by Christopher Lumzer
As I have may have stated before we, as geeks/ buffs or enthusiasts, have different levels of what it takes to be classified as such in that genre. To be a movie buff or geek may actually be harder to be actually prove one’s “street cred” as it would be than a comic geek or an cartoon/ anime geek. I say this because with movies there are so many popular sub genres like star wars, star trek, general sci fi, general fantasy, general horror and others that each may, if not do, have their own levels of geekiness. Trust me when I say toss a dart in any subcategory and you’ll see what I mean. Not to mention as co-host of the podcast “slacker and the man” (http://slackerandtheman.com ) Dobbs put it “a true buff actively seeks out content well beyond what is marketed and hyped out the ass. A true buff would also have to, at the very least, appreciate the classics and truly original content that paved the way for others to follow.” Though his view may not be the same views as per the show he’s a part of but still it is a valid point. Dobb’s point also proves that being a movie geek/ buff is more than having a few movies and something to play them on.
So shall we take a general look at what it may take to be a movie geek or buff. Though if this was the days before the digital age where physical copies held true having a decent library of movies could and may still hold true. In today’s and future ages having a large digital library and or having a service like netflix (http://www.netflix.com) may or will have to be factored in.
“Street cred” as some may call it, for those whom wish to know, is any or all items that either may or do go beyond the actual requirements in that area. In this case the physical requirements are a decent library (if physical I’d say at least 50 disks), and more than passing acceptable knowledge of the genre. And as per what each buff may want will vary as well. Meaning like comic geeks some buffs will wish to fill out collections of favorite series, writers, this case directors, actors and so forth. Others may wait for blu-ray releases of classics. While others wait for movies that were once put out on the old VHS format to be put out on either DVD, blu-ray or in downloadable digital format. Below we will go into some of the extreme items buffs or fans can acquire to highlight his or her own library.
For some it might be having an authentic movie poster of their favorite movie. Though I am sad to say good chance, like better than 90%, the so called movie poster you got at f.y.e. (http://www.fye.com/ ) or suncoast (suncoast is owned by f.y.e. therefore same web site ) is just a regular poster that can be put in a large sized frame. Most actual movie posters are either taller and or wider than most frames that can be found and bought off the shelf. There are also movie posters that are not only thinner but plastic coated as well. These posters are considered either marquee, double sided (d. s.) or see though, due to the fact that theaters can showcase them with a light being shown from behind them. Authentic movie posters can and are desired because they, for the most part can not be sold directly to the public due to, from what I was told, copyright issues. As a way around this some theaters that may be local to you may give you their old movie posters for a small fee which goes to a local or national charity. For the most part since movie posters are given to the theater employees and thus sometimes the posters can be found on ebay (http://ebay.com). There are a good many promotional companies that work with the production companies that make them authorized to give out either upcoming or previous movie posters at different types of conventions. The conventions listed at convention scene’s web site (http://www.conventionscene.com/) is a good listing of conventions near you that may give out these posters. Also if you wish check out kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com) because a lot of genre filmmakers whom are raising funds for their next project use kickstarter for that. Depending on the amount donated by you, you can either be given a wide variety of things from as mentioned, a movie poster of their film to what ever the film maker’s wishes. There are also a wide veriaty of online companies that have aquired either older or rare movie posters like movie poster (http://www.movieposter.com/ ), all posters (http://www.allposters.com ) and movie goods (http://www.moviegoods.com/ ). Since i’m not sure of these sites reputation so I will say take caution and buyer beware. Also please note that unless stated otherwise posters for classic movies like “casablanca”, “king kong”, “wizard of oz” and the like will be reproductions. The originals for the films I just mentiond can go for several hundered if not several thousand dollars while the reproductions can go for as high as $20. Per getting your poster signed the best way is going to a convention (see links provided). That way you know the signiture is authentic, just becareful of costs per getting the autograph (see autographs below). Also there may be some argument here as well as per the autograph increasing or decreasing the value of the poster.
One of the other bragging rights or “street cred” is production items, screen used items, scripts and more. Now here is where we get into not only some very rare stuff but items, if gotten through legit means, can be very expensive. Now with the advent and common place of the internet seeing production companies like mgm (http://mgm.com ) per say put up public auctions either though their own site or ebay (http://www.ebay.com) and sell scripts, costumes, props, concept drawings and more for either charity or just to make room. All of which for the buff or collector is a win win. Now please be forewarned there are people who are not really authorized to take things off set do so and after production is over sell the items on ebay, just hold them for years, or give them to friends and family. Thus if you get these items from these people it might be illegal. Yet there may be times where all it comes down to is pure dumb luck and politeness. For example : I went to a pretty much a failed convention (I say failed because I was the only door purchased ticket holder there) where the only guests was a reunion from the movie “the mutilator”. The people there was the writer/director/ producer, the special effects director and the lead actor and actress. Because I was the only person who showed, the writer director handed me the trailer containing the working title in the production company’s box with the working title handwritten on it. Not only that i managed to get both the movie poster with the working title and the first run movie poster which not only was banned but I managed to get signed. All because of the dumb luck of being the only guest that showed up. As I type this the sci-fi channel. Ahem, I mean the syfy channel (http://www.syfy.com) has an auction up for their cancelled show “Eureka”. The auction contains/ contained many screen used items. All in all the screen used item or authentic production item can be considered the ultimate prize for most buffs/ geeks simply because that these items are pretty much one of a kind. Side note if you are considering buying a script off of ebay please, I repeate, please contact the seller. I say this because though it, the script, might be from the movie, but what you will recieve would be a photocopy of it thus making the script you recieved a repoduction.
One final way is the way of the autograph. Though I’ve read the best way to get one is to practically physically send several dozen letters with self addressed envelopes inside along with a note asking for an autograph. When I asked why someone would waste so much time, money or effort on not only an unsure thing, but that they can not actually guarantee the autograph being authentic. I was pretty much trolled out of the message board per that remark. Yet another way that some have gotten autographs is by asking kindly where the celebrity is physically at (i.e a supermarket, a restaurant, a premier, etc etc). Though sometimes it may be ok to ask but for the most part it is not due to the simple fact that celebrities are people too. They may be in a rush, on a date or trying to have some family time. The best way to get an autograph is at a convention that has media guests not sure which conventions have media guests again please visit convention scene’s web site (http://www.conventionscene.com/). But be warned the celebrities that do conventions for the most part charge for the autograph. Sometimes the charge is as little as $10 to as much as $150 depending on the person, what is signed and if a photograph with the celebrity is included. When getting a valid autograph think outside the box. Meaning most celebrities sign photos, posters, collectible scripts and sometimes toys. So be different. Bring a baseball, skateboard, or a monopoly board. Yea you might get an odd look but at least you would be remembered.
In conclusion though movie buffs can go to the extremes as per their libraries, fandom and highlighting collections. They/ we can still tell you what the movie may be with the barest of information, acquire free food and drink at some locations doing trivia and even using our knowledge to break the ice to the point of almost being a creeper. We also have the most in depth conversations bout the simple to the most complex of topics, and we have the most fun at it to boot. Also I as a writer I must remain neutral and thus can not, and will not tell you which televisions, players, or types of disks to buy for there may be some players that are more suitable for some buffs yet not others. I will recommend getting a some what decent surround sound system. You will not regret getting it.