The Amiga Years! Interview

We spoke to filmmaker Anthony Caulfield with less than 24 hours into his new Kickstarter Launch for the movie: The Amiga Years! We discussed what plans he and Nicola had for the movie, and more about this amazing computer that inspired a generation.

You can back the movie now using this link http://goo.gl/ycxPvv

Q. After the success of your original movie From Bedrooms to Billions - what inspired you to develop a movie about the Amiga?

Two things really, it became fairly apparent that to do the Amiga justice in the original 'From Bedrooms to Billions' the movie would have ended up being over 4 hours long. To even attempt that would be damaging to both ideas, part of the reason From Bedrooms to Billions was originally conceived as a 3 part TV series perhaps.

Therefore the original film deals with the overall story arc of the Amiga era of development in relation to the story of the British games Industry but we have to gloss over what was a lot of material. Therefore we decided that should the first film be well received to press on and make a new standalone film about that era and 'From Bedrooms to Billions: The Amiga Years!' was born.

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Q. Were there any things you learned making your first movie on retro gaming through crowd funding, that you will take forward into this one?

Yes it is (at least in our opinion) go for an open handed approach with your backers. You may not always want to but they want the same as yourselves - so keep them in the loop. We survived mentally through some tough times because backers kept writing to us with words of encouragement. Therefore don't come across corporate...professional yes...but no old bull...be straight and realistic.

Q. Whats the overall idea for the The Amiga Years! - does it have a theme of sorts?

Well it's a 90 minute standalone feature documentary exploring the influence of the Commodore Amiga and how it took video game development, music and publishing to a whole new level and changed the video games industry forever! It was a critical machine and we want to explore fully why and how it was built and what effect it really had on the game industry!

Amiga Computer

Q. Who are you targeting with your movie from an audience point of view - i.e who might be interested in this movie?

I think anyone that enjoyed playing games on an Amiga during that late 80's through to the mid 90's (and in some cases beyond) period but also anyone interested in game and the industry in general. We have noticed there are a lot of young viewers who really enjoyed 'from Bedrooms to Billions' simply because they're fans of video games. For example I'm a fan of the Beatles today, I didn't live through that era but I'm still interested in books and films about them and the 60's music era that caused its own explosion much like the video games industry did during the 1980's and beyond.

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Q. Did approaching this movie bring back memories of the Amiga you had yourself?

I actually got an Atari ST, or my dad who worked in the music industry came home with one in 1987, but shock horror it was a 1040 ST without and TV modulator and worse he only bought the black and white monitor with it so games didn't run due on that monitor.

Therefore a few years later I finally got my hands on an Amiga 500 and it was like a whole new world. And I lived through the 80's with my Commodore 64 and Nic with her ZX Spectrum 48k) and funny enough we had just met when I got my Amiga so we experienced a lot of those first memories of it together, so yes a lot of good memories should surface while making this new film.

Anotherworld

Q. What 3 Amiga games could you not live without?!

Another World, Flashback and Lemmings! And that was a horrid question, especially when I could name so many more, but those three due to the time of my life when I experienced them!

Lemmings

Q. What are you most looking forward to in making this movie?

Sounds like a cop out but it's actually the editing, when the film starts to slot together. The hardest work is filming so when you can sit there and start arguing about the edit you realize you are in a highly creative, but also exciting time!

Q. What are your hopes for the movie?

Very much like the first film. The Amiga represented a fantastic period in games, yes - but also for us personally. Nicola and I just want to do it justice, and also to entertain as many people as possible along the way, help them bring back and relive their own memories. In the long run for it to be remembered as the definitive film on the Commodore Amiga and that time for the video games industry but we have to do a lot of work first!

You can back the movie now using this link http://goo.gl/ycxPvv

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