/2 hours of the show and thought it was an amazing made show. Being so young with the Amiga in the beginning and without Internet back then, I did not know much of the behind the scenes of the Amiga upbringing. And oh how amazing the Amiga was brought to life. I thought the People behind Commodore Amiga were a great bunch of guys, very humerous, very strong wilded. Of course there could be more shown on some amazing games, but with its long running time, I think they did a great job touching up on many areas of the Amiga including the demo scene. I am so glad I watched it, and it just proves that I already knew how amazing the Commodore Amigs was back then and now.
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Old 06 June 2016, 03:32   #129
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I thought it was great. personally I would have liked a more in depth hardware developement. More could have been done on the demo and piracy scene, but overall its a great watch and a well spent 2.5 hours.
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Old 14 June 2016, 03:46   #130
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I watched it last night and thought too it was great : Many enthralling interviews and picture clarity is top notch, even for the most ancient footage.
Just a word of caution for dads having children watching the doc along with them : Massive dose of Jack Tramiel appearances and one-liners may offend the sensibilities of some of them .
On the minus side, I thought Commodore multiple issues with the amiga distribution and later models have been overlooked but it shouldn't be too difficult to get all the necessary documentation about these overwhelming issues management and employees were facing by the time.
The part about top Amiga technicians being scared about Andy Warhol wrong use of the flood fill tool possibly leading to a guru during the A1000 exhibition did crack me up.
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Old 14 June 2016, 10:53   #131
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Originally Posted by Akira View Post
So about the same. Way too fucking much for a documentary of this type.
Will see it whenever it becomes available on Netflix or something.
I don't think it was too much, it had a good pace and time flew when watching it. It didn't feel long at all.

And I think that when we finally get some good quality documentary about Amiga (that isn't too common), why should it be made short and just scratch the surface? This is something we can show to general public (make requests to any broadcast companies near you!) and they don't know the backgrounds that well, so any shorter would just miss too much things.
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Old 14 June 2016, 14:13   #132
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Originally Posted by jPV View Post
And I think that when we finally get some good quality documentary about Amiga (that isn't too common), why should it be made short and just scratch the surface?
Longer doesn't mean better or that you only scratch the surface. It all depends on the editing and these filmmakers are not very good at it.
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Old 16 June 2016, 23:10   #133
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Originally Posted by Greyfox View Post
Fell off my chair when I seen this pop up this evening, upon peering over the top of my desktop, watch this unravel and thought WoW! What show stopper and so unexpected for such a film to appear out of the blue considering they have only just released Bedroom to Billions

So hold tight and behold another wonderful must have, can't wait, to see another video game documentary that will capture the essence of the Commodore Amiga in Europe and how it changed the face of computers forever. Now we have Zachary Weddington's "Viva Amiga" which will tell the origins of the Amiga's history in its homeland in America, I feel just won't be present in this one, but I could be wrong, but I think Zach maybe on the borrowed time now and needs to get film released as I don't want the films colliding for your attention this could be a bad thing for both films.

cours anglais marseille - cours d anglais aix en provence - anglais cours

Anyways here's the first teaser trailer for this new documentary

[ Show youtube player ]

And now the kickstarter page, so that you all back this amazing new Amiga film

Hey, thanks for the link i'll watch it, it's sure

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Old 20 June 2016, 13:41   #134
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The first half var really good if you want an indepth documentary about everything Amiga until the A500 gets released. To critizise it because you already know the story is silly because any good documentary assumes that the viewer has no prior knowledge of the topic. It wouldn't work otherwise.

The latter part is disjointed, overly nostalgic, shallow and mostly a bunch of guys telling us how much fun they had. Like a friend telling you how fun it was drinking at the pub last Friday. It really doesn't add much at all. It doesn't compare to any other computers of the era, it doesn't explain how the market changed and cought up, it doesn't explain what happened inside Commodore and it doesn't even tell you in a single line how it all ended. The other half can be summed up with "The A500 came and everything was fantastic". And that's really it. You can turn the documentary off without missing a thing.

Which is really weird. The first part is solid, well researched, perfectly linear and all and all interesting. This part alone is worth the money. But the other part is so rushed that it feels like they just added whatever footage they had in a semi-random way in order to finish everything over a weekend. What could have been an amazing documentary becomes just pretty good instead because of this.
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Old 27 June 2016, 08:27   #135
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Just watched it, thought the whole thing was awesome
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Old 01 July 2016, 16:41   #136
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I really enjoyed it.

My only gripe was that it didn't go on for longer - it left me wanting more!

Hopefully Viva Amiga will quench that thirst.
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Old 02 July 2016, 03:59   #137
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Originally Posted by tflpunk View Post
I really enjoyed it.

My only gripe was that it didn't go on for longer - it left me wanting more!

Hopefully Viva Amiga will quench that thirst.
Or the Special Edition with two hours of extras: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...-years-special
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Old 06 July 2016, 23:39   #138
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Has anyone watched the [ Show youtube player ]? He spends a fair bit of time responding to the ST-bashing in The Amiga Years, and asks why didn't the documentary focus on both of the main 16-bit computers of the era simultaneously? There's also a run-down of the the critical elements the Caulfields missed out e.g. the CD32, A1200, Commodore's demise, the other projects the Amiga engineers were involved in at the time and afterwards.
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Old 10 August 2016, 23:21   #139
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watched this at EMF Camp last weekend, it seemed to go down quite well.

i thought it was a tad over-long though to be honest.
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Old 11 August 2016, 21:14   #140
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Brian Bagnall's Commodore the Amiga years will give us all the nitty gritty on the cd32, 1200 and commodores demise I'm sure. that's the one worth waiting for.
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