Mark Czarnowski of Illini Pinball Association will be hosting (thanks, Mark!)
Helping people see the beauty of pinball more clearly than ever, one of the Visible Pinball games from the Pacific Pinball Museum and six other vintage games were featured at the Cinequest Film Festival Opening Night Gala.
The real Captain Fantastic, Chris Kuntz of Pinball Pirate brought the games to San Jose.
…and they were beta tested by the highly qualified Chris Garcia, festival programmer and curator from the Computer History Museum.
The doors opened, and the party was on!
Don’t forget you can come out and have more pinball at Cinequest by coming to the Friday 3/8 6:45 PM screening of Wade Krause: Pinball Artist at Camera 12 in San Jose, or the Saturday 1:45 screening. See you at the movies!
Mark Czarnowski of illini pinball association has reached a time in his life when he’s ready for the ultimate pinball adventure: Operating.
Matt Walsh helps us live that first time all over again…..
There is that magic feeling of doing a collection that people who haven’t experienced it can’t really understand.
There is that moment that you approach the game just before you unlock it. You kind of look it over as if you can tell if it got played a lot. Well, and also you’re looking to see if it’s working because if it isn’t, you know it won’t have much in it.
Then you unlock it. Maybe a latent quarter or two clinks down that was stuck somewhere to greet you. Maybe a little shower of stuck quarters rains down from a coin mech, and you momentarily curse the American stone-age coin mechs that haven’t changed in 50+ years in comparison to the much more reliable Euro ones.
You kind of make your first assessment visually…maybe you shake the coin pan a bit. And then you start counting. Anyone that’s worked in an arcade can grab a handful of quarters and tell you what $10 feels like. So you run your fingers through the money – dirty money, sure – contaminated by countless hands – but money nonetheless – each an anonymous vote by someone expressing appreciation for your equipment. A brother or sister you’ve never met that liked the game you bought and placed in hopes that they would. Maybe someone played one game and walked away. Maybe there are 10 quarters from one guy that plays every day. Who knows! Actually, sometimes you do know when a die-hard fan talks to you during a collection and embarrasses you saying how many of those quarters are ‘his.’ Yeah, right. They *were* his.
Not to mention, it’s cash – untraceable, pure and simple income big brother doesn’t need to know about and has no way to find out about. Freedom. The way George Washington, whose head is scattered inside, would want it.
Though maybe they’re not all George. Maybe there’s a Canadian quarter in there, and when you see it you get a tinge of insult; fraud’s ugly specter robs your joy for a moment. Maybe somehow a nickel made its way through, though you know it didn’t register a credit. It’s a fallen world; all *have* fallen short of the glory of God, even pinball patrons.
These are the feelings I remember, collecting quarters out of my Target Alpha (and later Space Invaders pinball) in 1988 in college. Average earnings were around $2 a day for TA and $5 for SI. That I could then buy food and drink (or beer) with this magic money I would not otherwise have…wow. –Matt Walsh
Thank you to Matt and Mark for sharing their experiences. Best of luck to Mark. Stop by Quality in Champaign, IL and play his games. Don’t forget to tip your bartender!
Seriously, there are ton of interesting events at Cinequest, including a live talk with Harrison Ford, who is being given an award. Consider coming to more of the festival than just the screenings of Wade Krause: Pinball Artist.
But if you can only come to one event, please do come out and support Wade and the film. We are screening as part of the Docunation program. Here are the times:
I’ll be at all of them.
More news coming later this week about pinball games from PPM at the Cinequest opening night party on 2/26. Mark your calendar now!!
PS: Wade is part of a cool kickstarter campaign to make more art games with Coop, Jeremy Fish, Frank Kozik, Alex Pardee and Sam Flores– you might want to check that out: Bring Back the Arcade Campaign.
Happy Holidays! If you donated at the $50 or more level, there is an original limited edition Pinball Donut Girl poster making its way toward you. The first batch went out this weekend, so watch for Santa in the guise of a mailman, delivering at your door.
I’m hoping to start getting letters in my mailbox too, letters from festivals saying we have been accepted. If any of you have a film festival in your area, especially one that you regularly attend and know people at, mail me and I’ll see if I can submit to them so there is a screening in your area.
In the meantime, our sound editor Josh Wolfer of Austin is working on the director’s cut so I can wrap up the DVD and get that out to you in early spring as well.
Here is more Christmas Cheer in the form of drive through donuts, courtesy of Mark Czarnowski. PBDG’s most reliable man in the field, Mark has personally tested and approved the Donuts at this shop in Harvard, IL (home of Jersey Jack’s midwest headquarters!).
PS: if you mailing address has changed since you donated, and I don’t already know you have moved, please send me your new address so your poster arrives correctly.
This year I’m thankful for a chance to see the Visible Pinball machine in its new home at the Exploratorium. Visiting his awesome San Francisco science museum was the perfect end to a long Thanksgiving weekend. Kids and adults were playing pinball nonstop, so excited to see the game. Wade and the Pacific Pinball Museum created a gift to the city and beyond when they made this machine.
Exploratorium will be moving to a new home at Pier 15 in San Francisco this spring — I can’t wait to see the magic they make in an expanded space. Based on the huge interest and enjoyment I saw with the exhibit, I hope more museums buy clear pinball machines for their visitors.
Great article yesterday in the San Francisco Chronicle Pink Section honoring Pinball Donut Girl’s Ned Kopp:
A longtime Bay Area production supervisor, Kopp was who the Bond production team, headed by Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, turned to when James Bond came to San Francisco to make “A View to a Kill,” which was partially filmed here in 1984. The film, Roger Moore‘s seventh and final appearance as Bond, was released in 1985.
The Bond team liked Kopp’s work so much that they called the next time it shot in the United States – four years later for “License to Kill,” with Timothy Dalton as Bond, in Key West, Fla.
In the early 1970s, Kopp served as an assistant cameraman on George Lucas‘ “THX 1138″ and was Lucas’ assistant director on “American Graffiti.” (You can see Kopp in any Mel’s diner. In a photograph with actor Ron Howard in the foreground and Lucas hunched beneath a lunch counter, Kopp is the bearded, balding man standing above the counter.) He also worked on films directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Phil Kaufman and Alan Parker, among others.
But a Bond set is something else.
The 28th annual Pinball Expo is off and running in Chicago.
PBDG cast member Mark Czarnowski is hard at work behind the scenes and it looks like things are really coming together.
Mark got to play Cactus Canyon Continued — a CC game running with P-ROC, a cool board that lets you mod pinball games via a pc over usb. Mark reports:
“In our repair room, we have a Cactus Canyon, running custom software on a P-ROC controller and a PC. The new custom version, dubbed Cactus Canyon Continued, is programmed and overlaid on top of the original. The pic shows the CCC software creator on the left, and the P-ROC hardware guys, center and right.”
“The P-ROC version has many new features, including a mode called Drunk Multiball, best played by crossing your arms, since the flipper buttons are reversed.”
Don’t forget that Pinball Donut Girl will be screening at the LTG show Friday evening at 10:00 with Mark hosting!
Lloyd Olson, AKA “LTG” will be including a screening of the ten minute festival cut of Pinball Donut Girl at his LTG show at Pinball Expo of Chicago this Friday, Oct. 19 at 10:00 PM in the Lake Michigan Ballroom.
I won’t be able to attend , but cast member Mark Czarnowski will be standing in for me, and I hear there is a good chance some PBDG posters will be part of Lloyd’s prizes.
In addition to putting on the greatest seminar at the Expo, Lloyd also runs SS Billiards, in Hopkins, Minnesota, where he has been keeping pinball fresh since 1972 with tournaments, family fun, and well maintained games.
So come out to the Expo, have a great time, and please join Mark at the LTG show to see Pinball Donut Girl! I wish I could be there with you.
A few photos from the Pacific Pinball Expo, definitely my favorite five days of September!
Charlie Kuttner and I filmed the whole load in, an amazing 2 day transformation of an empty room to a pinball wonderland, and then of course I got to meet and talk to a lot of you, play pinball, see cast and crew members, eat donuts, and screen my films. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Thank you to everyone who came out to the show and to the amazing volunteers of the Pacific Pinball Museum who make the magic happen!
And congratulations to Jeri Ellsworth on her 2012 Maker Hero award!