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All Good Things ...

18 May, 2007 By: Jessica Wolf

Seven years ago this month, I was sitting at a favorite local bar in Tempe, Ariz., having good-bye drinks with some friends.

The next day I was picking up a U-Haul and packing it to head to California for a job at a small publishing company in Orange County.

A photographer friend who I worked with when I was editor of a weekly college entertainment magazine (and who had repeatedly saved my life with last-minute photos for said magazine), handed me a package with a copy of Gone With the Wind on DVD inside. The movie represented an inside joke marking one of our more intense scrambling-to-put-together-a-cover-shot moments.

I'm sure I thanked him, but I know I was a little confused and held that snapper (crapper) case with a quizzical expression.

“Yeah, I know,” he said. “But you might actually get a DVD player someday, just hang on to that.” (I don't even think I owned a TV at the time).

That was 2000. I became a DVD consumer by default, and I became a staffer at what was then called Video Store Magazine a few months later.

It still took me another year to get a DVD player of my own.

I do still have that Gone With the Wind disc from my friend, only now it's been joined by hundreds of other DVDs and three DVD players crammed into a one-bedroom apartment.

Of late, all that equipment has welcomed a pair of backup hard drives housing my burgeoning digital entertainment library.

Earlier this week, I was thinking about that moment though — that first DVD — as I spoke to the friend who gave it to me.

At the time I opened that gift, I remember never being a movie collector. I never owned a VHS tape, even though I still had dozens of audiocassettes sitting alongside my CD collection.

I think I was like a lot of movie consumers at the time. We grew into becoming movie collectors as DVD grew on us.

It's been a blast to watch that growth, that transition. And it's really exciting to see all the different ways those DVD lovers are going to have to interact with movies in the future.

But, all good things must come to an end, right? In a sense, DVD's heyday is coming to an end, though I honestly believe the shiny disc will be beloved for a long time — if not forever — in fans' entertainment libraries.

Change is good. It's exciting and challenging and it's the only thing that turns you into something you previously were not — just like DVD changed so many movie renters into rabid collectors like me.

With that in mind, I say a fond farewell today to Home Media Magazine, with grateful memories of an exciting time in the entertainment industry and with smiling recollections of so many people I've interacted with over the years, not the least of which are staff members I've learned so much from and had so much fun with — particularly Stephanie Prange and T.K. Arnold.

I'm not going far. I daresay anyone who might want to find me will do so fairly easily.

I'm looking forward to change, just like so many people are looking forward to the new digital and high-definition markets. Just like DVD lovers looked forward to Warner getting rid of that damn snapper (crapper) case so many years ago — the one that houses my very first DVD.

I'm looking forward to change, but I'm also hanging on to that first DVD, snapper and all … it reminds me of good things.

It reminds me of all of you.

Take care!

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