Introducing B10 Digital Jazz
In the summer of 1982, the vision that animator Steven Lisberger had 6 years prior after seeing test footage of a burgeoning technology called “video games” was realized in a film called TRON. The film would end up grossing $50 million worldwide, making it Disney’s highest-grossing live-action film in 5 years.
It was both a critical and box office hit but was quickly relegated to cult film status, this was natural because the visual spectacle that it was on the big screen did not translate well to the CRT television sets (not even all color at this point) those home viewers had. Beyond that, even the most ardent of fans have to admit that the story while piquing the imagination, didn’t get anywhere near the heartstrings. One of the best negative reviews I found had this to say:
“Tron is loaded with visual delights but falls way short of the mark in story and viewer involvement.”
Another interesting bit of trivia was that the Motion Picture Academy refused to nominate Tron for a special-effects award because, as director Steven Lisberger puts it, "The Academy thought we cheated by using computers". The reality was the world wasn’t quite ready for Tron.
At the same time, in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A., a 43 day-old baby was preparing to get a couple of cutting edge surgeries to repair a cleft lip and palate, a common congenital birth defect that up until that time often meant noticeable facial scarring and a lifetime of speech problems. If the world wasn’t ready for Tron, this kid certainly wasn’t ready for the world.
But his story is the one that I know the best and that brings us to this newsletter. The name B10 Digital Jazz comes from the wildly underappreciated follow-up to our favorite cult classic: TRON:Legacy.
It seems only fitting to name this newsletter after something from the Tronverse given that it and I were born so closely together. So as I try to weave where tech has been, is at, and will be going along with the things I love like gaming, music, and film in some harmonious way, I want to frame it as “Bio-digital Jazz, man.”
It would be a disservice not to mention the newsletters that have inspired this one:
Dror Poleg, Not Boring, Billy’s Tech Newsletter are all adding so much to the conversation already, but I wanted to look at the same conversation through a different lens.
The next edition fittingly will talk about TRON: Legacy, web3, and Amara’s law. But this is just an intro so come back for that one. Why B10? Well, it’s simple: someone else has already laid claim to biodigitaljazz.substack.com and so instead of whacking numbers on the end or a hyphen somewhere, it seemed better to bring the 1 and 0 from binary right to the middle of it all…weaving tech into the heart of the name.
I hope you will consider subscribing and join me on a journey to explore how something as simple as a film reel of Pong has set us on a course to “A world beyond your experience, beyond your imagination. A place beyond your dreams”…more on that in a later edition.