My Brush with Greatness


Last updated: 2021.11.22

Remember a long time ago when Commodore did those "Stevie" Amiga television ads? Remember how astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Gordon Cooper, and Scott Carpenter come to the door asking for Stevie? Remember how Stevie's upstairs with an Amiga screwing around with some animation of a space station docking simulation?

This is that animation.

Silent Software got contracted in 1989 to do some of the on-screen Amiga animation sequences for the ads, and I got to do this one.

Man, what an intense two weeks those were. We stayed up all night banging these things out, shouting, "Hurry up!" at 14 MHz '020-based machines cranking these things out so that we could have them ready by the next morning to bring over to the studio to be used in that day's shoot.

I also got to see how television ads are made. It's chaotic. It's boring. It's tense. Massive amounts of money are spent and dozens of people are marshalled to assure that a page pops out of a printer at precisely the right moment. It's easy for nerves to get frayed. But the director, Matthew Robins, was unbelievably cool and kept things orderly without being at all abusive.

Oh yeah. The ad agency that Commodore retained to cook up these ads had a really weird name: Messner Vetere Berger Carey Schmetterer. (To which I typically added, "Spong Wapkaplet Looseliver Vendetta and Prang," from the Monty Python sketch.)

This animation is split into two pieces, because it wouldn't fit on a single floppy as one file. The animation was storyboarded by Reichart Von Wolfsheild, who also drew the texture maps for the ships and the planet. Unfortunately, there is no "source code" for this animation, as it was made using Turbo Silver -- the progenitor to Impulse's Imagine -- and is so completely unwieldy and alien that it's just not worth uploading it here. Trust me; I looked...

Animation Info

# Frames Frame Rate Resolution # Colors Continuous Loop
48 12 FPS 320 * 200 4096 (HAM) No

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