(Topic ID: 217583)

Big Bang Bar documentary??


By Dantesmark

2 years ago



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  • 147 posts
  • 37 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Jnewton
  • Topic is favorited by 9 Pinsiders

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There are 147 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 2 years ago

Hi fellow pinheads!!
Just wanted to gauge interest on something...

I just listened to an interview with the Black Knight, in which he told the amazing story of how Big Bang Bar came to be. How over 100 dedicated collectors/enthusiasts came together with passion, to create a machine that almost didnt happen!

I think that this story would be a great candidate for someone to make a documentary on! You could round up some of the people that worked on it for interviews, use some footage of the game, and perhaps get with Chicago Gaming Company on their plans for a remake of it! Hell, maybe by the time this doc comes out it could coincide with the release of CGC’s version of the pin!!

If you are not familiar with the story, you should definitely listen to the Black Knight tell it!
You can find it on a certain notorious podcast, episode 55, titled “the story of Big Bang Bar”.

I myself do not have the funds, nor the cognitive capacity to head the creation of a documentary film, but maybe theres a member of this Pinside community who will.

Tell me what your thoughts!

Thx guys!

#2 2 years ago

Potential title-
“Big Bang or Bust”

#3 2 years ago

Pins and Vids 3 ‘Revenge of the Myth’ is a documentary about Big Bang Bar and its production / reproduction.

http://www.pinsandvids.com/episode3.html.

#4 2 years ago

Couldnt find it... site only shows pins and vids 4, with no reference of episode 3.
Also looks kinda low budget... not that i want scorcese to make this, but something more quality like the Tilt, wizard mode or special when lit docs.

#5 2 years ago

For those reading and interested, you can purchase Pins n Vids documentary on pingame journals “Cool Stuff” page.

C5EA22B5-8ECB-444A-9D35-4C33BB1808DA (resized).png

#6 2 years ago

Great! Apparently im not alone in thinking this story is doc worthy.
Any1 seen it? Review?

-1
#8 2 years ago
Quoted from Dantesmark:

Great! Apparently im not alone in thinking this story is doc worthy.
Any1 seen it? Review?

I bought a copy and its worth it. It includes Gene's collection including Wizard Blocks and Playboy Pin2000 white wood. Of course it doesn't cover Genes eventual bankruptcy and downfall.

#9 2 years ago

Yes,
I would be interested in this documentary if made.
If anyone with talent and knowledge could do this, know full and well I would be useless to you.
Sincerely,
Pilot with non transferable skillset

#10 2 years ago
Quoted from Dantesmark:

Couldnt find it... site only shows pins and vids 4, with no reference of episode 3.
Also looks kinda low budget... not that i want scorcese to make this, but something more quality like the Tilt, wizard mode or special when lit docs.

Yes it was low budget but it captures the history of the machine in great depth and with footage of its creation while it was happening this is something that a new film would never really match.

However there should be a Documentary made about the Pinball Circus Hint Hint.

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from Dantesmark:

Great! Apparently im not alone in thinking this story is doc worthy.
Any1 seen it? Review?

Pins and Vids DP 3 is a great documentary that captures the BBB legend from some close to the flame. It includes some interesting commentary and lots of original footage about the making of BBB. One thing I recall after watching it was ... I want to buy a BBB.

And like kkuoppamaki suggests, read this article too. Written by an outsider who went in cold, but digs deep and uncovers a riveting story retelling circumstances around Illinois Pinball (IPB) at the time BBB was being made.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-legend-of-big-bang-bar

After conquering both of these, join google group RGP (recreational.games.pinball) and search for three long threads on BBB. They provides interesting info from buyers' perspective. Heard about the game, will it ever be made, what's your number, details, now it is released - what's BBB worth, resale threads for years later. You might even uncover a reference to the secret BBB Owners group.

I agree there is at least one good story left that is not well documented which would make a Fucking Awesome documentary. During the years between the announcement of BBB and its production, a lot of shit went down at Illinois Pinball. Some was related to BBB directly and other stuff to IPB's practice of running a family owned business. Bumbling incompetence, parts inventory thefts, multiple parties training volunteer labor force to build BBB games for free or low wages, back stabbings, office gossip, under the table deals. There is really some aspect about the story for everybody in your family to enjoy.

To uncover the treasure ... you'll need first hand interviews with people that interacted with IPB. There probably are three dozen individuals, rgp'ers, operators, suppliers or,disgruntled employees who know it and lived it (life with IPB). Of course all the good stories are hearsay and unprovable. You probably guessed by now that Illinois Pinball & BBB stories are intertwined. Without first understanding IPB, you won't be able to see the real BBB story imo.

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

You might even uncover a reference to the secret BBB Owners group.

I have hosted that "secret BB Owners group" forum since December 2005. There was a forum prior to that hosted by someone else but sadly all of that content is gone AFAIK. I've thought about opening my forum as a read-only for everyone since it's hardly used any more. Last post was April 2017.

People might enjoy perusing the archives...

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from RobertWinter:

I have hosted that "secret BBB Owners group" forum since December 2005. There was a forum prior to that hosted by someone else but sadly all of that content is gone AFAIK. I've thought about opening my forum as a read-only for everyone since it's hardly used any more. Last post was April 2017.
People might enjoy perusing the archives...

Yes bring it on. I recall security into the group was tighter than Fort Knox, and you had to prove that you owned one! Someone other than Robert was running it then. I shamelessly failed to get access, twice because I didn't own a game. oops ...did I say I owned a game, I meant that I want to own one? Denied!!

Years later I was finally able to assault that vault, but as Roberts says by then new posting were scarce and everything prior to 2006 (ten years beyond BBB's release) was unavailable. Shame we can't resurrect that database. Russia if you're listening, can you find the "top secret" BBB Owners group from 1996-2005 years?

1 week later
#14 2 years ago
Quoted from Pinballlew:

For those reading and interested, you can purchase Pins n Vids documentary on pingame journals “Cool Stuff” page.

Apparently they don't have any. Not sure why they'd advertise DVDs for sale with none in stock.

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from Hammerhead:

Apparently they don't have any. Not sure why they'd advertise DVDs for sale with none in stock.

Is this the same as pinball hall of fame? I purchased episode 3 through them (PayPal) at the start of this Thread and got no responses or DVD yet

#16 2 years ago

This is what they told me re: Pins & Vids 3:

"I’m not sure that we have any original ones left but I can send you a copy. I will check around and ask a few people if they have stock.
JIM"

I tried to order from PHOF 6 months ago, eventually Tim got a hold of me and told me he didn't have any left and refunded me my money.

#17 2 years ago

Hey all,

Paul here from Pins and Vids. PV3 was indeed a documentary that Al put together on the BBB project. He and I took a road trip up to IPB to pick up his game at the shipping party and I'm pretty sure he and I touched every single BBB that was shipping. We took some compromising photos with Shaggy's game too, but that's another story.

I put together a little road trip documentary that is an extra on that DVD, but the rest is 100% Al Warner and his experience of being on the list, the wait, etc. Includes interviews with Gene, videos of his announcements at shows, etc.

The first three episodes we did were all done for the Pinball Hall of Fame and sold to help the building fund. After he got the PHOF building, we released our 4th DVD on our own since Tim didn't need it anymore for the building fund. That's why we only sell PV4 on our website. Plus it's a much nicer production than at least the first two. I can barely watch the first two anymore, but we are really proud of PV4 and it's quality.

Let me get with Al and see if we can't get some more PV3 BBB DVDs made since there seems to be interest.

Paul

#18 2 years ago

Looks like Al is game to re-release Episode 3. I'll update this thread when he's got it ready.

#19 2 years ago
Quoted from pkiefert:

Looks like Al is game to re-release Episode 3. I'll update this thread when he's got it ready.

Bring a dozen to SFGE if available.

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from pkiefert:

Hey all,
Paul here from Pins and Vids. PV3 was indeed a documentary that Al put together on the BBB project. He and I took a road trip up to IPB to pick up his game at the shipping party and I'm pretty sure he and I touched every single BBB that was shipping. We took some compromising photos with Shaggy's game too, but that's another story.
I put together a little road trip documentary that is an extra on that DVD, but the rest is 100% Al Warner and his experience of being on the list, the wait, etc. Includes interviews with Gene, videos of his announcements at shows, etc.
The first three episodes we did were all done for the Pinball Hall of Fame and sold to help the building fund. After he got the PHOF building, we released our 4th DVD on our own since Tim didn't need it anymore for the building fund. That's why we only sell PV4 on our website. Plus it's a much nicer production than at least the first two. I can barely watch the first two anymore, but we are really proud of PV4 and it's quality.
Let me get with Al and see if we can't get some more PV3 BBB DVDs made since there seems to be interest.
Paul

Would appreciate this Paul as I paid for one a few weeks ago and have not gotten any responses from PHOF.

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Bring a dozen to SFGE if available.

I don't think Al will be able to get any made by then as he's busy prepping for filming all of the seminars. He told me he'd have it ready by the end of the month, but I wouldn't be surprised if he finished it sooner.

Paul

#22 2 years ago

With SFGE this Friday, it’ll take me a little while to get this ready to send to duplication. The original distribution was Tim Arnold’s DVD duplicator into a generic thin case and in the Mail cheapest way possible. I have Hammerhead’s info from his order to Jim and I’ll fulfill it with the prototype of the re-Release. When the duplicator gets it, you’ll all be able to order from our website at PinsandVids.com.

Quoted from pkiefert:

I don't think Al will be able to get any made by then as he's busy prepping for filming all of the seminars. He told me he'd have it ready by the end of the month, but I wouldn't be surprised if he finished it sooner.
Paul

#23 2 years ago

I still want to see the return of the Mata Hari soap box racer on PV5.

Cheers to all the memories for those that understood Gene's BBB dream and helped make it happen. There were many noteworthy contributors that did not get accolades, some out of personal choice.

1 week later
#24 2 years ago

Our duplicator requires a full art package to make the discs. This includes cover, disc, and insert art. I cheated on the cover art and modified the cover from Pins and Vids IV but at least that is done. The disc and insert shouldn’t take long and I might already have something I can use for them. So soon is my answer.

-1
#26 2 years ago

Would putting it on YouTube this day and age really be that hard? Or are you really looking to cash in on this re-release DVD?

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

I agree there is at least one good story left that is not well documented which would make a Fucking Awesome documentary. During the years between the announcement of BBB and its production, a lot of shit went down at Illinois Pinball. Some was related to BBB directly and other stuff to IPB's practice of running a family owned business. Bumbling incompetence, parts inventory thefts, multiple parties training volunteer labor force to build BBB games for free or low wages, back stabbings, office gossip, under the table deals. There is really some aspect about the story for everybody in your family to enjoy.
To uncover the treasure ... you'll need first hand interviews with people that interacted with IPB. There probably are three dozen individuals, rgp'ers, operators, suppliers or,disgruntled employees who know it and lived it (life with IPB). Of course all the good stories are hearsay and unprovable. You probably guessed by now that Illinois Pinball & BBB stories are intertwined. Without first understanding IPB, you won't be able to see the real BBB story imo.

For those who don't know Gene Cunningham or Illinois Pinball, this would actually make a great episode of American Greed.

Last I heard, Gene and his wife are living in a shithole of a rental unit Gene owns. The only reason they're there and not on the street is it's in such tough shape, the bank didn't want it.

-1
#28 2 years ago

How the mighty have fallen. Gene had everything going for him only 10 years ago.

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from turbo20lbs:

Would putting it on YouTube this day and age really be that hard? Or are you really looking to cash in on this re-release DVD?

I'm sure Al will probably spend at least a dozen hours getting this ready, so I'd hardly say he's looking to cash in.

Al and I didn't make a dime from the first three volumes of Pins and Vids. 100% of the money went to the PHOF.

We do sell PV4, but I think it sells for $12, which is for a fully produced DVD in a shrink-wrapped case, and if you added up all the time we spent on that project, I'm sure we'd make more money working at White Castle. Not to mention all the camera equipment and editing software we purchased along the way.

PV3 (the BBB one) and PV4 were really a step up in production quality too, especially PV4.

We don't do this for the money, but the little bit we do charge for the newer DVDs helps us defray the amount of money we spend on these passion projects.

Paul

#30 2 years ago
Quoted from pkiefert:

We don't do this for the money, but the little bit we do charge for the newer DVDs helps us defray the amount of money we spend on these projects.

Thank you for that !

Can't wait to see it. Like Gene or not. He got them done, and lost money on each one.

LTG : )

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from turbo20lbs:

Would putting it on YouTube this day and age really be that hard? Or are you really looking to cash in on this re-release DVD?

Trust me, Al and the gang are not cashing in at $8 a piece if that's a current price. The DVD's and cases can cost that much by themselves. That's a bargain considering the time it took to edit, put the video together and mail. Not to mention traveling to Gene's small factory and his barn to film some of his collection. As I remember there was video of Pinball 2000's Wizardblocks and Playboy prototypes on it. Its worth every freaking penny in light of the game and history with Gene currently.

Anyone who makes amateur video like Al or Chris Bucci spida1a knows its more of a labor of love than for making money. I dabbled in making a mini documentary for some friends in the paranormal community and its a bigger undertaking than you think creating something of quality that someone will want to buy. If you can make a few bucks to cover your expenses and break even your lucky.

#32 2 years ago

I'd buy one, I love Clay's repair dvd's

#33 2 years ago

The DVDs will be $12 plus shipping and you’ll be able to buy them from the website directly. I am uploading the DVD to the duplicator now. Also, an extended version of Chris Bucci’s review is on the disc. Having been a buyer, and having a close relationship with the Cunninghams, they trusted me not to do anything to de-rail the project. I disseminated information about the project as I could. It was an amazing piece of pinball history. We’ll probably sell less than 10 of these so I’m just doing it for the fun of it.

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from awarner:

The DVDs will be $12 plus shipping and you’ll be able to buy them from the website directly. I am uploading the DVD to the duplicator now. Also, an extended version of Chris Bucci’s review is on the disc. Having been a buyer, and having a close relationship with the Cunninghams, they trusted me not to do anything to de-rail the project. I disseminated information about the project as I could. It was an amazing piece of pinball history. We’ll probably sell less than 10 of these so I’m just doing it for the fun of it.

You will sell at least 11 of these Al, I'll buy one when you get them done. Gene told me about his deal to buy up the WMS pinball division while we at a coin op auction together, he told me it was cool to share the "good news" which I believed it to be. Leading up to that everyone and their brother was clamoring for WMS to re-open the pinball factory, or at least for someone to buy it and try to do the same. From what I was being told that was happening and I was excited to share the good news. And then I got home and posted to RGP... Well, let's just say a lot of the crowd back then were not as excited as I was. Spent a while defending the deal and a guy that I honestly barely knew at all, finally decided it wasn't worth it. People were expecting parts to begin shipping about 20 minutes after the deal was signed, and anything related to spares that were out of stock (IE, because the WMS employees stole most of the good stuff as the business was being shuttered), well, folks gave Gene about 10 days to have all that restocked. When neither thing panned out in the timeframe that was mob-dictated it got ugly after that. That is how IPB started off, you can imagine how BBB production went with the patient folks that make up pinballdom.

When IPB finally starting shipping parts and getting stuff remade you would have thought that all those critics would have given him some credit. But then you would be wrong, or possibly in the wrong hobby if you think that happened. Same goes for when he finally produced every game that he said he would, all while losing money on every single one. In any other hobby/industry Gene would be revered has a hero, only in pinball does all that make you a villain.

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

For those who don't know Gene Cunningham or Illinois Pinball, this would actually make a great episode of American Greed.
Last I heard, Gene and his wife are living in a shithole of a rental unit Gene owns. The only reason they're there and not on the street is it's in such tough shape, the bank didn't want it.

The story of Gene’s downfall is fascinating. I have a 3 hour audio commentary that a friend gave me about what really happened but greed was probably Gene’s biggest problem. He had good intentions but burned almost every relationship he had with people and it really hurt him in the end. It’s a complex story and honestly, he never did anything against me so I’ll not talk against him. He was not a victim though. He brought on what happened to him.

#36 2 years ago

Its going to be an interesting watch - looking forward to getting my copy!

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from awarner:

The story of Gene’s downfall is fascinating. I have a 3 hour audio commentary that a friend gave me about what really happened but greed was probably Gene’s biggest problem. He had good intentions but burned almost every relationship he had with people and it really hurt him in the end. It’s a complex story and honestly, he never did anything against me so I’ll not talk against him. He was not a victim though. He brought on what happened to him.

Will the 3 hr audio commentary be included or released elsewhere?

#39 2 years ago

So I will eventually get my pv3 that I ordered a month back from phof website?

Thanks!

#40 2 years ago
Quoted from Langless28:

So I will eventually get my pv3 that I ordered a month back from phof website?
Thanks!

I don’t know. Tim was cancelling those orders and returning the money. You should contact him about the status.

#41 2 years ago
Quoted from Pinballer73:

Will the 3 hr audio commentary be included or released elsewhere?

I don’t think I can do anything with it. I was having a conversation with someone close to what was happening with Gene on a long drive. We wanted to get notes since it was still fresh in thier head. Like I said Gene caused his own downfall and had he not burned his relationships like he did, he might be in a different place right now.

#42 2 years ago

I’m waiting for the published DVD sample to arrive to test before I link to our sales page. I’d hate to have y’all order it and there be a problem. The on-line order page looks good though. Probably next week sometime.

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from Langless28:

So I will eventually get my pv3 that I ordered a month back from phof website?
Thanks!

I ordered one 6 weeks ago and haven't received it either.. I dont care how long it takes but would like to see it. I'd take a video file emailed too

-3
#44 2 years ago

Seems like your kinda exploiting an old mans life for your own personal gain. The whole story is out there and for FREE!

https://www.polygon.com/features/2017/3/21/14937540/history-of-big-bang-bar-pinball

14
#45 2 years ago
Quoted from gmkalos:

Seems like your kinda exploiting an old mans life for your own personal gain. The whole story is out there and for FREE!
https://www.polygon.com/features/2017/3/21/14937540/history-of-big-bang-bar-pinball

Keep in mind this DVD was done many, many, many years ago. Long before the Polygon article. Probably 8+ years before the Polygon article. And there are things that are incorrect in the polygon article. Al was one of the closest to the project other than team members and former team members.

When we did it so long ago, it was 100% to benefit the Pinball Hall of Fame and their building fund. We gave them the master, they copied the hell out of it and sold it to all. The only reason Al is putting this out there for sale again is that people were asking about it since it appears that both the PHOF and the Pingame Journal do not seem able to ship them anymore.

To this day, neither Al nor I have made a single penny on the BBB documentary, or Pins and Vids Vol 1 and Vol 2 for that matter. And last count there were over 5,000 copies of all four volumes sold.

It's 99% Al's video for Volume 3. I only did the road trip video, he did the rest of it. So I have no problem if he wants to charge $10 for it to try and help compensate for his time to get it back out there for those that want it.

Paul

-6
#46 2 years ago
Quoted from pkiefert:

Keep in mind this DVD was done many, many, many years ago. Long before the Polygon article. Probably 8+ years before the Polygon article. And there are things that are incorrect in the polygon article. Al was one of the closest to the project other than team members and former team members.
When we did it so long ago, it was 100% to benefit the Pinball Hall of Fame and their building fund. We gave them the master, they copied the hell out of it and sold it to all. The only reason Al is putting this out there for sale again is that people were asking about it since it appears that both the PHOF and the Pingame Journal do not seem able to ship them anymore.
To this day, neither Al nor I have made a single penny on the BBB documentary, or Pins and Vids Vol 1 and Vol 2 for that matter. And last count there were over 5,000 copies of all four volumes sold.
It's 99% Al's video for Volume 3. I only did the road trip video, he did the rest of it. So I have no problem if he wants to charge $10 for it to try and help compensate for his time to get it back out there for those that want it.
Paul

Oh so its ok for the PHOF to reep the rewards of Gene's downfall you still made the documentary. King of all douchebags Tim Arnold profited on it and not Gene which is fucked up, considering it's his tumultuous life he lived not any one of you bottom feeders.

Talk about kicking someone when there down!

#47 2 years ago

Sounds like we shouldn’t release the video. OK, Done! I was going to profit maybe $100 by releasing it again. I spent thousands on equipment, and travel to make it. I also was helping keep the buyers informed about what was happening when everything went silent because of some outside efforts to derail the project. The video was made before Gene’s downfall and shows him in a positive light. But I have hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars invested in the video, not anyone else. Obviously, I need to stay off Pinside again.

-16
#48 2 years ago

Who cares how much good money you threw after a bad idea like making this doc in the first place, that's your own stupidity. No matter what you may think the simple fact is that your profiting off someone else's demise which just morally bankrupt man. If you released it for free or profiting Gene which i'm sure he could use in his old age I'd have no problem with it at all. Don't blame Pinside or my criticisms for your bad mistakes 5,000 copies sold went to profit PHOF instead of Gene and that is a absolute travesty the damage has already been done. BBB would just be a footnote in history if it weren't for Gene Cunningham!

#49 2 years ago
Quoted from gmkalos:

Who cares how much good money you threw after a bad idea like making this doc in the first place, that's your own stupidity. No matter what you may think the simple fact is that your profiting off someone else's demise which just morally bankrupt man.

You realize the documentary is about BBB, right? Gene Cunningham is responsible for his own choices and resulting life, right? Movie's directors did not profit from this, they've lost money, right? If you are not interested in learning aboot BBB, why are you in this thread?

-4
#50 2 years ago

You do realize Gene is the one who single handily resurrected BBB right? And this whole entanglement is his story first and foremost!

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