VectorZone: My $200 Short Film Set in 1986
Updated: Jan 25, 2022
Back in 2005, I had a vision that I had to get out of my head. The dream was to create a short film, on a virtually non-existent budget, about an evil arcade game. Beginning with the urban legend of Polybius (which I can tell you for a fact is a hoax), I wrote a script. It was just for fun, and it wasn't enough. The film had to be made. I knew I could do it. The biggest challenge? It was a period piece, set in the '80s, of course. With the aide of some close friends and a wad of two hundred one dollar bills, VectorZone was born. The total elapsed effort for this twenty-minute film spanned over two years. I didn't even own a video camera; all the equipment was borrowed from my friend Rich LaVere. I edited the footage at my old college, at the graces of micro-budget film legend Mark Polonia. This little production boasts an original score courtesy of Luke Worle, whom I have known since high school. All of these guys make appearances in the movie.
Looking back, it's about as good as I could have hoped for. I made some rookie mistakes, and took some creative licenses (I knew Tetris wasn't around in 1986, but couldn't turn down the production value of another arcade cabinet), but I'm still really proud of what was created with almost no funding. Ultimately, I dragged over 100 people into participating in the making of this "twenty-minute epic." It was posted on YouTube so long ago, that it had to be divided into two parts. It stinks to have to click on part two, but I'm going to ask you to stick with it. I wrote two other screenplays after this, one of which was adapted into a Sci-Fi anthology called The Dinosaur Chronicles, by none other than Mark Polonia.
VectorZone was a big enough deal that it got coverage in the local paper. (Maybe it was just a slow news day.) The story features a photo of me at Time-Out, an arcade where I was working at the time. Of course, the venue fit the theme of the movie perfectly, and I've never been one to shy away from exploitation. You can see a really solid documentary I made about this arcade here.
Here it is: My baby, VectorZone.