Two filmmakers are putting the finishing touches on their full-length documentary about Bend being home to the last Blockbuster in the world.
Piecing together “The Last Blockbuster” has been an adventure for Taylor Morden and Zeke Kamm.
In the two years since they started filming, Blockbuster stores closed in Alaska and Australia, making the one on Third Street in Bend the last one on Earth.
That changed the scope of the documentary. The Bend filmmakers started focusing on the last store, which happened to be in their town. They used the store as a topic for interviews with store manager Sandy Harding and various actors and comedians, some who grew up working in video rental stores.
“The biggest thing we learned was that everybody has a story,” Morden said. “Everybody has a fond memory of Blockbuster and renting a movie on a Friday night. It’s really something we all have in common. Everybody over a certain age.”
The filmmakers plan to release the movie next year. They will enter the film in several festivals across the country before they find a distributor to air their documentary.
“You never know with films like these,” Morden said. “Netflix or Amazon could call tomorrow and they would tell us when it’s coming out. It’s really hard to say what the process will be.”
A sneak peek of the film was shared over the weekend at the Bend Film Festival. The filmmakers created a three-minute trailer with clips of celebrities in the documentary talking about Bend being home to the last Blockbuster. Celebrities included actors Kevin Smith, Jamie Kennedy and comedian Doug Benson.
“It’s very Bend-specific,” Morden said of the sneak peek. “I just pulled all the clips that were Bend related.”
The film has a funnier and more heartwarming tone than Morden and Kamm expected. But the film also answers questions about what happened to Blockbuster, which had about 9,000 stores at its peak.
“People are really going to like it,” Morden said. “It’s something the world needs right now. It’s a nice, uplifting story about a small-town video store and how they outlasted the others.”
Working on the documentary has been some of the most fun Morden and Kamm have had in the film industry, they said.
Morden is a director, cinematographer and editor who owns the production company Pop Motion Pictures. Kamm has worked in film and television, mostly as a writer for youth-oriented entertainment (“Dexter’s Laboratory,” “The Powerpuff Girls,” “My Life as a Teenage Robot”). He owns Nice Industries, a marketing, consulting and filmmaking company.
“I’ve worked in Hollywood for over 20 years, developing TV shows and movies,” Kamm said. “This is more fun.”
Filming in the Bend Blockbuster and talking with people about their love of movies gave Kamm an idea. He decided to start a podcast with Jared Rasic, a Bend film critic.
Rasic, who is also in the documentary, and Kamm talk each episode about movies they love and sometimes invite friends who also have an interest in films.
So far, the two have done 25 episodes of the podcast they call “Unwinder.” The podcast can be found online at weareunwinder.com.
“It’s like a talk show,” Kamm said. “It goes where it goes, and I bring it back.”
Kamm and Morden are done filming their documentary and are now busy in post-production, editing more than 100 hours of footage
Each day they are getting closer to a finished product. When that day comes, the film will be available at the only Blockbuster on Earth.
“Our goal is to put out the video while the store is still around and it can be available for rent at the last Blockbuster,” Morden said. “That’s looking good for 2020.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7820, email@example.com