HOW TO DO A SCREENING (needs an update for webage)
For a list of films to download, go here
(This page is for globalviews only - the rest of the channels are under construction)
BEFORE YOU SCHEDULE:
1) Determine event name and write a one-paragraph description of it. This will focus your thoughts. Consider the following:
- who will your audience be - the general public or a specific community?
- what kinds of videos and issues will you be presenting?
- will there be other entertainment (music, poetry, dance, etc.) or speakers?
- what group(s) will present material at this show? Establish a contact person and phone number for each group involved.
- who gets the money? Is this a benefit for another group? Many venues will take half the door receipts. What will you take? What will you tell people you will do with the money you raise?
2) Line up your groups and videos and establish a minimum of commitment for everyone involved to be able to pull off the show. Maybe some groups can decide later which videos they want to show, but you will need at least an hour worth of video to watch if nothing else is planned. Don't screen too much. Shoot for 1 - 1.5 hours.
3) Who will be the Host or MC? Are there related events to this show? What can she ask people to support or do after they leave your show? Get flyers and fact sheets for upcoming events and related issues to hand out to people as they come in, to pass around during the MC's intros, or to simply have available at a literature table.
SCHEDULING THE SHOW:
1) Where will you have the screening? It's good to have a venue that people come to for other fun reasons.
2) Talk with the Artistic Director or some other point person who is in charge of scheduling. It may take months in advance to get a slot and to be included on the venue's calendar, their advertising, and other outreach. Or you might not care so much about that (although good advertising greatly improves attendance) and can negotiate for a show on an off-night when they have nothing scheduled.
3) Determine the due date for submitting a description of the show for use in the venue's calendar and/or on their website, if they have these resources. Include at least one compelling graphic (often a still from the video itself) that describes the show or issues involved.
3 WEEKS BEFORE SCREENING
1) Write a Press Release. (Find out how here)
2) Email press release to local media. Be sure to include your suggested donation amount for admission (we always say "No one turned away for lack of funds," and we mean it). You can also say something like "Sliding Scale, $5-50."
- some calendars want to know if the venue is Handicapped Accessible, or other details.
- you might also want to suggest to the local media some way that your screening might qualify for coverage by tieing it in with recent or upcoming political actions or events.
3) Make Internet and e-mail postings:
- build an email list of interested people and organizations if you do regular screenings. You can surf around a bit on the internet for some local organizations to Spam, and you can make a Sign-Up Sheet for your audience to get more info in the future. Be sure to ask for Name, Phone Number and Email Address.
4) Explore other ways to announce your event - eg local and alternative radio.
5) Discuss serving refreshments with a local group or your friendly local health food store if the screening is about an issue they might support. This is also another way to raise money if you charge for drinks or snacks. Sometimes the venue itself has this covered because it can be so valuable.
6) Make invitations to groups who might have appropriate tabling material available. Find out if you need to have a table or space made available for them.
2 WEEKS BEFORE THE SCREENING
1) Design a flyer. You can do it by hand or by using a software program like Quark or Pagemaker. You usually get a discount the more copies you make. Try getting a discount for being not-for-profit and a local community group.
2) Post flyer at local media and arts centers early on.
3) Email or post flyers to local organizations and non-profits that would support the event: environmental, labor, community, human rights, etc.
4) Begin flyering of the town or neighborhood the event will screen in.
1 WEEK BEFORE THE SCREENING
1) Finalize the show.
- watch all video tapes and plan order of show.
- check tapes for audio and video problems.
- write notes for the MC, including list of who is speaking and who produced videos.
- decide when lights go on and off.
- consider an intermission if the programming is long.
- will you have music playing as people come in?
- Question and Answer time?
- will there be an event or activity immediately after the show?
2) Confirm times and responsibilities with people involved in the screening. Who runs the projector? Who collects admission? Give them the basic schedule of the night and remind them to show up 45-60 minutes before the show to help set up (depending on how much they are involved). Determine who will stay to help clean up and gather your materials.
3) Begin saturation flyering. Focus on coffee shops, cafes, bookstores, community centres and health food stores. Telephone poles and walls are okay, but get pulled down or covered up quickly. You should check them daily for replacement.
4) Phone calls: call your friends, activists, everyone you know to remind them about the show. This works. Make a follow up call to your local media contact if this is truly a newsworthy event.
1) Set up one hour (minimum) before show:
- check that all video and audio equipment is set up (probably a laptop computer and sound system)
- DO A SOUND CHECK
- make a playlist
- set up tabling materials and/or refreshments.
2) Audience usually begins arriving 15 -30 minutes before show time, and often for 30 minutes after. Figure on starting show about 10 - 20 minutes after scheduled time.
3) You are the bottom-line for the show. That means you need to stick around to help clean up coffee cups and newspapers and other trash left on the floor, that you make sure you get the money from the staff person or volunteer who was doing the door, and that screening room chairs and tables are in order.
... But don't forget to chill out and meet some new people - screenings are great for networking and socializing. Have fun, that's half the reason to do another one!
This text taken from http://www.videoactivism.org/howscreen.html
Screenings around the UK