Friday, May 11, 2012

What this Site is and How to Use It

What this Site is:

Welcome to my site.  The goal of it is to provide tracking lists of movies for people to refer to or to use for themselves.  Many people are using one list or another for recommendations on movies to see.  They will be able to find most of them here.

You may be wondering, “What’s the big deal?  I’ve been able to create lists on IMDB and Amazon for years and I can track them on the new Letterboxd site I am beta testing.”  This thing is, on all of those sites you have to create the list.  Sure, someone else may have already created the list you want, but you have to find it among the millions of other lists on those sites.  They also require internet access, which may be constant if you live in a big city, but which is less reliable the further out in the country that you get.

If you find a list on this site that is interesting to you, you can easily save it to your computer and have it with you at all times.  This also means you can customize it for your unique use.

Why am I doing this?  I just started actively working from the 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book.  I bought a copy way back in 2003 and I had checked off in it which movies I had seen.  I recently joined an organization of bloggers who review movies from the book.  (You can find much more about it, as well as the blog club that has been formed, by reading my post on it here.)

I needed a better way to track what I had seen, had reviewed, that the club had reviewed, etc., so I built my own tracking sheet.  I also researched what movies I had yet to see that were available via Netflix.  At some point a light bulb went on over my head and I realized there were probably others that would like to have a tracking sheet like this, but didn’t have the time to build it.  I was going to post it at my main site – Tips from Chip – but then I stopped to think about other lists I had used over the years.  Why not share those, too?  I kept going with these ideas and the result is the site you are now on.

How to Use It:

I have a post titled “News and Updates” just below this one.  I intend this to be a static site (no new posts), but I will need to periodically correct, update, or expand the contents of the current posts as lists evolve.  When I do I will update the News and Updates post to keep you informed on when something changes.

I then have ten posts breaking the various tracking lists into related groupings.  Those posts are:

1.      1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (and Related Genre Lists)
2.      They Shoot Pictures Don’t They
3.      14 Year Weighted and Consolidated IMDB Top 250 List (1998 – 2011)
4.      American and British Film Institute (AFI and BFI) Lists
5.      Oscars and Golden Globes
6.      Film Awards from Countries Outside the United States
7.      Film Festivals
8.      Publishing Company Lists
9.      Miscellaneous Film Lists
10.  Critics’ Lists – I have none now since these are part of the larger They Shoot Pictures Don’t They list, but I wanted to have a placeholder post in case I decided to do some in the future.

Inside each of these posts you will find an overview and from one to as many as a few dozen tracking sheets available to be viewed and saved to your computer.  Clicking on an icon will open the sheet for you.  Most of them actually have multiple lists in them that you can see by clicking on the Tabs at the very bottom of the sheet.

Every tracking sheet has a “Seen?” column.  If you decide to save one for your own use, just place a “1” in the ‘Seen?” column beside the movies you have watched and it automatically totals down at the bottom.  There is also a percentage seen calculated for you.

Please note that the “Year” column has the year of release if it is a regular list, but has the year of the win/nomination if it is an awards list.

In order to save one of these tracking lists to your own computer, open it, select File, then Download a Copy.  It should then ask you where you want to save it to on your computer.


  1. Chip - I just started subscribing to your blog and enjoy your posts. I have been in contact with Steve Honeywell quite a bit and he recommended that I get in touch with you in regards to finding some of the difficult films from the 1,001 list. I have put together a large spreadsheet in regards to the list as well that you would probably be interested in. My email is if you would like to reach out to me.

  2. Hello Chip. What a nice collection of film lists you have here! I have been looking through some of them. I have a similar interest: I have gathered various lists like the ones you have here, and combined them in one big list, with my own meta-score ranking. The idea (for me) is that the more a movie is included in such lists, the more "objective" its canonical status must be. However, to combine the lists (with functions), the naming has to be consistent. Therefore I use exported IMDb lists, which have a unique identifier. I would like to incorporate some lists you have here, but can you think of a way to connect them? Either way, if you're interested, I'd be happy to send you my list.
    Cheers! Rosja (from the Netherlands)