How to host a screening. Ten simple things:
1. SIZE MATTERS: One of the most important things you will need to decide before having a screening is how many people you want to have come! Do you want a small gathering in your home? Or do you want a large screening somewhere else?
Becoming the Media: Showing Films in Your Local Community: Learn more in a $10 ebook from grassroots screening pioneers Bob Banner and Mark Phillips. Check it out.
2. THE RIGHT SPACE: If you need to find a space for your screening, start searching early. Good places to look are churches, public libraries, community centers, outdoor venues, and university spaces.
If you expect more people to show up than you can accommodate, make sure to have alternate showings arranged at different times.
3. A COMMUNITY EVENT: For larger screenings, think about partnering with a group whose work is related to the community or film topic. Organizations can provide funds to rent a location or volunteers to help you with the event.
DON'T get discouraged if the ideal amount of people don't show up to the first screening. Word of mouth will carry for the next time... or promote your screening more! ha.
DON'T arrange a show and flake the last minute. In a pinch, get someone to fill in.
DON'T wait until the last minute to get a space, get the film, or promote your event.
DON'T forget to thank your volunteers, sponsors and everyone who came to the event. It's small and goes a long way to make people feel like they are doing something worthwhile.
4. GET HELP: Whether you are working with an organization or hosting a screening on your own, get some reliable friends or volunteers to help you out. They'll make your life easier! You can also recruit volunteers online from your screening page, just click the 'request volunteers' checkbox.
5. PROMOTION: Promote your screening! Depending on your budget you might be limited to simple homemade quarter sheets or posters. Posters are a great way to advertise. Place them in sympathetic businesses, public spaces, university boards, and other places with community boards (coffee shops, food co-ops, churches, etc.).
6. EQUIPMENT: Make sure you know what sort of equipment you will need. Do you need a projector to show the film on your wall or will your 20-inch TV suffice?
7. DISCUSSION: Make sure that you know what you want out of the event. Chances are people will want to talk about what they just saw. Do you want a group discussion afterwards where people can share what they thought? Or do you want people to mingle and chat on their own?
8. THE AFTER PARTY: Screenings can be a great time to make friends, so make the event a potluck or arrange to have an after party at a pre-arranged space (like a bar, coffee shop, or restaurant). Everyone can discuss the film, hang out, and make some new friends.
9. FUNDRAISE: A screening is a good time to fundraise for your organization or sponsor. Ask for donations. Hold a raffle. Sell concessions. Be creative!
10. THINKING FORWARD: While you have your audience together, take the opportunity to promote future events, film screenings, rallies, protests, etc.
What are you waiting for? Get started!