I really recommend watching the video above. It's faster, easier, and more fun than reading all the text below!
Welcome to the HEART OF NEON Kickstarter!
My name is Paul Docherty, but in the 1980s I was better known as Dokk, back when I was a graphics artist for video games on the 8-bit home computers, creating graphics like this:
I'm a filmmaker now, and I'm deep in the editing of HEART OF NEON, a feature documentary about legendary game designer Jeff Minter and the art of video game design. Jeff (a.k.a. Yak the Hairy, a.k.a. The Stinky Ox) and his programming partner, Ivan Zorzin (a.k.a. Giles the Goat) have been incredibly generous to grant me remarkable access to the behind-the-scenes world of Llamasoft, the video game company Jeff started in 1982. The Llamasoft story spans almost the entire history of home video game entertainment, and, as an independent video game developer, Jeff Minter has a unique perspective on that history.
I go into much more detail about why I'm making this project here.
I want to bring you along for the journey, and have you share in the adventure with me. I need your help to find the last pieces of funding to get the film ready for the big screen, and to prove to distributors that Jeff has an enthusiastic following that will come out to support the film.
That is why I have set up this Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign for HEART OF NEON, where supporters of this project can pledge funds toward the completion of this film.
Take a look at the trailer for a little taste of what's to come:
Please pledge as much as you can so that we can make this film a reality! Every $1 counts!
This Kickstarter campaign has two very important goals:
GOAL 1: RAISE $200,000 TO COMPLETE HEART OF NEON, READY FOR FILM MARKET FESTIVAL SCREENINGS
Ultimately, to make a world-class feature documentary I want to raise $200,000.
I can make this film for less. Even by reaching the minimum Kickstarter goal of $102,000 I’ll be able to finish recording the final interviews with figures from the world of Llamasoft on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, have the funds to properly complete the edit, and prepare the film to present to sales agents, producers with influence and distribution companies, all in an effort to get HEART OF NEON in front of the widest possible audience.
But the minimum goal is a bare minimum. In a market as volatile and competitive as the film industry, it's in my best interest to make the highest quality film that's possible.
Every pledge beyond the minimum goal will bring more polish and pizzazz to the finished film. Additional funds will:
- help me be able to include archival footage from the early days of video game development,
- allow me to properly compensate talented musicians for creating a unique and distinctive soundtrack,
- support the development of engaging Jeff-related animation like the animation you see in the HEART OF NEON trailer above.
Every pledge counts, even if it’s only $1!!
GOAL 2: PROVE TO THE FILM INDUSTRY THAT THE LLAMASOFT STORY BELONGS IN THE WORLD
And this goal is just as important as the money. I'm crowdfunding because HEART OF NEON NEEDS THE CROWD! You know as well as I do that some people are slow to be impressed, and are disinterested in topics they’re not already familiar with. Those same people, however, can be influenced by the sheer weight of numbers of other people who ARE interested. And the kind of people whose help I need to present HEART OF NEON to a wider audience pay a lot of attention to numbers. It would be my honor to be able to say, “Come see HEART OF NEON! 10,000 Kickstarter backers can’t be wrong!”
If you’re with me on this, then this is what you can do:
SPREAD THE WORD! SHARE THE URL!
And while you're at it, you can help out even more by taking a minute to sign up for the newsletter https://www.heartofneon.com/#newsletter, and maybe follow HEART OF NEON on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!
Jeff Minter has been developing extraordinary video games for nearly four decades.
His software was embedded in the Xbox 360, the 8th best selling video games console of all time, and easily the biggest selling video game console manufactured in the U.S. AND YET maybe 99.9%* of the population has no idea who Jeff Minter is. (* This is an entirely speculative statistic, but you get the picture.)
It’s time to bring Jeff's story to the big screen.
GO BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE LONGEST STANDING INDEPENDENT VIDEO GAME DESIGNER OF ALL TIME.
When Jeff began programming, most computers were obscure, arcane calculating machines that existed only in organizations with very deep pockets, like corporations or universities. Writing games for computers was something only a handful of hobbyists did in their spare time. Now, forty years later, the video games business in 2018 earned $43 Billion in the U.S. ALONE!
Llamasoft has a loyal, passionate host of fans across the globe, each one finding specific joy in the games Jeff makes. This film attempts to explore what they see.
Jeff's decades of experience on the frontline of game development make him perhaps the BEST ambassador for an industry that gets all too much press for corporate drama and game development disasters.
HELP MAKE A FILM THAT HONOURS AND EXPLORES THE ART OF GAME DESIGN THE SAME WAY FILMS ARE MADE ABOUT THE WORK OF ARTISTS IN OTHER MORE TRADITIONAL MEDIA, LIKE MUSICIANS, WRITERS, PAINTERS, FILMMAKERS, DANCERS, POETS, MASTER CHEFS, FASHION DESIGNERS etc etc etc...
Seriously. The creators of video games are underserved in film. I want to make the definitive doc that explores the essentials of video game design, as practiced by a master of the art.
Please help me make this happen.
Hopefully you've already made up your mind to support HEART OF NEON and you're not even reading this. You are a person after my own heart!! Thank you!
I want people to back this project because we all want to see a film about a legendary video game designer reach a wider audience and change a few minds about what video games can be. Think of the friends and family you can introduce to the world of video games through the cuddly world of Jeff & Giles!
But this is still a Kickstarter, and that means cool rewards for making your pledge! And I certainly love cool merchandise!
TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR PLEDGE, I'VE DESIGNED AND CURATED SOME EXCLUSIVE GIFT REWARDS THAT CELEBRATE THE HISTORY OF LLAMASOFT!
EVERY PLEDGE TO HEART OF NEON GETS OUR UNDYING LOVE!
EVEN PLEDGES FOR A SINGLE $1 !!!
And every single pledge gets access to all HEART OF NEON KICKSTARTER UPDATES.
The more you can pledge to this campaign, the more backer rewards are available to you:
And you can increase your pledge at ANY TIME. You've suddenly come into some extra cash and you want to get that extra something you know you deserve, or you've decided after already pledging that you'd like to ADD something that you can gift to a friend or a loved-one for an upcoming birthday or Christmas?
DON'T PANIC! We've got you covered!
Raise your pledge level, message me about your add-on choice, and when the campaign ends successfully you'll get an email survey from me where you fill in all the details about your add-on purchase and give me your shipping information. Easy!
For more details, take a look at the FAQ https://www.heartofneon.com/FAQ.html#addons
I'm a filmmaker, and I've been working in film and television for 15 years. Since I moved on from video games I've worked as an editor of feature documentaries like JODOROWSKY'S DUNE, released by Sony Pictures Classics, and I've created animation that has featured in television docs like PINK FLOYD: THE MAKING OF WISH YOU WERE HERE and the Peabody Award winning LENNONYC.
Ever since I graduated from film school I've wanted to make a feature film about what I enjoyed in those early days of the video games business, when it was small teams making intense games that captured the imagination. The way Jeff approaches the video games industry today is still very much in the mindset of those earlier years. And yet the games Llamasoft makes continue to embrace the latest cutting edge technology. With one foot firmly in the past and the other foot always being planted boldly into the emerging future, Jeff has withstood the metamorphosis of a video games business that was inconceivable back in the 1980s.
I've been waiting nearly twenty years to make a film like HEART OF NEON. I hope you'll join me on this journey.
Risks and challenges
HEART OF NEON will face the typical risks and challenges that any production of this magnitude would face. I have ten years experience in film and television, and as such I'm prepared to take on any and all challenges that come my way. I will also be bringing in an experienced producer to help steer the project towards success in the film market. And all risks are offset by contingency plans focused on bringing HEART OF NEON to as wide an audience as possible.
Of course, we will be completely transparent about our progress and keep everyone in the loop through our updates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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