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Kim's Video Documentary and Kickstarter to rescue collection.

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Kim's Video Documentary and Kickstarter to rescue collection.

Old 02-15-23, 08:20 AM
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Kim's Video Documentary and Kickstarter to rescue collection.

Kim's Video was a NYC landmark video rental store containing 55,000 rental titles that went out of business in 2008. Someone has made a documentary about their quest to track down what happened to the collection after the store closed, and also launched a Kickstarter to make the collection available again at an Alamo Drafthouse in Manhattan.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...n-at-the-alamo
The project: Kim’s Video is alive in NYC! Ring the liberty bells to welcome the collection to its new home: The Alamo Drafthouse, 28 Liberty Street in Manhattan. There is work to be done to archive the collection. There are about 40,000 movies that have to be paired with their boxes, cleaned, logged, and archived. Tim League has graciously appointed Nick Prueher, and us (David Redmon and Ashley Sabin) as the custodians of the collection and we need to raise funds to organize this important archive and make the entire collection available to the public...

Just in case you missed the strange & bizarre Kim's Video story: For over two decades, New York City cinephiles had access to a treasure trove of rare and esoteric films through Kim's Video. Originally run by the enigmatic Yongman Kim out of his East Village dry-cleaning store, his franchise amassed more than 55,000 rental titles. Many of the titles were hard to find underground films, independent, and foreign. In 2008, facing a changing industry, Mr. Kim closed the business and offered to donate his collection, provided that it stay intact and be available to Kim's Video members. Kim eventually made a deal to send his entire rental collection over 4,000 miles away to the Italian village of Salemi, Sicily.


Eight years later, in 2016, is where we entered the frame. We were curious what happened to the collection. In fact, we were so curious that David, as a former member of Kim’s, picked up his camera and went to Salemi where he was determined to rent a movie. The story unfolded through his bizarre and increasingly obsessive quest as he became entangled in a web of local politics, and to South Korea, where he tracks down the enigmatic Mr. Kim in the hope of influencing the collection’s future. We've just finished the film and Kim's Video the documentary is set to premiere at Sundance Film Festival January 19!
Some reviews of the documentary from the Sundance screening:
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/mo...ew-1235301312/
https://deadline.com/2023/01/kims-vi...im-1235227870/
https://thespool.net/reviews/movies/...23-kims-video/
https://thefilmstage.com/sundance-re...-of-the-tapes/

The Kickstarter isn't do so well at the moment only $9,437 pledged of $60,000 goal, with 3 days to go.
Old 02-15-23, 08:32 AM
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Re: Kim's Video Documentary and Kickstarter to rescue collection.

Spotted this Kickstarter about a week ago when I was checking in on the ROBOT MONSTER kickstarter updates. It looked DOA back then, and the amount raised hasn't gone up much since. As much as I think they're doing something unique, I really don't know if the public should be expected to kick in $80,000 to a commercial, for-profit enterprise to essentially build a museum that only a select few will ever get to see (or rent from, or whatever the plan is). Sad to see, but certainly kind of reflective of the reality that has plagued this collection since Kim's closed the store. It just doesn't have much value beyond the nostalgia.

The doc did look cautiously interesting. 'Cautiously' because there are a fair number of 'VHS geek' documentaries out there already, although this one seems to at least attempt something different with the form.
Old 02-15-23, 08:46 AM
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Re: Kim's Video Documentary and Kickstarter to rescue collection.

The doc was pretty good.
Old 02-17-23, 12:29 PM
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Re: Kim's Video Documentary and Kickstarter to rescue collection.

I pledge $10 to the Kicstarter, which is likely to fail. They're well short of their goal, and have only 22 hours left.

I posted a comment on the Kickstarter, to see what might happen next, and offer some suggestions.
Hey, if this Kickstarter fails, which seems likely, is there a contingency plan in place?

Maybe run another Kickstarter when the documentary hits general release, or home video? The more people aware of the story, the more likely to back.

Also, it'd be good to include more details the second time around. Like, what specifically is the relationship between the collection and Alamo Drafthouse. Does Alamo own the collection now, or are they just providing space for it? Is there a nonprofit organization associated with the collection? How will the space work once completed? Will people be able to rent/borrow titles?

Also, some additional details about the rewards would be good. I wasn't entirely sure which item counted as the "bookmark" in the supplied photo. Does a Kim's membership card actually include any features with it, like renting titles, or is it just decorative? Also, the costs for some things seem high, like you have to pledge to a pretty high tier to get some rewards, and it's not clear what those rewards entail. Like, how big a plaque do you get on a shelf? How big is the shelf?

Maybe bring down the price of some rewards. Like, if there's 600 possible plaque locations, offering them for $100 a pop would be more attainable to more people, and would get you $60,000 gross. If there's a limited number of a reward and you're worried about over-selling, you can limit the quantity of the reward. This would show potential backers the relative scarcity, and could lead to FOMO pledges.

Is the the possibility of additional rewards? Like, maybe offering Alamo gift cards, depending on their relationship to this project? Could "Kim’s Video night" be held at more than just the NYC Alamo, like maybe a travelling screening? Could the collection tour at all? Like, have parts of the collection at multple Alamo's around the US, and then rotate titles between them.

I understand I don't know all the specifics of the arrangements surrounding hosting this collection, so some of my suggestions may not be feasible, but maybe they can at least help inspire new ideas to run a better Kickstarter campaign the second time around, if that's what you opt to do.
Old 03-07-24, 12:26 PM
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Re: Kim's Video Documentary and Kickstarter to rescue collection.

Opens in select theaters April 5.

Learn more: drafthousefilms.com/kimsvideo

About Kim's Video:
Physical media reigns supreme in KIM’S VIDEO, an elegiac tribute to the iconic video store in New York City that inspired a generation of cinephiles before it mysteriously closed its doors and sent its legendary film archive to a small and slightly dubious Sicilian village for “safekeeping.” But what starts as an homage to cinema quickly becomes a rescue mission to ensure the eternal preservation of the beloved video collection.

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