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Former Ice Pilots NWT star turns to NHL ’94 in new film

The series finale for Ice Pilots NWT may have aired last month, but that doesn’t mean general manager and star Mikey McBryan is leaving the television industry.

Instead, McBryan has been busy travelling throughout western Canada and the United States as part of an upcoming documentary called Pixelated Heroes, which centres around EA Sports’ NHL ’94 for Sega Genesis.

McBryan admits life hasn’t quite been the same since Ice Pilots NWT aired its last episode on December 17.

“It’s different,” McBryan said. “The last six years of my life were dedicated to Buffalo Airways and the production of Ice Pilots NWT so it’s a real change.

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“I didn’t go to film school but living with camera guys for that amount of time, some stuff brushes off on you.”

Moose FM caught up with McBryan after Ice Pilots NWT was shortlisted for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Factual Program or Series (PDF).

He says his focus now is writing, producing and directing Pixelated Heroes, which will examine the roots of NHL ’94 and its rise to popularity.

The documentary will also feature head-to-head match-ups between professional and amateur gamers, professional hockey players and even some of the game’s designers.

“I always loved NHL ’94 growing up in Hay River and I was pretty good,” McBryan told Moose FM. “There was no one who could really touch me in the South Slave region.

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“In the last decade I haven’t lost, but going up against these professional guys online I get slaughtered, I don’t even hold a candle to these guys. There’s definitely room for improvement.”

McBryan has travelled throughout western Canada and even made a stop in Arizona as part of the documentary, where he played against BJ Crombeen and Mike Smith of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.

But the former star of Ice Pilots NWT won’t stop there.

“I’m shooting for the stars. The two main guys I’m looking for are Jeremy Roenick and Vince Vaughn. If anyone remembers Swingers there’s a scene where they’re playing NHL ’94 and it was a comedic moment.

“I know Vince is a huge Blackhawks fan and a Roenick fan so I’m going to go down to Chicago or Hollywood and get an interview with him.

“I’ve also found one of the guys who designed the game so I’m going to visit him. He’s retired and living in a barn in Maine.”

Since its inception, McBryan says Pixelated Heroes has had great support.

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“Theo from the band Gob took a full day out to help me and Armoury Studios in Vancouver gave me their studio for a full afternoon to redo the theme of the game.

“So I’ve been working with everyone from Canadian rockstars to NHL legends and designers of the game, it’s just been awesome.

“For the first time I want to discover the link between video games and the athletes that play them. It’s a documentary but even I don’t even know what I’ll find.”

For the latest on Pixelated Heroes, click here.

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