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App creation has become the new art form for our generation. This is the story of the cultural phenomenon that touches all our lives. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on July 31, 2014.

App creation has become the new art form for our generation. This is the story of the cultural phenomenon that touches all our lives.

About this project

Thanks to our generous backers, App: The Human Story is now in production until the fall of 2015. To follow the journey, order the film and other merchandise, or to contact the filmmakers about sponsorships visit appdocumentary.com.

Soundtrack Goal Unlocked: Back at any level and receive App's soundtrack. Estimated delivery is December 2015. 

We are adding two additional App Stories to each of the $50, $75, $100, and $150 pledge levels. This will be the lowest price point you'll be able to get the à la carte App Stories ever.

For our $300+ backers you will be receiving our “icon” t-shirt. It’s a top notch American Apparel Tri-Blend. It’s also super minimal, just the way you like it. We’ll even cover shipping in the continental US.

Our third stretch goal is a stiff drink and we're working hard to reach it tonight! We are so incredibly humbled by your response to our little project that only existed as a dream between us, our families, and our friends. Thank you for your support, help spreading the word, passion, and all around encouragement. We are incredibly excited to make this film and take you on the journey. Tonight we're catching up with our families and toasting you.   

Our Indie and Corporate sponsorships are all sold out. Thank You! 

We are still looking for some $600, $1,200 and $2,000 sponsor level backers with great products and services. 

We know ROI is really important for our sponsors so we will be actively promoting our Kickstarter sponsors for the next year-and-a-half on our website, Twitter, Facebook, Backer Updates and other App related outlets. Also, each sponsor will have a permanent home on our website.

During the next year and a half of production and post production, we will be creating and releasing exclusive video content for App that will be wrapped in a "brought to you by" sponsor wrapper.

For our Indie and Corporate Sponsors, we are ready and willing to work together on creating a short, docu-style video where we highlight your product or service. Message us here on Kickstarter to discuss the details. Jed is an experienced designer and developer while I've made videos for companies like the respected Sandwich Video. We're confident we can deliver quality assets for our sponsors. 

Tech Crunch - "...there’s nothing quite like App: The Human Story’s attempt to turn their [podcasters' and bloggers'] open discussions into a single piece of media that anyone can get into without context."

Daring Fireball - "If you have any interest in apps as an art form and a new mass market medium of pop culture, you should back this film. I think it’s going to be great."

MacStories - "I believe this is a project that matters because the stories of people behind apps go largely unnoticed."

furbo.org - "By funding this project, you’re also giving your future self a rare gift...You’re going to look back at this time in your career fondly and wish you remembered more about it."

Marco.org - "Great work by great people. Fund it."

Engadget - "$300 will get you the raw conversations of every person the filmmakers spoke with. And that kind of insight could well be priceless."

Since the first computer, humanity has been fashioning digital tools to extend our capabilities and augment our reality. Thanks to these digital applications, mankind has has surged forward in understanding of ourselves, the world, and what lies beyond.

With the advances in mobile computing over the past decade, software applications have captured the attention of the globe. Although some apps seem trivial and inconsequential, the details of our software say a lot about who we are as humans. Apps have changed how we live our lives and they will undoubtedly shape our future.

Just as apps have made their way to the world stage, a small community of developers has emerged as modern day artisans. Their obsession over the details of every interaction and pixel has given these unlikely leaders a voice in shaping software in a way that respects what it means to be human.

At its core, App: The Human Story is a vehicle to look at what it means to be human in a world of technology.

We've been working in earnest on the film for about a year. With your support, we will be able to greatly accelerate the process and finish the film by the end of next year.

As documentarians, we have the privilege of sitting down with the world's foremost app creators—along with some up-and-comers—and capturing their story. Below is the list of people who have signed on so far.

Note: The current cast is largely comprised of people focused on iOS. However, we fully recognize that apps extend beyond this corner of the ecosystem and are actively pursuing interviews for other platforms. Stay tuned!

Here are some faces you may recognize. We're honored that they've agreed to be a part of this project.

John Gruber - A prolific thinker and writer on all things Apple and design at daringfireball.net. John is also one third of the award winning software company Q-Branch.

Marco Arment - Known for building great products (Tumblr, Instapaper, The Magazine) and somewhat notorious for having them sell, Marco is a relentless indie developer at the top of his game.

Björn Jeffery - Co-founder and CEO of Toca Boca, a forward-thinking toy company that's found huge success by bypassing the cruft and simply delighting kids and parents with beautiful, fun apps.  

Jean MacDonald - An entrepreneur, Smile Software partner and Russian Literature scholar, Jean has set it all aside to successfully launch the very cool, very punk rock, App Camp For Girls.

Adam Lisagor - With a passion for story, detail and timing, Adam has paired his deep love of technology with amazing video abilities, making Sandwich Video the premiere production company for tech companies to introduce their wares.

Lisa Bettany - Cofounder and developer of the incredibly successful Camera+ and other apps. Lisa is also a passionate photographer, media producer and world traveler.

Jason Snell - Although he's a tech media juggernaut, you won't find a nicer guy than Jason. He's an accomplished author, editorial director and podcaster.

Craig Hockenberry - Developing and designing apps that other developers use everyday is one way Craig stays sharp. He's beloved in the indie community for sharing what he's learned on his blog at furbo.org.

Cabel Sasser - Cabel and his co-founder defined what it was to be an indie shop when they turned down Steve Jobs' offer to build iTunes. He runs Panic Software and loves rare snack foods.

Neven Mrgan - If it has pixels, Neven most likely has an opinion about it. That opinion and his ability to craft said pixels earned him a place as a leading voice in the app design community.

Christa Mrgan - A film compositor turned interface designer, Christa most recently designed Rogue Amoeba's beautiful Piezo and Fission apps. She also teaches iOS User Interface and App Icon design at App Camp For Girls.

Sebastiaan de With - Three of the key loves in Sebastiaan's life are photography, design and motorcycle riding and he's extremely skilled at all of them.

Jessie Char - Inadvertently landing a job at Apple Retail by answering fellow customers' questions would only cement Jessie's love affair with the iPhone. Now she is the CEO of Pacific Helm, one of the most sought after iOS shops around.

Layton Duncan - One of the first iPhone developers, Layton and other jailbreakers felt their way through the unknown to eventually build useful iPhone apps before Apple supported (let alone allowed) them.

Stephan Ango - An industrial designer who's not afraid to create in the digital realm. Stephan co-founded Lumi and designed their beautiful app, website, and physical products.

Jesse Genet - A role model of pure determination, Jesse pushed a decades old technology into a modern day company. Lumi pairs digital tools with sunlight to create stunning objects. 

Nat Osten - An iOS developer for Smile Software with a love for cooking, Portland, and technology, Nat is also the curriculum engineer for App Camp for Girls.

Here are a handful of lesser-known artists and entrepreneurs who’s app stories have intrigued us.

Josh Nesbit - Virtually unknown in the indie development space, Josh is leading his team at Medic Mobile to build unique apps that are improving health care in some of the most remote parts of the world.

Dianna Kane - Dianna is no stranger to challenges: she designs apps that will be used in the least accessible parts of the world. These apps boot from hacked SIM cards and help tend to the health of whole communities.

Jay Dysart - One of three founding partners at the creative technology firm JLOOP, Jay and his team have produced numerous apps for clients.  They recently launched their own iOS game, and have jumped headlong into the quest for app store success.

Greg Stratford - With a long history of using digital technology to solve real world problems for people, Greg and his team at JLOOP are always trying to make things that matter.

Ryan Newsome - Though Ryan is low key in the development scene, apps that he's partnered on have spent more time featured on the top seller list than most. Now he's setting out to see if he can find the magic one more time and keep the dream alive.

Jordan Beck - One half of the Android development shop TwentyFive Squares, Jordan is on the shortlist when Android devs discuss the best. By day he’s working for IFTTT, the one web app to rule them all.

As a token of our thanks for your generous support, we've lined up some rewards that we hope you'll love. All digital rewards will be DRM free.

Get backer updates and be a part of making a film about a subject you love, or get a digital download of a photo documentary of the making of App.

Get a digital download of the finished film in beautiful 1080p.

Get a deluxe edition digital download of the finished film, which includes director commentary.

Get a digital download of complete interviews of one particular interviewee of your choosing. Some of our subjects will be interviewed two to four times. Get all those interviews, nearly uncut (we'll remove the "ums" and any gaffs) in beautiful 1080p. You'll also receive the interviews as audio files so you can listen on the go.

App Stories rewards also include the deluxe edition of the film with director commentary, as well as cast commentaries.

Kickstarter Exclusive

LA premiere tickets for two: Watch the premiere with the directors in Los Angeles.

Twin Falls premiere tickets for two: Watch the premiere with the directors in Twin Falls, Idaho, where the idea for the film was born.

As a thank you to our Kickstarter backers for getting behind us early on, this is the only place you'll see tickets on sale to the App premieres.

Please note: this will not include travel expenses and accommodations to premieres in LA or Twin Falls.

Get the complete App: The Human Story video archive. Digital download of the film, the director's commentary version, all cast commentary versions, and all the App stories (complete interviews).

You'll get an executive producer credit in the film and on the website. Plus an open invitation to meet up with us during our travels or post-production. We'll buy lunch, coffee, or a drink and show you what we're working on. You'll also receive the 'Complete App' package.

We aim to delight our sponsors for helping us make this film a reality. We will be actively promoting our Kickstarter sponsors for the next year-and-a-half on our website, Twitter, Facebook, Backer Updates and other App related outlets. Also, each sponsor will have a permanent home on our website.

Link Sponsorship $600 - Your company name and website link will be permanently included on our website's sponsors page. You'll also receive the 'Complete App' package. 

Logo Sponsorship $1,200 - Your company logo and website link will be permanently included on our website's sponsors page. You'll also receive the 'Complete App' package. 

Video Sponsorship $2000 - Your company's video ad and website link will be permanently included on our website's sponsors page. You'll also receive the 'Complete App' package. 

Indie & Corporate Sponsorship $7500 - Get tickets to either the LA or Twin Falls premiere and invitations to the after party for six. Your logo in the most prominent space on our website's sponsorship page. Also, we'll make a short video talking about your product/service and thanking you for supporting a film for the app community. We'll take our time on it and work with you to make something you can use in your marketing. Oh, and we'll put it on our website and in the film after the end credits. You'll also receive the 'Complete App' package.

Please note: this will not include travel expenses and accommodations to premieres in LA or Twin Falls.

Directors - Jake Schumacher and Jedidiah Hurt

Executive Producers - Jake Schumacher, Jedidiah Hurt, Adam Lisagor, and Dave Morin

Director of Photography - Jacob Perry

Music by Weaver At The Loom, Night Fevers, and Adam Deibert.

Special thanks to Nathan Trebes for his Macworld 2007 footage and the Skoll Foundation for their Medic Mobile footage.

Risks and challenges

Filmmaking is a complex and challenging process. However, we have been collaborating on creative projects for over a decade, and have consistently delivered work that our clients love, even under much pressure.

That said, we've been given an amazing opportunity to tell this story, and we take that very seriously. We believe our estimate of completing the project December 2015 is in the ballpark, but it's certainly possible we'll end up needing a bit more time to polish things up. We'll communicate openly and candidly with you along the way if it looks like deadlines may slip.

For fulfilling film rewards, we've got a handful of possibilities in mind. We know other filmmakers have had a great experience with VHX. Also, Jedidiah is a web developer and has extensive experience with options like Amazon S3 and various other content delivery options. We're confident we won't have trouble getting the finished film to you in a format that you can enjoy on your entertainment center.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Yes. No icky DRM.

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  • Yes to both. And regarding CC specifically, we will work with a professional closed captioning service to make sure it is top notch.

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  • Absolutely!

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  • Yes. We have a handful of talented people in that space that we're hoping to interview.

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  • Visit the project page and click “Manage Your Pledge.” Enter a new amount in the pledge amount box. Note that you are not adding to your existing pledge; the amount you enter will be the total amount collected if the project is successfully funded.

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  • A cast commentary is just like a director’s commentary that you’ve probably seen on Blu-rays of DVDs. The cast and their guest(s) talk about the finished film while they watch it.

    How do I get them?

    If you increase your pledge, regardless of the level, by 15 dollars or more, we will add your pick of two free cast commentaries to your reward. Most of the cast has signed on to record these special commentaries including John Gruber, Jason Snell, and Adam Lisagor. If you have backed at the $300 level or higher, the cast commentaries are already included in your reward.

    I bumped my pledge by $15 or more, now how do I claim the cast commentaries as a reward?

    Kickstarter doesn't provide a way for project creators to add 'bonus level rewards'. However, Kickstarter does a provide a full record of all pledges and adjustments, so we'll have all the data we need in order to see that you increased your pledge and ensure that you get the commentaries when we fulfill rewards.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    90 backers

    BACKER UPDATES // Get backer updates and be a part of making a film about a subject you love.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $12 or more

    23 backers

    THE MAKING OF // A digital download of a photo documentary of the making of App, delivered as PDF.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    1,076 backers

    FILM PLUS // Digital download of the finished film in 1080p, plus the photo documentary "making of".

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    309 backers

    DELUXE EDITION PACKAGE // Digital download of the finished film in 1080p with director commentary, plus the photo documentary "making of".

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    331 backers

    SINGLE APP STORY // Digital Download of complete interviews of one particular interviewee of your choosing, available as video or audio. Some of our subjects will be interviewed two to four times. Get all those interviews, nearly uncut (we'll remove the "ums" and any gaffs) in beautiful 1080p. Also, get a digital download of the finished film with director commentary, plus the photo documentary "making of".

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    71 backers

    THE SWEET SPOT // Choose two App stories. Digital downloads of complete interviews of two interviewees of your choosing. Also, get a digital download of the finished film with director commentary, plus your choice of one of the available cast commentaries, as well as the photo documentary "making of".

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    13 backers Limited (52 left of 65)

    KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE // Twin Falls premiere tickets for two. Watch the premiere with the directors in Twin Falls. Plus, digital download of complete interviews of one particular interviewee of your choosing, available as video or audio. Also, get a digital download of the finished film with director commentary, plus the photo documentary "making of".

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    73 backers

    THE SWEETER SPOT // Choose three App stories. Digital downloads of complete interviews of three interviewees of your choosing. Also, get a digital download of the finished film with director commentary, plus your choice of two of the available cast commentaries, as well as the photo documentary "making of".

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    27 backers Limited (48 left of 75)

    KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE // LA premiere tickets for two. Watch the premiere with the directors in Los Angeles. Also, choose three App stories—digital downloads of complete interviews of three interviewees of your choosing. And you'll get a digital download of the finished film with director commentary, plus your choice of two of the available cast commentaries, as well as the photo documentary "making of".

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE // Twin Falls premiere tickets for two. Watch the premiere with the directors in Twin Falls. Also, choose three App stories—digital downloads of complete interviews of three interviewees of your choosing. And you'll get a digital download of the finished film with director commentary, plus your choice of two of the available cast commentaries, as well as the photo documentary "making of".

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    16 backers

    COMPLETE APP ARCHIVE // Digital download of the film, the director's commentary version, all cast commentary versions, all the App stories (complete interviews) in video and audio, and the photo documentary "making of".

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    35 backers Limited (65 left of 100)

    EARLY SCREENER COMPLETE APP ARCHIVE // Digital download of the film, the director's commentary version, all cast commentary versions, all the App stories (complete interviews) in video and audio, and the photo documentary "making of", plus an opportunity to screen the film before its final release and give the directors feedback. Help us shape the final cut!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $600 or more

    6 backers Limited (21 left of 27)

    LINK SPONSORSHIP // Your company name and website link will be permanently included on our website's sponsors page. Digital download of the film, the director's commentary version, all cast commentary versions, all the App stories (complete interviews) in video and audio, and the photo documentary "making of", plus an opportunity to screen the film before its final release and give the directors feedback. Help us shape the final cut! Note: Sponsorship will be posted within a month of funding, delivery of 'Complete App' package estimated Dec 2015.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,200 or more

    10 backers Limited (8 left of 18)

    LOGO SPONSORSHIP // Your company logo and website link will be permanently included on our website's sponsors page. Digital download of the film, the director's commentary version, all cast commentary versions, all the App stories (complete interviews) in video and audio, and the photo documentary "making of", plus an opportunity to screen the film before its final release and give the directors feedback. Help us shape the final cut! Note: Sponsorship will be posted within a month of funding, delivery of 'Complete App' package estimated Dec 2015.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (7 left of 9)

    VIDEO AD SPONSORSHIP // Your company's video ad and website link will be permanently included on our website's sponsors page. Digital download of the film, the director's commentary version, all cast commentary versions, all the App stories (complete interviews) in video and audio, and the photo documentary "making of", plus an opportunity to screen the film before its final release and give the directors feedback. Help us shape the final cut! We aim to delight our sponsors for helping us make this film a reality. We will be actively promoting our Kickstarter sponsors for the next year-and-a-half on our two websites, Twitter, Facebook, Backer Updates and other App related outlets. Note: Sponsorship will be posted within a month of funding, delivery of 'Complete App' package estimated Dec 2015.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    3 backers Limited (1 left of 4)

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER // Get Executive Producer credit in the film and on the website. Plus an open invitation to meet up with us during our travels or post-production. We'll buy lunch, coffee, or a drink and show you what we're working on. Digital download of the film, the director's commentary version, all cast commentary versions, all the App stories (complete interviews) in video and audio, and the photo documentary "making of", plus an opportunity to screen the film before its final release and give the directors feedback. Help us shape the final cut!

    Note: Website credit will be posted within a month of funding, film credit and delivery of 'Complete App' package estimated Dec 2015.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $7,500 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    INDIE & CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP // Get tickets to the premiere and invitations to the after party for 6. Also, we'll make a short video talking about your product/service and thanking you for supporting a film for the app community. You can use it in your marketing and we'll put it on our website and in the film after the end credits. Digital download of the film, the director's commentary version, all cast commentary versions, all the App stories (complete interviews) in video and audio, and the photo documentary "making of", plus an opportunity to screen the film before its final release and give the directors feedback. Help us shape the final cut! We aim to delight our sponsors for helping us make this film a reality. We will be actively promoting our Kickstarter sponsors for the next year-and-a-half on our two websites, Twitter, Facebook, Backer Updates and other App related outlets.
    Note: Videos will be delivered within a month of funding. Delivery of 'Complete App' package estimated estimated Dec 2015. Note: this does not include transportation or accommodations to or during the premiere.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)