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SRQ Daily Sep 23, 2016

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"We started to look at the purpose of the ambitions we have as kids and the value in maintaining those."

- Joe Granato IV, The New 8-Bit Heroes

[Film]  Documentarians Chase Childhood Dream
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

As an eight-year old child alternately getting lost in the woods behind his house and the fantastical worlds supplied by his trusty Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Joe Granato IV dreamed of making his own video game. He drew characters. He drew dungeons to explore. He drew the world. He even made his own soundtrack. But when Nintendo (apologetically) rejected his submission, the plans and the dream fell to the wayside, abandoned in a tool shed out back. Now, 28 years later, Granato’s vision approaches completion with this weekend’s premiere of an accompanying documentary, The New 8-Bit Heroes, chronicling the two-year and 10,000-mile journey to make a child’s dream a reality within the constraints of a 30-year old entertainment system.

Starting with “$200 and an idea,” Granato assembled a core team comprising local filmmaker and illustrator Austin McKinley and local author E.A.A. Wilson for visual and narrative support, but the question remained of whether anyone would care to play a game made for an obsolete machine or watch a film about its creation. Releasing a trailer to test the waters, the video quickly amassed more than 10,000 views. Then the Kickstarter brought in more than 150 percent of the requested funding and the project garnered a mention in USA Today and a heavy-hitter Hollywood executive producer (revealed in the film) came on board. “It became something much larger than we anticipated,” says Granato.

That was nearly two years ago, and in that time, as the game has progressed with the team slowly but surely surmounting all the constraints proposed by an outdated 8-bit system sporting exponentially less memory than today’s cheapest cell phone, Granato and McKinley have been criss-crossing the country making their documentary and interviewing everyone from video game pundits to people like David Sardy, sound engineer for Nine Inch Nails and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and composer for Hollywood films such as Zombieland and End of Watch, to iconic fantasy author Piers Anthony. And shooting thousands of hours of footage, the story that emerged became about much more than one video game.

“Looking through [the footage], a distinct story that’s very much a human story started to poke up like a fingerprint,” says Granato. “We started to look at the purpose of the ambitions we have as kids and the value in maintaining those.” And the particulars of the project lend themselves to introspection beyond the world of video gaming, he says: “Having to deal with the constraints of the NES system becomes this weird proxy, this parallel for trying to create this game within the constraints of your adult life.”

The New 8-Bit Heroes premieres this Saturday, September 24, at 8pm at Lakewood Ranch Theater. The festivities begin at 6pm, with Granato, McKinley and more in attendance to talk about the project. Attendees will also get to view and even test gameplay from the upcoming game with special levels designed to showcase mechanics, theme and art direction, as well as experiment with the tools created by the team in the building of the game. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased through the website below. 

Pictured: Joe Granato IV (left) and Austin McKinley in a still from "The New 8-Bit Heroes." Photo courtesy of Joe Granato.

The New 8-Bit Heroes

[Good Bite]  Bun in the Oven
Aviel Kanter, aviel.kanter@srqme.com

So it's the first day of fall (yesterday) and you're wondering how to treat your palate to the quintessential autumnal foodie indulgence. Good news: it's baked fresh daily and only three bucks. Even if it's 85 degrees, sun blazing as usual, the cinnamon bun from the Oasis Café begs to be heated up, served just as the icing hat begins to tip and drizzle down its hefty sides—the ultimate cold-weather treat. With gooey cinnamon sugar innards and the ideal amount of classic frosting (aka overflowing), the supersized roll easily provides enough sweet chow to fill the bellies of two lucky patrons...but no judgment if you decide to go it alone.  

The Oasis Cafe, 3542 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-957-1214.

[Recipe]  Lover's Liquor

Less acidic in taste with an overtone of berry flavors from blood orange, the Blood Orange Margarita from Tommy Bahama combines tequila, blood orange liqueur, fresh orange and lime juice for a satisfying sip ideal for fall. With a silky, smooth texture and rich voluptuous color, this cocktail is full of romance.

Ingredients: 1.5 oz. Sauza Gold tequila; 1 oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur; 1 oz. scratch sour; ¼ oz blood orange puree (no dilution); ¼ oz. fresh orange juice; ¼ oz. fresh lime juice.

Pour ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and shake to mix. Pour into a double rocks glass. Garnish with a salted rim and a blood orange wheel or an orange twist.  

Tommy Bahama Restaurant, 300 John Ringling Blvd., 941-388-2888.

[Recognition]  Stamoulis Accepted To Leadership Program

Williams Parker attorney, Elizabeth M. Stamoulis was accepted to the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s class of 2017 Leadership Sarasota County program. The program offers participants an opportunity to foster leadership skills and enhance awareness of the community and its needs. Stamoulis practices in the corporate and intellectual property areas of law.  

Williams Parker

[Philanthropy]  Sarasota YMCA Reorganizes Fundraising Functions

Sarasota Family YMCA, Inc. Chairman Fred Jacobs announced yesterday the Sarasota YMCA will bring fundraising and endowment functions into the Sarasota YMCA Organization. The reorganization is designed to streamline operations, capitalize on the fundraising ability of the Sarasota YMCA board and management while continuing to be responsible stewards for the contributions of donors. Previously, fundraising and endowment functions were handled exclusively by the YMCA Foundation of Sarasota, a separate corporation. 

Sarasota Family YMCA

[Philanthropy ]  Wells Fargo Donates To Habitat For Humanity

Habitat for Humanity Sarasota’s affordable housing mission received a $15,000 donation from Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. Well Fargo employees also provided 60 hours of community service at a Habitat Sarasota build site in the Newtown community on September 2016.  

Habitat for Humanity

[SB2]  "Education and training equals economic development."

Key influencers from Sarasota and Bradenton alike filled The Francis ballroom yesterday at SRQ MEDIA’s SB2: GOOD GROWTH Economic Indicators symposium. Keynote speaker, Tammie Sweet of GrowFL and panelists Joan McGill of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, Jeff Maultsby of Sarasota County, Steve Queior of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and Peter Straw of the Sarasota Manatee Manufacturers Association engaged in a compelling discussion on the economic indicators currently leading our region’s growth and diversification. Special thank you to our keynote speaker, panelists, series sponsors CS&L, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and The Resort at Longboat Key Club, and all who attended yesterday’s motivating event.

Visit clicksrq.com for event photos.  


SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine and edited by Senior Editor Jacob Ogles. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising, please contact Ashley Ryan at 941-365-7702 x211 or at her contact page. To unsubscribe, please click here.

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