Meet Paul Zamarelli, CGC Home Video Expert and Finalizer

Posted on 4/20/2023

Check out this Q&A with CGC's newest expert as he explains his role in CGC's newest division, launching soon.

The Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®) is excited to introduce Paul Zamarelli, who will lead the CGC Home Video™ grading team. CGC Home Video is the latest division of Certified Guaranty Company (CGC®), the world’s leading grading service for pop culture collectibles, including comic books, trading cards, video games, magazines and concert posters.

Zamarelli brings two decades of experience and unbridled enthusiasm for home video collecting to the CGC team. Upon graduating with a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, he used his focus on archives to build an online film database and useful resources for VHS and Betamax collectors. Continue reading for a Q&A with Zamarelli, and find out how he got started, his goals for CGC Home Video and his opinions on the future of home video collecting.

Q&A with Paul Zamarelli

How did you get started?

As a teenager, I would often read film reference guides that would list movies with absurd names or subject matter. Titles such as Attack of the Killer Refrigerator or Goremet, Zombie Chef from Hell absolutely intrigued me. With my curiosity piqued, I set out to discover whether these movies actually existed. As it turned out, they did!

How did you become a professional in the home video collecting arena?

If by professional you mean expert, it came about from my desire to make sense of all the different movies, releases, distributors and packaging types born of the home video industry. I just wanted to make sense of it all, so I began researching and collecting data on them.

What is your area of expertise?

From a collecting standpoint, my interest from the beginning has always been horror videos from independent distributors. These typically had shorter print runs than the big Hollywood blockbusters, making them rarer. They also have eye-catching, provocative artwork, making them even more fun to collect. But I’m also a home video historian and own a vast collection of ephemera related to the industry’s early history.

What is your favorite video and/or genre?

I enjoy all genres, but my true love is horror and exploitation cinema. Among the videos in my collection, Camp Video’s big box release of Video Violence is among my favorites. It really captures everything most traditional collectors love about collecting videocassettes from the 1980s.

What is your role at CGC Home Video?

One of the reasons that I took on this opportunity was to utilize CGC’s vast resources. They can help further the collective knowledge of videocassette collecting and mitigate the damage caused by rampant bootleggers and questionable grading services. As a finalizer with CGC Home Video, I’ll be doing just that.

How is CGC Home Video going to benefit the hobby?

In a hobby that has been rife with bootlegs since its inception, it’s important for serious collectors to have a means to certify their videos as original. With the knowledge base and home video experts CGC has on hand, we’ll be able to do just that.

How do you see the future of home video collecting?

There will always exist a segment of society that would prefer owning something they can hold in their hands and share with others. It keeps us grounded in reality in a way that streaming platforms cannot. As the first widely successful home media format for feature-length movies, videocassettes are particularly special. They stand out as icons of the last analog era, which resonates with so many people collecting today.

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