Titanic’s Biggest Fan Is Doing The Unthinkable

By Robert Scucci | Published

titanic suvivor

If you thought you were a fan of James Cameron’s Titanic, your enthusiasm for the 1997 film is no match for JD, or as his fans on TikTok and Instagram know him, @titanicfan97. Back in 2012, JD (who has the same initials as Jack Dawson) embarked on a remarkable voyage to collect as many copies of Titanic on VHS, or “T on V,” as humanly possible. But when he started making videos on the social media platform last year, his collection skyrocketed from 100 copies of the double-VHS to thousands.

As of his most recent update, JD has 2,620 copies of Titanic on VHS. He won’t stop celebrating the iconic film until he reaches a million copies, a milestone he thinks he’ll reach rather quickly at this pace.

JD and his Titanic collection (source: Instagram)

Included in his collection are 220 widescreen editions, 165 copies with the highly coveted Paramount seal, 57 international editions, and 21 collector’s editions of Titanic. JD even set a world record for most copies of Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture on CD, which will be featured in the next published edition of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

JD isn’t just interested in building the largest collection of Titanic on VHS, however. He’s also built a massive shrine in his home office that presents his collection for all the world to see. He even built a scale replica of the Titanic out of his copies of Titanic.

Titanic Collection
JD’s Titanic Collection

Sitting confidently at the bow of the ship is a life-sized mannequin of Jack Dawson himself, which only adds to the spectacle. Proudly overseeing the entire Titanic collection is yet another mannequin of James Cameron, as well as several other figurines bearing Leonardo DiCaprio’s likeness.

And his mission has taken on a life of its own.

While JD started his Titanic collection by finding copies of the film at thrift stores, most new additions to his collection arrive at his P.O. box. Fans from all over the country send him copies of the James Cameron blockbuster, as well as letters of encouragement so he doesn’t lose sight of his goal. All fan submissions are secured in a three ring binder that he calls “The Book of Jack” (he’ll protect you!).

Though Titanic was recently re-released on 4K Ultra HD to commemorate its 25th anniversary, JD wants nothing to do with it. He asserts that although some people find 4K appealing, he personally finds it appalling.

But what’s most impressive about JD isn’t just his Titanic collection, but his enthusiasm for the project. Projecting an aura of unbridled optimism, each of his videos greets his viewers with a voice-over brimming with enthusiasm, and just a tinge of auto-tune. When his collection reached 1997 copies this past June, he let everybody know that he felt like the king of the world when the amount of double-VHS tapes he owned matched the year Titanic saw its theatrical release.

But what’s the point of all of this? Well, there doesn’t have to be one. JD’s love and appreciation for Titanic is a refreshing change of pace from the usual content we witness while we’re doom-scrolling through social media.

nukie vhs
Rich and Mike of Red Letter Media destroy thousands of copies of Nukie

Not since the boys at Red Letter Media collected every copy of Nukie in existence, and then summarily destroyed all of them in a wood chipper, has any obsessive collection been this impressive. Here’s hoping JD doesn’t get a similarly destructive notion.

We live in a time where everybody has to have a political hot take, and more often than not, we let our emotions run wild on the internet. But the only emotion that we feel when we watch JD let out an unhinged giggle while “My Heart Will Go On” plays softly in the background during yet another unboxing video is one of pure joy. Whether he’s the real deal or simply committing to a bit doesn’t matter, because his love for Titanic has made the internet a better place.