It’s not every day that you get to live out the dreams of your own childhood but here I am today, proudly announcing on the site that I founded in my parents garage back in 1998, my financial involvement in the creation of a very awesome documentary series entitled ARCADE DREAMS which focuses on the 100-year history of arcade games!
For those people who don’t know anything about me, I’m an immigrant kid raised from Armenian parents who happened to be living in Amsterdam, Holland when I was born. They brought me to Canada before I turned 10 and my life since then has been engrossed around all things pop culture, including my initial love of comic books, arcade games and movies, all of which led to the creation of the website that you are on right now.
The first comics I ever read were TMNT by the original masters themselves, Eastman & Laird, as well as Judge Dredd from Eagle Comics. It was around the same time that I spent a lot of time in arcades that were just popping up all over the place. My favorite game there was Donkey Kong no doubt but I loved them all…the lights, the sounds, the camaraderie hanging out with friends and having a good old time. The beers. Uhhhhm, okay…beers were probably a few years later, but in Canada, we can drink alcohol at the age of 18, eh?
Flash forward all these years later and in my ripened life, I’ve become a fan of pinball machines. Go figure! I rarely ever played them as a teenager but nowadays, I can’t get enough of them. My love affair started with an Austin Powers pin just for shits and giggles, but that was apparently just a gateway drug as I quickly moved on to Deadpool, Metallica, Elvira, Judge Dredd (natch!) and the holy grail of them all: Indiana Jones!
My passion for pins led me to meet many people from the hobby (all great folks) and if you’re wondering why I’m rambling on about all this, it’s because it was through an exchange in one of these pinball forums that I was able to meet some very awesome like-minded folk who were putting together this awesome historical documentary about arcade games (also console games, pinball machines, VR and much more) and the next thing you know….well, just read the press release below. Pssst, they’re the guys behind Viva Amiga: The Story of a Beautiful Machine on Hulu.
It’s to note that the documentary series (which we’re hoping makes its way to Netflix one day…one can dream) will also be launching a Kickstarter campaign on October 21st (today!!), so if any of this interests you as a fellow gaming enthusiast (or just someone who likes to support cool projects), check out their website and you can also be a part of it.
From my end, this documentary series feels like ‘full circle’ as I can look back at my 15-year old self and tell him that even though I’m still playing games at my age, I’m also a so-called grown-up who is now spreading the gospel about how wonderful these awesome electronic machines can be. Just remember kids…never grow up, it’s a trap!!
JoBlo Movie Productions teams up with Emmy-winning filmmakers to bring Arcade Game History Documentary Series to Life
For Immediate Release
Philadelphia, PA, USA – October 8th 2020 – Even during a global pandemic, movie deals are still being made. JoBlo Movie Productions, a tent-pole movie fansite, has partnered with production house Rock Steady Media to complete Arcade Dreams, an ambitious multi-part documentary series covering the 100-year history of arcade games.
Rock Steady Media is best known for their debut documentary Viva Amiga: The Story of a Beautiful Machine, which premiered on Hulu in 2017 and soared up the iTunes charts in multiple countries.
To bring Arcade Dreams to life, Rock Steady Media assembled a dream team of experts, including director Zach Weddington (Viva Amiga), and Emmy-winning cinematographer Bill Winters (Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee). Everyone on the team is a passionate fan of arcades, video games and pinball.
A chance encounter in a pinball forum (where else?) connected Rock Steady with Berge Garabedian, CEO and founder of JoBlo. He immediately gravitated toward the project, since he was a lifelong arcade game fan, pinball player, and collector.
“What drew me in was the film’s teaser trailer, I was like ‘Oh…my…God! This is my life!’ and I immediately wanted to be a part of the production team. It also feels like now is the perfect time for this project, as retro gaming and nostalgia from the 80s are uber-hot,” said Garabedian.
A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Garabedian founded JoBlo.com in his parents’ garage in 1998, after graduating with an MBA in Montreal, Canada. JoBlo has since grown into a powerhouse in the movie community, offering movie news, reviews, trailers, release dates, as well as thousands of celebrity interviews and set visits from around the world. TIME magazine once called Berge “one of the most powerful taste-makers in Hollywood.” His JoBlo YouTube network has more than 5 million subscribers and nearly 4 billion views.
“We’re thrilled about partnering with JoBlo! Berge has built such an awesome brand and he immediately clicked with our vision after our first phone call,” said director Zach Weddington.
Rock Steady Media has already filmed hours of interviews with industry greats along with stunning, high-resolution footage of classic pinball and arcade machines. The team has reached out to fans, collectors, restoration experts, and game developers. The reaction from arcade game fans around the world to the early footage has been ecstatic.
The success of the recent gaming documentary High Score on Netflix proves that audiences are hungry for these kinds of stories. “There are so many more stories that haven’t been told,” Weddington explained. “And we know gaming fans have been waiting to hear them.” Rock Steady Media plans to launch a Kickstarter this month in order to bring community involvement in the project to a new level.
“We’re hoping that this project will help a lot of people smile during these surreal times in the world. Nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety so when you mix that with a fun history lesson in arcade games, we believe our project is poised for success,” said Garabedian.
To find out more and to sign up for updates on the Kickstarter, visit:
Kickstarter – https://bit.ly/ArcadeDoc
Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-s7thpmdIA
Homepage – https://arcadedocumentary.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ArcadeDreamsDoc/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/arcadedreamsdoc
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/arcadedreamsdoc/
For more information, please contact:
About Arcade Dreams:
Arcade Dreams is a multi-part documentary series that tells the story of arcades. It’s an exhilarating tale, told by an array of historians, collectors, industry legends, and arcade fanatics. This is the first documentary to tell the complete story — from the penny arcades of the early 1900s, through pinball’s glory days and the video generation, to the virtual reality rooms of today and beyond.
We aim to put viewers inside the games and the arcades of every era. You’ll be transported through time as we show you the games, the arcade environment, and the stories of people who were there. We’ve already begun to uncover the rare and the forgotten, machines rumored not to exist and tales that few people have heard. Arcade Dreams will bring these stories to life like you’ve never seen before through unique animations, rare archival footage, and reenactments.
About Berge Garabedian:
Berge Garabedian is a serial entrepreneur with an MBA from McGill University who founded popular movie fansite JoBlo.com in his parents’ garage in 1998. Time Magazine included Mr. Garabedian as “one of the most powerful taste-makers in Hollywood” during his first decade online. With his production company, JoBlo Movie Productions, he has also executive produced five movies while the JoBlo brand has flourished on YouTube with nine channels totaling over 5M subscribers and 4 billion views. Most recently, he has become a pinball fanatic.
About Rock Steady Media
Rock Steady Media was founded by director Zach Weddington in 2012. His early love of video games and computer graphics led to a career in film and television production that’s been going strong for 20 years. Rock Steady Media has assembled an incredible group of talented individuals to bring its vision for Arcade Dreams to life. The crew includes Emmy Award-winning filmmakers, 3D animation experts, famous sound designers, brilliant graphic designers, award-winning writers, and encyclopedic arcade historians. But more important than all these accolades, is that it is a team that is passionate and dedicated to its love of arcades and video games.