Llamasoft Documentary Heart of Neon Goes Live on Kickstarter

There aren’t a lot of videogame companies that have been around longer than Llamasoft.  Started in 1981, Jeff Minter’s company has been putting out an incredible stream of arcade games featuring hits such as Gridrunner on the Vic 20, the immortal Tempest 2000, the divisive but excellent Space Giraffe, and more recently Polybius.  It’s been an incredibly career that shows no signs of stopping, but even so maybe there’s time for a look back.  Filmmaker Paul Docherty (an editor of Jodorowsky’s Dune) has his next project in mind, and it’s a documentary on Llamasoft from the early beginnings as a one-teenager (with help from family) studio all the way through today, when Jeff “Yak”Minter and Ivan “Giles” Zorzin produce their unique brand of retro-futuristic gaming from a rustic farm in Wales.

The goal of the documentary is to produce a movie that’s about both an idiosyncratic artist and the people his work has touched.  The history of Llamasoft is bigger than just Yak and Giles, and Paul Docherty plans to travel and talk to as many people as possible to get a full overview of its impact.  There has already been a significant amount of filming but it’s a big world and travel takes time and money, not to mention the expenses of the professional audio and video services necessary to turn the footage into something that can be shown at a film festival.  That’s why there’s a Kickstarter involved.

Hear of Neon launched its Kickstarter yesterday and it’s off to a nice start, clearing 10% of its $105,000 initial goal. It’s going to take a little bit of love to get where it needs to go, though, so take a minute for the trailer below and see if maybe it’s something you’d like to fund.  At the very least, a donation of $1 means you can get a few of the add-ons (like a TxK two-record soundtrack) even if the movie doesn’t quite turn out to be your thing.