Continuing where we left off last week, I asked Kevin Tostado, Producer/Director of Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story why he spent 3 years of his life (probably 3 or 4% of his life) making this film.
Kevin – “As a kid growing up, MONOPOLY was a game that was always present in my house. It’s probably one of the first games I played in which I had to handle cash, as well as having to negotiate trades with my opponents. By the time I was 12, I could no longer get my family to play with me as they felt I took the game too seriously. It even got to the point where I was studying The Monopoly Companion, written by Phil Orbanes, to try to prepare to compete at the next US Monopoly Championship. And yes, they actually have national and world championships for the game of Monopoly every 4 years. “Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story” arose out of my passion for Monopoly as well as my desire to capture and create compelling stories to share with audiences.
With this year being the 75th anniversary of the game first being released by Parker Brothers, it’s a great time to reflect on how Monopoly has become a part of our global culture and continues to bring families together (and sometimes tear them apart). In all my travels for the film, no matter where I went, I could always find someone who knew the game of Monopoly, and while they may have been speaking a different language, the game is played the same around the world and serves as its own language.
It’s somewhat surprising how many exciting things Monopoly has been a part of over the years. For instance, during World War II, the Red Cross brought sets of Monopoly to POW camps that contained hidden maps, compasses, and currency to help the prisoners escape. People also go out of their way to set wild and wacky Monopoly records: longest game in an elevator, longest underwater game, the world’s largest permanent Monopoly board. And collecting the thousands of different Monopoly editions has truly become its own passion for many fans of the game.
During the three years we spent making this documentary, we filmed in nine countries all over the world, 19 US states plus DC, and shot over 300 hours of footage. Along the way, there were so many great stories that we captured and it’s always a challenge to figure out which stories are the most compelling ones to share with our audiences. As a big fan of the game myself, it’s been a lot of fun to get to spend time and form friendships with some of the best players from all over the globe, and I’ve finally begun competing in local tournaments myself to see if I can put into practice the many tips and tricks I’ve learned about how to improve my Monopoly gameplay.
We’re currently putting the finishing touches on the film and are awaiting word about which film festivals this fall will be showing our film. Anyone interested in finding out more about how they can see our film in the coming months can follow us on Twitter (@MonopolyDoc) and join our mailing list at MonopolyDocumentary.com.”