Linotype: The Film is a documentary about the Linotype typecasting machine and its search for a place amongst modern communication.
UPDATE: We have reached our goal! Thank you to all that have pledged.
Click here to see our thank you video.
All pledges above the goal will continue to make the film even better. Any additional funds will help with multi-language sub-titling, DVD packaging, and additional expenses that will arise with finishing the film.
About the Film
Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype typecasting machine. Called the "Eighth Wonder of the World" by Thomas Edison, the Linotype revolutionized printing and society. Very few people know about the inventor, his fascinating machine, or the revolution it sparked. The Linotype brought about a change in communication as dramatic as Twitter today.
The film tells the surprisingly emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world. We have discovered that the Linotype was more than just a machine - it was a career, a skill, and a passion. Even in the face of modern technology, many still believe it to be the best way to create beautiful typography.
Although the film is about a machine from the past, we have found that the Linotype is still a relevant piece of printing technology that has something to say about the future of communication and news.
Current Film Status
After the original successful Kickstarter campaign, we spent six months traveling the United States and Germany interviewing people and gathering amazing footage for the film. We have interviewed 45 people and had 26 separate shoots. Now that shooting is complete, we are in need of funds to finish post-production.
Because of the generous support of our initial Kickstarter backers, we were able to expand the scope of the film to include people and locations not in our original plan. This has been extremely beneficial and has guaranteed that our production will be the definitive film on the subject.
Why We Need Your Help
Honestly, our original film budget was a bit naive. Thankfully, the Kickstarter community gave above and beyond our goal and the money raised was exactly the amount of money we needed to fund the filming portion of the film.
Post-production is where the film really takes shape. We need your help with the expenses of editing, color-correction, sound mixing, motion graphics, music acquisition and archival footage. With your help, we can deliver the highest quality production possible.
The film will premiere in early 2012 and screenings of the film will tour around the world shortly thereafter. The DVD will be released in the spring of 2012.
A few of the people we have interviewed
- Matthew Carter - type designer & former Linotype employee
- Frank Romano - preeminent Linotype historian
- Carol Knopes - former editor at USA Today
- Carl Schlesinger - former New York Times Linotype operator
- Bill Boarman - Head Printer of the United States
- Nadine Chahine - type designer & Arabic specialist at Linotype
- Klaus Trefzer - curator of German Linotype museum
View the video below to see an excerpts from our interview footage:
History of the Linotype
In 1886 a German watchmaker named Ottmar Mergenthaler changed the world by inventing the Linotype machine. Called “The Eighth Wonder of the World" by Thomas Edison, the Linotype revolutionized printing and society.
Suddenly, newspapers could be printed daily, books could be produced faster and cheaper, and one typesetter could do the work of six men composing type by hand. The Linotype sparked an increase in speed of communication that can only be compared to the invention of the internet. It can be said that the Linotype was the Twitter of 1886.
Although these machines were revolutionary, new technology began to supersede the Linotype in the 1960s, and over the following decades they were scrapped and melted down by the thousands. Today, very few machines are still in existence.
The Linotype Today
The highly skilled operators of the Linotype are in a battle against time. If their skills are not passed along to a new generation of operators, the machine will die out completely. This stalwart group of former operators, historians, book printers, graphic designers, and concerned folks are doing everything they can to save the Linotype from the scrap yard.
Some see this as a fool’s errand, or as a hobby for those remembering their glory days. And some say it’s more than that...
For more information and to see more images, visit www.linotypefilm.com
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, so, assuming the project is successful, your account will not be charged until the end of the 30 days (September 9th).
All rewards include shipping, but it would be a huge help to us if you live internationally to add an additional $5 on to the reward level you choose. It is not necessary, but it helps us out greatly.
Certainly! You can pledge on this new project and then email the director (address on our website) and he can update your status/reward level on the original project.
Yes! Region-specific DVDs are dumb.
All of the physical rewards (excluding the final film DVD or download) will be sent out in September of 2011. Once the film is officially released (estimated spring 2012), the DVD or download will be sent to you.
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Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Thank you postcard: Letterpressed postcard mailed to you for your support of the film.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Digital download of the film: A download of the final film (iPhone resolution, no extras or bonus features).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Physical copy of DVD and small poster: A pre-order of the final film (including all extras and bonus features). Along with the the DVD, you will receive a 6.5" x 10" letterpressed poster.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
"Linotype: The Film" Linotype slug: Along with the DVD & small poster, you will receive an actual "Line-o-type" metal line of type cast on the Linotype with the name of the film. Set in 14pt. Memphis Bold on a Model 5 Linotype.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $125 or moreYou selected
21 backers Limited (66 left of 87)
Limited-edition 11.5" x 19" poster: Along with the DVD, small poster and Linotype slug, you will receive a limited-edition two-color letterpressed poster printed, signed and numbered by the director.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
End credit "Thank You" - Along with the DVD, small & large posters, and Linotype slug, you will have your name listed in the end credits of the film as a supporter of the film. Your name on the silver-screen!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
Personalized Linotype metal slug & T-Shirt: Along with everything in the $250 package above, you will receive a customized metal slug of your choosing. It can be your name, your website, or anything that isn't too crass (limited to 45 characters including spaces). T-Shirt is printed on a high-quality, sustainable shirt in your size.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
2 backers All gone!
Assistant Producer credit: Along with the above rewards, your name or company will be listed as "Assistant Producer" at the end of the film.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
1 backer All gone!
Producer credit: Along with the above rewards, your name or company will be listed as "Producer" in the film.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)