In December I was fortunate enough to speak to various people behind the scenes of the release of the horror anthology movie, V/H/S. I did a few interviews about my collecting habits and even got to see proofs of the artwork that was to be used for the release of the movie on VHS.
In addition to this, I was then approached by the event company behind the launch about renting out my collection, or at least half of it anyway. The launch was to take place on the 16th of January, a mere two days before the film was to be released.
I was asked to supply 1,000 covers and cases so that they could be used in building a one-night only video store which was to be called ‘Cellar Rentals’. It seemed like a very good opportunity to be a part of something special, while also meeting like-minded souls, but more importantly, allowing access to my own personal collection. I doubt there are many collectors out there that would agree to such a request but i’m all about keeping the format alive. What’s the point in collecting tapes if you’re only ever going to allow access to family and friends? Share the wealth.
I spent a whole weekend separating the tapes from their cases, working out the covers that would work best in such an environment and trying to steer away from the more mainstream movies. I felt like a school teacher who was armed with the task of selecting his favourite pupils from an entire classroom of kids to go on a field trip. So sad picking and choosing ‘favourites’, leaving others behind. Why not me? They warped.
After sorting through my entire collection and selecting the right material, I then had to alphabetise the whole lot because the tapes needed to be removed from the cases, and as the cases and covers were being returned in a few days, the only way to pair them back up again was to create a library much like the ones found in rental stores from back in the day. Now *that* part I did enjoy.
I’d grab a stack of around 12 tapes, then place each one down into the correct letter pile, ready for alphabetising later. It was like working the shelves at my local store. Once they were in order, I then began the process of removing the tapes and placing them into separate crates. My whole pad was a mess.
Eventually all of the tapes were sorted, crated up and collected by the event company. 35 crates and 2 large boxes in all. It was like saying goodbye to a loved one. Heartbreaking really.
The night could not have gone any better. Huge congratulations to Fetch Publicity, Momentum Pictures and everyone else involved in pulling it off. There was such a great vibe about the place.
I gave out many hugs, as always. It’s good to put my face out there as many folk believe i’m in my mid-30s, or that I look exactly like Simon Bates.
As always with these sort of events, it was the people attending that made it.
I didn’t get time to take many pictures at the event as I was far too busy reminiscing about the films and rental stores in general with many friends from Twitter, so the pictures you see have mostly all been grabbed from various friends’ blog posts and Momentum’s own site.
The covers and cases were all returned back to me this afternoon. I say all, I won’t actually know if every case is there until I have paired them back up with the tape, and I won’t get time to do this task until the weekend. A nervous few nights await…
I did get time to have a quick squint over the rarer cases though, like the Nasties, and suspecting that my friends (you know who you are) had been having too much fun, decided to check the reverse of my Evil Dead sleeve. Imagine my delight when I found a little personal message from Graham Humphreys! Obviously not content with signing The Kindred tape. Such a humble guy and I was very privileged to not only meet him but have him admire my collection.
In addition to this wonderful discovery, I also received a few gifts from the event organisers like shirts, Cellar Rentals signs and various other bits of memorabilia from the night that I shall keep forever, and share where necessary.