How do you organize your collection?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Mendoza, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Mendoza

    Mendoza Agent

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    I assume most of you guys have film collections. I myself currently have somewhere around 300+ movies on disc. It's nice to have such a broad selection to choose from, but at the same time, when I or my friends are picking out something to watch the sheer quantity can make picking a title something of a hassle. I used to have a typed catalog of my collection organized according to genre and year, but it's been lost and now my only system is rough alphabetization.

    [​IMG]


    So how do you all do it? Do you keep a nice catalog of your films? Or are they just sitting in a big pile in the corner? How do you pick a title?
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    This question has been asked plenty of times before. There are some truly bizarre systems being used out there, as well.

    I had always gone strictly alphabetically by movie title. I recently changed that somewhat by separating out "collections" to another area, simply because I no longer have room for everything in one place. Now most movies are simple alphabetical, but I have the collections, whether movies (like Bonds all together) or TV shows alphabetically in another spot from the other movies.

    I have always hated grouping by genre and think it is the stupidest idea ever conceived, particularly for rental and retail stores. It is a simple minded approach to movies and makes it needlessly difficult to find titles.
     
  3. Mendoza

    Mendoza Agent

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    Well the whole genre thing is done in (rental) stores obviously for the purpose of 'browsing', which is what I'm curious about. The problems of stuffing a unique kind of film into a single, narrow genre are plain. But I do wonder how people go about perusing their own collections -- chronologically, by actor, director, rating..?

    I'm cataloging my collection. Most folks who use iTunes or almost any other music archiving software have the benefit of being able to instantly organize their music according to name, genre, artist, date, album, personal rating, length of song, and so on. Right now I'm just considering what characteristics to include in my catalog.
    I suppose most people don't go into this level of detail with their collections, or...?
    (Bracing for 47 more views and no responses, heh.)
     
  4. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Purely alphabetically. With approximately 1780 dvds, it's the only way to do it. I do have an excel spreadsheet with all the dvds that I can sort by genre or year, etc. if I have a need to, but on the shelf, it's simply alphabetical.
     
  5. BethHarrison

    BethHarrison Second Unit

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    Errr...shoved in my wardrobe until I move into my new house next month [​IMG]
     
  6. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    I have about 1100 or so and it's chronological by release date for me, when possible. My film fascination has always been tied into my history fascination so I've always related movies to the time in which they were made and released. I usually split boxsets up unless it is impossible (Superman tin) or the boxset is beautiful in it's own right (Ultimate Astaire and Rogers.) The movies come first, followed by television (also roughly chronological by series so that series sets are always kept together) and then hard to categorize stuff like concerts, biographies, etc. They're mostly all in slim cases (unless the packaging is special in it's own right) and I'm the only one who ever really knows where anything is, but I can always find everything, even when my s/o thinks he's going to be a smartass and switch things around to make me crazy :)
     
  7. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Amen to that. And every time the discussion comes up, people all seem to have different ideas as to what the "proper" genre is!
     
  8. Deepak Shenoy

    Deepak Shenoy Supporting Actor

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    Have over 600 in all. Split into 3 sections - Criterions (got over 200 I think), Hollywood classics (pre-1960s) and contemporary movies (70s and beyond). Each section is organized alphabetically except for the box sets. I have been meaning to organize the titles by genre - Film Noir, Western, etc but never got around to it.

    -D
     
  9. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Use to have it alphabetically and subset DTS titles on it's own shelf, until the kids got to them one day when I wasn't home (thanks to the wife and visiting friends). I've looking to put aside some time on a weekend to do it again, no rush though.
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I have over 1,000 titles, and I sort them first by genre (sorry, John [​IMG] ), and then alphabetically within each genre. It works for me, since we usually browse for films to watch by genre -- we'll be in the mood for a comedy or musical, for example.

    Of course, some films are hard to classify by a single genre, and I'll sometimes forget which genre I stored a specific film in. So, it's far from perfect.
     
  11. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    I sort mine by genre too. I recognize the problem of putting complicated films into a single category. But I do it mainly for other people (my wife, or friends who come over to watch movies). I usually let them pick what to watch, and a wall full of titles is usually too overwhelming for most people. So I can point them to categories: sci-fi, action-adventure, "modern" drama, classic drama, "modern" comedy, classic comedy, "modern" musicals, classic musicals. Of course, sometimes that's still too overwhelming for people, so I often resort to "pre-pulling" six or seven films of various categories to give them a smaller sample to choose from. If there's an almost-match, we'll go to the appropriate category and pick something else.
     
  12. Mike*Sch

    Mike*Sch Stunt Coordinator

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    Mine are alphabetical. But that indecision which we all face when a group of friends is over to watch a movie led me to create the Tuesday Night Movie Club! Every Tuesday, a bunch of us get together to watch a pre-selected movie. It makes life so much easier.
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I fall in the anti-genre camp. I do, however, separate films from TV shows, performance videos (music concerts, etc.), non-fiction sports (I have a lot of baseball material), demo disks, and test disks. I also have my Disney material separated (I have a fair amount of that, too!).

    That said, it's all alphabetical by title. I have also "thinned down" most of my collection by transferring most of my titles into slim cases. Even so, the collection has (as I knew it would) outgrown my dedicated shelving unit and segments of the collection have been isolated into different areas of the house.

    In the thread I linked to in the last paragraph, a number of us HTF members have advocated decreasing the wasted space within thick standard amaray cases by moving to slimmer cases. Others argue about not wanting to tamper with the DVD packaging/artwork. It is an interesting debate.

    I also catalog my collection in DVDProfiler...but, like some of the others, I find it hard to "keep ahead" of the curve and need to force myself to steal a few hours on the occasional evening/weekend to enter the date into the program. I do, however, sometimes find a printed report of my collection easier to deal with when trying to pick that elusive movie-that-everyone-can-agree-on! [​IMG]

    Mike*Sch: How does your club work? How do you avoid the difficulties of selecting a movie by doing it ahead of time?
     
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    On the cataloging issue, I used to keep a database, but it is too much work. considering I do FileMaker programming for hire, you'd think maybe I'd program a fabulous database to track all this stuff. After all, FileMaker is capable do doing everything but insert the DVD in the player, but I may just not be aware of that capability.

    Anyway, I'd love to have that, but there is no way I would ever keep up with it. I only just got everything organized and put on shelves, for the first time in over a year.

    One the genre issue, I had never thought about it, but it makes a little sense in your own collection, since you are likely to know which genre a particular movie is in. The problem with stores is guessing which genre you will find something in. It just annoys me to endlessly look from one genre to another trying to find a title.
     
  15. ChadMcCallum

    ChadMcCallum Second Unit

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    Mine are organized alphabetically by director in order of release with series kept together and in order. For example the Hannibal films are under R for Ratner because he directed Red Dragon which takes place before Silence of the Lambs. Some titles like Batman Begins and Alien Vs. Predator I keep separate from the rest of the series because I consider them a different series. TV is arranged alphabetically. It sounds complicated (and it is) but it works for me.
     
  16. Mary_P

    Mary_P Second Unit

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    Problem with programming a fabulous database is that then you have to populate it with data, and that can be tedious and time-consuming. On the recommendation of someone here at HTF, I recently bought DVDPedia ($18, Mac only, I believe), and I love it. I have a pretty big collection, close to 600 titles (if I had my laptop in front of me, I could tell you exactly...!) and it was pretty easy to get all the information loaded into it. For most titles, you can scan the barcode and it'll go fetch all the information, cover art, etc. from Amazon or other websites.

    http://www.bruji.com/dvdpedia/

    I haven't gotten as far as loading additional IMDB information like cast lists, and I think if you want episode listings for TV shows, you're kinda on your own to add that yourself. But you do have the ability to add your own custom fields, keep track of things that are loaned out (to whom and when they borrowed it), where you bought something, how much you paid for it, etc. And if you're at a loss for what to watch tonight, you can have it randomly suggest something for you....

    Of course, it does give you some collection-wide information that I think I was better off not knowing.... like the cumulative value of the collection (based on list price) and cumulative running time (excluding extras). Yikes. I clearly will not be seeing some of my acquisitions until I hit retirement.

    BTW, there's a similar discussion going on over in the TV on DVD forum, but I'll add my two cents here as well re: organization. Alpha on everything, with three main sections (TV, features, music/musicals), and all of my as-yet-unwatched stuff in plain sight next to the TV, a reminder that I should watch what I have before buying more....!
     
  17. SteveSs

    SteveSs Stunt Coordinator

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    That's a pretty hard stance against genre-sorting. For me, it has to do with the questions I've had to answer over the years. From my wife, "let's watch a musical. What do we have?" From my daughter, "what's a good horror movie?" From me, "what's a good concert film to watch while I pay bills?" I don't need to spend 30 minutes answering queries like that. Therefore, I developed a few categories:
    Musicals
    Animation
    Science Fiction
    Horror
    TV
    Music
    Foreign
    Everything Else

    It works for everyone concerned.
     
  18. ScottHM

    ScottHM Second Unit

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    I have my movies sorted alphabetically when possible. I have my film series grouped together alphabetically (e.g. Charlie Chans are together, James Bonds are together, etc.), and I have my television DVDs seperate but in alphabetical order by series.

    I keep a simple database of titles so I can print out sorted lists with cover art as a simple catalog.

    ---------------
     
  19. seanOhara

    seanOhara Supporting Actor

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    I'm incredibly anal, so:

    Movies - Series - Alphabetically - Release order (Raiders of the Lost Ark comes before Temple of Doom)

    Movies - Boxset that can't be separated - Alphabetical by subject (Cary Grant, Harold Lloyd, Marx Bros.)

    Movies - Animated - Director - Release date

    Movies - Live action - Director - Release date

    Documentaries - alphabetical

    TV shows - Animated - Title - Season #

    TV shows - Live Action - Title - Season #

    Though if you read the TV section, you'll see that I'm considering reorganizing TV shows based on creator (Joss Whedon, Irwin Allen, Matt Groening)

    You don't even want to know what I do with books.
     
  20. Vegas 1

    Vegas 1 Supporting Actor

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    I keep mine alphabetical by movie title which worked fine until I ran out of room, so box sets are in another area. Large collections can be challenging for space. Also picking out a title to watch can sometimes be tiresome, I can't make a choice so I just listen to music or watch tv. Now with HD titles, maybe another room for shelf space!
     

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