We recently got some time to sit down and have a chat with Jeanette Garcia and Daryl Rodriguez about their latest project, the first in a full-length documentary film series about the history of video games titled World 1-1. They currently have a Kickstarter page to raise funds to help in the creating of World 1-1. On the side, Jeanette teaches at Florida International University and tutors students in writing. Daryl is a videographer who films private local events throughout Miami. By combining their passions for video games, they have begun collaborating to create this film, so naturally, Twinfinite had to know more about this project. After meeting up, we sat down at a table behind the FIU library, and tried our best to ignore the cruel Miami humidity as we got down to business.
So you guys are working on the documentary World 1-1. Do you mind giving the general premise of the film?
Jeanette: It’s going to cover the early years of video games, so we’re going to be covering Atari and our focus is really on the people that were involved, the creators that basically made the company and the games as well.
Daryl: We’re making a documentary on the history of video games. Originally, we wanted to do everything from the beginning to now, but then people told us that that’s just way too much. Aside from that, even though we don’t want to sound so informational like a book that just tells you everything in just piles of information. We wanted to, but there’s no way. Some of the authors we have spoken to ask “Are you including this? Are you including that?,” but it’s just too much for a 60-90 minute film.
How have you guys decided on what exactly to include and exclude in order to get as much information as possible while keeping it entertaining?
Daryl: What we basically did was find the best story the we could tell while trying not to upset the people that notice will be like “You didn’t include this, you didn’t include that.”
Jeanette: We’re focusing on some key events, but it’s not to say we’re not flexible to work past that border. Also, we’re working with the confirmed interviewees that we have, so the stories that they’re willing to tell bring more to the table.
Are you going to be doing these interviews in person or online or how?
Jeanette: Yeah, we’re traveling out to each interviewee, so that’s budgeted in our Kickstarter. We chose that because they’re kind of scattered and we wanted to do them face-to-face.
What was the main inspiration for you guys creating this whole thing anyway?
Daryl: A couple of years ago I started reading on video game history and I just think a bit more in terms of movies, so I thought there should be video content. There actually is content, there’s a show called All Your History Are Belong to Us on YouTube, it’s a good show, but there aren’t really that many documentaries like something you would watch on Netflix, for example. The most popular movie is probably Indie Game: The Movie, and it’s good, but that’s just one. Think of how many documentaries are made on food or whatever, anything there is, but for video games, there aren’t many.
I really like that especially, because video games are a growing medium, no one can really stop it, so you guys are really taking advantage of that. So you guys are avid video game enthusiasts and all?
Jeanette: Yeah, well, right now, we’re not playing much because we’re just 100% dedicated and focused on this film, but I’ve been playing since I was a kid. As time progresses though, you get busier, and you have to make the time, set aside time to play, but I definitely try to play when I can.
Do you guys remember the first game that got you into video games?
Jeanette: For me, it was Super Mario World. I would go over to my neighbor’s house and play it on his SNES.
Daryl: Mine was Super Mario Bros. on the NES, and I started playing it when I was 2 or 3 years old.
Ah nice, me too, but anyway. So a lot of the raised money would be going toward travel expenses to conduct these interviews, but what else do you guys plan on using the money for?
Jeanette: Equipment, just to make the best quality film we can.
Daryl: We have some equipment now, but there’s a lot of much better equipment out there, so it’s all pretty much just for equipment and travel. We’re not focusing on what to do after it’s made, and we’re not really worrying about editing and all that, because we already do that stuff and don’t really need money for it.
I saw on the Kickstarter page that this is planned to be a series. In what kind of format would it be? I know you mentioned that you wanted to try to cover everything from then until now, but it would be too much to cover right away, so where do you think you guys want to stop?
Jeanette: We do want to cover everything from the beginning until now. If everything goes well, then that’s our plan: World 1-1, World 1-2, World 1-3, and so forth. It would probably be around four or five films.
Daryl: I think about four.
Approximately how long in length would these be anyway?
Jeanette: We’re shooting for 60 to 90 minutes for each one.
So you’re planning on getting these out in movie theaters or on DVDs available for purchase or how?
Daryl: We want to do as much as we can. There will be discs, but as far as theater releases, you need a lot of money for that. There are local places here in Miami, but it all takes money. Once we have the movie made, then we can think about distribution.
Jeanette: We are planning on doing Blu-ray and DVD for sure, since it is part of our rewards system, so we have factored the creation of the discs for our backers, but we haven’t actually thought about widespread retail production.
Also, will you just be going through video games specifically or will you cover the entire world of video games like journalism and community?
Jeanette: The way we’re looking at it is in the sense of the history, by what happened, so mostly the games that were produced and the people behind those games, what it was like for them and their experiences. We’re also looking at people today. We have a couple of current journalists on board to get their perspective on what it was playing these games.
Daryl: The way we want to do it, for example this first film, will be the story of what happened then and lead that into what’s happening now. This one ends in the early 80s, just before Nintendo comes into the story. We want to sort of end it at a point where things weren’t looking so good for video games to give a comparison to how things are today. They’re still around today, you know, they’re bigger than ever.
I can see how that’s a nice way to sort of keep people in suspense. I mean, I don’t know the history of video games and, personally, I would love to watch it all like that. It’s not something that’s very well known. As of now though, is there a planned release date that you’re pushing for?
Jeanette: Right now, we’re planning on scheduling the interviews for December and January, and then with editing and everything, we’re probably going to have it out by October of next year. We’re not 100% on that, but that’s what we’re shooting for.
How’s the Kickstarter going along right now?
Jeanette: Right now, we’re at about $2,000, our goal is $15,000, and if we don’t make the $15,000, we get nothing. So we want to make sure we make our goal because we’re very passionate about this and want to make sure we get this done. Right now, we’re promoting like crazy, trying to tell people about our idea, trying to get people to give whatever they can or even just share it with others.
Daryl: By the way, can I give a bit of advice about Kickstarter?
Yeah, of course, of course.
Daryl: If there’s any advice to give for someone who’s trying to start a Kickstarter or a crowdfunding thing, you should prepare like 200%. Also, reach out to people before you go along with it, or give yourself like an extra week just to reach out to people, because then you’ll find yourself doing that work while the clock is running out.
All right, and one last question: Do you guys like pizza?
Jeanette: Oh my god, I love pizza! We eat pizza like crazy.
Daryl: All we know is pizza.
Good, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. That’s the only correct answer.
After our talk with the lovely creators, we were really excited to see them succeed, and to watch the film, of course. The history of video games just isn’t something that is explored as thoroughly as the tons and tons of other documentaries. With the prevalence of video games in our society today, World 1-1 sounds like it would be more than relevant and interesting. Twinfinite wishes the creators the best of luck with their goal! If you would like to help make the World 1-1 film happen, feel free to support them at their Kickstarter page, where you can also read and watch Jeanette and Daryl as they tell you more about the project.