We’re getting very close to The Moment; which is when we go from where this Documentary is an idea, a dream, a concept, to where it is a product and I am a seller. In that way, we cleave its existence into two pieces.
In the time up to now, when there will be products in my home to go out to people who buy them (and I have to say, Buy! Buy! Buy!), there was no documentary. I had no films I could point to having done, no previous works I could show beyond websites and speeches, and only photo albums and related material from the production to show I was real.
In the beginning was Andrew Mudd. The Mudd Man dates back to about five years ago, to an ill-fated idea I had where I was going to sell textfiles.com t-shirts. I decided that this would cause me legal and other issues, so I decided against it. Andrew, however, had already sent me money for it. In fact, I had his money and put it into a folder and promptly forgot about it. He was the only guy who did so.
Eventually, I started work on the documentary, in June of 2001. (It really has been that long.) And I found Andrew’s money, and contacted him, and he said “Hey, just put it towards the documentary.” So here, five years later, he finally gets something for the cash he put in. So Andrew’s got everyone beat.
Then come the people who, when I started work on the production and there was no idea if it would even be affordable, much less a sellable concern, donated money. Just flat sent me cash on the theory that the textfiles.com guy would probably make something pretty good with a camera. They gave me money ranging from $1 to $111. They all get copies, regardless of what they paid, and everyone over $50 gets two. The $111 guy gets three. So there’s an incentive to donate; people who sent me $5 get a $50 documentary, including free shipping. But they also sent me money 3 years ago.
Then we get to the pre-orders, people who have been sending me money since October of 2004, a full seven months ago, who bought copies of the documentary, again, sight unseen. Based on what, if you look at it that way, constitutes a prospectus, a huge “to be determined”. So that is a very special amount of trust right there.
Some people have known me for years. Some people never knew me except by my work on textfiles.com, and some people didn’t even know that. So that’s a lot of trust to be working under, and don’t think I don’t know and appreciate it.
From this point on, things change, of course. It WAS people who were willing to walk around scaffolding to see what was going to be and drop some cash, and now it’ll be people who see the neon sign and stop in for a drink. What was a guy’s little project is now a company’s product. The company is the same guy from the little project (I have not sold this documentary to somebody), but still, it’s a company.
When people order, there will be a stock of this product in-house (literally) that then gets shipped to them. I will be pushing and promoting this project throughout 2005 and into 2006. I will be talking about it in varying tones, based on audience and venue, and I will be likely engaged in debates and discussions. I will be speaking from some position of authority, having spoken to many of the pioneers of BBSes and the people who moved and shook BBSes throughout the arc of its existence (an arc that has not ended). In other words, I am a published documentarian/historian with a product to sell and a history to discuss and otherwise be involved in.
But before today, I was not that; I was just a guy. And everyone who believed enough in that guy to give him your hard-earned money in the hope he would do good, I would like to thank, one more time.
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