Getting an audience to film screenings

Adam Aron, CEO of AMC recently made a generation of cinema non-goers angry with him when he said that he would allow texting to take place during projects. My generation, previous generations and the generations of the future complained on social media. Getting an audience to film screenings requires an understanding of what they prefer to do instead.

In the “Golden Age” of my cinema going life I would go to the cinema up to three times a week. I went this frequently because I lived close to the cinema, because we had two GBP Tuesdays and because it was something to do when other people were not available. Over a period of months I went to see more than 90 films. A consequence of this habit was over-familiarity with the codes and conventions of mainstream cinema. Since that “golden age” I have seldom been back to the cinema. When you know everything that will happen in a film within the first 15 minutes you get bored.

I know AMC through its television Series of which the Walking Dead is one. This is a series that I did binge watch when it was fresh and again when it was made available via netflix. Television series have better writers and better storylines than films. They also don’t overdo it with super hero rubbish and special effects. As these productions have storylines we care enough to watch one episode after another. Films fail to engage us in this manner.

When I was in London I went to a few screenings. The screenings I usually went to in London were at the Front Line Club. You would watch a documentary about current affairs and there would be a panel to discussion to discuss what you had just seen. In Geneva I found that the graduate Institute has started to do the same thing. I regularly go to such events because I like to complement what I already know by watching interesting productions and then listening to questions and answers sessions and learning something new.

Montagne en Scène is an example of what AMC should think of doing. They need to find and fund the production of films for niche markets. Montagne en Scène is an event where four mountain related films are projected to a specialist audience of mountain and sports enthusiasts. This niche usually relies on youtube and vimeo to find and share footage of their passions. By organising a special day these enthusiasts are encouraged to come to film screenings.

AMC is competing against mobile phones, televisions, Virtual reality goggles, tablets and Video on Demand via the World Wide Web. what they need to do is lower the price and make it more convenient for people in contemporary culture. Having panel discussions at the end of a screening is one way of attracting people. Lowering the ticket price would be another way. If they stopped making CGI films with no story then I would start going to the cinema again. This complain extends to the crappy films currently available, at least in Switzerland on Netflix. If Netflix did not have television series I would have stopped paying for their service months ago. If you treat your customers/viewers like mature adults then there is a good chance that you will attract them to film screenings on a more regular basis.

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