Firstly, an introduction to C-FylmC-Fylm is the name for our community film club for Cornwall. It is funded and supported by FEAST, Carn to Cove, Cornwall Film Festival and the British Film Institute. C-Fylm helps community groups to run film clubs in various parts of Cornwall. Filmgoers must become members of the overall C-Fylm club and this enables them to see a wide variety of programming including brand new releases on a subsidised basis.[/two_third] C-Fylm was set up because independent film clubs are required to pay a license fee of around £85-£100, per screening, to the film distribution company. This is not a sustainable fee for some film clubs with only 30-40 members. C-Fylm works across Cornwall to help people living in small, rural communities see movies locally, at an affordable price.
To see films, moviegoers must become a member of C-Fylm. The C-Fylm annual membership fee is set at £5 (£4 concessions) and that money goes to C-Fylm to help pay for the annual licence from MPLC (Motion Picture Licensing Company).
C Fylm will support your first three screenings by providing the equipment (if necessary), training you to use it, managing your membership and giving programming advice. Thereafter you can hire the equipment (at a discounted rate) and run your own event.
How much does a member of my audience pay?
There is an annual membership fee of £5/£4 concessions (which goes to C-Fylm) and this includes seeing the first film for free. After that, your audience members pay a nominal fee to see each film – it is up to you how much you charge on the door (we suggest £3 or £2 concessions), and your film club gets to keep that on-going money, as well as any money you make from refreshments or by doing a raffle etc. The membership fee must be collected each year and paid to C Fylm to sustain the scheme. Each member will fill out a form (to be retained by C Fylm) and be given a numbered membership card. We suggest that it is simplest for you if your membership year is also a calendar year, but we are happy to discuss that with you. When someone joins as a member, whenever in the year that happens, they see that screening free. It is up to you how and when you collect the other contributions.
And so what are my costs for each screening?
After the initial trial offer to help you get the club up and running (see covering email) your on-going costs are as follows:
- As a C-Fylm Film Club then you only pay £20 per screening. This includes a copy of the DVD from the Carn to Cove library and a poster designed specifically for you. (All you will have to do is let us know what films you would like to show and we will tell you if they are covered by the license)
- Plus if you want to hire projection equipment the cost is £25 each time (normally £50), and you will have to collect the equipment from Krowji in Redruth (so make sure you allow for petrol).
- If you are hiring your hall then you will have to cover that fee too.
- And also any misc costs like refreshments, tickets etc.
- If you do not have your own projectionist (see later) then the cost for hiring one from C-Fylm is £50 plus petrol.
What films can I show under the licence?
We will do our best to help you with ideas of films you can show but by all means please do your own research (see the attached list of sources) and if you tell us what you would like to show we can tell you if it is covered by the umbrella license.
But how do I know what to show and when?
- As said before, we will try to help you as much as we can! But please think about the types of films that would be best suited to your audience and what you might like to show…
- Think about your demographic – are your audience members likely to be young/old, have particular interests? Are their families likely to come? Are you near a cinema that might be showing the same films as you? Do most people have SKY box office? Perhaps you could do some prior research at a local event where you can promote your film club at the same time – ask what sort of thing people might want to see – have a checklist of genres and actors and directors etc so you can get a feel for what your audience likes…
- Try to choose recent/current films and releases OR celebrated classics – slightly off main-stream, world cinema or indie films or documentaries might be a good starting point or show films that have recently won awards for example the Oscars. These are unlikely to have been seen in the cinema recently
- We suggest that you only book the next 3-4 films in advance so you can keep abreast of current releases and this keep you more flexible and able to adapt to your audience – so you could have an autumn season of Sept, Oct & Nov and then a Xmas special for example.
What time will you do your screenings?
- Think about the time that you want to start your film – we would suggest that if you are setting up the Carn to Cove equipment and chairs etc then you will need an hour and a half to set up and do a sound check and remember that some people might want to eat before coming out so aim for somewhere between 7-8pm.
- How do I keep my audience interested in attending?
- Remember that you might be showing a film in a draughty village hall on uncomfortable seats – the film may even have just been released on DVD – so how do you make sure your screening is an attractive proposition?
- Have an interval – this is a good opportunity to not only sell refreshments, but for your audience to have a chat about what is happening in the film – this can make it a real social occasion – this is the USP (unique selling point) of a community cinema experience! You may not have the comfy sofa of someone’s living room, but you are providing your audience with the opportunity to have a shared cinematic experience – so maximize it!
- Provide ‘other entertainment’ – music in the interval, (is there a piano in your venue and local friendly pianist?), or a short film at the start, (if you want to show Cornish Shorts please just ask!) or perhaps you could have a talk at the end? Maybe you know someone in the film industry or linked to the film itself. Just think about how you can make your screening more ‘personal’ to your club.
- Provide really good refreshments – if you don’t want to make cakes all day then buy some in at trade price from your local bakery– or order Cornish pasties, or provide chips , or pick and mix sweets – or even popcorn – anything to give your audience an extra added bit of fun! Remember it’s a social occasion and it’s not just about the choice of film you are screening. Club members will come to a film they have no knowledge of if they know they will have a nice cuppa!
- Introduce the film – say why you have chosen it, tell your audience a bit about it, warm them up to it – but don’t give away the ending! We will give you a script if you are nervous about public speaking.
- Once you have built up a good reputation you will not need to worry too much about continuing promotion- assuming you are showing good films, word of mouth will usually ensure that your audience figures remain constant!
How do I promote my screenings?
- As described above, the only restrictions on the license are that your audience have to be ‘members’ (so they pay a one off annual membership fee) and that you cannot advertise the film ‘to the public’, e.g you cannot have posters plastered across Truro or on Facebook advertising your screenings to ‘non-members’.
- You are free to advertise your screenings ‘locally’, within your parish/ community and you can send out posters to email addresses you have collected yourself (by far the best way of promoting the film).
- You can put up specific posters locally advertising the next film and ‘non-specific’ news of a new film club more widely
- Posters put up in your village
- Local door drops
- Hook up with another community group
- Email posters to your members
- Inform your parish council about C Fylm who may assist with costs.
Who else will help you with running the film club?
- Running the club is not that time consuming – and you can easily do it whilst working a full time job, but in order to make the actual film screening itself run smoothly we think you need a minimum of two people. If you are part of a larger committee then you probably will not have any choice in the matter but if you can avoid it , don’t have too many people involved as it will make decisions harder!
- If you are having more people to help, try to delegate tasks such as collecting the equipment, setting up and overseeing the sound and projections, selling tickets, making and selling refreshments, deciding on the film programming, marketing the events etc – so that it is obvious who is responsible for what!
What screening equipment are you using?
- If you are hiring the Carn to Cove equipment the charge to C-Fylm film clubs is only £25 (normally it is £50). For this fee, you will be given:
- An NEC PA500U HD projector (and a bulb which comes separately)
- A projector stand
- A pop-up screen (size: 16ft x 9ft or 12ft x 6’11”)
- two PA speakers and leads (there are two lengths available depending on the size of your venue)
- a PA amplifier
- a Blu-ray/DVD player with remote control
- All necessary connecting leads. (including gaffer tape!).
- The equipment can be collected on the day you need it and has to be returned the following day so please bear this in mind when deciding on which day you are going to run your club! You will need to sign a contract of hire with Carn to Cove for hire of the equipment and pay when you drop off.
Who you will do your projections?
- Whatever equipment you are using you will have to familiarise yourself with it or get hold of your own projectionist! Make friends with your local camera or music club or find some other geek to give you a hand! Otherwise you can use the Carn to Cove projectionist – the charge is £50 plus petrol.
- How do you get the best sound and picture from the equipment?
- Make sure you have plenty of space at the front (3 metres if poss) before the first row of seats start.
- Try to stagger the seating if you can so someone’s head is not directly in front of someone else.
- Try to put the projector either in between the rows of seats or as high up as you can so you are projecting over peoples heads – check that your head is not blocking the picture by sitting in all the seats before the screening!
- Put the speakers up reasonably high – if your audience member can see the speakers they are more likely to be able to hear them too.
Setting up the equipment remembering health and safety
- Don’t block fire exits
- Use gaffer tape to cover the leads on the floor
- Make sure nothing is wobbly or going to fall over – put tables for the speakers in front of the screen for example so it can’t be knocked over.
- Audio loops? Technical assistance
- Two fit people required to put up the screen
Returning the equipment
If you have used the C2C equipment please make certain that all the leads are packed in their relevant bags and RETURNED. Missing items can ruin a screening for the next hirer. If there are any faults, accidents or problems with the equipment please inform the office.
What facilities are there at the venue?
- How many people does your potential venue hold? Remember that you will have to take into account the equipment: the stand or table for the DVD projector projection equipment the size of the screen – if you are hiring the Carn to Cove equipment the first line of chairs will need to be set about 3 metres away. So work out how many chairs you can fit in around the equipment.
- Check that there are regular slots available for your booking – try to stick to around the same time of the month e.g the third Thursday of the month.
- Does you venue have black out curtains blinds? If not you will need to consider how to block out the sun – not so important in the winter months but if your screening starts at 7.30pm in the summer it does not get dark until very late.
- Is your venue licensed to show films? (This is your responsibility to check) Or to sell alcohol? This might give you further opportunities to make money!
- What are the chairs and tables like at the venue – are the chairs comfortable enough to sit still on for two hours to watch a film? Are the tables sturdy enough to hold up the screening equipment?
Do I need to collect any other information on my club?
We would like you simply to do an audience count, and keep a list of how many people attend each event. You can give this information to Carn to Cove when you return the equipment or email the information in after each event or quarterly.
C-Fylm across Cornwall
There are currently six programmers. Some are specialists – your members will be given a card which will give them discounts on all screenings within the C Fylm community around Cornwall.