Confessions of a Blu-ray Collector: Collecting Philosophy
I am starting up a new series of blog posts which will revolve around the idea of movie collecting. I encourage any readers to please debate my points and give their opinions in the comments section. So I start by discussing the mindset of the “collector”.
The urge to collect is probably existent in all humans, but the strength of that urge likely runs across a wide spectrum. And so those on the lower end of the spectrum will look at us on the other end with mocking smirks. But wherever you are on the gamut of collecting, why do we do it? The National Psychologist gives a list of motivations, including:
- for investment
- for enjoyment
- for social interaction (through meeting other like-minded collectors)
- to preserve the past
- for the quest of the pursuit
- to arrange, rearrange, and classify
So which do YOU fall under?
I would say for enjoyment, to be sure. However, I also think I strongly fall under the latter category or arranging and classifying. I have a very categorical mind which I need to arrange many various things in my head in particular orders or segments, and collecting things like blurays, board games, and NES games helps me to channel this need.
There is a danger in collecting as well, and this comes when it starts interfering with our everyday lives. The extreme of this notion is the idea of hoarding of course. So its good to remember to keep your collecting habits in check.
*This information is pulled from The Psychology of Collecting by Mark B. McKinley.
Okay, enough background, lets get into movie collecting in particular.
I have a bluray collection of 145 movies. To those who don’t collect movies, this is going to see really high. To others who do, this is going to seem very low. Why the discrepancy in viewpoints?
When building a movie collection, there are generally two camps which you can fall into. The first is that you collect only a select number of movies which you find to be great films. This is the selective collecting philosophy, or qualitative collection.. This is the category which I fall into.
The second camp is the inclusive or quantitative collecting philosophy. This means that you are more worried about increasing the size of your collection that what actually goes into the collection. Collectors with this philosophy, like Frank from the Filmjunk podcast or Fogs from Fog’s Movie Reviews, seem to buy any movie they deem slightly interesting. Therefore, their collections can get very large. I’m talking 800-1000 movies, or in some extreme cases even higher I am sure.
So why do I fall in the first camp? Its because I see my collection as a reflection of who I am as a movie fan. This selection of movies that I have chosen speak to my tastes in film and are a statement of what I believe to be great cinema. Just because I see lesser movies in the 2 for 10 bin at Best Buy doesn’t mean I’m going to automatically buy them just because they’re cheap. Hell, I’ve even ejected films from my collection after further reflection of whether or not they are actually worthy of being in there.
People in the second camp also have a much higher likelihood of “blind buying”, or buying blurays of movies they have never seen before. This makes no sense to a collector like myself, unless you have a system in place for selling off those movies again if they do not meet your standards.
So which type of collector are you? What are your motivations for collecting movies, if you are also a movie collector? And if you are, which general philosophy do you fall under? Do you buy as many movies as you can, or only a select few? How large is your bluray collection?