Those interested in how our culture shapes and is shaped by the software we use every day should check out “App: The Human Story,” a documentary project on Kickstarter that hopes to give an in-depth look at the impact apps have had since their introduction with the original iPhone in 2007:
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Though they don’t expect to complete the project until December 2015, the team behind the documentary has already gotten some impressive names from the app development community, including Apple blogger and Vesper co-creator John Gruber, Instapaper creator Marco Arment, and MacWorld’s Jason Snell.
If you’re thinking that the teaser looks a tad Apple-centric, you’re right. Jake Schumacher, one of the project’s co-creators, told me in an email that he and fellow director Jedidiah Hurt were both heavy iOS and Mac users going into the project, so “it was easy to start listing interviews on the iOS side.” Since then, the team has started to look for developers on the Android side of things who similarly stand out in that community.
Schumacher also told me that they’re hoping they can bring in those shaping the Android operating system itself. His most wished-for appearances in the film: Sundar Pichai, the Google senior vice president in charge of Android, Chrome, and Google Apps, and Matias Duarte, the director in charge of Android’s user experience.
Considering the relative success of Indie Game: The Movie, a documentary that took a similar look at the people behind some of the more popular indie games in recent memory, you’d think that someone would have already put something like this together. While many of those involved have spent plenty of time blogging and podcasting on the topic, there’s nothing quite like App: The Human Story’s attempt to turn their open discussions into a single piece of media that anyone get into without context.
In another email, Hurt noted that they’re also going to create something special for those who do follow the film’s participants: instead of letting the hundreds of hours of interviews they film go to waste after editing cuts them down to the final running time, they’re going to edit out all of the “umms” and long pauses and offer it all as a perk for those who contribute $300 or more. Pricey, but not that bad if you’re someone who buys Daring Fireball shirts or pays for premium podcast subscriptions.