ASCII by Jason Scott

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Packages and Slipcovers Arrive, DVDs Soon —

So I woke up to the Fedex guy ringing my doorbell and found that he had 11 boxes for me.

9 of them are DVD cases and 2 are slipcovers. Just so we’re all clear, I am still waiting on the actual DVDs to arrive, which is supposed to happen this week.

Goodness, there’s a lot of them. I’m in the process of autographing the copies I said I would autograph, to match them with labels and then wait for the DVDs to show so that I can pop them in and mail these things out.

Unfortunately, some boxes arrived damaged… but luckily, not enough to affect pre-orders. I am working this all out with the shippers, and the reason this happened is because I’ve been monkey-wrenching my printer’s procedures to force a drop shipment of DVDs and cases so I could assemble them myself, faster than their people who are assigned to the job. So they basically sent me a bunch of boxes of boxes in a weird way and Fedex was a tad rough with them, and so now I have to go file a claim with Fedex.

I only bring this up because it’s an interesting insight into “The Process”. I’m sure for people who do this sort of work all day, it’s all part of the job; it’s “oh, this box got dinged, we do procedure X Y Z and we’re back in business.” But of course this is all the first time through for me so I go bugnuts. I actually made the mistake of calling the printers before a time-out period, and I ended up having to call back about an hour later so they could see I was Bruce Banner again.

“The Process” is usually hidden from people because a person with an item to provide wants to make their customer/audience feel like it’s all magic, all going on behind the scenes and you don’t have to worry your nice little head about this headache or that headache. Since I don’t mind my life serving as a warning to others, I’ve tried to be transparent about the whole thing as I’ve gone. I expect to do a post-mortem discussion/essay about what went well and what didn’t, and I hope people use that to some degree in their own projects. Rest assured, “The Process” has a lot of ups and downs and what the list in your head might have as a single item, like “get copies of the DVD” or “send it to the printer”, turns out to be 20 little steps that all require attention before that one single step is really “done”.

So here we are with this special shipment has already filled my dining room with boxes.

I can assure you it is quite surreal to stare down hundreds of copies of your “product”, when that product was nothing but a dream a while earlier, a goal or plan that you had ideas about but nothing more. To go from sitting in my old apartment going “I’m going to make a movie!” to standing near an open box with dozens of “the movie” looking expectantly back… it’s quite a feeling.

And I ordered a lot more than just these. Someone asked me recently if they’d “missed the boat”, that I’d made the same amount of DVDs to match the number of pre-orders and after that, they were “done” and there wouldn’t be any more. Let me be the first to assure everyone… I HAVE PLENTY. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds. Plenty for everyone. And if I sell out, I will make more.

My goal had always been to tell the story of the BBS as best I could, or, if I hadn’t told some parts as well as people liked, inspire them to improve upon the foundation I’d set up. To that end, after spending years making this mini-series, I intend to do my best to get it to as many people as possible. And if, once you’ve seen this documentary, feel you want to, tell as many people about it as you think can stand the news. I’ll ensure I have copies ready for them.

I am going to spend a lot time talking to folks about this work. I will be speaking to a lot of people in hallways, on stages, on radio and wherever else they’ll let me talk. I expect to have some heated arguments and I know I’ll continue to get the interesting mix of accolades and put-downs I’ve gotten so far.

It’s going to be quite fun to do so. Because this is a solid, sizeable “thing”. At five and a half hours of episodes, I would hope I’d covered an awful lot. There’s a range of emotions and situations and statements and stories in there, far greater than I would have imagined. And now they’re protected for the forseeable future, soon to blossom on screens and laptops around the world. Good stuff.

Update: Amazon repaired my entry so that it no longer wrongly claims these are Region 1 DVDs (they are regionless and copy protection-less). I have to say that Amazon has impressed me with their responsiveness, actions, and ease of use. I thought this was going to be hell incarnate, and it was heaven.

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  1. phil says:

    Nice vintage radio in the background… what is it specifically?

  2. Jason Scott says:

    Good eye; always good to know people scan the photos that closely.

    The radio is a early 1940’s Zenith 10-S-669.

    It was a gift some years ago from my Grandfather, John Olchowy, who died last September and who the documentary is dedicated to.