I think what makes a competitor good at movie trivia stems not only from having a great memory, but a love for film and the desire to delve deeper into it. I remember, even as a kid, wanting to know more about a movie I’d just seen, particularly a movie I really enjoyed. How it was made, who the actors were, the Easter eggs, the meaning behind certain plot points. It all fascinated me.
I’d find myself excited when a VHS film would have a featurette or bloopers at the end, or when premium channels would have a behind the scenes video on an upcoming movie, a la “HBO FIRST LOOK.” Then, when DVDs became a thing, I would always be sure to get the version with the most special features. It made the film that much more fun for me. I’d go through each piece of extra content or watch the film a second time with commentary and it would be a whole new experience.
As the access to information evolved, I started going to IMDb and reading trivia for every movie I’d watch, just for fun and interest, or watching YouTube video breakdowns to see things I missed or understand filmmaker choices, etc. I became filled with silly trivial information about movies and annoying to the people around me with my “Did you know”s and “well, actually”’s (cue eye rolling emoji).
Soon I discovered The Schmoedown, a place where I could share what I knew with the added fun of dressing up and competing with others who were filled with all that movie knowledge as well.
I love movie trivia because, in a way, it makes a movie new again. Knowing things about it can make you see it differently. It can make you enjoy it more knowing what it meant to the people who made it or how it connects to other films. If it’s a terrible movie you can maybe understand how it even got made. It’s a testament to a film and what went into, along with what you get out of the experience of watching it, that you’ve seen it enough times to retain the information. Knowing when a film was released can give context for the climate or culture at the time. Knowing the director can help you understand the message or style of a film. It can also get you points in a match.
Of course I have my trivia gaps, but I think the investment in learning about a film, studying it, can only make you a better competitor and make you understand or even enjoy film more.