Loading Doc: Posers & Video Game Junkies
August 11, 2015 by Todd Lillethun
POSER: 100 DAYS OF FITNESS
Chicago director Kenneth Yoder put himself in front of the camera to explore the culture of bodybuilding in his new documentary POSER: 100 DAYS OF FITNESS, currently in production. On July 18 he reached a new milestone when he finished in the top 5 in the Transformational Division of the World Beauty Fashion and Fitness contest, qualifying him to move on to the Word Championship in Las Vegas this Friday, August 14. Yoder says he cast himself because he wanted to follow someone who he knew would finish the challenge, and who could grant unlimited access to the often grueling process. He hit the gym 12 – 13 times per week under the watchful eye of personal trainer Dusten Nelson, who qualified in the same contest in the competitive division, while maintaining a high protein, low-carb diet. “I ate twice as much food as I usually eat,” he says. “It’s a lot of work to eat that much food.” After four months, he dropped 25 lbs. of fat and gained 10 lbs. of muscle, but what put him over the top in the contest was his “compelling story,” which will be revealed in the film.
INSERT COIN: INSIDE MIDWAY’S 90’S REVOLUTION
Director Josh Tsui is entering the final days of his Kickstarter campaign for INSERT COIN: INSIDE MIDWAY’S 90’S REVOLUTION, a documentary about Chicago’s video game powerhouse Midway Games. Tsui worked for Midway and other game companies in Chicago through most of the 1990’s, and his familiarity with all the major players and the origins of blockbusters such as Mortal Combat and NBA Jam gives the film a unique perspective, though he does not appear in the film himself. Video games started as a side project to Midway’s pinball business, and their eventual success helped establish Chicago as the U.S. game capital from the mid-80’s through the mid-90’s. “People are always surprised how so many big games came from such a small studio,” says Tsui. So far, he has been shooting and editing everything himself, but if he meets his fundraising goal, he’ll be able to hire crew, purchase archival footage, and travel to shoot interviews across the country with former coworkers such as Matt Booty, an audio engineer who helped create Mindcraft, (purchased by Microsoft for 2.5 billion in 2014), and John Vignocchi, who is now Vice President of Disney Interactive. Tsui continues to work on video games, directing green screen sequences and marketing videos, while producing INSERT COIN in his spare time.
WAX TRAX! RECORDS: A MONUMENTARY
The Kickstarter campaign for the Wax Trax! Records documentary successfully crossed the finish line on July 25 with nearly double its fundraising goal. Producer Julia Nash currently runs the legendary record label that was started by her father Jim Nash and his partner Dannie Flesher, and decided to create the documentary after producing three sold-out retrospective concerts in 2011. She partnered with Joe Losurdo and Christina Tillman from Regressive Films after seeing their documentary YOU WEREN’T THERE: A HISTORY OF CHICAGO PUNK 1977 – 1984. WAX TRAX! Records artists include famous industrial acts such as Front 242, Ministry, Laibach, and My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, and the film will profile the label’s early years as it cultivated its signature sound. Since production has already been completed, the funds will be used for post-production, music clearances, and obtaining archival footage, with the goal of submitting to SXSW in 2016.
Todd Lillethun is a freelance producer and editor at Flicker Effects and student advisor at Northwestern University's MFA program for Documentary Media.