I haven’t been surprised by suggestions for documentaries I should make, but I have been surprised by suggestions for documentaries I should be making after I’ve announced I’m doing three at once. Nobody does three at once as a single person, and then people want me to do even more. I’m tagged out for some time to come in the realm of covering more subjects than the ones I am, although perhaps a few ones people want are involved in the three I’m doing. For example, 6502 is going to be covering programming in a way that I think has never been attempted before – TAPE is going in directions involving the medium that are sorely in need of coverage and haven’t been anywhere. But still, it’s not a documentary on the Demoscene (one suggestion) or Ham Radio (another) or Arduinos (that came in a while ago). So, I’ve thought about this, and I think what people are really saying is that they wish that a documentary was made on a subject of importance to them, but made in the style of the BBS Documentary or GET LAMP. Fair enough – what you really want is a Jason Scott Machine you can throw a documentary subject into and let it grind like crazy for a few years and than make this great thing. That’s certainly what’s happened before.
So, here’s a compromise.
There’s a movie coming out in just a few weeks or thereabouts. It’s called Going Cardboard, or The Board Game Documentary, and it’s directed by Lorien Green, who set off a few years back to film a movie about Euro Board Games (or Designer Board Games), the people who play them and the business behind them, especially the designers.
So, I didn’t make this film. I didn’t come up with the subject, didn’t decide who would be in it, what parts of the story would be covered, any of that. This wasn’t a movie I was making anytime soon. Or ever. But Lorien wanted to, and she asked if I’d consult. So I did, mostly giving advice here and there, and then, after she’d cut together a rough edit of the movie, I went in and did another few rounds of editing and polish. This week, we’re doing the mastering of the DVD, and then it goes off to the waiting packages that were printed a while ago. The packaging, by the way, includes a new board game by legendary designer Reiner Knizia, who appears in the movie as well as a whole host of characters.
Again, this isn’t my film, but it was definitely hooked up to the Jason Scott Machine. It has my influence here and there, and from the premiere people have already commented it has the same feel as one of my films. So there you go, a solution.
Besides buying Lorien’s film when it goes pre-sale, You should consider this option available: If you want to make a geeky film and ask for advice, here I am. If you want me to edit it or do intense work, I do charge and want to get some level of paid, but I like accomplishment-based pay, so we can chat.
I’m likely never to do the subjects that people want if I’m not already doing them (although who knows what the distant future brings) – but I can help others who want to approach them. It’s not hard to make documentaries – it’s just a long marathon and not everyone wants to run it.
Until the e-mail buzzes, I’ll stick to my load of three at once. Production began officially earlier this month, and there goes a few years of my life. Oh, and sorry for burying the lead, but there’s now a new weblog called documentary.textfiles.com that covers my work with production of these films – people who invested want updates and it’s probably not good for ASCII to get clogged up with it going forward.
See you in the docs.
Categorised as: documentary
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