Popmotion Pictures and filmmaker Taylor Morden are teaming with fans online to fund and produce a documentary about the Blockbuster Video in Bend, Oregon -- which at the end of this month will be the final Blockbuster store in America and is already the last one renting videos.
(Two Alaska locations are selling off inventory this month -- not yet closed, but on the way there.)
The documentary, which will be available on Blu-ray, DVD...and, yes, VHS...will take a look at the history of the franchise as well as the final existing location. Among the perks for Kickstarter backers are real, working Blockbuster Video membership cards, staff t-shirts, and the chance to acutally go to Bend and spend a night working at Blockbuster.
The "work a shift at Blockbuster" reward is on the high end -- $2,500, and the most expensive perk that doesn't involve being credited as a producer on the film -- but fans with more modest aspirations can get movie posters, DVDs, t-shirts, and even VHS copies of The Last Blockbuster if the film is funded.
The Last Blockbuster will be Morden's third documentary feature. His previous film, Pick It Up!: Ska in the '90s, also pushed some nostalgic buttons and got funded on Kickstarter to the tune of over $100,000. Working with Morden will be Zake Kamm, a Hollywood lifer who is probably most recognizable to our readers for writing some episodes of PowerPuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory, and The Weird Al Show.
There is a sense of urgency in the Kickstarter, in part because the filmmakers hope to finish the movie before the last Blockbuster is gone.
"How great would it be to finish the film in time that it’s available for rent at the store?" the Kickstarter page asks.
Morden is looking to put together $20,000 for the film. With 38 days to go in his attempt, the film is currently sitting at just over $1,000.1comments
While the narrative around the few surviving Blockbuster stores in recent years has been that they exist primarily in areas where high speed internet is expensive or non-existent, Bend has always been an outlier in that equation. The documentary, in part, looks to ask why a town like Bend, where there is plenty else to do besides making it a Blockbuster night, would be the unlikely last stand for the one-time "rentail" juggernaut.
Based on the Kickstarter page, it seems as though the plan is to complete The Last Blockbuster in time for a May 2019 release.