"Computer Chess"

by Andrew Bujalski


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  • Posted October 22, 2013
    US Artist Computer Chess Patrons,

    We are happy to announce the mailings of signed by Andrew DVDs to all our qualifying supporters! If you have moved since July 2011, please reply to this email and houstonbking@gmail.com with your new address so we make sure to get your DVD.

    Our U.S theatrical release was covered widely and warmly by press and by all of you whom supported us in theaters. We hope we made it to your town and you saw your name in the credits.

    The DVDs are done with a cool VHS design cover (attached) with fun extras like:

    - Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Deep Blue programmer Murray Campbell
    - Bonus Commentary by an enthusiastic stoner
    - Sundance Film Festival Promo
    - Computer Chess Reference Games
    - Crowdsourcing USA Artists Video - that's you guys - our earliest supporters!!!!
    - Hot Old Personal Computers
    - 1969 Sony AVC-3260 Video Camera Tutorial by DP Matthias Grunsky
    - Alternate Trailer

    We just finished a week long run as the Editor's Choice on the front page of iTunes movies and now available on iTunes, our site, Amazon and Netflix (soon). We open in the UK theaters next month as well as in Germany. Today we even won the Jury Award at the Roche-Sur-Yon 2013 Film Festival in France where we open soon too. The film is also traveling the world and going to festivals such as London, Rio, Amfest, Sitges, Viennale, Torino, Stockholm, Mar Del Plata, Oslo and TVs all across the world.

    We've been completely blessed by the reception of the film. This has been by far, Andrew's most globally distributed film and brought his work to an exponentially larger audience. We could not have done it without you. Thank you so much and we hope you love the DVD.



    Now a word from our director.

    "Hey supporters. I'm reading what Houston's written here & he's pretty well covered it--we've had a tremendous run with this movie, it's still running, and I remain in a happy daze about it--a year ago at this time I was trying to finish up the edit and was imagining having to spend the next few years apologizing for having made something so weird...I certainly never would have predicted it would receive the embrace it has. Thank you again!

    Love, Andrew
  • Posted July 10, 2013
    Dear First (and oh so patient) Fans of Computer Chess,

    We’ve had a great run since Sundance and wanted to bring you up to date on the film’s successes. Both critics and audiences were supportive at Sundance, we made a U.S distribution deal (and others!) with Kino Lorber in the U.S., won the Sundance Sloan Feature Film Award and played the prestigious Berlin Film Festival. Now we open NY’s Film Forum on July 17th and LA’s Nuart Theater on Aug 2nd before opening a minimum 20 other cities in Augusts/September. Here is what some critics have been saying:

    “…unlike just about anything anyone has done before.”
    – Anthony Kaufman, Screen International

    “****(A) rather brilliantly conceived study of a (fictional) computer v computer chess tournament in the early 80s. Bujalski really has pulled off something extraordinary here.” – Andrew Pulver, The Guardian

    “An extraordinarily inventive and richly textured period piece. “ – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

    We never could have made such a unique film described above without your generous – no terms - donation towards Andrew’s imagination.

    See for yourself here via the trailer on Apple: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/computerchess/.

    And all you Bishop Patrons ($50 or more) and above – we hope you can wait till this Fall to receive your fully loaded Kino Lorber DVD. We have curated tons of cool extras for the release and plan to send the retail, commercially packaged DVDs of before the rest of the world gets them.

    NYC: On July 17th and 18th Andrew will be doing Q&As for the evening shows and we will be going across the street for drinks. Please join us! Some of us will also be there that opening weekend July 19-21st! Tickets here: www.filmforum.org/movies/more/computer_chess
    Please come! ! Grandmasters? Tickets are on us.

    LA: On August 2nd and 3rd, Andrew will be doing a Q&As for the evening shows and we will be going down the street for drinks. Tickets here: www.landmarktheatres.com/market/LosAngeles/NuartTheatre.htm

    Boston: On July 26th and 27th, Andrew will be doing a Q&As for the evening shows and a drinks plan will be made on spot. Tickets here: www.landmarktheatres.com/market/Boston/KendallSquareCinema.htm

    Please keep up with the film one of the pages below. We do an especially better job of updating folks via Facebook.

    Website: www.computerchessmovie.com has the trailer, theatrical dates, stills
    Facebook: FB/computerchess
    Twitter: @computer_chess

    This has been an incredibly fun and rewarding trip for Andrew, Alex and I and the rest of the wonderful cast and crew. Thank you for being the first ones on. We really hope we have made you proud. We gave you all thanks here: http://www.computerchessmovie.com/aboutthemovie.html

    All for now but I plan to sending along more frequent updates now that it's GAME ON.


  • Posted December 10, 2012
    Dear Computer Chess Patrons,

    Computer Chess will world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in the NEXT <=> Program!
    Thank you for helping us get there. Please join us! We'd love to celebrate the film's premiere with you.

    Our screening dates are:

    Monday, January 21, 5:30 p.m.Library Center Theatre, Park City

    Tuesday, January 22, 9:30 p.m.Redstone Cinema 1, Park City

    Wednesday, January 23, 9:00 p.m. Tower Theatre, SLC

    Friday, January 25, 2:30 p.m. Prospector Square Theatre, Park City

    For you GRANDMASTERS, please let us know at houstonbking@gmail.com if we can save you tickets for a Sundance screening or other festival screening.

    Otherwise, to buy Sundance tickets please register now at: http://www.sundance.org/festival/tickets/registration/

    Click here for lodging help: http://www.sundance.org/festival/attend/lodging/

    If you are staying for 6 nights or longer, use the PASSCODE: lodgingdreams

    If you are staying for fewer than 6 nights, use the PASSCODE: SFF842Q

    For more daily updates Like us on the Facebook: www.facebook.com/ComputerChess

    We're excited to show you the film and see you at Sundance. Thank you all again for your support of Andrew and the film.
  • Posted October 02, 2012
    Dear Patient Patrons of Computer Chess,

    We apologize for the long delay in updating you all regarding your involvement in Computer Chess. Since our last update, Andrew has been editing the film and the Tribeca Film Institute and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation granted funds to Computer Chess as part of their 2012 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund for emphasizing science and technology. The TFI/Sloan grant will ensure that the film will receive a theatrical release (which we can do ourselves if need be) but also enhances the financial viability of releasing the film for distributors.

    See news of the Tribeca Sloan announcement here: http://www.indiewire.com/article/2012-tfi-sloan-filmmaker-fund-recipients-announced

    In addition we wanted to send along an article re us working with the Austin Goodwill Computer Museum to procure our computers: http://www.austin360.com/movies/classic-tech-on-film-1904399.html

    We are now at a fine cut of the film and plan to initially submit the film to festivals with a World Premiere anticipated for early 2013. We will make sure you all are informed immediately of our premiere plans in the hopes that many of you can join us.

    Thanks again all of you and we can't wait to show you our weird and wonderful film. Meanwhile here's a bit more below from Andrew too....Houston

    Hello, supporters! We have not forgotten you.

    It took many months, but I've made it past the later stages of the edit--where I sift through all the amazing material we shot and try to build scenes out of it--and now we're doing the hard part, where we are putting all those scenes in a row and trying to figure out if it makes any darn sense. It's a daunting moment in the process where you know there's still a lot of work ahead, but you don't know exactly what that work is (and indeed, figuring it out *is* most of the work). The good news is that the light at the end of the tunnel is visible from here, and the material is strong, and when it's all shaken out I think we'll be looking at a pretty terrific movie. Undoubtedly a unique one.

    Editing has a lot in common with writing, but it's a hell of a lot more fun. Rarely when I sit at home staring at words that I've written do I take great pleasure in them--at best I feel relieved if they seem adequate. On the other hand, watching footage of James Curry eating an eggroll is, for some reason, a source of constant, unfettered delight. And I have the Godlike power over space & time to make him eat that eggroll over and over again on my screen...

    I am grateful to him and the rest of the actors, to the camera crew who so brilliantly shot it, to the art department who procured those eggrolls (and so much more!), and to all of you who made it possible! I can't wait to share the enjoyment with you. (And there are a lot of others shots in the movie too.)

    Much obliged,
  • Posted October 14, 2011
    October 14th

    Dear Generous Patrons of Computer Chess,

    Computer Chess finished shooting last month and Andrew is starting to edit the film. We finished with a day to spare, and due to all your generosity, sufficient resources to cover all post production expenses.
    We expect to have the film ready for a festival in the 1st half of 2012.

    Meanwhile, the Austin American Statesman wrote this lovely piece about the film and our use of classic computers in the film:


    In addition, I have included a pic of the key Computer Chess tournament scene for our USA Project donors only to see.

    Next week we will be sending the proud owners a link to download their copy of THINK LIKE A KING, the chess tutorial software. Andrew is currently contacting folks whom won a chance to play him in online chess.

    If you have any questions meanwhile, please reply to this email or always feel free to contact me at houstonbking@gmail.com. I will be in touch as we get closer to locking the picture.

    With much gratitude,

    Houston King and the entire Computer Chess team
  • Posted August 24, 2011
    August 24th

    We're about to begin our 7th day of production here, and that old familiar mixture of exhaustion & exhilaration is pulsing along within us. I'm remembering what a bizarre post "director" is--for all the responsibilities inherent to it, it's a terrifically irresponsible job. While this incredibly talented cast & crew we've assembled hustles tirelessly to bring these visions to life, it's my gig to stand in the middle of it all & just try to hang on to my imagination. To stay focused on a fantasy while reality, in the form of endless details and decisions, avalanches all around me--a task for a child! So as always I am thrilled and a little flabbergasted to find myself supported by so many rational-seeming adults in this endeavor.

    I want to extend my immense gratitude to all of you who signed up to back us via US Artists. Your support is truly humbling, and a constant reminder of just how lucky I am to get to show up to set and do this crazy work every day. Because of your faith in us and this project, you've given us an "advance" on your enthusiasm for the eventual movie--we're going to spend the rest of this shoot doing our damnedest to earn it.

    With love and appreciation,


    PS From Houston - thanks again everyone. If your donation has not been confirmed - please take a look in your mailbox for an email with subject line "Your Payment to USA Projects for Accrued Usage Has Failed". It's probably because of an expired credit card on file with Amazon.
  • Posted August 23, 2011
    August 22

    We made it with your help! The cast and crew wishes all of our patrons a huge thank you!

    This pic is us doing our best Korean Mass Games imitation with flash cards. But our gratitude is uniquely Computer Chess. I wanted to personally thank you all for contributing to this film and Andrew will be sending along a note shortly too (as soon as I can get him from the set).


  • Posted August 14, 2011
    August 13

    We reached 105% of our funding requirement with 7 days to go! Every donors' support made this happen and we start shooting tomorrow. Thank you all.

    I just feel bad that it took me 5 days to write another update. Such a typical film producer - takes your money and moves on. But alas, this is not completely true, we were spending your money (even before we got it, more typical producer moves) and I was thinking of you as we did it. We were breathing new life into getting 1980 computers to work again, period haircuts and costume fittings for the actors, location scouting and creating our camera package, speaking with experts on chess and computer chess and preparing our actors.

    I'll let you know how the first day of shooting went and post a pic for you to see (don't tell Andrew).

    Thank you all again.

  • Posted August 07, 2011
    August 7th

    We're 95% of the way towards our fundraising goal with 14 days remaining! We are deeply grateful in this economic uncertainty (which our computers' have not processed yet), that you guys have gotten us so close - so quickly. A sincere thank you from Andrew and the rest of the "Computer Chess" crew and cast.

    Yes it is still hot in Austin as we are nearing our first day of shooting, August 14th. The crew here in Austin is a huge asset, doing a tremendous job and pre-production has gone well.

    We had a nice interview with Andrew that came out yesterday as well....


    We can concentrate on making the film moving ahead and we hope to make you all proud that you are a part of "Computer Chess"


  • Posted August 03, 2011
    August 3

    Dear Generous Patrons of Computer Chess,

    We've now raised $28,000-thank you! That leaves $15,500 left with over 18 days to go to finish raising all the funds (or we get none) and get ready for our first day of shooting. We please ask you to email this project to 5 close friends who might want to "nerd out" with us. Yep, we're feeling the heat and need your help. Do something about the 106° Austin heat as well please.

    But instead of the phones which Jerry Lewis used to raise funds, we are going to use cool portable data terminals with acoustic modems in the film- like the one pictured above. We found this at the Goodwill Computer Museum in Austin (like you have not heard of it) and we tour the facility to see more Thursday. They have tons of computers from 1979/1980, all in working order. We could not have gotten luckier to have such a friendly, local facility.

    In addition Wiley Wiggins has joined the film in a role as actor and tech advisor! He not only starred in "Dazed and Confused", but is also co-developing the the cool Thunder Beam video game with James Curry, another one of our actors.


    We're expecting real special energy from the combination of actors and non-professional actors computer/technical people whom Andrew has cast in the film.

    Oh please look out for an indiewire interview with Andrew that is to come out Friday. Thank you all,

    Computer Chess Team - Hk
  • Posted July 29, 2011
    July 29

    A fantastic interview and feature on our film just came out on Movie Line.


    Can everyone take a moment to Like and or Tweet the article and post a quick comment and pass along to friends with the same instructions?

    We are hoping to spread this around as far as possible and keep it on the front page as One of The Most Commented Articles on Movie Line as long as possible.

    I would also like to thank the two excellent foundations, the Austin Film Fund and the Artists2Artists Fund, that have provided matching funds to our project.

    The Austin Film Fund was established with support from the Austin Film Society (AFS) to support projects posted by Austin artists. Richard Linklater (DAZED AND CONFUSED, SLACKER) spearheaded AFS's early efforts.

    The Artists2Artists fund is a nationwide match fund for artist projects in all disciplines.

    More exciting news re casting that relates to SLACKER tomorrow!

  • Posted July 28, 2011
    July 27th

    We had 9 generous donors whom in total helped us raise a huge total of $12,000 today. The entire "Computer Chess" team thanks all of you.

    One major donor was a former associate of mine whom helped me distribute Andrew's first film, Funny Ha Ha. It's tremendous to have kept such a great relationship all these years (esp in Hollywood).

    Another major but anonymous donor took the opportunity to do the DVD commentary for the film. We can't wait to find out who it is - if we ever do. We might just have to listen and guess when we're done.

    On the production side, things are going very smoothly and we are already drilling into minor details almost 3 weeks before we start shooting. Alex and Andrew did a careful and diligent job of pre-production.

    Andrew did two interviews today in the hopes of bringing more attention to the film and our fund raising needs to the public. We also hope this might ease the burden on our friends and family.

    Thank you again for all your generous giving and I'll send some links to the articles as soon as they come out.


  • Posted July 26, 2011
    July 25

    We made some great progress today regardless of 104º Austin heat. It's like Bikram Pre-Production.

    We found a great actor for Peter, one of our key roles. He's plays the role of a young programmer with a very eventful tournament ahead of him.

    (For you reading this in your email, hit the link above for an example of a retro pic and happy International Master that we are referencing for the movie).

    All due to you, we also made it to just shy of $10,000 - 22% towards our goal in 4 days. Thank you to all whom have supported us. We are humbled and grateful every time we looked at our site today.

    I had an internal goal to get us past $10,000 before our press release gets traction (which I expect to be tomorrow). If you know anyone whom might help us get there or damn if you just want to top up - don't let anyone to tell you to stop believing.

    Lastly, we wanted also to become your favorite source for all your computer chess gossip. Here's a link to a real doozy, "Rybka", the World Computer Chess Champion, is stripped of his title for stealing code.


    Off to sleep and we're back at it tomorrow. Thanks to all of you once more. We aim to make you proud.

  • Posted July 24, 2011
    July 24 - "Computer Chess" update

    Hello this is Houston King who is producing "Computer Chess" with the indefatigable Alex Lipschultz. Thank you to all whom have supported our project so far, we're at $6,250 raised with your help!

    I am driving to Austin and dialing for dollars all the way there and excited to join Andrew, Alex and our crew in pre-production.

    Next week, I am going to issue a press release that will let the world know Andrew is making another film. It's fantastic that we have committed funds in our USA Projects account as it will strongly encourage folks outside our friends and family to donate as they will see we are a "go" project. But we still need your help to top $10,000 by Weds. Please pass along the link to our USA Projects site, Like the site (see heart and like above amount pledged) and encourage others.

    You guys are the best and we're eternally grateful.


Match Funds are not currently available.

Previous donations matched by:

    • December 11, 2013 Gautam Valluri Community Member

      Hey guys, I somehow missed the update about the DVDs on October 22nd and I had moved cities in February this year. Any chance I can send in my updated address now? Thanks,

    • July 10, 2013 Andrew Bujalski Artist

      Guatam - DVDs will be sent this fall loaded with Kino Lorber extras that we have curated. It will be worth the wait-thanks for your support and patience! hk

    • July 10, 2013 Andrew Bujalski Artist

      Guatam - DVDs will be sent this fall loaded with Kino Lorber extras that we have curated. It will be worth the wait-thanks for your support and patience! hk

    • July 10, 2013 Andrew Bujalski Artist

      Guatam - DVDs will be sent this fall loaded with Kino Lorber extras that we have curated. It will be worth the wait-thanks for your support and patience! hk

    • June 13, 2013 Gautam Valluri Community Member

      So thrilled about all the news I'm hearing about the film! When will the DVDs be sent out to the donating members?

    • August 10, 2012 michael spence Community Member

      Any news on when this is going to be released?

    • August 21, 2011 Edmund Community Member

      Go Andrew!

    • August 20, 2011 Kimberly D Mullen Community Member

      Great project in all aspects. Best of wishes. kdm

    • August 08, 2011 evonne Community Member

      love &amp; miss you, ab! bueno suerte, sir.

    • August 07, 2011 soandbrad Community Member

      This is an awesome project!

    • August 02, 2011 Adam Bhala Lough Community Member

      Best of Luck Andrew, hope to see you at the premier, or a screening at a random European country again!

    • July 27, 2011 Garth Donovan Community Member

      good luck holmes.

    • July 24, 2011 Gautam Valluri Community Member

      I hope Andrew makes this film. He deserves every penny.

    • July 21, 2011 Houston Community Member

      Pledging was so easy.