Movie Memorabilia

February 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Memorabilia, New

Movie Memorabilia
Why not start collecting movie memorabilia?

The movie industry has been growing exponentially each passing year. Movie star salaries and film budgets are easily beyond the comprehension of most people. That’s probably part of the reason for the fascination with movie memorabilia and collectibles.

And with that huge growth in popularity film industry collectibles and movie memorabilia items have become more available than ever. Sometimes those items may be available through a general release by the studio or PR office. But other times you may come across something that no-one else has.

Controlled release signed collectibles and one-of-a-kind items are both well worth the effort.

It could be something as generic as some cutlery an actor used at a charity dinner. Or it could be something highly personal such as a lock of their hair. But in both cases it’s not something ordinarily available through a controlled release. And maybe never will be available again.

These are more rare which affects price on both the front and back end.

If you do have an opportunity to collect such items try and do whatever it takes to document the event. First thing you should be doing is keeping a journal. In addition, if there’s a public event attached to the occasion look for newspaper stories and online articles.

Let’s say for example, you had the opportunity to be eating at the same event …possibly a promotional event. You could pay for the meal and keep the receipt. Take casual photos of the meal or the meal event.

For an even bigger bonus get an autograph on the receipt or on your page of the journal – before recording your notes around the autograph.

Now that’s interesting documentation.

Maybe you could supplement it with a copy of the newspaper story surrounding the dinner or charity event and you have something highly collectible and probably valuable as well.

Even if you weren’t eating together you could get the waiter’s attention. Then offer to pay the bill and go through the same routine above. How you go about this is another story. If there wasn’t a bill take a copy of the menu …again try to get an autograph.

if they agree to give you an autograph they may ask for a name to address it to. It’s always better to not get a name. The item will be less collectible if it’s addressed to some distant auntie …or anyone for that matter. But if they insist on a name, and some do, ask them to address it to a group or an organization.

You want the autograph to remain as generic as possible.

It’s very hard for them to refuse such a request as it may be a charity. If they comment they don’t recognize the name simply mumble something about what great work they do. Most resistance will stop there as people won’t admit they don’t know something – human nature. They will likely just nod and proceed with an autograph.

Making it addressed to a group or charity keeps it somewhat generic and retains it’s collectability. Choose your own football team, your poker group or whatever. You could even name a fictitious group of your own design. Use your imagination.

You could also ask them to write something along the lines of, “Keep up the great work.” or “Wishing you continued success.” Still very generic and it can be applied to anything even as time passes.

NOTE: Something to be aware of.
If the group’s name you chose ever became attached to a controversy it could make it even more collectible. Just remember anything newsworthy is collectible. Exactly how collectible all depends on the depth of the news story. The depth is determined by a lot of marketing mumbo-jumbo. Just remember this …big news equals big collectability.

“Bollywood’s movie memorabilia is hugely popular as well as collectible.”

Collectability is all about branding on the part of the celebrity. For the collector it’s all about desirability as well as supply and demand.

NOTE: I need to mention something at this point. And that is to use common sense with approaching anyone. Just think about how you would prefer to be treated if in the same position as a visiting celebrity. Remember everyone is just a person with the same feelings as you or I. It’s hard to go wrong with a strategy of good – manners. At the very least it’s a good start.

I’m speaking from some experience.

I spent 18 years in the film and television industry. I was fortunate in that I worked directly with many very popular actors and directors. Both from television and films.

When it comes to collectibles I will refer to them as first, second and third level. This is just my own way of categorizing and is by no means a common standard.

First level collectibles would be ones that I’ve collected directly from a celebrity or production directly after working with one. It may be a script, a prop or even a part of the set.

Second level would be items a little more removed. They would be from a local production but not necessarily one I was involved with that season.

For example I may have gone to the set-sale after a particular television series had wrapped. A set-sale would be held after the production was finished.

It was a cost saving measure. Basically the production’s individual departments would organize a sale of items such as wardrobe, props and furnishings.

I’ve done this a few times and bought up pieces of the set or props. Most times I would buy things like recognizable signage or props used in the series. But I have also bought simple pieces of furniture for my office too.

Third level collectables would originate from a television series or film production I hadn’t yet worked with. Or it could be items from productions that were located somewhere else in the world.

For example I may have come across several old scripts or “stills” in a thrift shop. Stills are photographs of the actor in various scenes from the show. These are sometimes autographed.

So this first, second and third level business is just my own personal way of keeping organized. It’s a good idea to develop your own system too …regardless of what you’re collecting.

My first experience with collecting movie memorabilia was after several years of realizing I had accumulated things almost by accident. I had dozens of scripts, props and pieces of movie set dressing all over my office.

Soon I began looking farther away and collected from others working in the same business. I also on occasion received an autograph from an actor I may have worked with.

Now that I was fully engaged in this new collectible I started to purchase from dealers as well. Many outlets exist so I was completely comfortable. It also gave me the chance to buy things from actors or favorite films I would not otherwise come across.

I was surprised at how reasonable some of the prices were.

Most prices are determined by the film or series popularity. So if you had a favorite program from years ago check out the memorabilia from that film or series.

As actors get older and television shows replaced those prices now become affordable. But they do find a price resurgence in many cases too. Especially when a franchise is revived years later with a new cast.

So my suggestion is to find something you like and purchase it. It’s very doubtful prices will come back down. They may ratchet up slightly each year or shoot up like a rocket. That part is unpredictable.

So how do you find items worth collecting?

If you’re serious about being a movie memorabilia collector you need to build up your network of contacts. That means talking to anyone even remotely associated with the film business. This means waiters, trash collectors and security guards. People in these positions love to discuss how they rub shoulders with the rich and famous.

Next keep an eye out for movie and television being shot in your area. You could also go online and check out some of the ‘current production’ lists on your local Film Commission website. Some areas of the world are associated with film and television such as Hollywood, New York City or Toronto Canada.

Almost every city has a Film and Television commission. If they don’t have a dedicated film commission they have a liason department that oversees film inquiries. Call them and ask.

For example India is probably one of the largest producers of film and television programming in the world. The popularity of Bollywood is obvious proof.

Collecting movie memorabilia is now attainable by anyone.

To begin your movie memorabilia collecting let’s summarize.

1. Look for undervalued memorabilia.
It’s undervalued but with an awakening on the horizon. This is impossible to predict of course but …ask yourself a few questions. Such as, is there a new interest in the character or story? Maybe something timely in the news.

Or the film or series may be resurging through a new cast or updating of the story. It could be the actor them self that’s undervalued. Maybe their career had gone into recession but a new project brought them into the public eye once again. Or they are making a comeback after a tragic life changing event. This is the ‘wild-card’ in collecting – the x-factor.

2. Make sure to collect based on a guideline you create for yourself.
If you have some level of expertise in the film or television industry even better. This will arm you with the knowledge to create a system or category hierarchy.

This may not make you an expert of the collectible but it may put you in the ‘right place at the right time’. If you’ve read any of my other articles you’ll know what I mean.

3. Look for items you enjoy.
Because, isn’t that the whole point of movie memorabilia?

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com
“Links in this post may be affiliate links. By clicking + purchasing I would receive a commission.”


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