Digitize Me!

Digitize.  To convert (as data or an image) to digital form.  (Merriam-Webster)

I love old movies – acknowledged classics, B-movies, formulaic sequels to horror films, yes, even the hokey serials, cartoon shorts and newsreels that were used to round out presentations in the Golden Age of Hollywood.  I’ll watch them all.

Growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, atop a mountain, we could receive signals from local TV stations as well as those from Philadelphia and southern New York.  Many of those stations offered so much more than the usual network fare.  I was glued to multiple PBS channels for Mystery! and Doctor Who and cultural programs about science and history and music.  Saturdays and Sundays I gorged on horror and monster film fests from Philadelphia stations.  And any day of the week, after school, I would sit, enraptured, to watch musicals and noir, comedies and dramas in black and white and Panoramic color from New York City.

When I took a course on movies in college, I’d already seen all but one of the movies listed in the syllabus.

Many films, whether from the Golden Age or today, I can watch them once, then never need to see them again.  But some films, whether recognized classics or shlockey sci-fi B-movies, well, I can watch them over and over, admiring the artistry, dipping into the emotional pool created by a doomed yet heroic character – or laughing hysterically at the really bad special effects.

During this Blue Moon, I took a spin through my DVD collection (which includes a few rare VHS tapes).  Over the last year or so, I’ve started to purchase everything digitally.  I only buy blue-ray discs that offer extras I might want to see which aren’t available online, or that fall into certain categories, such as the Marvel movies.  Ultimately, I want to have everything (including TV shows and books) in a digital format.  It eliminates clutter, allows me to carry my collection with me for those unexpected trip delays, and saves a bit of Planet Earth by not wasting materials to manufacture the discs.

However, some things just aren’t available in a digital format.  So, as part of this blog, I’m going to feature some of the movies I want to magically appear in a digital format.  My ultimate goal would be to have everything in a nice, neutral MP4 format that I could import into any system, but I’ll take what I can get to have these my favorites always available to me.


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