The linotype is a 19th century machine developed by Ottmar Mergenthaler. It’s a type casting machine that was popular in 1884 until it became obsolete in the 1970s. The invention of the linotype revolutionized printing in such a way that it was called by Thomas Edison as the “Eight Wonder of the World”. It is this machine that inspired the Linotype: The Film.
The film is a documentary about the linotype machine, but it doesn’t focus entirely on the equipment but rather on the stories of the people connected to the machine. It’s a brainchild of three young filmmakers Doug Wilson, Brandon Goodwin and Jess Heugel. Their goal for the film is not to reminiscence the historical machine, but rather to disclose stories behind machinists. Among the questions the film seeks to answer as mentioned in their official website are: What place does the Linotype have in the age of new technology? Should the machine be shoved into a museum and left to rust? Why should anyone care about typography or the technology of communication?
Wilson, who acts as director and producer of the film, said to Miami News Times the movie is “not just a dry, boring history film. There isn't even a narrator. It's more about the crazy old people who worked with these crazy old machines."
Production of the film started in August 2010 and the world premiere was held in New York last February 3, 2012 with subsequent screenings in the East and West Coast. For screening schedule, visit this site.