Filmmaking 5 Tips For Throwing A Rough Cut Screening Party

No matter how awesome you think your movie is, there are always a gazillion ways to improve it. Yesterday we had a screening of Career Courier. It’s a movie by Kenton Hoppas.

I’m a producer on the flick, with a lot of my duties falling into the range of what Jon Reiss calls a PMD (producer of marketing and distribution). Part of my responsibility is to help Kenton (and other filmmakers) make the best (and most marketable) movie possible. Here is a brief guide on how to have a screening party:

  1. Find a location spacious enough to fit at least six people, plus the filmmaker. Obviously you will need a BIG television.
  2. Invite friends with passion for movies. Explain that the screening will be a rough cut – and the goal is to provide constructive feedback.
  3. Make sure you have snacks and drinks on-hand. And if you’re getting pizza, make sure you get the delivery prior to starting the movie.
  4. Make sure everybody has a pen and notepad. The goal is to take notes.
  5. At the conclusion of the screening, people will have a tendency to be overly polite. While this is very nice, it isn’t helpful to the filmmaker. So it is your responsibility to ask some very tough questions.

Once you share some constructive (but not always ideal feedback), the ball will start rolling. From there, other members of the audience will come up with a lot of great feedback. While some of the feedback might suck, as a filmmaker, you need to write these ideas down and keep an open mind.  The objective is NOT to settle for a good movie. The goal is to settle for a GREAT movie!

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