In the early age of the easily accessible internet, there was not a lot to access. It was a brave new world, and it took some seriously innovative minds to begin piecing together how to use it to provide entertainment. Today, slapping together an animation and posting it on Youtube is not particularly difficult. Back in the early days of flash animation, however, it took a lot more work to produce comedic shorts that entertained the masses eager to see what the internet had to offer.

My earliest recollection of flash animation comes from journalism class, when my friends and I would log onto our ancient computers and wait for the school internet to load videos from Newgrounds and Albinoblacksheep. We were enthralled, absolutely captivated, and amazed at what technology could bring us with a few clicks of a mouse.

Now, thanks to those people behind the animated cartoons and games, the internet is full of digital content oftentimes freely available to the masses. Youtube channels, where independent creators produce their heartfelt content, are flourishing. People can make a career out of animation, made with open source programs that allow them to go wild. The early years of the internet laid the path for what we can see today, and every “viral video” can probably thank the old flash animators who whet the appetite of the masses for a new type of content.

As such, filmmaker Justin Zimmerman has embarked on a new project to meet with some of these great minds and interview them for his new documentary Gone In A Flash. From the Kickstarter:

This eclectic and talented group of individuals used Flash to advance animation and made the internet worth visiting. And our team of filmmakers, artists and technicians is going to bring their stories and work to life in a way no one’s ever seen before. Who they were at the time. Why they created what they created. And who they are now, looking back!

They did it all with what Zimmerman refers to as a “punk rock attitude,” and from his Kickstarter hopes to raise the money to tell their stories, and produce a documentary where the creators are able to share their thoughts on what their innovative creations begat so many years later.

With help from the community, the team behind Gone In A Flash hopes to raise the funds necessary to travel around the country to meet up with the creators of those early animations and tell their story. The best part? Thanks to the Kickstarter platform, you’re not just donating money to a cause, but you get to be a part of the process.

Donate to any of the tiers, and you’ll be given behind the scenes updates as the team sets out to create the documentary and bring viewers the absolute best story they can find. Choose your tier wisely, and you can score some awesome swag, such as exclusive streaming of the video, or if you’ve got a grand laying around, you could even nab associate producer status. Not quite looking to spend that much? Drop it down and grab some fantastic art, as well as other film related items, from a few of the talented artists working on the team.

You can help make this film a reality, and unearth an important and influential part of the internet’s history. You can find the Kickstarter HERE, and learn more about filmmaker Justin Zimmerman on his site at Brickerdown.