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£1,341
pledged of £1,100pledged of £1,100 goal
69
backers
12days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 2 2019 7:22 AM UTC +00:00.

The ZX Spectrum Experience

A documentary about the ZX Spectrum, its games and its fans

The ZX Spectrum Experience

A documentary about the ZX Spectrum, its games and its fans

£1,341
pledged of £1,100pledged of £1,100 goal
69
backers
12days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 2 2019 7:22 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Celebrating the ZX Spectrum and preserving its legacy

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was first released in 1982. It was a little British computer with a rubber keyboard, one-channel sound and eight colours, but it changed lives. 

Its tens of thousands of games drew fans into detailed worlds with evocative titles: Lords of Midnight, Fairlight, Knight Lore, Shadowfire, Dun Darach. The simple graphics invited young fans to invest their own creative imaginations, and a generation of kids incorporated the computer into their everyday lives. When you ask people in their forties about the Spectrum now, they remember details of family holidays, school friendships, and the ups and downs of their teenage years.

That's what I did for The ZX Spectrum Experience. I interviewed a range of fans about their memories of the computer and its games. There are stories about dads, brothers and sisters bonding over Hungry Horace or Harrier Attack; stories about kids bringing bags of big-box Ultimate, Ocean or US Gold cassettes into class so they could swap copies; stories about sitting in a cold 1980s bedroom and becoming lost in the fantasy environment of Avalon.

The ZX Spectrum Experience preserves the memories of a generation, in time for the computer's 40th anniversary in 2022. But it's not just nostalgic. It also interviews young people as they experience Spectrum games for the first time: their responses to this little retro computer are surprising.

This documentary is about love, and it's a labour of love. I'm asking for the minimum I need to complete the interviews, purchase footage and pay an editor, Rebecca Bryant, who previously worked on my acclaimed project Being Bowie. If the Kickstarter makes more, I'll expand it, in terms of the number of interviews, the length and the scope: so if it goes over its modest target, everyone will get a longer, better documentary.

This project is not for commercial profit. I am an academic professor who has studied fans for 25 years. Computer museums and educational workshops have already agreed to screen the film and use it in classrooms around the 2022 anniversary, so it will be seen by a wide range of fans and the general public, and help to commemorate this very special home computer, keeping it alive for the generations to come.

Risks and challenges

Many of the interviews are already completed, and a rough cut of the project has been assembled. There is always a possibility of unavoidable minor delays, but major delays are very unlikely. Both Rebecca -- the editor -- and I have worked successfully together before on my documentary BEING BOWIE, about my experience of researching David Bowie, which earned international media attention.

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