ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

My Five Movies —

While I registered the domain name in 2002, production in earnest of GET LAMP started in October of 2005. It is now February of 2008. Assume for fun that it will take into the summer to finish this, which is starting to look cheery and optimistic. This means it will have taken three years to make this film. The previous film, BBS Documentary, was started in October of 2001 and started showing up in homes in May of 2005. That’s about four years.

I assume the arcade documentary, when that rolls around in earnest, will be at this same rate, 2-4 years. At that point I’ll be in my 40s.

Cleaving things like this, I end up thinking I’ve probably got five movies in me. One’s finished, one is almost done. One is planned and somewhat in production. That leaves probably two I don’t know about yet.

This is me assuming that by the time I’m about 50 I won’t want to be making this films. Considering how unpredictable life is, I could be quite wrong and I’ll drop dead in between interviews when I’m 70. Or maybe this one is the last one I’ll ever finish. I don’t know, after all.

Anyway, it’s an interesting thing to ponder, every once in a while, what those two movies would be. I look at the vectors of other documentary guys and how they transitioned over time, and I am concerned I will end up with a dreary political film of some sort, trying to “do something” with my documentary skills to get a “message” out there. Here’s hoping I don’t do that.

Or I could move into fictional filmmaking. Like a guy who’s tasted the thrill of building his own engine who then rents a car, it just doesn’t seem like it’d be as much fun. But others have done it to great success and even seemed to enjoy themselves. I couldn’t see myself wandering the hallways in LA trying to get it made, though; LA is where I visit my buddies who live out there, and I never set foot in any of the “stuff”. In fact, I made it a point to bittorrent under the Hollywood sign.

Oh, speaking of bad investments, actually… that trip to Hollywood was part of something called the DeviantArt Summit, an event held in this beautiful theater that had been around forever. We got in essentially free because of RaD Man’s connections; we thought we’d make major bank on the whole thing, so we invested in this really swank setup for selling my documentary and some ACiD related material. I think I paid $600 for the machine rental and the big BBS Documentary poster, and of course flight and hotel. I sold two copies. Two. But here’s where you have to take in the whole value of things, because I got to meet Michael Robertson of MP3.COM fame (gave him a copy), Bruce Sterling (gave HIM a copy), verified the real story of Sonique, stayed at the amazing Roosevelt Hotel, ate at some fine fine restaurants, drove over and hung out with Tom Jennings to get him his copies of the documentary, and generally had an amazing time. So do we judge the “value” by the sales or what happened? I go by what happened.

I’m at no loss of suggestions of films I should do; many of them are along the line of “Usenet” or “Internet Culture” or “Slashdot”. I could see “Usenet” but even that’d be a little much for me, and it doesn’t make my heart and head burn. That heartburn is where the energy comes to see something to the end. Every day I work on my little text adventure documentary, I am full of pure glee. Months of research and travel and work and I still thrill at it; I don’t know many subjects besides arcades that will have this effect.

I don’t spend too much time considering those mystery films or what my film career will do or where it goes; I’m just happy that after making my dad drop eighty grand into my college education for film, I actually made back that 80 grand doing film. That’s got to count for something.

And the best part: When I’m done with these five movies, people will look at my IMDB entry and go “Wow, he didn’t do much of anything.”

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  1. Jeff says:

    “verified the real story of Sonique”

    The media player for Windows, the singer, or something else?

    Also: what about a docu about 4chan or something of that ilk?

  2. Patrick says:

    I’m very nostalgic of the good old
    It was a social network back when there was no such word, and it offered 10 times more than MySpace does for artists, and did it a lot better and 10 years earlier.


  3. Flack says:

    Two things I think of when I think about “Jason Scott” are “digital archivist” and “Wikipedia critic.” I wonder if either of those could be massaged into an interesting documentary?

  4. G3ll says:

    Hey dude.

    Well this is really sad. You are a great man and you deserve your share of our history. Make your mark.

  5. “verified the real story of Sonique”
    The media player for Windows, the singer, or something else?
    Also: what about a docu about 4chan or something of that ilk?