The Abbreviated State

The Abbreviated State Film

Artist’s rendition of movie poster.

This documentary film claims that, in the early 1960’s, a group of leaders in the field of ‘name abbreviation’ were brought together by the United States Postal Service to decide the two-letter abbreviations for all fifty states. They discover it to be an arduous task. Almost as arduous as finding this movie.

They thought it would be easy, but it turned out to be one
of the monumentally difficult problems in the history of
the field of abbreviation, and movie searching.

The story goes that in a time before easy access to computers or special algorithms, 1961, that perhaps could have made their jobs less strenuous. All they had was a room, some fresh perked coffee and a deadline to get the job done. These were not your average people, they were exceptional in some cases, and in other cases – not so much.  Egos were bound to be bruised. Surprisingly this documentary has some truly dramatic and comedic moments, we can imagine, as this diverse group of people worked through their personal differences to focus on the job at task, and of course the one thing that they all have in common: their love for the abbreviated word.

This movie The Abbreviated State was thought to exist by many viewers of comedian Gary Gulman’s standup routine on a Netflix Special called, “It’s About Time” (2015) Gulman’s skillful (or maybe crafty is a better word) pairing of a real documentary movie called Helvetica (2007) with his description of The Abbreviated State promoted the possibility it was real, all the more believable. When directly asked about it on his Twitter feed, Gulman’s sneakily evaded the question with: “made it up.”

“Well we’re not buying it Gary.” was the overwhelming response. It exists, just not yet.

Like the nerds we are here at ReelHipster. We were fooled too. We scoured the internet looking for a documentary on the history of the two-letter state abbreviations and found nothing. We really wanted it to be there and we liked the idea so much we decided to make this page anyway in hopes of it’s future release.

We are not film makers so we won’t be making the film. That poster is made up, and Mr. Gulman never mentioned the name of the film in his act. If anyone wants to attempt making this film (or a trailer) and maybe post it on Youtube.  You are guaranteed to be already listed on our site as an official ReelHipster approved movie, sight unseen. We only post movies that are probably missed by most people. We will link to it here on this page.


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