Hi Kickstarter Backers,
We have been very cautious over the past 6 months to not mention dates because we don't want to set up another situation where we state a hopeful date and then not meet it.
But we are going to do give you a date at the end of this post!
First, where we are now?
For the scope of this book we set out to document 90 games, as well as construct a loose narrative about how those games came to be; the journey of Gary Stern's pinball career. When we first talked to Stern and insiders in the pinball community, we understood most of the documentation had been done by the company, and a dedicated fan volunteered their archive of thousands upon thousands of 35mm slides and negatives. We believed our job would largely entail scanning slides, cleaning up images in Photoshop, and uncovering long-lost company documents.
Well, there was SOME of that, but once we got going we learned the company had not documented their own older games very well, and all those slides and negatives in the photo archive had been stored in a flooded basement and rendered unusable. We had successfully completed the Kickstarter, hired a writer, interviewed game designers and Stern employees, but we suddenly found ourselves without a high quality photo resource. This clearly put us in a very tough place.
Instead of giving up, we vowed to find these games in the wild and document them ourselves. After all, how hard is it to properly photograph a pinball machine?
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…well, VERY difficult, as it turns out. Simply locating the machines was the first and very daunting challenge. Only 50 or fewer models were produced of some of these games, made decades ago and scattered to the wind! After the machines were located, we needed to get permission to visit the facilities with a crew and lighting setup and take over a large portion of their space to photograph the machines, disrupting business in some cases. An all-day, 10+ hour shoot might result in the proper documentation of 6-8 machines. So we spent a lot of time photographing these things in the wild, from Chicago to Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Wherever we had to go, we went.
We have now documented 80 of the 90 games! This was an EPIC feat. As you probably know, most pinball books have maybe one or two photos of a machine, and most of those photos were not taken by book’s creator. And most books don’t begin to approach this many machines! Documenting this much pinball history is a first!
We aren’t stopping there. In May you told us you would rather have the book be the best it can be, instead of just going to print the way it was. So we are dedicated to making this book the best it can be, which means trying to document ALL of the games in our scope! Thanks to Robert Berk, who owns and organizes the Chicago Expo, we’re on schedule to get a few more this month. After that we be down to 6 undocumented games:
2. Lost in Space
3. Striker Xtreme
4. Sharkey’s Shootout
If you have these games and want to document them (and have your personal game in the book), please get in touch! If not, we do have some material for these games, but not as much as we would like.
Either way, our pledge to you is that we will have this book done before the end of this year! No matter what! We know you have waited. We know it has been a long road, (believe us, we’ve been on that road, too)! And we know you want and deserve a great book. So we pledge to make this book amazing and get it done before the end of the year!
Please let us know if you own any of the six games above!
Thank you all for all your support,
Dameon and Joe, and the Paperflock Team