As any dedicated collector of movies and TV series on disc already knows, this addictive pursuit comes with its own set of challenges.
Owning your favourite films and TV series and building a personal library that’s there whenever you need it is one of the joys of home entertainment. If you’re an avid collector, however, maintaining an ordered archive isn’t as easy as it sounds – especially if you’ve amassed hundreds or even thousands of discs.
The first and perhaps most important consideration is how to display your collection on those buckling shelves. Alphabetically? By genre? By director or star? By label/distributor?
If quick and easy access is a priority, then alphabetizing by title is the way to go. You’ll always know where something is, and just as importantly, when it’s not where it should be. But as any dedicated collector will appreciate, there’s an element of OCD that comes with the hobby – a mixture of DVD, Blu-ray and 4K cases all lined up in a row in alphabetical order might be convenient, but it isn’t aesthetically pleasing. The collection also needs to look good on the shelves, and in this case, the simple solution to creating balance is to separate the formats.
Some collectors prefer to arrange by genre, which can create a problem when a film is a genre hybrid or defies easy categorisation. Do you file a horror-comedy under horror or comedy?
Others will group according to directors or stars, and keep franchises and box sets together. There are also those who like the look and consistency of matching spine labels and logos from specific distributors. There is no right answer – whatever works best for you.
Then there is the matter of how diehard you really want to be as a collector. If a particular film in a franchise, or a TV season, is a dud, do you still need it and can you live without it? Completists already know the answer to that question and have every film in the Resident Evil and Friday the 13th series proudly displayed. For some collecting can be an addiction, but there are worse things you could be hooked on.
The diehard collector and movie buff (usually one and the same) will also have to deal with the temptation of upgrading from DVD to Blu-ray and now to 4K. Often it’s warranted – a special edition reissue can boast a better transfer, a slew of new bonus features, or limited edition packaging, making the need to double-dip all the more desirable.
There are more people out there with multiple copies of the original Star Wars trilogy, in every available format, than you’d think.
A massive collection not only looks impressive, it gives you the freedom to choose what you want to watch – it’s all right there at your fingertips in the spare room or man cave. Another bonus is the luxury of scanning the shelves on a cold and wet Sunday afternoon for some appropriate viewing. However, actually deciding what to watch can create a dilemma.
Those with an extensive library will know all too well the feeling of standing there for a lengthy period while trying to pick a film that suits the mood, only to eventually give up and read a book instead.
If you’re really serious about collecting, it’s a great time to be alive, with the availability of Steelbook editions, digibooks, alternative artwork and added value items like collectible comic books, figurines and POP! vinyls. Sometimes, it’s not just about what’s on the disc.