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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

This art gallery makes pop culture dreams come true

A place where even the geekiest fandoms transform into exciting works of art.

Now Playing: Watch this: Your favorite movies get (fake) sequels at iam8bit
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Quick show of hands: Who doesn't want a sequel to "Being John Malkovich" that focuses on Jeff Goldblum?

Exactly. Everyone wants to see that movie. And if your hand is up, you're in denial (or simply unaware of the magic of the 'blum).

Welcome to iam8bit's Sequel 2, an exhibit where artists dream up ideas for movie sequels and prequels we all secretly wish for, but likely won't ever actually see. Titles like "Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2," "Son of Scissorhands" and "Being Jeff Goldblum" line the walls of iam8bit's Los Angeles gallery-slash-storefront-slash-event-space while eager attendees wander around looking for a print they might want to take home. This is the second year of Sequel -- a sequel to the original Sequel, if you're feeling meta. The first was wildly popular and produced some killer concept posters you could frame and display proudly in your home.

But iam8bit isn't just about art prints. It's where even the geekiest fandoms become cool: Through limited-edition collectibles and premium experiences, iam8bit is redefining what it means to be a collector. In 2013, it partnered with Capcom to re-create Scrooge MacDuck's money bin for the remastered Ducktales game. This year, it's teamed up with Capcom again and created a Resident Evil escape room. Those experiences exist on top of the wide variety of merchandise available, including custom vinyl soundtracks for games such as The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time and The Last Guardian, which make super cool gifts for the hipster vinyl collector in your life.

If you were to ask 100 different people what exactly iam8bit was, you'd probably get 100 different answers, but co-founders Jon Gibson and Amanda White seem to like it that way. They're all about creating a business that means something different to everyone. It's kind of like Harry Potter's Room of Requirements...if it turned into a shop full of merchandise and fun installations. There's something weird and yet effortlessly cool about everything you might see on the shelves and walls at iam8bit.

In recent years, the company expanded its reach beyond gaming and has fully immersed itself in pop culture at large, but in its own strange way. This January, it'll open a short-term installation called the Jerry Maguire Video Store at its flagship LA location. The invite calls it "a perfect re-creation of a video rental store circa 1996, but instead of carrying thousands of porn quadrilogies and action movie knockoffs, this store will carry only 'Jerry Maguire' on VHS." It's an homage to the shop's seedy video store history (see our video for more on that nugget of information), but also patently hilarious and silly -- hallmarks of iam8bit's exhibitions.

After walking around the Sequel 2 exhibit, I realized I was looking not only at a gallery full of prospective buyers, but a real community surrounding the very idea of iam8bit. Many people pop into the store for every opening, not only because they find the current exhibit of interest, but because they discover a growing number of like-minded enthusiasts more than willing to discuss whatever's happening at the show or within the geek realm at large.

There's something special happening at iam8bit, and the company hopes to continue fostering that intersection of creativity, fun and wackiness going forward.

Now, is it too much to ask Hollywood to actually make "Being Jeff Goldblum" a reality?