Monday, January 29, 2007

Great War Monuments in London

Here's a sight no Brit wants to see...

Classic Game Room Invades London

Arrhhg! Americans!

My wife and I invaded... I mean, visited England back in October of 2005. At that time I knew that I would be working on World War 1 - American Legacy and decided to seek out some Great War Monuments while I was in London. I did not know as much then as I do now about the war or England's involvement, but the statues in London were very moving.

Great War Artillery

I did not have my Canon XTi back then with the wide angle lens, but this is a snapshot I took with my Canon Powershot of the famous Cenotaph in the center of London inscribed with "The Glorious Dead" honoring those who died in World War I.

World War I Artillery

Me standing in front of another impressive monument to those in the Great War. Inscribed on this massive state are the words "IN PROUD REMEMBRANCE OF THE FORTY NINE THOUSAND & SEVENTY SIX OF ALL RANKS OF THE ROYAL REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR KING AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1919" You can read a bit about it HERE.

WW1 Artillery

I can only imagine how many more statues and monuments we missed because we had not done any research on them prior to our visit, we merely kept an eye out for Great War monuments while walking London. This next photo is one of the most amazing things that we saw because I never imagined that I would see damage from WW1 in a major city, its just not something you see over here. But as my wife and I were looking at Cleopatra's Needle on the Thames I read the plaque on the Sphinx next to it:

World War 1 Damage

Since then I've read many WW1 books and have seen the movies like All Quiet on the Western Front and read Charley's War . When working on my film I read through the war years of Leslie's and Harpers Weekly, the English newspapers, the French L'Illustration magazines and gazed at the pictures in German books. I have come to some understanding of what England, Germany and France went through in that war. To actually see just a little fragment of it, in 2005, was something else.

WW1 Damage Next to Cleopatra's Needle

I believe strongly that as Americans it is our duty to learn about the history of our country and the world at large and view the direction that we as a country are headed with an educated viewpoint... I'll leave that up to you of course. Learning about the Great War years is an important part of that.

Now back to the fun stuff.... All work and no play makes Mark a dull boy.

After touring London for a few days the weather decided to really punish us Americans by pouring bucket loads of rain on us. However, we're from Pittsburgh. We're used to lousy weather. Regardless, I rarely need an excuse to duck into a warm pub but rain gave us the perfect opportunity to leap into the Green Man and French Horn somewhere near Trafalgar Square. There was no Green Man or French Horn to be found...

Green Man and French Horn

Now this is what I call a PUB!

It was an amazing experience visiting England. Here in the 'states we think stuff that dates back to 1890 is pretty old. In England we visited cathedrals, castles and buildings that dated back to the 10th century and earlier. Much of what we saw was built way before The United States even existed. Its quite an experience for Americans like us and one that we're looking forward to experiencing again. Seeing the Cathedral in York was worth the trip alone. So was pulling my own pint of cask conditioned ale at the Samuel Smith Brewery in Tadcaster.

Theakston's Old Peculier

Cheers to England! I had 3 of these and then walked straight into a phone pole. Mmmm... Old Peculier... one of my favorites (right up there with Samuel Smith, more on that later)

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.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Classic Game Room Reshoot in HD

As I am nearly finished with my new documentary film, Classic Game Room: The Rise and Fall of the Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show, I decided to reshoot a key scene in the film.

Swings are rad

The "reminiscence" scene about the fall of the Game Room is a moving and touching scene filled with tears and heartache. How could society let a bunch of beer swilling video game review show hosts down....? Its a tragic tale that tugs at the heartstrings.

Originally this scene, filmed in Schenley Park overlooking Pittsburgh, was filmed on Betacam SP format. You can see those shots on an earlier blog post HERE.

But the weather wasn't very good, I edited the footage into the documentary and didn't care for the handheld style as much as I thought I would, and I generally felt it could have been better. So we reshot it in High Definition on the Panasonic Varicam with a steadicam!

Panasonic Varicam takes no prisoners

I did not have any room in the Game Room budget to do this of course, but as luck would have it I was filming for my George Westinghouse documentary with a Varicam and Steadicam. Once we finished filming the George Westinghouse monument - also in Schenley Park - the sun was beginning to set and the swing location was just a few hundred yards away. The weather was just perfect, clear skies, no rain, very cold. All good shooting conditions. And I had a Varicam and steadicam at my disposal as well as two terrific DP's!

Steadicam in Schenley Park

So Jay, Rich and I trundled up the hill and refilmed the entire Game Room scene just as I had edited it (so I knew exactly what shots to get) and this time had steadicam "dolly" style movements, shots into the sun, silhouettes and HD footage. This is complete overkill for Classic Game Room of course, since it is a mixed bag of footage to begin with, but I was very pleased to add this high level of production value where it fits. Its makes a sarcastic touching scene even more sarcastic and touching. Now when viewers learn about how the Game Room was stomped into the ground by a failed internet business model they'll be entertained with stunning photography.

Panasonic Varicam and HD Monitor

The above shot is the last image we got that day, after a long day of filming the George Westinghouse documentary. Jay is shooting with the Varicam on the ground propped up by a sandbag to get my low angle shot through the swingset into the city of Pittsburgh at dusk. From what I saw in the monitor this is as good as any shot that we've filmed for the other films like Horses of Gettysburg or Expo: Magic of the White City.

Chillin' with the Game Room

The downside is, as Rich said after shooting it, "Man, now you're going to have to reshoot the entire documentary". Which I can't do, actually a good chunk of the humor in Classic Game Room is the low-budget nature of the show and what we had to do to even make it on $50 an episode (like lighting toy cars on fire).

The footage was all originally shot in 4x3 aspect ratio so this HD footage I recently shot will either be letterboxed or cropped to 4x3 to match... which is painful but that's the way it is. Just imagine, would an entire documentary about beer drinking and Atari video games be even better in HD? Well, not on my budget!

I'm nearly done editing the film. I think it came together very well and tells the humorous tale of the rise and fall of Classic Game Room. The shot below is the monster editing system that Classic Game Room is being edited on in standard definition. Adobe Premier Pro with Matrox Axio LE, dual Xeon processors and tons of horsepower. The George Westinghouse documentary will also be edited on this system in HD.

Adobe Premier Pro with Matrox Axio LE

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Location Scouting for new Documentary

It was a busy day today, I went out location scouting for a new documentary. I'm not releasing any information on this new film yet except to say that it is going to be a historical film about a great American. We are filming it in High Definition soon which means I had to venture outside the editing suite today and wear my director's hat. Actually it was a knit hat because it was cold.

Cathedral of Learning and Phipps Conservatory

Here's a picture of Oakland just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The building in the distance is the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, a very cool building. Off to the right is Carnegie Mellon University. And off to the left is Phipps Conservatory, which is where I filmed a number of botanical shots for my film, Expo: Magic of the White City a few years ago. I believe Phipps Conservatory was constructed in late 1893, just a few month's after the Chicago World's Fair. It looks very similar to the Horticulture Building at the Columbian Exposition in fact. Someone at Phipps told me they have 2 trees FROM the fair. I'm not sure if that's true or not but it makes for a neat story.

Zeul! Come worship Gozer the Gozerian!

The Cathedral of Learning at Pitt looks like it would be right at home in Ghostbusters. Incidentally it makes a surprise appearance in my Classic Game Room: The Rise and Fall of the Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show documentary. It appears in clips from my student film, Loco Ninja, my Super 8 martial arts movie about a Ninja who wins at beer pong and then decapitates his opponent. Its a great film and should have won many awards.


Panthers!? Watch out for Panthers! The woods of Pennsylvania used to be teeming with them back in the 1700's during the days of the Whiskey Rebellion and George Washington. There is some beautiful statuary in Oakland if you walk around. You can also visit the Original Hot Dog Shop and stock up on double fried french fries and some cold malt liquor.

George Westinghouse monument in Oakland

This is a monument to George Westinghouse that was erected in 1930. George Westinghouse was a Union soldier, industrialist, inventor and a resident of Pittsburgh. A very, very interesting man who helped change the world and our country... did I say what my new documentary was about yet?

Administration Building at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, The Columbian Exposition

The classic Westinghouse vs. Edison rivalry heated up at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 when Westinghouse won the contract to light the fair with AC Power, thus beating out Edison's DC power. This is honored on the monument with this surprising image of the Administration Building at the World's Fair flanked by the two fountains in the Court of Honor. I'm pretty down with my 1893 World's Fair knowledge after working for nearly 3 years on Expo: Magic of the White City. Its truly fascinating and not just because I made a film about it.

George Westinghouse Monument in Schenley Park

I'm also always surprised with how many ties my hometown of Pittsburgh has with the fair like Westinghouse. George Ferris lived in Pittsburgh. He invented the Ferris Wheel which debuted at the fair to compete with the Eiffel Tower. Above is another shot of the Westinghouse memorial in Schenley Park. You can see the Ferris Wheel on the front of our packaging on HERE.

More production news and photos to come. To hold over the rabid Classic Game Room fans here's a shot of the new Adobe Premier Pro editing system back up on dual screens and the 36" monitor.

Classic Game Room and the Atari 2600 with Space Invaders

Space Invaders!? Shag Carpet!? It must be Classic Game Room.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Official Classic Game Room Packaging

Behold the packaging for my upcoming documentary film, Classic Game Room: The Rise and Fall of the Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show!

Classic Game Room DVD Image with Atari controller being held with authority commanding respect from vintage arcade gamers.

Please let us know what you like or dislike about the packaging and anything else GR related. Classic Game Room can be emailed directly at TheGameRoom (at) Verizon (dot) net. The release date is not yet set but it will be in 2007.

The official website is now live where you'll soon be learning where to pre-order the documentary film about my failed Internet TV show experiences and our original, objective game reviews. The address will be but I don't believe its all hooked up just yet, so you can see the website from the Inecom Entertainment Company distribution page here:

Official Classic Game Room Website

The documentary film will have a 2 hour running time and I assure you it MOVES along with ten episodes, interviews, outtakes, behind the scenes footage, un-used footage from 2000, etc... Its highly entertaining. At least I think so. I also think Army of Darkness is entertaining. In fact I believe it to be one of the best movies ever made.

Classic Game Room has absolutely no affiliation, relationship, similarity to or reason to even be mentioned in the same sentence with Army of Darkness. However the Game Room Squirrel does because Game Room Squirrel is a force to be reckoned with and appears on Classic Game Room.

Squirrels love Classic Game Room.  So do humans.

On producion news I recently moved from Apple Final Cut to Adobe Premier Pro for final editing, I couldn't quite get into using a Mac interface. I can see why other people like it but I move much faster on a PC. "Final" editing begins next week on our new souped up PC with Premier Pro. Mac lovers, please don't throw your iPods at me. Unless they're well packaged and I can sell them later.

I've posted this before but the original Classic Game Room video game reviews appearing on the 1st DVD will be:

Duck Hunt for NES
X-Men for Sega Genesis
Joust for Playstation
Sega GT for Dreamcast
Frogger for Atari 2600
SeaMan for Dreamcast
Missile Command for Playstation
Perfect Dark for N64
Yar's Revenge for Atari 2600
Alien for Atari 2600

If the first DVD does well enough there are other DVDs in the works. The first Classic Game Room film just scratches the surface. There is a jumbo mass of game reviews, material and stories that we have recently unearthed from Classic Game Room Laboratory. More information and technical drawings of Classic Game Room Laboratory coming soon.

The video game reviews to appear on the 2nd Classic Game Room DVD are:

Contra for the Nintendo Entertainment System
The Empire Strikes Back for Atari 2600
Bionic Commando for the Nintendo Entertainment System
Draconus for the Sega Dreamcast
Pong for the Sony Playstation (previously un-aired!!)
Omega Boost for Sony Playstation
Streets of Rage for Sega Genesis
Kasumi Ninja for Atari Jaguar
Ecco the Dolphin for Sega Dreamcast
Ninja Golf for Atari 7800
Virtua Striker 2 for Sega Dreamcast

This all depends on YOUR support of course, so spread the word aboutClassic Game Room and tell your friends to visit our website and drop us a line telling us how much you want to see us review Bionic Commando.

A preview of Classic Game Room can be seen on YouTube HERE. A new preview will be appearing sometime in the next few weeks.

Holla for Game Room

ROAR!!! Classic Game Room is ill!! More info to come soon...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Expo: Magic of the White City Release Recap

On September 13, 2005, Expo: Magic of the White City narrated by Gene Wilder was released on DVD. It has since been broadcast on PBS HD nationwide as well as standard definition television and received dozens of great reviews from all over the country.

"A dazzling trip back to another time."
- Bill Diehl, ABC Radio Network

Expo: Magic of the White City narrated by Gene Wilder

We had a release "weekend" in Chicago where the fair took place, only we were 112 years late! Expo: Magic of the White City is a fun documentary film that I produced and directed about the World's Fair of 1893, which is also known as the Columbian Exposition. It was held to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus discovering America (one year late of course) and debuted many of America's greatest inventions like the Ferris Wheel and Cracker Jack and set the stage for AC Power to be our power of choice. Gene Wilder narrates the film and gives an entertaining tour of the fair, of life in 1893 and the dramatic events that happened at the World's Columbian Exposition.

Chicago as seen from the Navy Pier

Chicago as seen from the Navy Pier. It was an exciting few days in Chicago as I had several radio interviews and television interviews. We toured the city, met lots of people and ate tons of good food. I've been to Chicago before but this was the most time I've spent there and everyone was very nice to us and showed us a great time.

Expo Screening as Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago

On release day we showed Expo: Magic of the White City to an audience at the Museum of Science and Industry in Jackson Park in Chicago. This was especially fitting because the museum is housed in the only remaining building from the World's Fair, originally called the Palace of Fine Arts. Constructed in 1892 & 1893 the Palace of Fine Arts (aka Gallery of Fine Arts) was unique in that it was the only building constructed for the fair that was built to be permanent in order to get insurance for all of the irreplaceable artwork held inside. Most of the buildings at the fair were quickly constructed and covered with "staff" to make them look like marble. The Palace of Fine Arts was made of brick, iron and real building materials.

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

The one thing that I remember clearly from our screening day is that it was unseasonably hot for September. I was wearing a suit (which I never, ever, ever do) and was unbearably overheated. My natural habitat is 40 degrees and raining, good Pittsburgh weather.

However the screening was successful in that 200+ people seemed to enjoy it, stayed through the entire film and did not throw any tomatoes or rotten fruit at me afterwards during a Q&A session. It was a great time. Thank you again to The Museum of Science and Industry and everyone who helped to set up the event, manage the event, hand out popcorn and help run the projecting equipment. This was the rare chance for viewers to see what the film looks like in its native HDCAM 1080i High Definition format on a huge screen. I think it looks amazing and detailed but I'm somewhat biased. You can clearly make out peoples' hats, shoes, bags and eyes in high definition.

Mark giving a radio interview, not playing Mr. Bungle

There's a picture of me doing a radio interview in Chicago on WGN 720. I really enjoy doing radio interviews because it reminds me of the radio show that I used to host in college on WVBU 90.5 FM at Bucknell University. I frequently angered a lot of people for doing things like shredding J-Crew catalogs on air, playing Mr. Bungle or giving fake news stories... which I did not do on WGN 720.

A special thanks to Rick Kogan who bought me a beer at the Billy Goat. That was a good beer too... in fact I think I had 2 of them. Billy Dark i believe. If you ever come Pittsburgh I'll buy you a Penn Weisen.

You can read some good reviews of Expo here to see what other people are saying:

Review of Expo at HERE
Review of Expo at HERE
Review of Expo at HERE
Review of Expo at HERE

And of course a big thank you to all the customers who gave us high marks. Its always good to see people enjoying a film that we spent 2-3 years working on. Expo: Magic of the White City at

EXPO: Magic of the White City was filmed in Chicago, Illinois and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was 100% produced, filmed & edited in America.

Monday, January 8, 2007

World War 1 - American Legacy Reviews

Sometimes when I'm in the middle of production on one film (Classic Game Room) and in pre-production on several others I completely forget that I just had a film released a few weeks ago.

World War 1 - American Legacy

World War 1 - American Legacy narrated by David Carradine was unleashed to the world on December 5th, 2006. I just got word of two terrific new reviews and want to thank Paul Mavis at Additionally I would like to thank for their review.

DVDtalk said: From Inecom Entertainment comes World War 1: American Legacy, a wonderful documentary from their Minutes of History series. Utilizing spectacular black and white stills, paintings, propaganda posters, and newspaper clippings, World War 1: American Legacy bypasses a traditional chronological, straightforward history lesson on The Great War, to give the viewer a more impressionistic feel for the conflict, highlighting stories of influential people who impacted events in the War to End all Wars. Narrated by David Carradine, World War 1: American Legacy is a marvelous introduction to this increasingly forgotten conflict.

Read the full review HERE. said: "Powerful, balanced, brilliant use of stills, truly excellent, David Carradine's commentary strikes the right note."

World War 1 - American Legacy

Betty Jo Tucker at reviewed the film a few weeks ago, you can read her review HERE. Thank you for your continuing support of independent filmmaking Betty Jo!!

I don't have any production stills for WW1 American Legacy because the majority of the film is edited with period artwork, newspapers, photographs and drawings. Most of the work was done on the computer in editing. I wrote a blog post on our sound design and you can read that HERE.

World War 1 - American Legacy

Jay and I filmed some beautiful scenes of Pittsburgh's collection of Great War monuments and they are something to be seen in person. Pictured above is the monument on Butler Street & Penn Avenue overlooking downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of the most striking monuments I have ever seen. You can read my blog post on the Father Duffy monument at Times Square in New York City, HERE.

World War 1 - American Legacy

Thank you again to all those who took the time to watch the film and reviewed it for others to see. I appreciate it greatly. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the DVD it is available HERE at and most other online retailers.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Filming Complete for Game Room Documentary

Filming was completed today for Classic Game Room: The Rise and Fall of the Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show. My new documentary film is about the rise and fall (hence the title) of the video game review show that I co-hosted in 1999 and 2000. By the way, I am sitting on the little hill where we filmed Duck Hunt/People Hunt for the NES and X-Men for the Sega Genesis.

Mark Bussler pondering on Duck Hunt Hill

Me pondering life, Game Room and wonderfulness on "Duck Hunt Hill".... We filmed a lengthy interview today about my recollections on the 75 episode series, production details and how it eventually came to a sudden end (along with the rest of its website company, Ironically I started my career with Game Room and now primarily make historical documentary films.

City of Pittsburgh

Jay filming the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from Schenley Park, where we filmed the "sad retrospective" scenes in the film. All of the Classic Game Room episodes were filmed in 4x3 video on Betacam SP or DVCpro. I decided to keep a similar format for this doc instead of shooting in HD. There were also budgetary concerns and Game Room is no stranger to tight budgets. Our original budgets were $50 per episode, but that's also what made them so good. When you have no money you just have to get creative... by the way, Jay and I are filming in 2 weeks on a new High Def. historical film, more info on that coming soon.


Jay is an excellent director of photography and we have worked together on several of my previous high definition films Expo: Magic of the White City, Horses of Gettysburg, and World War 1 - American Legacy . Even though Classic Game Room is very different from the other films, top quality production value is a must.

Slide back to the West Side

There's nothing quite like a playground slide for a moment of quiet reflection. I slid down it about 6 times and it was fun.

Holy crap its the Game Room!

If the people on this plane had looked down they would have seen Classic Game Room being filmed! I love my 300mm lens.


More fun with the big 300mm IS lens, downtown Pittsburgh. You may recognize the building on the right from Dogma and the pointy topped building on the left from Inspector Gadget.

Sega GT sucka!

You can still hear the cars from the Sega GT episode! More Classic Game Room information to come soon along with DVD packaging and the release date. Stay tuned! The official website will be up soon as well.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Video Game Show to debut on LASERDISC

News break! My new documentary film, Classic Game Room: The Rise and Fall of the Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show will be coming out on LASERDISC in 2007.

For those who don't remember Game Room, it was an Internet TV Video Game Review Show back in 1999 and 2000 that I co-hosted and co-directed with David Crosson. We produced 75 episodes and were cancelled with the Internet bubble burst. New production filming on the Classic Game Room documentary begins on Thursday to tell the story of its dramatic rise and fall and rise again. Expect pictures, packaging and artwork to appear soon.

LASERDISC!? As a producer and director I'm a very technical guy. I can reason that if a dual layer DVD can hold somewhere around 4 hours of superb video and multiple audio tracks then LASERDISC must be way better because they are so much bigger.

Video Game Reviews on LASERIDISC

The LASERDISC release of Classic Game Room will be better than DVD in many ways. It will cost $59 and come in a monster sized fold out case with big, glossy pictures. This will not fit into your DVD rack, however it'll be right at home with your Van Halen and Duran Duran LP collection.


LASERDISC also has other advantages. For instance, when you are enjoying Classic Game Room on your LASERDISC player....

Lasertag!! will only need one yellow wire for the video and a red and white wire for the audio. This is much simpler than worrying about all the confusion with DVI, HDMI or Firewire. Less time worrying about technical problems means more time enjoying frosty beverages while watching Classic Game Room. And there's no confounded animated menus to waste your time!

Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD vs. LASERDISC

We at Classic Game Room are health conscious. The 2-Hour Game Room documentary will come on 2 LASERDISCS in CLV format with 3 sides, so you'll have to get up from your couch and flip the disc twice and also replace it once. This will provide exercise for our viewers who otherwise might just sit on their couch for the full 2 hours. This also avoids the irritating DVD layer change.


And last but not least, LASERDISCS use freaking laser beams!!! How cool is that!?

We'll look for reviews of Classic Game Room: The Rise and Fall of the Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show on LD format from our boys (& girls) over at I'm sure everyone wants to stop worrying about about whether Blu-Ray or HD-DVD is the format of the future and just enjoy a good movie on LASERDISC or a good game of LASERTAG!

A very special thanks to Nicholas Sheffo at for the link back to this site & the support and reviews. Merci, amigo!!

The Classic Game Room episodes that will be on the, LASERDISC are:
Duck Hunt for NES
X-Men for Sega Genesis
Joust for Playstation
Sega GT for Dreamcast
Frogger for Atari 2600
SeaMan for Dreamcast
Missile Command for Playstation
Perfect Dark for N64
Yar's Revenge for Atari 2600
Alien for Atari 2600

A preview is available HERE.

In response to a few emails I've already gotten from friends, YES, Classic Game Room is coming out on DVD.

Monday, January 1, 2007

2007, its like the future and stuff

2007 is here and when I was a kid I figured we'd all be living in space ships and traveling to the moon for random road trips. I'd be driving a DeLorean that could go back in time and rock out to Van Halen on cassette tapes. Not so much. The modern era is more like a repeat of the Lyndon B. Johnson years if you ask me. Except now I can rock out to Van Halen on iTunes.


I enjoyed the star studded, exciting new years eve of an independent documentary filmmaker. My wife and I cooked dinner and did nothing. It was awesome. We enjoyed our first new years with our dog, Stella.

Mein Hund liebt Bier

I've been doing a lot of photography recently with a new camera and gearing up for filming this winter and spring. I'm breaking in some brand new lenses to be used on some upcoming documentary films (much more info on these coming soon). So lucky for Stella I've been taking thousands of pictures of her.

Stella is a huge Duran Duran fan

The camera I'm using for still photo work both professionally and for fun is the Canon Rebel XTi digital SLR. These shots are taken with the EFS 17-85mm IS lens.

Feed me

She was laying in a patch of open sunlight and clearly became annoyed after about 200 shots and demanded food.

Feed me now

On new year's eve day we went out to the dog park and gave her a chance to stretch her legs, run around the park, play with other dogs and get covered in mud. We all had a great time and I spent some time with my 70-300mm IS zoom lens. I need to tweak my settings a bit but I got some pretty neat shots, she's a fast dog, much faster on her feet than most of the monuments and statues that I usually photograph.

I'm free!!!

Once she hits 88mph she goes back in time to 1984 and rocks.

Why does he keep taking pictures of me?

She really enjoys play time with other dogs.

Stella and sheltie

At the dog park I was shooting at about 300mm full zoom and had a heck of a time keeping her in the frame. Of course it was much easier when she wasn't running. I caught part of a coat in this shot but its a nice snapshot of the dogs.

Feed me, please

Stella is a 1 year old German Shepherd/Chow Chow mix from the Western Pennsylvania Human Society. You can see the black and red spotted tongue in these pictures which is very unique.

In production news, Classic Game Room: The Rise and Fall of the Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show begins filming this week. Photos to come of the production shoot. New documentary information is on the horizon with an exciting new High Definition historical film that I will be producing and directing over the next few months. I'm sure there will be many photos of Stella in the coming year as well since she's a never ending source of lively entertainment.

I'm runnin' with the devil!