One or two of you may remember a post from February this year which I called 'Why We Wargame'. The post had some interesting responses, but its inspiration was a documentary film called Miniature Wargaming - The Movie'.
I was fascinated by the concept of the film as soon as I learnt about it. Like many wargamers, my first reaction was - you must be joking. Closely followed by - I bet that will be a heap of crap. But I have learnt during this year that what resulted looks like a thoroughly professional, eye-catching film that really sets out to say something about the hobby.
Fortunately, it wasn't the film a lot of gamers seemed to want - a history of the hobby along with details of how miniature wargames are played, a film that would have been of interest mostly to people who are already wargamers. Instead it seemed to focus on what the hobby (and by extension all hobbies) meant to people and how it affected their lives. We all spend a fair amount of time thinking about and participating in our hobby, so why not take a bit of time to think through why we do it?
The film clearly concentrated on British gamers and the British hobby. The main problem is, the film was released in 2019, won some awards, was released to the public in the U.S, but remains unreleased in this country. As far as I'm aware, the only Brits who have seen it are those who participated in the crowd-funding which got the film made.
From what I hear and have found online, the other surprising thing about the movie is how little real interest it seemed to generate amongst UK wargamers. Here was a professional movie that was worth watching, made about our hobby, and no one seemed to care much.
So I very much hope it will be released soon in this country. In fact, I emailed director Joe Piddington via the film's website to ask what was going on. He was kind enough to send a pretty full reply, and in short he is waiting on the film's distributor's in the UK to complete negotiations with people like Sky and Amazon - a process that is entirely beyond his control. Lockdown was apparently part of the problem, and reading between the lines I could sense Joe's frustration at the film remaining unavailable in the country of its birth. This exchange was in August, and Joe mentioned that the intention was to get the film out this year. Well, nothing yet. I can only say that as an ordinary punter it all feels a bit weird.
Anyway, my fingers remain crossed. It is sad that this film seems to have been forgotten in the UK before it even became available to watch. I hope the situation may be resolved soon, and I wish Joe all the luck in the world. Meanwhile, see this review on Little Wars TV
for a bit more info and an interview with Joe.
'Til next time!