Yeah.... it's Jason Scott, the guy I had the dubious privilege of having a fairly long, involved conversation/debate with on a Facebook forum a while back. (I belong to a private message group someone created on there where people discuss the "good old days" of the local BBS scene in the area code I lived in back then.)
The BBS Documentary Project was brought up and somehow he was invited to the discussion. I thought that was pretty cool, initially, because I'm one of the people who did an advance purchase of that set of DVDs when I heard it was coming out. I'd never had a conversation with Jason Scott before, but always admired the guy for caring enough about the BBS scene and preserving it as a part of history to make the documentary. (Heck, part of me always wanted to do one myself. I went through a phase where I bought a fair bit of video editing and recording gear and helped make DVDs out of other people's footage from vacations and other events, and wanted to produce something of my own. But life got in the way, as it often does .... a messy divorce, a kid I had to raise on my own, and demands of a new job pretty much squashed that little dream for me.)
But hey, here was a guy in a different place in life who was able to run around the country in his R.V. and actually go get all of these interviews and make the documentary. So, cool... I was happy to give him a little financial support by buying a copy.
After Facebook, my opinion of him changed a bit. For starters, it seems he's really NOT very good at handling constructive criticism. Many of us, for example, simply felt his documentary was oddly biased in a few parts and wanted to ask him why he made some of those choices. For example, after watching the whole thing, I was a little perplexed why he left so much footage in there covering the "ANSI artwork scene"? I fondly remember the days when the WWIV BBS owners would play around in the ANSI art editors for DOS, creating cool welcome screens, and how certain folks achieved near celebrity status as the top ANSI artists out there. But most of the documentary interviewed these younger kids who were part of the later scene that was a very minor footnote. (We're talking the "warez BBS" groups at this point, with people who often as not, just processed GIF or JPG images into ANSI art with utilities and made massive things that had to scroll through 2 full screen displays to see the whole image.) And IMO, their interviews came off pretty arrogant - like the whole BBS community revolved around their work or something. It just felt inaccurate to me.
So anyway, we brought that up to Scott - but to my surprise, he started attacking us, rather than having an honest discussion about why that choice was made. It turned into a big finger-pointing session of "If you think YOU can do so much better, why don't you make your OWN documentary then!?" It wasn't much different when a few of us wanted to know why our requests, back in the day, to get interviewed for the project were ignored. (Basically, he never interviewed a single person living in our area code or any surrounding area codes, yet we had a huge, fairly influential BBS scene in the 80's.) He turned it into a rant on how expensive it was to drive all over the country to collect all of the footage, and how there was no way he could interview everyone who contacted him, etc. etc.
At the end of the day, I'm still very happy he got some of the interviews captured on video that he did. Some of that would surely be lost to history if it wasn't done. And yes, kudos to him for actually going out there any making this documentary when clearly, the rest of us weren't willing or able to do it at that point in time. But man -- drop the negative attitude! Most of us who would even make the effort to discuss this thing with you and question it are among the core group who actually LIVED it. We actually watched all 4 DVDs full of what you put together, which frankly, MOST people would never even do because they'd find it too "dull and dry" of content. (You kind of had to be there, in the middle of it, to care that much about this stuff.) Some of my questions came more from curiosity than anything else.... like what's the story behind why you couldn't visit city X or Y? There could be some interesting anecdotes about "the time the RV broke down outside Toledo, and ....." or whatever. I think we wanted more of that and less of the, "Screw you for questioning my work, since YOU guys didn't ever make one of these!"