The Kickstarter Blog

The Process: Letterpress

  1. Open-Sourcing the Code from Our 2013 Year in Review (and the White House's 2014)

    Top: a president. Bottom: a co-worker.
    Top: a president. Bottom: a co-worker.

    Last December, as 2014 was packing its bags, we received a pretty flattering request from the White House. Their digital office was creating a presentation reviewing the administration’s work over the past year, and they had a favor to ask: would we mind if they built on some code we’d written for our own 2013 “Year in Kickstarter?”

    We didn’t mind at all, so we hopped on the phone, sorted out what they needed, and bundled up a bit of code for them to use. You can take a look at the results in their “2014: The Year in Review” — a very handsome presentation, if you ask us!

    Of course, the folks at the White House are far from the only people who can find a use for a nice, all-in-one, full-screen slideshow. And so long as we had the whole thing cleaned up and ready to share, it only seemed right to release the bundle as open-source code. Here goes: you can find the code and documentation on GitHub, right over here. And you can click the image below for a quick tour of what's included.

    Have fun with it! The design has some great features, from the ones that make things simple (it’s mobile-friendly, it’s equipped for sharing, and you can link to individual slides) to the ones that let you get more complex (background color can be controlled for each slide, videos load predictively, and full-screen modal dialogs let you embed pages using iframes).

    The White House, you’ll be happy to hear, sent over a very nice thank-you note. And we can’t say it wasn’t a nice feeling to get to the end of their presentation and see this:

  2. Talking Shop: Preserving Film History

    "If film history has proved anything, it's that work that was deemed very important fades into obscurity, and work that was totally ignored becomes very important," says Jake Perlin, moderator of this panel on the importance of restoration and preservation. It's impossible to predict what will be considered an influential work in the future, and sometimes things get lost to time.

    This round-table we hosted a few weeks back features five panelists on the subject of highlighting forgotten works. The panelists also shared clips from the works themselves, including:

    • A lost Oreo commercial (at 7:26
    • A film about a Brooklyn neighborhood as it was in 1984 (at 12:56
    • Forgotten classics of African-American cinema (at 24:17), 
    • The unfinished insanity of low-budget director James Bryan's last film (at 35:27)
    • Director Kelly Reichardt's first film River of Grass (at 43:38)
    • German exploitation classic Bloody Friday (at 51:55)

    Featured speakers are Elijah Drenner of Subkultur, Christopher Allen of UnionDocs, Zack Carlson of Bleeding Skull, Bret Wood and Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) of Kino Lorber, Debra McClutchy of Oscilloscope Labs, and Jake Perlin of Cinema Conservancy (as moderator).

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