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Growing the 8 Bit Generation - Kickstarter

RobertB

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ChrisCwmbran

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Initially at a glance I thought it was perhaps a pretty US-centric view of the era, but having re-read the page it actually sounds pretty interesting.

I really hope this gets fully funded.
 
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jac_goudsmit

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I've been following their Youtube channel for a while and I'm happy the Kickstarter is finally going. In case you don't know, this was supposed to be a documentary series in 2010 or so and it got canceled after all the interviews were already recorded (and this is quite possibly the last interview with Jack Tramiel). The production company folded, and people who had already paid to receive DVDs, lost their money.

The videos are very impressive in quality but the fragment that they put on the KS page somehow has the interview audio channels out of phase or something; I don't remember noticing that before (and I'm very picky about that kind of stuff). Also, the tone that that video sets is very anti-Apple and pro-Commodore. I have nothing against that because I was always a fan of Commodore, but if you name your video "the 8-bit generation", you're setting expectations of a well-rounded picture of the entire generation, not just Commodore. I didn't like the Triumph Of The Nerds documentary because it completely ignored Commodore, but I also won't like if these guys are going Commodore all the way and nothing else.

We'll see. I'm very excited about it either way and I backed it.

===Jac
 

geoffm3

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I am interested in this, but Let me give a counterpoint.

I'm generally leery of kickstarters with nothing offered in return. In the case of this one, there's absolutely nothing offered in return other than the money will be used for post-production. My question is, with the high quality appearance of the preview videos, I find it hard to believe that they couldn't produce the thing on their own and get someone like HBO to show it. Are kickstarters given a discount or complimentary copy of the finished product for certain donation levels? It doesn't appear to be the case.
 

KC9UDX

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The way I read it, you do get to download a 'complimentary' copy. And you get your name in the credits if above a certain amount, whatever good that does. Beyond that you can get a copy of the entire final interview with Tramiel, some extra footage, etc.. At least that's what I remember reading there.

There were quite a bit of details about the whole works.
 

geoffm3

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The way I read it, you do get to download a 'complimentary' copy. And you get your name in the credits if above a certain amount, whatever good that does. Beyond that you can get a copy of the entire final interview with Tramiel, some extra footage, etc.. At least that's what I remember reading there.

There were quite a bit of details about the whole works.

Ah, they have apparently added some detail that wasn't present before when I checked it out. that's much better.
 

KC9UDX

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Ah, they have apparently added some detail that wasn't present before when I checked it out. that's much better.

Oddly, I seem to get a completely different site loading it "mobile" versus "desktop".
 

RobertB

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I find it hard to believe that they couldn't produce the thing on their own and get someone like HBO to show it.
The nearly-complete Viva Amiga film took about 4 years to finish (and filmmaker/producer Zach Weddington was still filming clips at the Amiga 30th in California a few weeks ago) As seen on the Kickstarter page of the Viva Amiga film at

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vivaamiga/viva-amiga-the-documentary-film

it cost about $29, 000 to get it off the ground, and Zach has admitted it cost him more since he threw his own money into the project to get it finished. So, the cost for Growing the 8 Bit Generation is in the same ballpark, and this is for a budget production. The cost of post-production cannot be overstated. Hiring the professionals and renting/buying the equipment to complete the video can be daunting, especially for amateurs who think in terms of tens of dollars instead of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Zach has kept his cost relatively low, because he was a producer for Comcast, and he knew about the costs and about his resources. Those behind Growing the 8 Bit Generation do not necessarily have the same experience and resources.

As for showing it on HBO, that is easier said than done. Small, independent productions don't seem to be what HBO is looking for. I am sure that HBO wants to make a profit (i.e., attract viewers to whatever it shows), and Growing the 8 Bit Generation is aimed at a very specific audience, probably not the widespread, general audience that HBO would like to get. I've hinted to Zach about putting out his Viva Amiga video out, perhaps on the Science Channel or the Discovery Channel. Breaking into one of those networks is difficult, especially if you've never had a track record of getting videos published on any network. Of course, getting a video onto a network would mean signing contracts, and that means lawyers, maybe agents, and more discussion of rights/royalties.

I'm glad I'm just an amateur,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
 

kyodai

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Love the idea, but 25 grand for cutting? And come on, an 8-bit documentary doesn't really need VFX, ain't no Jurassic park here... As i said - love the idea and looking forward to the Tramiel interview, but cutting and mixing... You could have found loads of pros that would have done it for free... I'd have invested some money for traveling to other continents and talk to 8-Bit Gurus from Germany and Japan and spent the money on dubbing/translating. Also more 8-Bit gfx artists, musicians (Chris Huelsbeck???) and programmers (Magnetic fields or Psygnosis people?) would have been cool.

Well as it is - still awesome documentary and I'll prolly give the minimum pledge if i can spare it (thankfully its already funded anyways), but shame you didn't involve the communities before launching the kickstarter, i think loads of work and good ideas could have been added to it for free... :sad:
 

RobertB

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Yesterday, the one-hour, 39-minute documentary was released on-line for all Kickstarter backers! Wow! Very professionally done! It was great hearing from Jack Tramiel, Lenard Tramiel, Chuck Peddle, Al Charpentier, Jeff Minter, Bil Herd, Andy Finkel, Michael Tomczyk, Steve Wozniak, and more.

The documentary began with the calculator age and then expanded to the KIM-1 followed by computer developments in Apple, Commodore, Tandy/Radio Shack, Sinclair, and a little bit of Texas Instruments and Atari. Most of the emphasis was on Commodore with lots of content on the PET, VIC-20, and C64 (but no mention of the Plus/4 and C128, as those were post-Tramiel).

Technically, the sound balance was better than the preview, and Bil Herd gave a forceful narration instead of the unknown British person in the preview. However, I did catch three errors (!) with a video-editing placeholder which read, "Narrator". :)

Bonus -- there is a separate, 59-minute video entitled, "The Last Jack Tramiel Interview".

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
 

KC9UDX

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I wish I had a good way to watch it!

The only machine I have that it's practical to watch it on won't play videos anymore.
 
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