Monday, November 11, 2013

The End of Blockbuster

As Blockbuster Video closes its last store, I am reminded of its beginnings back in the '80's.  I was working for Duck Soup, a commercial studio in Santa Monica (now called DUCK), and Bob Seeley was directing a commercial for a new chain of video stores called Blockbuster.  Bob explained that this company was opening a new store every day for a year.  

Holy mackerel! Until then, video rental stores were largely mom-and-pop businesses.  Blockbuster made sure to put the hurt on them, offering more videos, and shinier stores in more locations.  They didn't necessarily have more TITLES than the mom-and-pop store, but if you were looking to watch Die Hard, you wouldn't find the copies already checked out.  Small, indie films  were not their thing, nor were foreign films.  Classics made before 1940, not so much either.  So I stayed with my mom-and-pop's video store, while Blockbuster went on to dominate the market with up to 9000 stores before Netflix killed it.

Bob recalled working on this spot, "I was directing the animation and it turned into the commercial from Hell. It was the first Blockbuster Video commercial and they were very excited about the whole thing."  Layouts were done by Jim George, animation by Tanya Wilson, Al Holter, and Seeley.  

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