23 RISC-V pioneers were interviewed: 17 individually, 4 as pairs, and 3 as one triple. (Andrew Waterman was interviewed twice).
The interviewees were spread across 20 cities in 8 countries and 9 time zones.
There were no face-to-face meetings and no one traveled to make this documentary. All interviews were held over Zoom, and all production meetings used Zoom or FaceTime.
Interviews were scheduled for 30 minutes except for Krste Asanovic, Andrew Waterman, and Yunsup Lee, which was 60 minutes. Interviews usually lasted less than the allotted time.
The interviews occurred over 5.5 weeks. Rick O’Connor was first on July 16, 2020 and the last was Andrew Waterman on August 24, 2020.
The premier of the documentary occured 10 days after the last interview, on September 3, 2020 at the RISC-V Global Forum.
The completed documentary is actually a suite of videos offering different perspectives on RISC-V depending on the background and level of interest of the audience:
“A Snapshot of RISC-V Today and Tomorrow” (3:10) is aimed at the general public, and tries to capture the enthusiasm for and impact of RISC-V.
“The First Decade of RISC-V in the words of its Pioneers” (12:57) is aimed at people in information technology with a little longer attention span. It chronicles the origin, nature, growth, and current and future impact of RISC-V. (There is only a small overlap between these first two videos.)
“Founders Reflect on RISC-V’s Past and Future” (29:15) is for people in information technology interested in more details. The creators of RISC-V answer 22 questions about the motivation and history of RISC-V and explain the rationale of some novel features of the RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture.
“RISC-V In More Depth: Its First 24 Milestones” (38:29) is for dedicated RISC-V fans and for people attracted to the history of technology, as the people involved in each milestone explain how they came about and what it was like to be “in the room where it happens.”
“RISC-V In More Depth: Definition, Impact 2020, Impact 2025” (11:27), also for RISC-V aficionados, where the pioneers define RISC-V, describe its impact today, and predict its importance in five years.
For people interested in only portions of the last three videos, the filmmaker also divided them into ≈1-minute videos answering each of the 22 questions, ≈2-minute videos for each of the 24 milestones, and ≈4-minute videos for the 3 three points. This individual packaging allows them to become video answers to Google searches about RISC-V.
The total time of the raw video interviews is 7:02.
The total time of all 54 finished videos is 3:01:00.
The run time for the first 5 videos listed above is 1:35:00. To put that into perspective, the length of the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” is 1:36:00.
The filmmaker used Adobe Premiere Pro 2020 video editing software running on a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) to create the documentary.
This documentary suite is hosted by RISC-V international on its website.
The RIOS Lab added closed captioning in Chinese for some of the videos and also hosts them.