Sun Mar 5, 2023 – 12:00 pm | Powerhouse
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Pinball tells the story of Roger Sharpe, the GQ journalist and real-life pinball wizard who in 1976 helped overturn New York City’s 35-year ban on pinball.
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It started as a simple, quirky historical footnote: a long-haired, impressively mustachioed twentysomething “saves pinball” by calling his shot in front of a handful of crusty, skeptical politicians. By proving it’s a game of skill, Roger Sharpe helped lift a ban on pinball (a BAN! On PINBALL!) that had been on the books for 35 years in New York City.
Like a cross between Babe Ruth and Moses, Roger set pinball free.
But after talking with Roger for hours, we came to understand a deeper story that had yet to be told. Roger may have saved pinball, but the path he took to get there ultimately rescued him. At its core, this is a coming of age story about the value of taking chances and how commitment can be the most rewarding gamble of all.
As Roger says, “Life is defined by risk: those you take and those you don’t. The ball is gonna drain no matter what, so find what you want and take a shot.”
And, be honest—that mustache is fantastic.
Austin Bragg, Meredith Bragg
Brothers Austin and Meredith Bragg have spent years channeling their sibling rivalry into award-winning content.
Prior to Pinball, The Bragg Brothers wrote and directed the MPI Original comedic short A Piece of Cake starring Rich Sommer (Mad Men), which was nominated for Best Narrative Short at the Tribeca Film Festival and has gone on to win several awards, including Best Comedy and the Audience Choice Award in Comedy at the Oscar-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival, presented by Heartland Film.
Previously, they sold their comedic web series, The Defenders of Stan, to Warner Bros. Television and co-wrote the pilot. In 2016 they won the HP Masters of Short Film competition at the Cannes Film Festival.
As producers for Reason TV, their work has garnered three first place wins for Best Comedy at the Los Angeles Press Club Awards and a National Magazine Award nomination. The Braggs have produced projects for Turner Broadcasting, Visa, Atlas Obscura, AT&T, The Smithsonian, The Washington Post, Current TV, and two pilots for Warner Bros.’s online division.
Pinball is their debut narrative feature.