The Documentary was made with an attention to detail, and I want support to be the same way.

On this page will be any and all relevant issues, concerns, and advice regarding the BBS Documentary. Many of these were inspired by e-mails recieved during production or just after completion, and in some cases are reflecting a single inquiry. The idea is to have an easy place to check up on for advice regarding your copy of the BBS Documentary. If your questions are not answered here, do not hesitate to mail me at


In making this documentary, I was faced with a very large challenge: how to take a quarter-century of BBS history and compress it into a documentary form. To do this, I split the story into eight distinct pieces and then created these different stories in parallel. The stories themsleves rose from the hundreds of interviews conducted, and are put together an an informative and entertaining fashion.

I was often asked if this BBS or that BBS would be covered in the documentary, and I have to state clearly that the documentary does not generally focus on any specific BBS, instead choosing to talk about the general BBS experience and story, since that has not been done before. While there are BBSes which could easily take an episode in themselves for the story to be told, I decided that the approach of discussing general feelings and responses with BBSes would be more effective. Specific BBSes do make appearances, but always within the context of representing the groups they were a part of. With over 100,000 BBSes that have been in operation, going into specifics about each BBS would be beyond impossible. Reviews have been positive about the outcome that resulted from this approach.

The documentary was shot in the United States and Canada. While users and interviewees from other countries make an appearance in various episodes, the documentary is most definitely telling its stories from a North American point of view. This was part of the motivating factor in providing a very loose license to the material; it is my sincere hope that filmmakers in other countries will use the BBS Documentary footage in a new way as foundations for further documentaries that focus on other countries. I made a decision (an accurate one) that splitting my time between North American BBSes and other countries would spread the whole work too thin.

Some Episodes contain profanity. I felt strange and unhappy censoring/beeping out the use of swears in describing emotionally charged thoughts about the BBS, so profanity makes an appearance in nearly every episode.


The BBS Documentary comes on three DVD-9 DVDs. "DVD-9" is a format that uses two layers on the disc to achieve nearly twice the space of a regular single-layer DVD. The result of this added space is that the documentary has roughly 7 hours of footage and episodes and also contains a DVD-ROM section on Disc 3 that includes thousands of photographs and digitized speeches. However, the DVD format contains its own quirks and strangeness. Here are some that are known so far.
  • DVD-9s have a "layer break", a point when the DVD's laser must switch its active layer so it can continue to read information. Unfortunately, there is a wide variation of ease at which DVD players handle this. Many simply pause for a millisecond before continuing, but others will wait for a moment and then go forward.
  • On DVD-2, the layer break is during the ARTSCENE episode's "ripping" sequence. On DVD-3, the layer break is during the bonus footage called "Under Suspicion".
  • The BBS Documentary DVD uses analog sound output, not digital; some customers with exclusively digital connections have said the DVD is silent unless they specifically activate the analog output of their DVD players. Customers with computer DVD players seem to have no problem.
  • The DVDs are CSS, Macrovision, and Region free. This means they can be played on any DVD player of any type, or copied to a hard drive for easier playback. Additionally, there are no menus that you can't abort out of, and there is no background music on menus, to make using the DVDs a more pleasant experience.
  • If you have a disc that does not seem to work in your player at all, or causes the DVD player to stop responding or hang when going to the same spot, please contact Jason at to arrange a DVD exchange. You paid good money for this product and you deserve it to be working.

Do not hesitate to write to with questions about the production or physical media.