Graphic Means has now officially premiered in Seattle at the Northwest Film Forum. From here through the Summer, the film will tour. Want to bring it to your town? Get in touch here. The film will have Spanish, French, and German subtitles, and perhaps a one or two more (in the process of this now).
As you may remember from the last update, we made an unexpected trip to Berlin last month to meet with designers for 2 final interviews in order to ensure we had all the points needed to tell this story. Since then, we've been editing and animating away!
The exciting news today is that we finally have concrete dates as we approach the finish line. Here's our distribution schedule:
April 15: Premiere the film at the ByDesign Film Festival in Seattle (website is still in production, but you can see last year's line up here.
April 16: Streaming link to eligible Kickstarter supporters (anyone who donated $25 or more)
Spring/Summer 2017: Film tours festivals/events/institutions worldwide (get in touch if you would like to host a screening: email@example.com).
Summer 2017: DVD (and other incentives) mailed to eligible Kickstarter supporters
September 2017: DVD for sale online and Vimeo On Demand streaming available
Early 2018: Availability on other streaming platforms like iTunes and Amazon
While I was home, in the California Bay Area for the holidays, I had the chance to visit the Letterform Archive to do a little research into the Émigré collection they have there. Check out some of the wonderful pieces I saw:
Dear Graphic Means Supporters,
You have been waiting patiently for Graphic Means, and naturally, we are excited to get it out to you. In recent months, we’ve screened the film at 3 different conferences (TypeCon, AtypI, and Creative Works) and collected feedback to help us make it the best film possible. The response has been encouraging and exciting to say the least!
I wanted to let you know that while we aimed to release the film at the end of this year, we’ve identified one aspect of the film that needs a little more refinement, so we are headed in the first week of December to Germany to interview design greats Gunter Rambow and Bernard Stein. It will be worth the wait. We promise!
Meanwhile, here in Portland, Oregon, Emily Skaer is working hard on motion graphics, and I am working on logistics around the release of the film.
Thanks to you all for your continued support and patience.
Your faithful director + producer—Briar Levit
I've now been back from Poland for a week, and I'm still missing my daily dose of pierogi.
I had a great time sharing a slightly newer cut of the film to the International audience at the conference. Getting the chance throughout the conference to speak with designers who either lived through the type era, or student designers who knew nothing of it was incredibly helpful.
I discovered that a little bit of content should be removed, and perhaps included as a DVD extra, and that a European voice was missing in the narrative. What does that mean? (Un)fortunately, another trip for me and director of photography, Dawn Jones Redstone. More details as they emerge.
So what does this mean for the release of Graphic Means? It means we will probably push back to early 2017. It was a hard decision, but I think making the best film is what is most important. So, as usual, stay tuned for important dates.
Finally, at the last minute, I was asked to speak at the Creative Works Conference in Memphis, TN. Come say 'hi' if you'll be there too!
I'm just back from TypeCon in Seattle, where I screened a rough cut of Graphic Means, and gave a brief talk on the democratization of typesetting in the 60s and 70s. I also got the chance to meet with a number of people I've admired online for some time. What a great conference!
I'm now armed with some fantastic feedback and will return to editing and working on the motion design bits for the film. Then, in just a few weeks, I'm headed to Warsaw, Poland for AtypI, where I will do one more work-in-progress screening. If you are going as well, please say "hi"!
For those wondering about a release date—stay tuned. It will be this Winter, but no exact date yet.
I'm also working with type designer, Riley Cran, on some fun merchandise, which I hope to announce in my next update.
In the meantime, follow along online for regular graphic tidbits
We've just returned from the East Coast where we did our final interviews for Graphic Means (Steven Heller, Lucille Tenezas, Ilene Strizver, and Gerard Huerta). We also had the chance to film at the Herb Lubalin Study Center, and at the Museum of Printing. We can't wait to get this footage into the film!
Great news! I'm excited to share with you, that we are fully funded for Graphic Means! Adobe Typekit has generously sponsored the film at $25k. PLUS, I have received a Portland State University Faculty Enhancement Grant for $15k! This funding will go to editing, color correction, music, audio mastering, a few more interviews, and other details necessary to make a feature film.
I am so happy to be able to just focus on making the film now, and not fundraising. Phew!
Check it out!
We are really excited about working with Norm Chambers, AKA Panabrite, for the score of Graphic Means. Emerging from a love of early electronic, concrete and tape music, soundtracks and early new age, Norm attempts to create worlds of sound that touch on many elements and moods, from more spatially motivated ambient to aspects of cosmic synth, minimalist composition and improvisation.
For Graphic Means, Norm will work with his array of vintage synthesizers and drum machines to create a soundtrack to the Cold Type Era and then the transition to the Digital Revolution.
What is your favorite pre-computer age production tool/method? Probably the 4-track cassette recorder. I used it on some of my early releases. Not only is the quality of the sound very distinct (that grainy hiss and overall warm sound), but there are also the limitations imposed on the musician that force them to make hard decisions, unlike the computer where there are endless options.
What other projects are you working on right now, or have you just finished up? I recently finished a remix for Max Richter for one of his long piano and string pieces. It was fun to run all that through a synth and rearrange the parts. I've also been slowly trying to start work on a new Panabrite album, although incorporating new synth equipment always holds the process up bit. Also putting together a couple of archival tape releases and a duo collaboration with my friend Daryl Groetsch (AKA Pulse Emitter).
Check out some of Norm's work here.
Because I couldn't stand having the artifacts I've been collecting in the process of making Graphic Means hidden away, I made a wee display of them in my office. Have a look!