What a person buys can give clues to his/her personality, or at least preferences and hobbies. You might browse through the CD or book collection of people you know, I look at the DVD collection. While I can’t interpret what each movie/genre means, I do look to see that the person appreciates the DVD as an entertainment medium, not just buys a favorite movie now and then. Here are my steps to building a serious DVD collection. The only reasons you could give for not owning them is either “I haven’t bought it yet” or “I hate that”. Collections also hide gift-giving clues.
1. Planet Earth (BBC version): I prefer the Attenborough narration over the Weaver one found on the Discovery Channel Store versions (the latter also doesn’t have subtitles).
2. The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Trilogy: How can a collection be complete without the finest films ever made? Director Peter Jackson planned the structure of the DVDs alongside of the filmmaking process, and it shows.
3. At least two alternate region DVDs: It shows how serious you are about DVDs when you’re willing to buy more than one DVD from a different region than your home code and have a player capable of handling them. It doesn’t matter if they are from the same country/region, in the same language, or even starring the same people, just have some.
4. At least two Pixar films: This one should not be too difficult, as they have never made a bad film. It is handy to have films that are family friendly, even though kids may not be involved.
5. At least two foreign language films (not anime): It shows that you are worldly and sophisticated. Make sure you use the original language track and subtitles for the true cinematic experience.
6. At least one Criterion Collection film: The highest standard for quality and supplemental material that celebrate the film-making process.
7. At least two TV box sets: They can be unrelated titles or multiple seasons of your favorite program. Television on DVD is a wonderful invention. You can watch without commercial interruption, you can watch a block of episodes in a row without waiting every week, or you can re-watch shows no longer on the air.
8. At least three DVDs with the same person: It can be a favorite actor, director, writer, etc., but it shows you pay attention and are willing to follow someone’s career path.
9. At least three DVDs from the same genre: Kind of similar to #8, but people usually have a favorite genre. Maybe you love action films and someone else loves lowbrow comedies. Just showing you prefer something is good and better than having one film from every genre.
10. Avoid DVDs you wouldn’t want others to know you have. Embrace your collection, be proud of it. If you aren’t willing to lend it to friends or family, maybe you shouldn’t own it.
11. Don’t pirate films or buy bootlegs.