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Ragtop's Video Archive

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Ragtop’s Video Archive
Aliens vs Predators DVD
Review by Bill Mills

Over the course of just a few years the sport of paintball has gone from having just a handful of videos available into an activity that is literally awash with videos.  As new production companies have jumped into the game competition has increased both production quality, and the number of events that are covered on video for cablecast, the web and VHS or DVD.

Tournament paintball has been the most popular subject for videos, in part because of its popularity and fan base, but also because it is much easier to produce a coherent video from a tournament than a scenario game.  Even though scenario games continue to grow in popularity, video producers have found that it is extremely challenging to shoot a scenario with an affordable sized production crew, and then take that footage and assemble it into a program that is not only interesting, but actually conveys the story of what happened at the game.

Thomas Fletcher of Ocala, FL has taken on that challenge with Ragtop’s Video Archive.  Ocala is one of scenario paintball’s hotspots, as it is the home of both Wayne Dollack 24 Hour scenarios and Old River Paintball.

Compared to most paintball videos on the market, the image quality and camera work of the Aliens vs Predator’s CD falls short.  However, the DVD balances that out with the addition of a 3D animated narrator.  The cloaked figure introduced the video and then takes the viewers to a computer generated virtual battle field map.  At various breaks in the video the narrator and map reappear.  While markers representing the marines, aliens, and predators slide between bases on the map, the narrator’s voice explains what is happening, from players attacking a base, to why they need to move props from one location to another.  The map and narrator ad an innovative new dimension that allows the story to be told.

Fletcher makes the videos available in both DVD versions, as well as VCDs which, while reduced in video quality, can be viewed on most computers with a standard CD-ROM drive.  The Aliens vs. Predator DVD does not use menus, it simply jumps into the story with the narrator’s introduction.  The scenario took place in early June 2003 and was already available on DVD in the start of July, which is an impressive turn around time considering the amount of 3D animation involved.  Photos, and often video clips frm Ragtop Video DVDs can be found on the Ragtop’s Video Archive web site at


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