[stella] Stella at 20: Volume 1 is complete

Subject: [stella] Stella at 20: Volume 1 is complete
From: Glenn Saunders <cybpunks@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 12:35:21 -0700
I'd like to announce to Stellalist that Stella at 20: Volume 1 is now complete.

In the end there is no intro to computers or 2600 architectural tutorial on it. We'll have to do something along those lines later on, either as a companion video, multimedia CDROM presentation, book, or something online. I think it's well worth doing. On the other hand, it maintains the purity of being a narrator-less piece, told purely in the words of the participants. So while some of Joe Decuir's explanations are incomplete, it's still in his own words within the roundtable setting. By never cutting away to voiceovers with animated diagrams, I think it flows a little bit better.

But on the practical side, it was just too much for me to handle on a workload and an intellectual basis (not being really that familiar with the 2600 system at the actual assembly or gate level). I know the gist of how it works, but I'm far from being qualified to draft a document on how to write for it. I was winding up rewriting the Stella programmer's guide and thinking, why bother if the resources are already available online?

Remember, these were very off the cuff, stream of consciousness moments. For most of the Nolan sessions, for the most part, they happened automatically like hitting the play button on the VCR. "Tell me how the 2600 came to be" was about as much as I needed to say, and they would start spinning stories for a half hour straight. They were sharing stories not so much for me or the camera, but between their peers, which is a very unique feel to it that I haven't seen elsewhere, although I _tried_ to duplicate it for Arcade Party Pak.

I think the parts of Stella at 20 that wind up being the most unique, and compelling, are the human interest stories, the stuff that only these people know, that nobody else knew, and I've been holding onto for the last 3 years. Aside from a handful of people who have seen the raw footage, nobody's seen some of this stuff, and there are, in my opinion, quite a few "revelations" here about who deserves credit for what in bringing out the 2600 and making it and Atari a success. I'm not going to spoil it for anybody, but I think most of you will be surprised by what you learn in this tape!

I'm really looking forward to hearing what people think of the tape. I hope that people watch it knowing that it is primarily a no-nonsense document of an event, the gathering at Nolan's predominantly, and therefore I focused on the side of historical completeness rather than coherency or technical flashiness.

In the three years since I shot it I expanded well beyond the IEEE article and in the end I just wanted to have a series of set-pieces that jumped around and covered a lot of different issues above and beyond just the 2600's longevity.

I think, while the lack of tutorials makes it hard for a novice to follow some of it, that there is still something for everybody into the Atari to enjoy here.

Glenn Saunders - Producer - Cyberpunks Entertainment
Personal homepage: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/1698
Cyberpunks Entertainment: http://cyberpunks.uni.cc

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