Physical Video Media

@“exodus”#p49670 We have a few goodwill outlets out here that just unceremoniously dump everything into these big nasty plastic troughs and it's pay by weight as well. friend of mine got his dreamcast for like three bucks that way lol.

@“andrewelmore”#p49672 Never heard of Scarecrow Video, that's a fun service they offer!

there are still places with vhs here, but it often feels like it slipped through the cracks somehow. LA and Las Vegas have been really good for tapes, surprisingly... admittedly that data is a few years old though, since I haven't gone anywhere in 10000 years!

@“Syzygy”#p49674 You know what, it just happened again while replying to this thread so I think it's something to do with my phone. Switched back to my PC for now!

@"exodus"#p49677 oh man! that's another place you gotta visit next time you're up here, it's about a five minute walk from Pink Gorilla. Scarecrow is the largest surviving video store in the world. They mostly serve as a rental service for the area but they sell a lot of movies as well--all their tapes are a dollar and most of their LDs are like $1.99-2.99. They have tons and tons of stuff in every format (where else are you gonna rent a CED in 2021?) and they're both independent and non-proft, definitely one of the most important load-bearing pillars of the local art scene up here.
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Can't see from these pictures but there are tons of hallways off to the side that lead to more rooms where the walls are just made of shelves full of movies from all over the world and all throughout history, it owns.

yeahhhh I should definitely check that place out some time! well, if my family in washington ever decides to get vaccinated I‘ll be visiting soon after. So… that’s probably never! oops

@“exodus”#p49679 Ugh that‘s the worst, I’m so sorry. :frowning:

@“andrewelmore”#p49680 that is the world of today!

anyway I gotta get a tape setup here pretty soon, it's no fun without it. But now I have this little vcr/tv combo, I could like... watch a movie outside! in the yard! is that weird? sounds kind of nice.............

Oh man, those stores! That hardware! So good! Laserdiscs are pretty rare in the northeast. I don‘t know if they just didn’t catch on in New York or if rich people are just hoarding them at their vacation home or what; I've never found a single LD or player in a thrift store.

My LD player is generally considered a middle-of-the-road model, though it wasn't designed for the consumer market (I assume education instead), so the build quality is higher than normal. The one problem I was having with it had problems stopping discs: it would sometimes make a screeching noise, take too long to eject or wouldn't start playing properly afterwards. It turns out this is something usually called a "grip ring" - a thin piece of textured rubber that's used to stop the disc from spinning and they're starting to go on many LD players and official replacements are just about impossible to get. Thankfully there's a guy on ebay who's making his own replacements; I did the repair myself (extremely easy using only a screwdriver) and now my LD player is spinning like a dream.
But recently I found a local record store that has some LDs and players. I'm tempted to look for a backup player, maybe an upgrade for one that can automatically switch sides or with surround sound out, though I live in a small apartment so I don't have space for surround sound and it's hard to justify a second player. There's another part of me that just wants to be happy with what I have.

My VCR is similarly, not the highest-end SVHS-player in the world, but it IS a commercial-quality 4-head Sony player. It's got that beige color that Sony would use for their high-end things, has a jog-wheel, and it only has BNC jacks for composite video (and RF coaxial). It's definitely something I'm happy with. I got that for free when I worked at my university's law library when I was getting my master's degree. I was talking with someone in the IT department about how I wanted a VCR and he just gave me that one because his boss had them piled up in a closet and hadn't gotten around to taking them to be recycled.

One really cool place I know of is a store called Arcane Video in Kingston, NY. Their hours are unbelievably limited (usually you just have to call ahead and make an appointment) but they're full of VHS tapes and laserdiscs. I went there a while back because I had to cull my collection; traded in some cool stuff but walked out with a bunch of different cool stuff as a trade.
There's another video store further upstate called Video Visions in Chatham, NY. I haven't been there yet because their schedule conflicts with my work schedule, but I hope to get there at some point. It sounds like they're primarily a rental shop, but they do sell tapes as well. When I called for their hours, the person I spoke to gave me a tip about a Goodwill in the area as being a good place for tapes too. I'm looking forward to checking them out!


@“Nemoide”#p49685 I went there a while back because I had to cull my collection; traded in some cool stuff but walked out with a bunch of different cool stuff as a trade.

that's what I'm talking about!! 100% of the time.

I've been thinking maybe I should get a higher end SVHS player... I do think mine might be middle of the road. better than no svhs player though that is for sure!

Also laserdisc must've taken off at least a bit in the northeast because:

I encountered laserdisc in the actual 90s at my friend's house, he was importing ghibli movies on there because his family had money. To me laserdiscs were this very specifically opulent thing because they were somehow fancy in ways I didn't understand, but also literally nobody but this one friend was talking about them. But this was back when I thought widescreen movies were annoying because "who wants those black bars" so...

Thrift store came in clutch today.

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@“andrewelmore”#p50957 I got Moon Over Tao myself earlier this year; haven‘t actually watched it yet though!

And I saw on Twitter that you did some VHS surgery to restore your broken Bubblegum Crisis. I’ve done that myself, although I also see it as an opportunity to improve things:

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my copies of Space Camp and the Mortal Kombat animated special got messed up and needed new shells. I could have canniballized ANY tape, but I like to seek out Nickelodeon tapes because they‘re BRIGHT ORANGE. These were once Blue’s Clues. Thankfully they both had paper sticker labels that were nearly fallen off anyway, so I could just glue-stick them onto the new case; I have a label printer at work for the spine label and BAM, got some cool custom tapes!

VeggieTales would also make great replacement shells because they're bright green. I think there were some purple Barney the Dinosaurs out there too.

Over this past weekend I visited Philadelphia and a friend was able to take me to several places with really good tape selections, though I was surprised to see some where fairly expensive (eg some anime and horror tapes were over $30). I got these two:
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I definitely need more 80s horror on VHS in my collection and Cybernetics Guardian looks super ridiculous. It proudly proclaims it's from the director of MD Geist and Genocyber so my expectations are... extremely low.
Still, we hit up three different shops that all had considerable VHS collections, it was rad! I wonder if NYC has any such places hidden away that I've just yet to discover...

Nice!! Yeah, unfortunately the Bubblegum Crisis tape had its text laser printed onto the plastic. I tried really hard to fit the top half of the cassette to the bottom half of the Speed tape but it just wouldn't quite line up, despite appearing absolutely identical as far as I could tell. Oh well! So it goes.

@“andrewelmore”#p50957 it has come to my attention that ruroni kenshin is the one by That Guy so I have thrown this tape in the literal trash can.

on the bright side, I found Janus VHS releases of Rashomon and Kagemusha today?

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Not the most exciting tape haul ever, but I'm happy for the New Fist of Fury/Snake Fist Fighter box alone!

Diabolique is the winner in here for me. I love the weird cover! And nice hauls earlier, y'all.)

Across the last week, half price books had a sale, and I had a credit at street light records, and lately I've gotten The Fear re: Hong Kong movies because I don't see them getting reissued, and so many of them narratively refer to Hong Kong as a sovereign nation that I don't think we will be seeing reissues under the current administration. The big Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies will be safe but what about the weird ones? You see some movies getting blu rays but only out of the UK. It feels like a lot of these movies are gonna disappear. And the best format is often a Tai Seng or Fortune Star DVD. So, fear in place, I went and bought Too Much Stuff for Not Much Money. Here it is (including some non-hk stuff I wanted)

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Lots of fun weird stuff (and some standard stuff) in here I think. That born to fight one is the original 80s version, not the remake. I love maria is an out of print scifi thing. Heroic trio is unfortunately a bootleg but I got a refund on that. That jet li collection has his first appearance in film (bit part, but still). All kinds of fun things!

I‘m a big believer in buying movies physically to the extent that I’ve spent probably a very ill-advised amount of money on dvds and blu-rays over the last ten years or so. I could never justify keeping all the cases and stuff even if I had the room, though, so I keep them in these oversized disc wallets loosely organized by genre (or distribution label in the case of Criterion lol).

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A few years ago I decided it would be fun to decorate them with Posca markers.
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Perhaps ironically, whatever digital art savvy I have doesn't entirely translate to physical media, so the fixative I used on the early ones wound up turning kinda sticky and attracts ungodly amounts of dust and hair. I'm showing photos of the ones that still look okay. Someday I'll look into maybe stripping them somehow and repainting them?

Whoa, I am curious about the motivation to buy physical but get rid of the case - is it to give money to the creators primarily? I ask because I knew a guy who believed in buying games physically but dumped the cases and manuals to hundreds of ps1 games (and similar) and then when he realized he could just emulate them all he couldn't sell them because they were just discs in sleeves. So the motivation intrigues me!

Some friends of mine did that with CDs, purely for the utility. Rather than having shelves of cases, they just had a few folders.

I would have kept the cases in some big tubs somewhere, if I did that

@“exodus”#p52814 Not really, although I guess in the case of tokusatsu stuff I definitely appreciate any effort to make that stuff more widely available in the west, so there is some voting with my wallet going on. Mostly I just like the security of owning physical media. I‘m fine owning games digitally - I mean, with patches and installs the discs really just feel like authentication keys at this point. But I just can’t get behind going all digital for films, at least through legitimate channels. When everything is based on streaming the idea of “owning” something digitally just feels a lot more nebulous. Like, at least if a game gets taken off a storefront due to a licensing dispute you can just hoard it on your hard drive

I do keep packaging for some movies, if they have really nice box art or cool inserts. So mostly Criterion or Arrow Video stuff. And I've been keeping all the Mill Creek Ultraman boxsets because Ultraman is my boy and I love him

@"rejj"#p52817 I did that at first, but it very quickly turned into a huge pain in the ass when it came time to move and I decided to be a lot more selective about what I kept. If I don't like it enough to display on a shelf, it's gone, discs only plz

I also collect discs but get rid of the cases: I have a huge DJ flight case for holding CDs and when I‘ve watched a DVD or blu-ray, I’ll put it in a Tyvek sleeve with a label and put it in the case alphabetically.

Then I take the art and inserts out of the case and put them into a file box. The amount of space I save is tremendous and since I‘m keeping the art I know I can reverse it by just buying new cases in case I find myself living in a spacious mansion or something - it’s unlikely, but I can dream.

I don't do this with video games because they usually have unique cases that are harder to replace and it would bother me to have a different one.

Some of my choice movies and things that came ins weird/unique packaging stay in their original cases, but 95% of the time the plastic goes in the trash and the art & discs are filed away!
(I was inspired by Anime News Network founder Justin Sevakis who did this with all of his discs)

@“exodus”#p52797 I live for posts like these. There‘s so much cool stuff in here, and a bunch I still want to see! Also The Descent is always a wonderful time. But then it also reminds me that the original negatives of Dog Soldiers are still lost to time, which is heartbreaking. Preservation is such a fickle and complicated task, for how important it is! I’m glad you‘re doing this, though. I’ve been feeling a similar impulse as of late. There‘s no shortage of Hong Kong cinema’s representation in particular out here in secondhand shops around Seattle, I‘ll see if I can aid in the effort in some way. Are you ripping any of these when you get them? I imagine that’s gotta be quite a lift if so.

Oh man, I love all the artwork on the giant disc wallets but seeing all these loose discs is giving me anxiety lol.