Ada Lovelace biopic needs letters of support

Suw Charman, of Ada Lovelace Day fame, sez,
Film maker Rosemarie Reed has been in touch with me about a film she's planning called Byron and Babbage: A Calculating Story. Based on Ada Lovelace's letters, it will be a feature-length documentary with some dramatic readings and will air on PBS National.

Rosemarie needs to gather letters of support from the community - from people who feel that Ada is an important figure.

Rosemarie says, "I need letters from people stating how important a film like Ada is and how they through their networks can help to publicize the film. It would be great if the women have organizations they work or belong to. If they are software developers or computer experts, this would be great. It would be best if they were Americans, as the NSF (National Science Foundation) is American."

Letters should be sent by the end of October to:

Rosemarie Reed
On the Road Productions International, Inc.
310 Greenwich Street, 21F
New York, NY 10013

Byron and Babbage: A Calculating Story (Thanks, Suw!)


  1. Is this how all documentaries on PBS get there? Someone asks the Internet for letters explaining “how they through their networks can help to publicize the film?” I’m a software developer and I want my little sister to see this documentary, is that good enough?- or do I have to be American, too? (I am Amerian, but I don’t like to prove it if I don’t have to.)

  2. #3

    I was just about to mention that. Babbage and Lovelace, Steampunk Proto-geek Crime Fighters, would make for an awesome biopic. With Hugh Jackman as Brunel!

  3. I’m puzzled as to why this kind of campaign would be needed. The US DoD named their programming language Ada in her honor; she was evidently the first person to think clearly about the non-numerical aspects of computing; in Alan Turing’s seminal paper on artificial intelligence where he proposes the Turing Test, he is explicitly debating with her well-known statement on the limits of computers: “The Analytical Engine has no pretensions to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform …”

  4. The continuing disparity in the numbers of women and men in software development is one reason why this is needed.

  5. @Daneel.
    I kind of suspect this is a low budget kind of deal. I doubt very much that a convincing movie of the “The Difference Engine” could be made without expensive sets, or at least expensive CGI…

  6. @ funkyderek

    “Great idea, terrible title.”

    Yes, it is. I suggest this:

    Ada Lovelace: Deep Thought

  7. This is about funding and whether or not this doc. will make PBS any money. Simply stating that Lovelace is relevant is NOT enough. Lots of historical figures are relevant, but without willing viewers, would not be a wise investment.

    If you really want to see this film made, don’t just say that it “should be made ’cause Lovelace is important.” Help this person out and actually write a letter stating *why* Lovelace interests you and your associates. That’s the only thing that will make this doc. a worthwhile investment for PBS.

    Historical documentaries are hard enough to make without having to beg a foundation to support it. A letter will take you five minutes. Negate some of that negative karma and send out your letter.

  8. @CLAVDIVS: Actually, her name is in the title. Byron was Ada Lovelace’s maiden name (she was the daughter of the famous poet).

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