Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How to Host a Public Showing

How to Organize a Public Film Showing
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Before the event: here is the checklist of what you need:

___ Location - you can show the film in your home or in a public space. Your place of worship may have space they will let you use. You can also try local universities (invite their students), local government buildings or libraries. When you register your location on www.bravenewtheaters.com it will allow for people to RSVP so you can get an idea of how many to expect, but if you’ve advertised it in the local papers as a free event you may not know how many to expect.

___ Equipment - Does the place you’ve chosen have audio/visual equipment? Do you know how to run it or do you need to ask someone’s help with it?

___ Seating - Will you need to ask friends to bring their folding chairs? If you are using a public space, do you need to ask them to set up the chairs - or where they store them so you can set them up? If it is for youth sitting on the floor may be an option, but some older people may find that uncomfortable.

___ Publicity - Get creative, how can you let folks know you are doing this? Send out a note to people on your email list (be sure you include the date, time, location with a link to your showing on Brave New Theaters if you want them to RSVP), put up posters in coffee houses, health food stores, book stores, grocery stores, your gym, the laundromat, and any other bulletin boards you can think of. Fill in and send out the press release on our website to local newspapers.

___ Help - ask friends or members of your group to help you hang up the posters, greet people as they arrive, set up and clean up. If you know some good cooks, ask them to provide refreshments.


Day of the event: Get there at least 30 minutes early to make sure everything is set up - chairs, DVD player works, signs are up to direct people to the right room. Get volunteer greeters posted at locations to direct people to the film room. When they arrive ask them to sign the sign-in sheet.

Time to show the film: Introduce yourself, your post-film speaker if you are having one, and your helpers. Invite people to stay afterward for discussion (if you'll be having one). Remind them to sign the sign-in sheet (or pass it around - if you'll be having one). Pass around the literature or tell people where they can pick it up.

After the film: If the discussion gets uncomfortable, or is petering out, thank people for coming and wish them a pleasant evening. Sometimes everyone just leaves after the film - they need to go home and digest it. If that happens, that's ok.

After the event: if you are using someone else’s space, make sure you leave it as clean as it was when you arrived (or cleaner so you don’t get blamed for someone else’s mess!). Make sure everything is returned to where you got it, lights are turned off and doors are locked if necessary.

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