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It may not be obvious (or maybe it is...), but TILT is my first film. I didn't go to film school; instead, I spent hours watching documentaries and reading books that told stories like the one that I wanted to tell. These are the best of what I encountered, and I figured if you liked TILT, you might like some of these, too. Check them out!

—Greg Maletic


Dealers of Lightning:
Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age
Similar in many ways to the canonical Soul of a New Machine, Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC tells the story of how Alan Kay and other legends changed the world by insisting that computers should be personal, not shared by hundreds of individuals. It'll make you realize how revolutionary an idea that actually was, a story that's ultimately more important than the more famous Soul of a New Machine.
Revolution in the Valley:
The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made
The incredible story of the Macintosh, told through anecdotes from the people who worked on it. It's almost hard to remember how amazing that little beige box was, but reading these stories will help you remember.
The Soul of a New Machine
Louis Koziarz, one of the Williams software engineers featured in TILT, mentioned in his on-camera interview that The Soul of a New Machine was one of his favorite books. Of course, that meant I had to go search it out. Turns out it's a 1981 Pulitzer Prize winner, the story of a small team of individuals banding together to beat the odds and come up with a mini-computer in a remarkably short amount of time. Sound familiar? It should, because its story gave me the basis for TILT.
Roger Sharpe (himself featured in TILT) and James Hamilton's Pinball! has long been considered the bible of pinball history. Though its take on the topic ends just before the late '70s solid-state era, this is the definitive story, and the period photos (many of them used in TILT) make it a complete trip to look at. It's been out of print for a long time—and it can sometimes be expensive to get a copy—but they're still out there to be had. (Fun fact: I copied the book's '70s-era textbook page layout for the fictional "book" featured in TILT. If Soul of a New Machine provided TILT's story, this book provided its look.)

Documentary DVDs

The Kid Stays In The Picture
My favorite documentary. Robert Evans became the head of Paramount Studios based solely on his handsome appearance, but proved the naysayers wrong with hits like "The Godfather" and "Rosemary's Baby." But appearances would eventually do him in, as a chance connection to a murder sealed his fate. The lush production values of this film inspired what I tried to do witih TILT, and the Directors' Commentary gives one of the most useful lessons on documentary filmmaking that I'm aware of.
Riding Giants
A really beautiful documentary about big wave surfing. Doesn't matter if you like surfing or hate it, the stores in here are great, and the cut-out style of 10-minute "A Brief History of Surfing" inpsired the similar pinball history section at the beginning of my film.
The BBS Documentary
Before the Internet, there were bulletin board systems (BBSes.) Jason Scott was a big help in making TILT the film it is today, and his expansive take on this topic (the documentary's seven episodes span more than five hours) may mean it's not for the casual viewer. But if you think you'll like this film, I can just about guarantee that you will; it's a can't-miss trip through history for those into the personal computing scene in the '70s and '80s. This movie feels like that era. (Pinball fans, keep an eye on Scott's ARCADE documentary coming out in the future.)
One of the themes in TILT is the elusiveness of success (to paraphrase one of the reviewers, "succeeding is about more than just building a great product and being the best at what you do.") The terribly-named but excellent documentary DiG! does a great job of telling this same story. It's a profile of two bands—the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre—both talented, one destined for success, while for the other it remains just out of reach.

Head back to the TILT store...