Immediately inspired by his first encounter with Chinatown Fair, and after hearing word that it would soon close, Vincent began a Kickstarter campaign. He raised about $30,000 and the campaign introduced the project to gaming sites and communities that spread word about the film.
“I knew that if I could tell a story and maybe contribute something to the culture of New York, it would make me feel like more of a part of the city,” Vincent explained, “So many people move to New York and they use the city up in some sort of way – they either leave or they’re taking and taking. And I wanted to make something of value that kind of gives back to the community.”
After shooting over 100 hours of footage, Vincent cut the film to a tight 74 minutes, documenting the history of the arcade, its closing, and its reopening under new ownership. It features interviews, b-roll, archival footage, and dream sequences that reveal the personal stories of arcade-goers and the impact it had on their lives.
The film also includes an original score by award-winning film composer Gil Talmi, whom Vincent just happened to meet while renting a desk in the same Brooklyn studio. Inspired by Chinatown Fair’s 1980s atmosphere, Talmi bought a Roland Synthesizer and created a retro score that enhances the nostalgia and wistfulness of the film. The score stands out because, as Vincent described, it is used “in a very cinematic, narrative style” which is atypical to documentary filmmaking.
In addition to holding a Q&A after screening ‘The Lost Arcade,’ Vincent met with students in Professor Dave Bussan’s ‘Intro Documentary Film’ course. Students had an opportunity to ask Vincent about the film, life after Denison, and even pitch ideas for their own documentaries as final projects in the class.
Vincent shared with them what is next after ‘The Lost Arcade,’ explaining that he will continue to do commercial film work as well as prep for his next project, a narrative feature film, with writer/producer Irene Chin. He also emphasized the importance of practicing one’s film skills – be it cinematography, directing, or editing – and explained the importance of simple networking: “I‘m walking away with a new community of people to work with on the next project. You never know who you’ll meet and what it will lead to.”
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