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Articles on video collecting
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DVD Profiler Unlimited Registrantmovie_madness
Registered: August 7, 2007
Posts: 80
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There are very few articles on the behavioral aspect of video collecting.  Even with the massive number of collectors both online and in real world, in this forum and other forums like this, on Youtube, social media, etc., there are very few discussions on what exactly movie collectors do and the manners in which they do it.  One article, called "The Contradictions of Video Collecting," written in 1996 by a guy who worked for Criterion at the time, makes a splendid, albeit subjective, attempt at analyzing in nerdy, gritty detail many behavioral aspects of video collecting.  It SHOULD be an interesting read for some of the more serious collectors among us.  The article is available at JSTOR.com, which lets you read 6 articles for free every month.  It was first printed in the Film Quarterly magazine.  It was written during the VHS and laserdisc era, but many of its points are still relevant.

It is a very lengthy article with the following most interesting points:


GENERAL OBSERVATIONS:

- The more time spent on managing one's video collection, the less time available to actually watch them.
- Collectors with the largest collections are the ones least likely to watch them.
- Big collectors may fabricate a potential of limitless viewing pleasure while indulging in the reality of endless collecting.
- The desire to see the collection grow is the one thing shared by all collectors.
- A bravado in video collecting lies in the acquisition of rare items.
- For the collector, ownership is the most intimate relationship one can have to objects.
- It is difficult to differentiate between a collector's creative passion and compulsive consumption.
- It is impossible for anyone other than the collector to understand the collection's importance.
- A film title truly "belongs" to a collector when it is watched in the collector's own surroundings; the same title watched elsewhere doesn't.


ON PHYSICAL DISCS:

- Even though discs are mere holders of the actual film content, that does not negate their physical state as part of their appeal.
- Books that have grown old, turned yellow, tattered, etc., add to the historical pleasure of collecting them; but discs and their packaging must remain as pristine as possible.
- With new and improved disc media, collectors (and restorationists, producers, filmmakers, etc.) feel compelled to improve on what has come before.


ON ADDING TITLES:

- Collectors may have many films they love but haven't added to their collections.
- Their collections may have many titles they don't "love," but watch repeatedly.
- Their collections may have titles they hardly ever watch, but feel obliged to have.
- Their collections may even have titles they "hate," but the many peripheral pleasures of films often help them ignore that hate.  (NOTE: The author may be considering audio commentaries, special features, deluxe packaging, etc. to be such peripheral pleasures.  I confess that sometimes I do buy lesser films based on such peripheral criteria rather than the worth of the film itself.)
- There are "emotional" reasons, whims, irrational thoughts, etc. for adding certain titles to one's collection.
- Questionable rationales for adding certain titles often turn into "reasonable" self-justifications.
- The mood to purchase could evaporate after a delay in purchasing.
- You may browse a store with no intention of buying, but end up buying a title that you might never consider otherwise.
- You may have decided to purchase a title, but left it behind in favor of something else.
- Collectors go through agonizing indecisions and constant weighing of pros and cons that are integral to the "logic" of collecting.
- Collectors don't necessarily add titles they "respect," but titles with a proven capacity to please.
- Titles bought with low expectations often become favorites.
- Such unpredictability threatens to make collecting an exercise of self-deception.
- Collectors are often swayed by technical qualities (picture and sound); thus, a collection may be biased towards films that favor visual style.


ON CATALOGING TITLES:

- Films, with their multiple authors and points of reference, present a cataloging nightmare.
- Cataloging one's collection is the ultimate sign of possessing the collection, a final sign of personality, the final proof of possession.
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
Aim high. Ride the wind.
Registered: March 18, 2007
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United States Posts: 5,044
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Fun reading and I could identify with many of the points there.
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DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorCubbyUps
Registered: March 14, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
United States Posts: 3,714
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Quote:
Books that have grown old, turned yellow, tattered, etc., add to the historical pleasure of collecting them; but discs and their packaging must remain as pristine as possible.


Regarding books, well books that turn yellow tattered, etc. may have historical pleasure (whatever that means) but the value goes down. A first edition in pristine condition will garner more money that a first edition in terrible condition.

So to me, I think if one collects anything you want it in the best possible condition.
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