I Keep a Movie Journal


by Jake McMillan

Some people keep a diary or journal. If I could freeze time at the end of the day, I would write a diary too. Actually, if I could freeze time there would be a few mischievous things I would do first, but you get the point. There isn’t the time in the 21st century to write a diary. However, I keep a log of the movies I watch.

Ever since I got access to a VHS recorder as a kid (yes, I’m that old), I recorded and watched films all the time. I would stay up beyond my bedtime curfew to watch films as quietly as possible, with one ear on the film and one ear listening out for my parents footsteps on the stairs. At birthdays and Christmas, family would give me blank video tapes as presents which was great but it was pretty easy to guess what the present was. My Nan also had the odd habit of buying a 5 pack of VHS tapes and then wrapping up each one individually? However they were given, I was always very grateful and ALL got utilised, mostly on Long Play.

[Young folk, Long Play was a VHS feature that allowed you to record at half speed. So a 3hr tape turned into 6hrs of recording time. The quality was not quite as good, but then TVs weren’t that good then either so it wasn’t a big deal]

So for me, movies are a big deal … for you it might be books, music, food, sports, etc. … and it forms a big and regular part of your life. I decided to keep a journal of the films I watched, the format and who I was with and any brief thoughts/comments that would help remind me of  that day/week.

And if that isn’t geeky and sad enough, I have also used this spreadsheet log to analyse my film watching habits. For example, in the past year:

  • I watched an average of 22.5 movies a month
  • The most common method of watching films was by DVD (38%)
  • Films on TV accounted for 17% of all films viewed, Blu-ray 14% and online 11%
  • Online watching included via LoveFilm, Netflix, BBC’s iPlayer and YouTube
  • Only 8% of films watched were at the cinema

As well as these stats, it’s been really interesting to look back and see what I have done this year. 2012 has been, fortunately for me, a really fantastic year of lots of travel and fun stuff going on. This journal approach allows me to very quickly and easily to look back at what I have been doing and be reminded of some great memories.

If you have a notion of keeping a diary, but don’t have the time, then maybe you could do something similar to this?



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