We love bookshops. But we saw that many are going through tough times.
We wanted to contribute to the cultural debate with our own celebration in support of these glorious independents and their shelves of treasures. So with the help of some remarkable independent bookshops, and a lot of talented friends, we have been able to make our idea for The Last Bookshop into a reality.
The Last Bookshop is a self-funded 20-minute short, which imagines a future where physical books have died out.
One day, when a small boy’s holographic entertainment fails, he heads out to explore the streets of abandoned old shop fronts outside. Down a forgotten alley he discovers the last ever bookshop. And inside, an ancient shopkeeper has been waiting over 25 years for a customer…
Produced by The Bakery in the South-East of England, filming took place in 2011, with post-production completed in 2012, before the finished film was released on YouTube in April 2013.
Veteran actor Alfred Hoffman stars alongside youthful co-star Joe Holgate.
It is written by Richard Dadd, who also co-directs alongside Dan Fryer.
Full credits can be read on The Last Bookshop’s IMDb entry
Greetings from Treadwell’s! Happy new year from all of us here. May 2012 bring The Last Bookshop to fruition and great success. Hope you are well, and that we will be lucky enough to get a visit from you soon. Fondly, Christina, Dianne and Kate at Treadwells in Store Street.
Why thank you, Treadwell’s! 2012 promises to be an exciting time for The Last Bookshop. Thanks for stopping by our blog, and keeping up-to-date with the project.
Hope all is well with you Christina and your coven of magical bookselling folk. As it happens, we chaps of The Bakery may well be paying you a visit before too long…
Absolutely brilliant – harrowing, poignant, devastating. I, for one, will be a customer at the last bookshop until my dying day. There’s nothing like a physical book in your hands to drag you into the story, to steal you away from the world and into hours of pleasure.
Thank you for making this short film. Thank you.
Charming and old fashioned little film…..was secretly hoping that boy could have popped his ‘book’ through letter box and reanimated the shop….what do we suppose happened to the owner?!……..
I love your idea of reanimating the shop by posting the new book through the letterbox. What a magical scene that would make!
Although I can just imagine the look on our animators’ faces if I’d said “yeah can we just CGI the whole shop magically coming back to life?”
As for the Shopkeeper – what do you think happened to him? I suppose it all depends on how you feel an Orwellian corporation like GamaZone would react. Would they simply seize and pulp his stock? Or would they take further action?
I just watched this film and it is just beautiful. So many parts moved me to tears, as usually only a book can do. You have produced a fine film with the soul and essence of a glorious book. Well done.
This site makes me feel like I’ve found my home. Just wonderful.
You’re very welcome. Thank you for your kind words.
Come on in, and make yourself at home 🙂
Wonderful film–I get the same feeling watching it as I do whenever I step into a first-class bookstore. Thank you for sharing it with the world.
The sharp rebuke of traditional copyright monopolies at the end was a delightful surprise. Are there plans to release the film under a Creative Commons license?
Ha ha! Good question!
One of our many inspirations was reading in the press about the Google Book Settlement, which basically escalated out of Google’s mass project to digitise millions of books without consulting copyright holders, on the grounds that creating such a digital library was fair use. This stirred up a plethora of arguments and viewpoints, but I was particularly inspired by the paranoia in some quarters that this was Google amassing resources before developing into a fully fledged Orwellian nightmare.
Our primary intention with the film though was to support and highlight the plight of bookshops, but the aforementioned paranoia seemed to tie in well with imagining a bookless future, and looking for dramatic potential within such a fictional world.
The film was never, however, intended to be an argument in favour of abolishing copyright. It kind of seems fair to me that an author gets financial reward for the weeks/months/years of hard work they devote to crafting things, just like it’s fair that everyone else gets money for devoting time to their jobs whatever those might be. It’s the only way that I can see authors being able to exist in a capitalist society. But then I would say that.
We’ve never discussed releasing it under creative commons, and indeed we stuck a copyright notice in the end credits. Not that we are money-grabbing. Our production team (The Bakery) is composed entirely of people who make things (like this film) for little or no money. It’s out there, on YouTube, for people to share and view and embed as they please for free. That’s the framework we have taken part in, and without such technology we would never have received 25,000+ views.
I’m delighted you enjoyed the film and that it gave you an immersive experience. Thanks for your probing question, and apologies for a long-winded answer!
Fantastic little film a very special message, relays a future world that unfortunately is not that far away.
This is really great little story, but do you have subtitles? If you don’t mind I would like to translate this story into Russian for more people can understand properly.
What an excellent idea.
After reading your comment, I immediately went onto YouTube and there should now be English subtitles available for any viewer who selects the captions at the bottom of the video.
If I’m honest though, I’m not hugely impressed with YouTube’s captioning. The process I followed meant that I was unable to alter the timing of the credits. Instead, YouTube automatically “detects” where they should go. Unfortunately, there are instances where it mistakes the music for human voices, and so the subtitles are out of synch in a few places.
Pingback: Chatty Tea: The importance of saving bookshops | Inklingstime