Since the glory of International Independent Video Store Day is upon us, I wanted to share with you Videovores out there an exclusive interview with the main brain behind the creation of this most excellent celebration of hard media appreciation. And don’t forget: after you read this interview, be sure to grab a sixer of your favorite adult beverage, break out the bodacious nachos and profusion of gummy snacks and fire up that VCR to immerse yourself in the joy of an army of analog escapes. And if you’re lucky enough to still have an independent video store within proximity, be sure to mosey on down there and give the proprietor and employees (and random strangers in the store if you’re feeling saucy) a big hug and a double high-five for keeping the dream alive. Video Stores may save the world!
LM: What’s your name and where did the idea for Video Store day come from?
DH: My name is Daniel Hanna and IIVSD came from my jealousy over Record Store Day. My video shop is above a record store and it tore me up inside that they had this internationally recognized day of celebration. I felt under-appreciated, and decided to do something about it. I started a Facebook group called “Let’s Declare An Independent Video Store Day” and 3 years and 400 stores later… we made it a reality! Our inaugural IIVSD on Oct. 15th 2011 went over like gang busters, with many stores reporting record increases in business!!!
Eyesore Cinema proprietor and IIVSD founder Daniel Hanna. He knows Video Stores are awesome, and knowing is half the battle!
Were you involved with the Video Store era? Did you own a store, or work at one? Or were you a loving patron like most of us?
All of the above. I patronized many indie video shops growing up and eventually got a job at one of my favorite shops. Now I am the proud owner of my own indie video shop: Eyesore Cinema!!!
Why do you think it’s important to remember all of the video stores of yore?
Nostalgia is nice… but the point of Video Store Day is to celebrate and support the shops that still exist!!!
What is it about the video store experience that makes it so unique and special?
People… that’s what makes any experience unique and special. Without people to share your joy, joy becomes pointless.
I ran into a former customer (from a previous job at another video shop) who, during our chat about my new shop, said “How can I [rationalize] paying for a movie that I can easily get for free online?”
“Well, that’s a valid question” I replied, “but, perhaps you could look at it this way… you are not paying for the movies, you are paying for the service… our shop carries thousands of movies that are not easily found online or on Netshitz, thousands of movies that you would not even know existed if it wasn’t for the curatorial methodology of the shop. Movies that aren’t hyped by Hollywood or touted by paid pundits and culture lifestyle magazines and websites… sure, you can languish in the cultural cesspool of modern movie mediocrity hell… but if you feel like you are drowning in toxic waste, come on up and let us show you some things that will edify, titillate and possibly even change your life.”
He came up, opened a membership and rented 5 movies that he had never heard of. He seemed happy.
It’s the people, indeed! The Eyesore mascot and “friend” havin’ a (eye)ball and lovin’ yo Mom!
What do you love about the VHS format?
Almost nothing… the only thing that I fondly remember about VHS is some of the box art. I do not miss the soft picture or the lame sound, nor do I miss the tracking problems, the tapes snapping, Pan & Scan aspect ratios…. (ED. NOTE: To each his own!)
What were some of your favorite rentals from the the video era?
Oh, man!!! Why don’t you just ask me which one of my children I love the most!!!!
What are your special plans for Video Store Day?
Well, here at EYESORE CINEMA, we will be offering massive discounts on rentals and sales. We have lots of fun prizes and give-aways and, this year, we are putting special EYESORE CINEMA coupons in every rental case. So the more you rent, the more deals you get for future visits to the shop!!!
How can people help spread the word about Video Store Day?
SCREAM YOUR DAMN FOOL HEADS OFF!!!! PUNCH STRANGERS IN THE FACE!!!
WHATEVER IT TAKES AND BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!!
Yeah! Do that! And you can also check out the IIVSD website HERE, and spread the love by sharing the link! Keep feedin’ that VCR, tapeheads, and LOVE your indie shops. They’re the ones that will keep the obscure and esoteric alive for all to rent and enjoy!