Glenn Cochrane fondly remembers the bygone era of the video store.
“Once upon a time I was a franchisee of Video Ezy and then went independent and ran my own video store for 15 years,” he says.
Now he’s surrounded by digital discs in his role as a processor at JB Hi-Fi’s Doncaster store in Melbourne’s north-east. “I oversee all the incoming stock and make sure it’s all processed properly, put into the right promos, has the right pricing, and is ready to be put out onto the floor. I like being out back because I can see how all the other departments work. It’s the root of it all.”
Although situated at back of house, customers will seek him out for recommendations. “Outside of JB I’m a film journalist, so they come to me for all the movie knowledge and whatnot.”
So what would he recommend? “A show I’ve been really into lately is The Missing, a British mystery/crime series from 2014. In the same genre, Broadchurch– definitely give that a crack if you’ve never seen it. I’m pretty much, ‘tell me what you like’ so I can recommend similar things.”
Not so similar are Glenn’s own favourite genres – Horror and Children’s. Or are they? “I find these two to be interconnected in the way they tell stories and explore themes,” he explains. “I just can’t get enough of either. My favourite family film would be the original Mary Poppins, purely for nostalgia’s sake – I used to thrash it on VHS as a kid. And Re-Animator is the pinnacle of horror with everything in it – gore, comedy… It’s great!”
As for the tastes of customers in Doncaster, Glenn says that the store has a mixed clientele. “Primarily when it comes to TV, the older folk go for A Place to Call Home, The Crown and that kind of stuff. To the contrary, we have a big 4K bracket as well – anything that’s a blockbuster or new just flies out the door.”