Love Notes to Newton

Press Release: Love Notes to Newton, a film about a little green computer and the people who love it.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A film about a little green computer called “Newton” and the people who still love it.

Montreal, Canada – 22 July, 2018 – Love Notes to Newton, the film by director Noah Leon, is premiering at Macstock Conference and Expo in Woodstock IL. on July 22nd, 2018. and will be available for purchase shortly after. Love Notes began as a tiny crowdfunded fan-film that quickly snowballed into a trans-national feature-length documentary.

Contact Noah Leon at Moosefuel Media for more information: [email protected]. Supporting photos can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/2O1K7Y7

Created by some of the smartest people in Silicon Valley, Newton was a handheld device ahead of its time. Just as it was coming of age, it was cancelled by Apple. But the inspiration lives on. A dedicated community has kept it going for over twenty years after its demise. this is Love Notes. It’s about the people who created the Newton, and it’s about the fans who keep it going. It’s the story of a little device which may be the most personal computer ever.

With over 40 worldwide interviews, appearances include Steve Capps—responsible for much of the software design of the Apple Lisa, Macintosh and Newton—John Sculley, former CEO of Apple Computer, and many more, as well as the quirky and unique fans of the platform.  There are touching moments, too, and the film hits all the emotional beats of the story.

“I’m addicted to your movie!”

-Mike, coordinator, MacStock conference and festival

“It is three in the morning, and I have to rise in 3 hours to go to work. I should have been sleeping for hours. But I couldn’t stop watching. This film is fantastic.”

-Frank Gruendel, Newton User

“When I think of the international scope of this documentary, and the people who are involved, it blows my mind that we did it on such a small budget.”

-Noah Leon, Director

The film will be available for purchase shortly after the premiere at newtfilm.com and Vimeo On Demand. All proceeds from the sale of the film go to bethematch.org. 

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Love Notes to Newton was produced, written and directed by Noah Leon at Moosefuel Media with support from bright lights in the Newton and Mac community. The film is not produced or affiliated with Apple, Inc. Moosefuel Media is a new media production company specializing in corporate, event and documentary films.

We hope you become one of the people who love this little green machine that almost changed the world.

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“Love Notes” Notes from Vintage Computer Festival Southeast

Thank you for previewing Love Notes to Newton!

We would love to know what you think, this will help us to improve the film. Tell us in the form below.

A sincere thank you for taking the time to give us some feedback, we want the film to be as enjoyable as it can be and your comments are greatly appreciated.

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Love Notes to Newton

The Film’s Delay, in Numbers (It’s Still Coming!)

Dear backers,

A big thank you to everyone for your patience leading up to the completion of Love Notes to Newton.

It is still in progress, the film will be done as soon as I can make it. Right now I have a fairly good beginning, a fairly good end, but the stuff in the middle could be edited much better, and I’m currently combing through the footage to make it so.

Just to give you an idea of some of the numbers I’m working with:

  • I have 44 interviews altogether
  • I have 43 hours and 59 minutes of interview footage (not including b-roll)
  • Out of the 44 interviews,
    • 28 were done by me on location,
    • 3 are self-submissions
    • 6 are Skype or FaceTime interviews,
    • 7 were hired out to other videographers to save money and time

I am really excited about the quality of footage and I want to make sure I take my time and do it justice. Like most people in the Newton community, having a job and a mortgage sometimes delays passion-projects, but they get done. I’ll update you with an E.T.A. as soon as I get closer to a polished product, but I’m shooting for May, with a few test viewings before that to identify any problems or errors.

For fun, I’ve attached some images from Walter Smith’s collection of the “original” Newton from May, 1988 (note the 8-10-inch screen, like a bulky version of the latest iPad). By this starting point, the Newton will actually be thirty years old in May of this year. Crazy, right?

 

 

Keep the green,

noah

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Love Notes to Newton

Delayed release, but still on it’s way!

Hi everyone!

It has been my pleasure to be funded by such amazing people to make this project. The film is well underway in post-production, and there are a few amazing scenes on my timeline, but there is also a lot of chaos which hasn’t been sorted out yet.

Originally I had hoped to release the film tomorrow, marking and important important day in history of the Newton. Although I have made a lot of progress,  I don’t want to release a half finished project. We all remember what happened to the Newton–or maybe we don’t!–The Newton included some really wonderful breakthrough technology, which was not quite ready upon release, and didn’t quite deliver on the promise. Subsequently it became much better, but in my case I would like to try and get it right with version 1.0.

I appreciate your patience, some of the reasons for the delay are:

  • I have had to balance my time between this passion project and paid work (I’m sure you can relate),
  • The scope of this film grew far beyond what I had foreseen, as a result I have many, many hours of interviews to deal with (this is a really good thing!),
  • I want this to be a real, quality film which is polished and enjoyable to watch. Even if you want to share it with someone who knows nothing about the Newt.

The thing that I am most sad about is that I won’t be able to honor the memory of the Newton on the day that it was canceled. However, I know that when you do see the film, it will be worth the wait. In the meantime, today marks the 20th anniversary of the Newton’s cancellation, but not death. My Newton is still functioning, and if you have one, I would encourage you to commemorate the day by dusting it off and having a healthy dose of nostalgia.

Thanks for your patience, keep the green,

noah

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Love Notes to Newton

Watch the Preview

The Apple Newton was beloved by almost everybody who had one. It came from an R&D group hidden deep within Apple Computer and was developed by people who believed it was the next big leap in computers. In one sense it was the legendary device which coined the term “PDA” in the early nineties, and in the other sense it was a devastating failure which arrived before its time. But something happened after the funeral, Newton lived on, and grassroots support sprang up.

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Love Notes to Newton

Quick Euro-Trip

Hi all Newton lovers, time for an update.

I recently made the trip to Düsseldorf and Paris to conduct some interviews with some of the most influential members from the Newton community. I landed in Germany and met up with Matthias Melcher, who actively works on Einstein (and has many other projects in various stages of completion, Einstein is the Newton OS 2 emulator developed primarily by Paul Guyot). Next, Matthias and I rode the Autobahn at high speed in his Tesla to meet partway (in Osnabrück, where) with Frank Gruendel of pda-soft.de, who has actively been a part of the Newton community in many ways including repairing and making guides to repair some common ailments of the Newt. 

Next, I took the overnight bus to Paris (don’t ever do this, take the train!) and joined up with Sylvain Pilet and Cédric Sartout. We didn’t just practice my French, but did a whirlwind tour of Paris using the Michelin Guide on PCMCIA, followed by an interview. Paweł Piotrowski and his wife joined us incredibly from Edinburgh and we had a get-together of Newton fans at a local restaurant where we were joined by Paul Guyot (the influential guy behind the Einstein emulator and the World Wide Newton Conferences), who I had the pleasure of interviewing the following day.

To save money Matthias and his wife were kind enough to host me at their house, and I was able to get a cheap room and save a little budget in Paris by staying at a hostel. At this stage I have a lot of material for the film. I’m not finished yet, but I know already that some great material will end up “on the cutting room floor” which makes me think that there will be an extended version of the film and/or bonus features or some sort of podcast to get the material out there. However, there are some people I have not had a chance to get to yet, so the filming continues. More to come as this takes shape. It was a huge pleasure to spend time with these fans.

In the meantime, back to my day-job, but the editing in earnest will have to begin soon in order to get the film finished by the end of February.

As always, any feedback or concerns or critique are welcome.

 

(Some images courtesy of Paweł Piotrowski)

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Love Notes to Newton

3rd Party Interviews

I was fortunate enough to have Logan of Snorkel.nz conduct an interview with Tony Kan in Christchurch recently, and Tuomas of Kuutiomedia.com in Finland conduct an interview with Eckhart Koppen of 40hz.org (author of the completely essential year 2010 patch). I will try and find others who can help me with

interviews. If you are interested in participating in the film, please don’t be modest (you can only make the film better by participating!) we will find a videographer to make it happen.

 

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Love Notes to Newton

Self-Interviews

Simon Bell was creative enough to volunteer to shoot his own interview with his wife, who was a TV producer, using an iPhone. Initial tests have been really great, and with good lighting, a steady camera, reasonably good composition and good audio, it’s really hard to see that the video was shot using a lowly iPhone. Self-interviews can be submitted here, all that I ask is that you record good audio (since sound is half the picture, to quote Steven Spielberg), perhaps using a mic similar to this one. If you need financial help to get a hold of one of these mics or a similar one, let me know. It’s much cheaper than flying, and mailing one with return postage to you is probably not worth the time, money and effort! Contact me if you are interested and I will come up with some questions you can answer, or answer any questions you may have.

 

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Love Notes to Newton

Shirts Update

All the shirts have been mailed out. Thank you to the backers who chose a shirt, the rest of your crowdfunding “perk” is still of course in progress (the film). Please don’t be afraid to post pictures or messages to social media about the shirt to promote the film, I recommend using the hashtag #iLoveNewton and posting a self-photo. One more note: a small percentage of the shirts may have a defect of being slightly blotchy, this is a problem with how they were printed. If you suspect this is you, please just contact me and I will send you a replacement.

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Love Notes to Newton

The Undiscovered Country

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” – Isaac Newton

One thing I didn’t anticipate was how willing some of the original development
team of Newton and Newton OS would be to sit down and talk with me. As a result, half of the film is actually going to contain quite a lot of the history and philosophy of the Newt. I have uncovered a lot that was news to me (though not necessarily to anyone well-versed in Newton lore), for example, the Newton was originally meant to be a large slate-type device which would have a lot of advanced technology (and even a subwoofer) and cost $6000-8000 (in ’90s money!). That makes the iPhone X look like a steal. However, I don’t want to forget the original purpose of the film: to celebrate what came after the demise of the Newton team at Apple and the people involved today…

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