May 21, 2014, 6:10 AM —
Grace Hopper was known as many things over her long and distinguished career: professor of mathematics at Vassar College, rear admiral in the United States Navy, computer science pioneer, etc. But one thing she was never known as was a movie star. Now, however, more than a dozen years after her death, we all have a chance to pitch in and help to put her and her long list of impressive accomplishments up on the big screen.
Filmmakers Melissa Pierce and Marian Mangoubi are running a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to make a documentary about Hopper’s life to be titled, Born with Curiosity: The Grace Hopper Story. Why make a movie about Hopper’s life? As Pierce wrote, there have been eight movies made about Steve Jobs (with another in pre-production), but none about Hopper’s extraordinary life and career and, without her, we might well have never heard of Jobs in the first place.
Piece and Mangoubi are seeking to raise $45,000 (out of an estimated total budget of $135,000), which they’ve determined is the minimum amount needed to get the movie started. These initial funds would be used to cover things like licensing fees, research costs and equipment rentals. Reaching their funding goal will also help demonstrate interest in the film which could help increase distribution once the film is complete.
They’re offering some cleverly titled perks to those who donate, such as the Debugging Special (Hopper popularized the term “debugging”; a $75 donation gets you deleted - debugged - scenes from the movie), the Source Code (Hopper created the first compiler; $250 will get you a signed copy of the script) and the Mark 1 (Hopper was assigned to work on the Harvard Mark I project, a calculating machine that was part of the Navy’s Bureau of Ships Computation Project during World War II; for $5,000 you get executive producer credit, a private screening and other goodies).
As of this writing, the campaign has raised almost $39,000, and with 19 days left to go (the campaign ends on June 7, 2014) it seems that they will likely reach their funding goal. However, if you want to ensure that they do, don’t wait! Make your donation today!
The filmmakers don’t put a timetable on when they hope to complete Born with Curiosity. Aside from the promo video above, here are a few other Grace Hopper-related things to read and watch to help you pass the time:
Watch Hopper discuss nanoseconds and pantyhose with David Letterman.
Read a transcript of Hopper’s commencement address to Ohio State University graduates in 1984.
Watch Hopper demonstrate her famous microsecond prop on 60 Minutes.
Read more of Phil Johnson's #Tech blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Phil on Twitter at @itwphiljohnson. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.