Blackpool producer has sights set on Hollywood with new retro gaming film 'The Button Bashers'

A new feature film created by a Blackpool production company is nearing completion after five years - and could be coming to the big screen.

By Rebecca Beardmore
Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 12:30 pm

"The Button Bashers" will take viewers back in time to the 80s, to the rise of computer gaming and its development scene.

The film, created at Elerby Studios, based on Peel Road, Blackpool is a "documentary-drama" shot with actors from all over the North West.

Owner of Elerby Studios, Lee Bolton, wrote, directed and funded the film himself.

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"The Button Bashers" is a new film created by Blackpool company Elerby Studios, and tells the story of the rise in gaming during the 80's. Photo: Lorraine Ayrton Photography 2021.

He moved to his home in Waterloo Road, South Shore from Manchester after deciding the coast was the best place for his creativity.

Now his hard work has paid off, as he is "in talks" with a US production company for the distribution of The Button Bashers.

Lee, 49, said: "We used to have a business in Bolton but I moved up to Blackpool to be near the sea, and it's a great place to be creative.

"This film has been my passionate project at the studio, I grew up with 80's computer games.

Lee Bolton, owner of Elerby Studios in Blackpool. Photo: Lorraine Ayrton Photography 2021.

"We do all sorts of stuff but once a year we do a big project, and this is mainly about the guys who were behind the rise in gaming during that time.

"It's a documentary drama, so we've got interviews with the people who were involved in making games in their back bedrooms, speaking about how they made a lot of money in a short space of time, and then we have actors too.

"Now it's a multi-billion industry. It's really interesting, it's like a piece of history.

"A lot of the guys we've included in the film are still massive names in the industry, they're still making games for PS5 and Xbox."

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An interview with US game programmer Eugene Jarvis, the brain behind the cult 80's classic game Defender, is included in the film, along with other game creators who played their parts in the success of arcade games.

Lee hoped to release the film towards the end of 2021, but remained tight-lipped about its distribution due to being engaged in talks with producers in the US.

"It's crazy, this is a life-changing opportunity for us," Lee continued.

"The people we're speaking to about distributing it like it because they like the UK humour in it.

"The opportunities we've been given as an independent company really are life-changing, it's just next-level for us."