Throughout the month of April, Film School Rejects will be dedicating the bulk of our Sunday programming to a series we call “Movie Geek Self Improvement.” We’ve tasked our writers with finding ways to improve your life – from losing weight to restoring old VHS tape jackets – we want to help you get the most out of your pop culture obsessed existence.
Longtime readers of this site may note that we’ve got a thing for movie art. I won’t dare to speak for all of the Film School Rejects contributors, but I am personally a bit of a collector of prints. As I kid, my walls were decorated with theatrical reprints. Every trip to the comics shop left me with another summer blockbuster on my wall. Those were cheap and most of the time, never ended in a frame. Though as life goes, eventually I grew up. My first major piece of art as an adult was from Mondo back in 2007, a Tyler Stout “Remember the Alamo” print purchased from a guy at a small pop-up stand in the lobby of the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar theater. That was long before Mondo became the sensation it is today, before the gallery, before the frantic adventures in buying prints from their site that have become endemic of the nerd art collector experience. I’m an original Mondo hipster. It’s disgusting.
Since that first purchase in 2007, I’ve been spending my hard earned dollars on screenprints from this outlet and that. It’s built into a collection that I’m quite proud of, filled with artists like Ken Taylor, Olly Moss, Tyler Stout, Martin Ansin, Kevin Tong and Mike Mitchell. It’s an obsession – the adult movie geek’s version of collecting baseball cards. But then there’s a problem: in any place I’ve ever lived, there’s only so much wall space. Which means some posters had to go into storage from time to time. A problem that’s led me to a number of solutions, all of which I’d like to share with you, my fellow collectors, in an effort to help you with your own prints.
Solution #1: The Poor Man’s Flat File
I don’t remember exactly, but I believe this one came from Germain Lussier, of /Film fame. As my collection began to grow, it was important that I begin storing prints flat. Storing them in tubes like the ones Mondo or other galleries use for shipping is not good for the long term.
Here’s how to make it: All you need is two (2) large pieces of acid free mounting board and 4–6 large binder clips. I cut my mounting boards just larger than my largest print (30 inches by 40 inches is more than sufficient). You place the prints flat in between the two pieces of mounting board and use the binder clips around the edges to keep it secure. Unless you’ve got a platform bed, you should be able to store it under there with ease. It makes a nice DIY solution for those of us who already spent all of our money on posters.
Solution #2: The Drawing Portfolio
A few weeks back I decided to find a better option than the homemade flat file. The problem I had with solution #1 above is that the file was tough to move in and out from under the bed. As well, having to completely remove it every time I needed to get prints in or out. And the more prints I put into the file, the harder it was to manage. Researching real flat files, I found that they are absurdly expensive. Unless you’re an architect or an actual artist, it might not be the right kind of investment to spend $500 on a metal flat file. That’s a great solution, but not within the budget. Remember, all the money went to the prints.
Then I found it: Browsing around Amazon, I found the Safco Art and Drawing Portfolio for $160. It’s a 30×42 portfolio and here’s the kicker: it comes with five different portfolios. If you’ve got a few poster buddies, that’s about $35 a piece. Made from sturdy cardboard and fortified by wooden edges, this works very well. See below.
Share your own tips with us in the comments below. How do you store your movie art when the wall space runs out?