Friday, January 26, 2007

New WW1 Reviews, Westinghouse Update and Game Room

Hello, a cornucopia of blogging news this morning as it is 5 degrees outside and I'm huddled by the warming glow of my computer monitor with the family dog curled at my feet, a hot cup of coffee at my side and the soothing sounds of Alice in Chains blasting from the stereo.

Stella the Uberhound

"When did winter get here, Stella!?"

Its been a busy week this week filming the documentary film on George Westinghouse. Its shaping up to be a visually spectacular film about the life and legacy of one of America's greatest inventors, industrialists and engineers. There's a huge part of the film dedicated to the rivalry between Westinghouse and Thomas Edison.

The Westinghouse vs. Edison competition came to a head at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair where Westinghouse won the conract to illuminate the fair with his AC Power over Edison's DC power. A little AC/DC anyone?

The Westinghouse Airbrake Company is now known as WABTEC and continues to make brakes for trains and other industrial products.

World War 1 - American Legacy


My most most recent film, World War 1 - American Legacy , narrated by David Carradine, was released on December 5th, 2006. The reviews of the DVD have been pouring in over the past two months and have been outstanding. I was a bit concerned at first that nobody had much interest in WW1 but as it turns out that isn't the case. Some new reviews were passed across my email this week, I'll post an excerpt from one:

DVD Verdict, a well respected DVD review site, said the following:

"...Through original still photographs, artwork, and music of the period, we're given a look at the sights and sounds of the war as America entered the conflict. But this isn't just an overview of the war itself but, rather, an in-depth analysis of many notable persons who served in the war and had a hand in shaping American culture, style, and sensibilities. Therefore, we're given an opportunity to learn more about the writings of E.E. Cummings, Ernest Hemingway, and Alan Seeger and how the war sparked their need to disclose how the war impacted them and those who served alongside. Then we get acquainted with the unrivaled abilities of New York City's "Harlem's Hellfighters," the most accomplished division in the battle that was initially scorned because of it's all-black troops but was ultimately given a full hero's welcome upon its return. The documentary also goes on to credit the work of the Red Cross nurses and the invaluable "Hello Girls" who would man the battalion switchboards and, more subtly, remind the "boys" of their "gals" who were counting on them to return back home. There's even an appropriate salute to the contributions of various animals including horses, mules, dogs, and carrier pigeons, each offering vital service to the overall effort. It's a well-rounded documentary that, thanks to writer Brian Connelly's commitment to the tone, never preaches or gives in to any measure of political or cultural bias. This is one of the best fact-driven documentaries I've seen in a very long time.

What makes this particular documentary even more compelling is the method in which it's delivered, using high-definition technology to provide crisp details in every image and artifact it presents. Although this is a standard definition disc (not an actual HD DVD formatted offering), the high-def filming still manages to deliver an image quality that's better than most SD releases you'll see today. More affecting is the excellent DTS 5.1 digital surround track that is precisely mixed to put you dead center in the soundstage. You'll enjoy a perfectly balanced mix that maintains clarity of Carradine's narration in the front center channel and then works to deliver ambient effects—some subtle, some staggering—from all surround channels. Amidst this is the excellent new score from composer Gene Ort that perfectly permeates your viewing area to help transport into the documentary's realm."

Review by Judge Dennis Prince.

You can read the full review HERE.

Thank you Dennis for taking the time to watch the film and appreciate the detail that we put into it. If you want to read more about the work that we put into the audio mixing you can read that on my blog post HERE.

Other World War 1 - American Legacy Reviews:

DVD Talk Review Review

Classic Game Room


The documentary that I am currently in post production on now is called Classic Game Room: The Rise and Fall of the Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show. This is VERY, VERY different than World War 1 - American Legacy of course... it is good to take a break from serious historical work for a few months and get back into some humorous work. Although if you like Classic Game Room you'll probably like World War 1 American Lecacy . Good stories make good films even if the style is completely different.

I recently had a reader blog post on my site for Classic Game Room that I'll put on the main page and answer!

"Hi Mark,
Im an old fan of the game room, I used to watch it all the time. I especially loved the reviews you did for the sega genesis on streets of rage and x-men. (Your classic power of throwing beer bottles cracked me;)

Are there any plans at all in bringing back the game room? Also is there any where I can watch the old reviews?

Many thanks for the good old days and I hope all is going well for you both now.



Thank you Liam! I am still amazed at how many people were actually watching our show, The Game Room, back in the day! Even more amazing is that anyone remembers it, but that's all part of the upcoming DVD.

Things are going well for both of us. I talked to Dave a few weeks ago before the new year and he's back in New Jersey and writing for a living. He sounded quite happy. I believe he still retains the mutant poweres of POTTYMOUTH and can spew bad words at a moment's notice. My beer bottle throwing arm is still powerful and sure. It just throws better bottles of beer these days like Hoegaarden, Sam Adams and Theakston's Old Peculiar instead of Natty Light.

As far as the future of Game Room it is not clear at this time. We would like to bring out all the episodes on DVD over time but obviously want to see reaction to the first set of 10 episodes in the documentary film. And I assure you, this is unlike ANY documentary you have ever seen. The Game Room does not disappoint. At this time there is no place to view them online.

I was just in the studio on monday recording my voice and digitally altering into a deep "Unicron-style" growl for the Yar's Revenge video game review. The GR animation sequences are nearly complete, the music is mixed and its all hilarious. I'm a little biased of course but if you're reading this far in my blog you'll probably be entertained.

That's all for today and the weekend...


Stella is a huge Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale fan.

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