Monday, October 31, 2011

The Big California Shoot, Part 1

The Big California Shoot.

Howdy folks. We got back from Cali a few days ago, and I finally caught up on jet lag and work, so I can show you what we did out there.

First of all, the trip was a huge success and a big step for the film. We're almost finished shooting in the US now, I feel. Just a few more random interviews and then comes Europe in late winter/early spring.

This trip was the turning point for the film. I went from being fairly confident that I had a really good film on my hands to being absolutely positive that I do. The interviews I shot out in the Bay Area and AmiWest filled in the missing holes that I felt we needed to really tell the story. Europe is pretty much the only gap we need to fill at this point, except for a small US amiga user shoot or two.

The first shoot was actually at RJ Mical's house. Wow. To an Amigan, this is a pretty big deal of course. I wish I could go back and tell my 13-year-old self that someday I would meet one of the principal Amiga designers and attend a party at his place. And oh yeah, make a film about the Amiga too. RJ threw a party for us and his old Amiga buddies, and all kinds of people showed up.

Here's a rundown of the interviews we shot first:

RJ and Dave Needle

First up, Dave Needle. There's RJ giving him a big welcoming hug.

Me giving Needle the lowdown

Needle's Interview

Next up was Mike Boom, technical writer at Amiga, Inc. 

Mike on set

Some party snacking and shmoozing. I can't remember the name of every person pictured here, so rather than name some and not others, I'll just show general party shots. They're mostly original team members. I'll get with RJ and make sure I get the names right, and fix them here. 

Next up, Don Reisinger. First Director or Marketing at Amiga, Inc. and employee #3.

Don's Interview

And last but not least, the Big Kahuna. 

RJ Mical's Interview
Oh yeah, RJ worked on Sinistar, the classic arcade game as well. Run coward! We also asked him about his time at Williams in Chi-town. 

More party pics. 

So yeah, this worked out incredibly well. We had an amazing dinner...RJ and his personal assistant cooked us chicken curry, these amazing portobello mushrooms, and these crazy pork roll things. We got amazing interviews. Some of the very best footage yet. 

Thanks to RJ especially for coming through and being an incredible host. The guy is really a class act and I plan to repay him by making the film Extra Specially good, instead of just really good, as I was planning. 

Stay tuned for the Big California, Part 2! Pics and notes from AmiWest! 

Much love and HAM, 



  1. What a legendary gathering! I cannot wait to see this film, Zach!

    P.S. I Always thought Sinistar was calling out the name of his archnemesis "Ron Howard".

  2. Thus far looking good, no comments yet? Well, Heres a comment, keep up your good work, so far its looking like its going to turn out Sublime!
    From AOS4.x user

  3. Thanks for the update. Really appreciated. Maybe the film will go viral?

  4. very nice reading, thx!
    good to see your euthanism and that the movie progressing well!
    one remark: "Europe is pretty much the only gap" - i hope it is a big gap, coz europe was/is very important for the amiga, esp. after c= died.

  5. You got me even more enthousiastic!


  6. It sounds like you had a great time, and got some interesting interviews. Thanks for the update and pics.

  7. That's awesome! Really looking forward to see the film. :)

  8. Excellent! I'm hoping you guys get a theatrical release for this now... if 'Life In A Day' can do it, it should be possible. Also counting down the days till I get the 10 disc 'Fattest Agnus' version of the DVD :) Also, if you come to the UK (Manchester Area), I'll donate my time and camcorder for free.

  9. That's just awesome. So looking forward to the film. And what Amigan wouldn't want to party with RJ and the crew.
    My favorite RJ clip so far is the one where an exuberant young RJ is telling the story of his job interview with Jay Miner, and looks at the white board behind him with the block diagram of the Amiga.. RJ: KBD PRT - Keyboard port? This is a game machine right? Jay: Right, game machine, har har! RJ: DSK DRV - Disk drive? Game machine? Jay: Right, game machine, har har!

  10. Hi,
    Despite a coulpe of earlier emails, it still isn't clear to me if you guys
    are talking to Carl Sassenrath ... if not, you REALLY need to!

    If you don't have contact info for him, let me know.



  11. This is great! I can't wait to see the finished film. Keep up the great work.

  12. Was your girlfriend's California trip also paid with the Kickstarter money?

  13. Great!! This is really shaping up, I would love to meet RJ myself one day..

  14. Where's part 2? We want to see more!