Three Upcoming Geek Films: Jason Scott Three-Pack

Hey there, I’m famous. To put it in terms more palatable to the audience of this site, I’m as famous as Erik Wolpaw was when he wrote that he was as famous as John Stamos. And, to clarify, I’m as famous as Erik was then, not now, after he made two of the greatest things in the history of computer games: Portal 2 and Jonathan Mak confused.

No, I’m just kidding, I’m not famous, or even Internet-famous, not like this goddamn cat. I’ll tell you who is, though — that cat’s owner, and one of my favorite independent film makers: Jason Scott.

Full disclosure: I was in one of Jason’s movies. But it was about text adventures, and it’s not like there’s this huge potential cast list there. He wasn’t exactly going to be able to interview Bob Saget and an Olson Twin, for instance. Although I’m sure Bob would have figured out a way to make “Leather Goddesses of Phobos” dry heave. So please let me table the transparent conflict of interest for a moment: while my childish desire for attention would have had me agree to be in one of his movies if he were stirring up a batch of frottage-fueled shag porn, many of my colleagues would have declined if he wasn’t fair, dedicated, talented and meticulous. Oh, and if he didn’t make great movies.

And he does! Look, I love documentaries that are thinly-veiled, vicious character attacks. I can’t get enough when it comes to Bluray transparent smears. Everybody loves watching Billy Mitchell be made an asshole, even though it’s probably unfair, because everything in “The King of Kong” was as fake as “2001: A Space Odyssey” or the NASA moon landings, depending on how you roll. Everyone is going to love Michael Moore ripping whoever the next Republican president is, assuming the six Navy SEALs guarding him don’t slice him up like a tauntaun after what’s sure to be a mild and unassuming winter. But the tar-and-feather doc is the documentary equivalent of a popcorn flick.

But sometimes a well-researched movie pays off. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe the opposite of a popcorn flick. Looking at Rotten Tomatoes, there are movies with made-up words like “Colombiana,” which sounds like something even the Eragon cretin would have turned his nose at. But whatever those proper documentaries are called, Jason makes them, and he’s launched a Kickstarter to make three more. One on Arcades, one on the 6502 processor, and one on the medium of TAPE.

I think these are great ideas for films. I used to be an Assembly programmer for Cyrix, and together, we had some good times making you finish last in Quake. I’d put my arm around you if a processor from 1998 that lacked floating point math could “do” arms. With that in mind, programmers who worked in Assembly for systems that families actually enjoyed, like the 6502-based Apple II and Atari 800, are dying to tell their stories. The arcade documentary is about the spirit of the place, not necessarily arcade games themselves. I’m trying to purchase the cut footage of Robert Mruczek’s expansive vagina frescoes from the makers of “Chasing Ghosts,” but Jason’s replies back must have been accidentally flagged by gmail. I don’t know anything about magnetic tape, except that after the Nazis invented it in 1928, they’ve finally made enough of it to completely encircle your mom.

I’m confident that you’ll want to support these films as you learn more. Jason releases his movies via a Creative Commons license. They’re impossible to “steal.” An agreement he made with Thom Henderson let Thom host an episode of one of Jason’s previous movies, BBS: The Documentary, on-line. Click here and then click on the link that gives you the episode. I initially avoided watching the episode on PKZIP because I thought it would be the most boring story ever told, except for every episode of “Star Trek: Voyager.”

The PKZIP one is actually the best episode of the bunch. If you don’t think so, that’s cool, but if you dig it like I think you will, well, this film maker is going to create three more documentaries with proper funding. He doesn’t get anything through Kickstarter if the full amount isn’t pledged. At $33 grand each it might sound like a lot, but he’s just a guy, not HBO here. He needs to fly to find these people. There’s other stuff, as well: he funded an excursion to the actual cave that “Colossal Cave” was based on for GET LAMP. For all I know, for the TAPE documentary, he’s planning on going to the building where Watergate happened and where you liberal scum effectively stabbed America to death. I don’t think these expenses are that crazy for the product we’ll get. I put up $250 in the name of Caltrops Dot Com to support him, and I hope you will find it within you to pledge funds, too.

Ice Cream Jonsey