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Documentaries

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Graphic Means (Trailer)

Graphic Means (Trailer)

Briar Levit’s Graphic Means is an upcoming documentary that will explore the history of graphic design production and desktop publishing, starting from the meticulous analog processes of the ’50s to the instant gratification and one man operations we have today.

How Google Doodles Are Made

How Google Doodles Are Made

Google employees Nat and Lo visited the Google Doodle design team to find out how they make the interactive Google logos. In particular, Nat and Lo spoke to the members who came up with the Olympic-themed Doodle, the Fruit Games.

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Mister Sunshine

Mister Sunshine

When Larry Woods was a millionaire back in the day, he was a self-confessed a-hole. But a single moment set him on the path to discovering true happiness. His new career as a shoeshine man may be humble, but it’s clear that he’s a much better person for it.

Jukebox Hero

Jukebox Hero

While tube amps and turntables have made a big comeback in recent years, vinyl jukeboxes are still relics of days gone by. Great Big Story takes a brief look at Perry Rosen, one of the few guys around who still knows how to fix these mechanical marvels of the past.

Welcome to The Last Bookstore

Welcome to The Last Bookstore

Chad Howitt’s profile of Josh Spencer, owner of Los Angeles’ famous used book shop The Last Bookstore. An outdoorsman, Josh was paralyzed from the waist down after an accident. But it led him to create what become a beloved landmark.

The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere

The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere

In 2003, a failing small town horse track in Japan made a desperate gamble: hype up Haru Urara, a horse with a record of 0-88. The country rallied around her story, “a message about the value of trying hard even when no one’s looking.” Ganbatte kudasai!

Under the Sun (Trailer)

Under the Sun (Trailer)

Vitaly Mansky wanted to make a documentary about life in Pyongyang through the eyes of a young girl. But authorities’ constant interference turned it into an scripted satire – a more accurate representation of what Mansky was trying to capture anyway. Playdates here.

Being a Title Designer

Being a Title Designer

Dan Perri has created titles and title sequences for Star Wars IV, Taxi Driver, Gangs of New York and more. He spoke with the Oscars about his career, his tools and his penchant for adapting rather than stamping his own style to the movie he’s working on.

How Tennis Balls Are Made

How Tennis Balls Are Made

Benedict Redgrove’s brief and wordless film sums up a Wilson factory’s tennis ball manufacturing process, from molding the rubber halves to packaging the finished balls. We hope the lady at the end intentionally turns balls the wrong side up from time to time.

The Dude Behind the Dude

The Dude Behind the Dude

“Yeah maybe they don’t take me seriously, umm you know, why would you take somebody seriously that doesn’t know what day it is?” Meet Jeff Dowd, the Coen Brothers’ main inspiration for Jeff Bridges’ character in The Big Lebowski. Props to Redditor th3rp for the title.

Lancia Delta S4: A Ballet of Brutality

Lancia Delta S4: A Ballet of Brutality

“When you’re done driving the car, you’re really happy, because it’s over.” John Campion spoke with Petrolicious about his rally car collection, particularly the Delta S4, which is the first car to have both a turbocharger and a supercharger.

DeLorean: The Man, The Car, The People

DeLorean: The Man, The Car, The People

Carfection spoke with employees of both the original and the current DeLorean Motor Company about their founder, the car maker’s troubled and storied history, and their flawed yet futuristic creation.

Last Chance U (Trailer)

Last Chance U (Trailer)

A Netflix documentary series about East Mississippi Community College, one of the middle of nowhere schools where many Division I football and NFL hopefuls try and prove themselves once more. Based on Drew Jubera’s eponymous article.

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Voyage of Time (Trailer)

Voyage of Time (Trailer)

Terence Malick’s long awaited documentary about the birth and death of the universe. Voyage of Time will have two versions: a 40-minute cut narrated by Brad Pitt, and a feature length – and undoubtedly more epic – cut narrated by Cate Blanchett. Premieres 10/2016.

The Race of Gentlemen

The Race of Gentlemen

In 1947, a group of young men founded a hot rod club called the Oilers. In 2008, the club was revived as The Race of Gentlemen – a beach race and car show featuring early to mid 20th century American cars and motorcycles.

Being a Special Makeup Effects Artist

Being a Special Makeup Effects Artist

“Sometimes we’re kinda like the bartenders of a film.” KNB EFX co-founder Howard Berger (The Chronicles of Narnia, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad) explains the basics of making a prosthetic mask before talking about how makeup artists keep the job fun and exciting.

Secrets of Shark Island

Secrets of Shark Island

The Revillagigedo Islands are known as Mexico’s little Galapagos – they’re small yet teeming with life, including dozens of endemic species. The Smithsonian explored the smallest island, Roca Partida, a diving spot known for its congregation of sharks, whales and more.

Mr. Robot: dec0d3d.doc

Mr. Robot: dec0d3d.doc

(SPOILERS, PG-13: Language) The hit TV series Mr. Robot gives itself a well-deserved 40-minute long pat on the back, pointing out that it’s a modern day superhero story that could actually be real, if not already so. Brief season 2 sneak peek at 37:00.

Rams

Rams

Industrial designer Dieter Rams helped elevate everyday objects with his functionalist approach. Gary Hustwit (Objectified, Helvetica, Urbanized) is currently raising funds to finish a documentary about the designer, made with the help of Rams himself.

Creative Spark: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Creative Spark: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

“I think creativity is a byproduct of not trying so hard.” Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2 & 3) spoke with the Oscars about her style of filmmaking, making art in her free time to keep her creativity burning and how inspiration can come from anywhere.

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Eight Days a Week (Teaser)

Eight Days a Week (Teaser)

Director Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) takes us back to the Fab Four’s brief but revolutionary takeover of rock and roll, and music in general. Featuring lots of never-before-seen footage and interviews with Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

How Waze Works

How Waze Works

Despite its cluttered interface, Waze is a shining example of crowdsourcing – it turns parts of a problem into parts of a solution. Google employees Nat and Lo visited their co-workers to learn more about the community-based interactive map app.

Where Hoop Dreams Are Handmade

Where Hoop Dreams Are Handmade

Basketball is one of New York City’s favorite pastimes, and the city’s Parks Department plays a big role in keeping the sport alive. Great Big Story spoke with one of the city’s blacksmiths, who’s made around a thousand basketball rims for public courts.

The Heart Followers

The Heart Followers

Ingrid and Benjamin Hjertefølger (“heart follower”) are advocates of sustainable living. They live in a greenhouse that they built partly out of cob, clean all of their waste water and are encouraging their children to also form a deep bond with nature.

The Secret World of Foley

The Secret World of Foley

Bouncing between surreal and genuine, Daniel Jewel’s wordless short film is about a Foley crew recreating the sounds of an entire film, from waves breaking on the beach to a freshly caught fish twitching on a fisherman’s hand.

Kirby: The Fun of Simplicity

Kirby: The Fun of Simplicity

In the early ’90s, Nintendo was looking for more Game Boy exclusive games. Then 19-year-old Masahiro Sakurai – who would go on to create Super Smash Bros. – answered the call with a new title that could be enjoyed by first-time gamers. The result is Kirby’s Dream Land.

Man vs Snake (Trailer)

Man vs Snake (Trailer)

In 1984, Tim McVey played the arcade game Nibbler – a predecessor of the mobile game Snake – until he became the first person to score a billion points in a video game. In 2009, after rumors spread of someone beating his record, he tried to set the bar higher.

Mutual Rescue: Eric & Peety

Mutual Rescue: Eric & Peety

“I decided that I wanted to be the person whom he thought I was.” In 2010, Eric’s doctor said he’d be dead in 5 years. He was severely overweight, had high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Then a nutritionist gave him a life-changing advice: get a shelter dog.

From Deep Dish to Thin Crust

From Deep Dish to Thin Crust

Munchies and Brooklynite restaurateur Frank Pinello visited Chicago to sample some of the best pizza that the Windy City has to offer, and talk to some of the best local pizza makers and their biggest fans.

Lo and Behold (Trailer)

Lo and Behold (Trailer)

Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog explores the good and bad effects of our increasing dependence on the internet by speaking with both experts and his fellow laymen, including a few unfortunate victims. More here.

We Live This

We Live This

(PG-13: Language) “The crowd shouldn’t know what you’re going through. Your show shouldn’t reflect on your day.” James Burns’ award-winnning documentary about We Live This, a group of teenagers who dance on New York City’s subway to make money.

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