My Chasing Ghosts @ Sundance 2007 Scrapbook

As you may or may not know, I did the computer animated scenes and graphics/titling work for the indie film Chasing Ghosts. I attended the world premiere of the film at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. This is my informal scrapbook of the event.

[Director] Ruchti has taken care to make the pic accessible even to viewers who've never before picked up a joystick, as Peter Hirschberg's 3-D animations provide a visually engrossing primer on all the different games, from "Asteroids" to "Millipede." - Variety.com Mixing a wealth of reports devoting news time to the craze, a worthy 80s soundtrack and some fun computer rendering of the game's rules, Chasing Ghosts is a true bit of cinematic time travel. - eFilmCritic.com

"The coolest part of the doc had to be the animated segues. They'd be talking about a specific game and then we'd see this 3D animation that totally looks like the world. Let's take Space Invaders. The camera flies around the world, first on you moving back and forth, hiding behind the hills as the lines of aliens creep down the page and then up the ranks of the aliens as they're blasted. There are at least a half-dozen of those, each representing a different game. Too cool." - Reviewer Quint on Aint It Cool News "Videogames have evolved dramatically since their invention in the late 1960s and rise to popularity in the early '80s. And while the graphics were rudimentary and the concepts simplistic, the games were easy to learn and fun. [Director] Ruchti models some of the games with 3-D animation to explain their simple and, in the case of games like "Beserk," silly objectives. "Chasing Ghosts" reminds us of the time when the basics were plenty fun and the kings of the arcade could rule for several hours (or days) on one quarter." - Film Threat


Someone looking for tickets to Chasing Ghosts on Craigslist
Photo: N/A

Someone looking for tickets to Chasing Ghosts on Craigslist
Photo: N/A

Scan of an article on Chasing Ghosts in the Daily Breeze newspaper (page 1 & 2)
Photo: Francis Mariani

My "crew" badge
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

My "Filmmaker" tickets for a showing of Chasing Ghosts, plus a "Patron" ticket.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

My wife and kids made these cool baggage tags for me. Sure was easy to spot on the pickup carousel!
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

A Sundance booth at the Salt Lake City Airport
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

A sign greeting people at the Salt Lake City Airport
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Large sign I designed for the Chasing Ghosts Arcade.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

The Chasing Ghosts Arcade
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

The Chasing Ghosts Arcade
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Large sign greeting visitors to the Chasing Ghosts Arcade. This is the famous LIFE Magazine photo in from of the Twin Galaxies Arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa. The movie is centered around this photo and the people and events surrounding it.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

High score board in the Chasing Ghosts Arcade
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Ben Gold, his wife, and Mark Robichek at the Premiere screening
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

It was cold in Park City, but I had actually expected it to be much colder!
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

In the "Green Room", awaiting the start of the Premiere
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

In the "Green Room", awaiting the start of the Premiere
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Walter Day and Ben Gold. In the "Green Room", awaiting the start of the Premiere
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Seated at the Premiere screening. I was pretty excited at this point!
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Seated at the Premiere screening. I was pretty excited at this point!
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Q&A Session after the Premiere screening.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

A vintage Twin Galaxies poster.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Converting Pacman into Ms.Pacman.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Ms.Pacman roams the streets in front of the Chasing Ghosts Arcade.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Mall Entrance to the Chasing Ghosts Arcade
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Ben Gold and Mark Robichek play some games in the arcade!
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Sam Blackburn arrives at the arcade!
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

The Arcade
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Some of the various Chasing Ghosts swag that I designed for the premiere.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

A stack of fold-up "Chasing Ghosts" arcade game handouts I designed for the premiere.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Sam Blackburn watches Mark Robichek playing
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Sam Blackburn playing some Robotron
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Sundance inverviews Producer Michael Verrechia, while Mark Robichek records him being interviewed (and while I photographed him!).
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Director Lincoln Ruchti and Mark Robichek competing in Berzerk (and I think Lincoln won!)
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Park City, Main Street
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Wow, all three of them together. Ben Gold, Mark Robichek, and Sam Blackburn.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Walter Day in front of the Chasing Ghosts Arcade high score board.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Walter brought a ton of vintage Twin Galaxies posters to give away as raffle prizes. Here's the first winner! (sorry - didn't get the name!)
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Sign out in front of the Chasing Ghosts Arcade. Yeah, I did the graphics for the sign. :-)
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Walter Day and Pacman handing out Chasing Ghosts postcards to people passing by on the street.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

An unidentified player in the arcade with a full set of Chasing Ghosts buttons on their backback.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Assembling one of the fold up Chasing Ghosts Game hand-outs
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

The site of the second showing of Chasing Ghosts.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Walter Day, Ben Gold, Mark Robichek, Sam Blackburn, and Pacman at the second showing of the film.
Photo: Peter Hirschberg

Mark Robichek speaking at the premiere of the film
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Director Lincoln Ruchti speaking at the premiere of the film
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Director Lincoln Ruchti
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Producer Michael Verrechia
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Producer Michael Verrechia
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Animator Peter Hirschberg (me)
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Director Lincoln Ruchti
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Director Lincoln Ruchti
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Director Lincoln Ruchti and Producer Michael Verrechia
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Cinematographer Lisa Wiegand
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Director Lincoln Ruchti and Producer Michael Verrechia take questions after the premiere
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Director Lincoln Ruchti at the premiere
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Director Lincoln Ruchti and Producer Michael Verrechia take questions after the premiere
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Walter Day speaking after the premiere
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Walter Day speaking after the premiere
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Walter Day speaking after the premiere
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Producer Michael Verrechia speaking after the premiere
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Ben Gold speaking after the premiere, Director Lincoln Ruchti in the background
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Walter Day and Ben Gold speaking after the premiere
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Walter Day, Ben Gold, Mark Robichek, Sam Blackburn, and Pacman at the second showing of the film.
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Peter Hirschberg, Lincoln Ruchti, Michael Verrechia, Walter Day, Ben Gold, Mark Robichek, Sam Blackburn, John Panichello, and Pacman at the second showing of the film.
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Trevor Groth, Senior Programmer for Sundance introducing the second showing of the film
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Director Lincoln Ruchti speaks at the second showing of the film.
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

John Pannichello, Michael Verrechia, Lincoln Ruchti, Lisa Wiegand and John Orphan
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Mark Robichek, Michael Verrechia, producer, Walter Day, Lincoln Ruchti, director, Sam Blackburn and Ben Gold
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Mark Robichek, Michael Verrechia, producer, Walter Day, Lincoln Ruchti, director, Sam Blackburn and Ben Gold
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Mark Robichek, "Frogger" World Champion
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Peter Hirschberg, animator, Lincoln Ruchti, director, Michael Verrechia, producer and John Panichello, executive producer
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Peter Hirschberg, animator, Lincoln Ruchti, director, Michael Verrechia, producer and John Panichello, executive producer
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

John Orphan
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

The Chasing Ghosts Arcade, at 333 Main Street
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

The Chasing Ghosts Arcade, at 333 Main Street
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

The Chasing Ghosts Arcade, at 333 Main Street
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

The Chasing Ghosts Arcade, at 333 Main Street
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

The Chasing Ghosts Arcade, at 333 Main Street
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

The Chasing Ghosts Arcade, at 333 Main Street
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

Director Lincoln Ruchti and Paul Rudd
Photo: Copyright 2007 WireImage. All Rights Reserved.

One of the mountain passes you had to drive through to get from Salt Lake City to the Festival in Park City
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Producer Michael Verrechia and Director Lincoln Ruchti
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Ben Gold, Walter Day, Director Lincoln Ruchti and Producer Michael Verrechia in front of the Chasing Ghosts Arcade on Main Street.
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Mark Robichek getting makeup for a photo shoot.
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Mark Robichek and Ben Gold playing games in the Chasing Ghosts Arcade
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Producer Michael Verrechia getting interviewed
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Mark Robichek and Peter Hirschberg. Sam took this picture of me taking a picture of Mark, who was filming Michael Verrechia being interviewed. :-)
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Director Lincoln Ruchti talking to someone unidentified
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Park City decked out for Sundance
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Mark Robichek and Ben Gold's wife chat in the theater lobby at the 2nd showing of Chasing Ghosts.
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Me (Peter Hirschberg) in the theater lobby at the 2nd showing of Chasing Ghosts. Woot! I found an arcade! Unfortunately it was just a storage room.
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Sam Blackburn and Producer Michael Verrechia in the theater lobby at the 2nd showing of Chasing Ghosts.
Photo: Sam Blackburn

The theater lobby at the 2nd showing of Chasing Ghosts.
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Ben Gold about to get eaten by Pacman
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Peter Hirschberg, Pacman, Lincoln Ruchti, John Pannichello and Walter Day, posing for pictures.
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Peter Hirschberg, Pacman, Lincoln Ruchti, John Pannichello, posing for pictures.
Photo: Sam Blackburn

Peter Hirschberg, Pacman, Lincoln Ruchti, John Pannichello, posing for pictures.
Photo: Sam Blackburn