I have collected movies since when I started living alone, shortly before getting married. Back then, movies could only be “saved” on rather bad VHS tapes of dubious legality, although one may argue that family screening is within fair use. Thanks to a friend suggestion I found a manufacturer of plastic sleeves that you could assemble on each other to form walls in Lego-like fashion, which I adapted it to whatever wall I had available when we moved house.
Around the end of the ’80s I stopped recording from broadcast altogether and started the slow process of replacing my hundreds of tapes with original tapes; then in the mid-90s DVDs came out, offering much better quality and near-incorruptibility over time, so I started another replacement process which ten years later was to be superseded by the migration to Blu-ray, leaving me with a composite movie collection.
Keeping track of them soon required some form of archive, ideally to be available in the TV room; the initial, hand-made excel sheet was soon replaced by more sophisticated software able to pull data from online databases such as IMDB; sadly, not much is available in terms of data export and therefore every software upgrade entails a fair amount of manual data entry, lately speeded by barcode scanning.
My current solution is the rather expensive My Movies software available on every platform; unfortunately, however complete, it does not allow for a “VHS” media type and is only cloud-based, meaning every now and then it is simply not available; as soon as I finish reentry of all data, I will back it up, hoping it saves the UPC code and the shelf position. Also, its reporting is very basic and the view formatting nonexistent.
Stats (why a database otherwise?)
Updated: dec. 29th, 2013
Total movies: 735
Support: 343=VHS recorded, 138=VHS, 219=DVD, 31=Blu-ray
Top directors: Woody Allen (23) Alfred Hitchcock (19), Steven Spielberg (14) Francis Coppola & Stanley Kubrick (9) Billy Wilder (8) John Landis & Tony Scott (6) James Cameron, Peter Weir, Martin Scorsese Ridley Scott, Robert Altman, Sydney Pollack & Tim Burton (5)
Top actors/actresses: Woody Allen (22) Robert de Niro (20) Sean Connery (17) Jack Nicholson (14) Al Pacino (13) Brad Pitt (10). BTW, where are the ladies? I think Susan Sarandon is my top actress with a mere 7 movies.
Date range: 1922 (Nosferatu, F.W. Murnau) – today