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We go to the arcades, play the games and feel the nostalgia of the 80s and 90s, have a laugh and go home. But how often do we stop and think about how these iconic pinball and arcade games got there?
Independent South Australian documentary film, Still Standing, shares the stories of Adelaide’s last standing arcade owners, operators and private collectors as they fight against all odds to preserve the nostalgia of the golden era.
Director and award-winning cinematographer Brad Gilbertson said the inspiration for the film came from his search for the original Mortal Kombat II arcade cabinet he played in the early 90s at a Christie’s Beach arcade.
“As a kid, I would frequently visit my local bowling alley to play Mortal Kombat II with my friends – this is what sparked my life-long love for video games,” says Gilbertson.
“It wasn’t until I visited that same bowling alley 25-odd years later with my Dad that I wondered if these iconic arcades from the 80s and 90s still existed, and if so, where?”
Still Standing’s executive producer, Caitlin Slater, said the documentary plays heavily on the nostalgia of the 80s and 90s and people’s desire to relive some of their favourite memories.
“This isn’t a film about how these arcades and pinball machines were made because that’s been done. Instead, this is a people-story about those who are putting everything on the line to help us relive our favourite memories,” says Slater.
The film follows a number of local arcade owners and operators, including the founder of Game Room Essentials Danny Daly, who takes us behind the scenes in his fight to keep his venue alive. It also features many more one-on-one interviews, including an exclusive tell-all with SA’s godfather of amusement venues, Frank Sebastyan (Founder of Downtown and Magic Mountain).
“As storytellers, we wanted to show all aspects of the industry as it currently stands. From the new guys on the block who are modernising amusement venues to the original operators who paved the way in the 80s and 90s, and still to this day, play an integral part in keeping these relics alive”, says Gilbertson.
Still Standing is an independent documentary film produced by Adelaide’s BGVC Films and is scheduled for release later this year.
Find out more about the Still Standing documentary here: http://www.facebook.com/StillStandingDoco