How to Select a Great Movie to Watch

Sometimes you just feel like a girls’ or a blokes’ night in, and so comes the question of how to select a great movie to watch. My friend Sam always told us that a group of three people should never go into a DVD rental store at the same time, because you’ll end up being there for hours and never really decide on which movies to hire.

When we’re selecting movies, we never go for the latest releases, because you pay a premium rate for movies that are new to the DVD shelves.

If you always select the movies that have been around for a while, then guess what? You have your own selection of “new” movies to choose from after a few months sincehat time the latest releases are down graded to recent releases at a discounted price. Not only do you save yourself some money, but you’ve also got a much better chance of having the “pick of the bunch” of the recent releases.

Here’s a list of things to help you decide how to select a great movie to watch:

1. Selection by a theme

Whether it’s a blokes night or a chicks night, you can decide a theme. Some great chick flicks include the “Bonnet Movies” the genre of Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice”, “Emma” and so on.

For the blokes you may select the “X-Men” series, James Bond or such like.

2. Selection by Actor or Actress

Often we’ll sit and watch a bunch of Russell Crowe or Nicole Kidman movies, you may have some favorite actors and actresses that will help you in your choice of movies to watch.

3. Selection by Genre

There’s some great movies to motivate young sports players, such as Basketball, Baseball, or Grid Iron movies. You may be a fan of horror movies, romantic comedies, or action thrillers.

4. True Stories

They say that there’s nothing stranger than real life, and when Hollywood screen writers are looking at new ideas for movie storylines, they often turn to taking historical events and making some great movies.

Within the category of true stories you still have a wonderful selection of movies to watch about sporting heroes, national heroes, and even ordinary folk that have done some extraordinary things.

5. Selection by ratings

When selecting a great movie to watch, you need to consider the audience, as this can help with your decision making. If you are choosing movies for a bunch of young children then it’s generally a good idea to have watched those movies yourself first, so that you don’t have any surprises that could shock or scare the children.

6. Choosing a Foreign Language Movie

Whilst there’s a whole heap of great English Language movies, there’s also some fantastic foreign language movies that deserve your attention.

Do not be afraid to consider foreign films just because they have subtitles. After the first few minutes of watching a foreign movie and reading the subtitles you soon get drawn into the movie and almost “forget” that you are not listening to English.

7. Word of Mouth

We’ve never really found that personal referrals of movie titles from our friends have been of much benefit. Everybody has different tastes, and just because one person doesn’t like a particular movie doesn’t necessarily mean that you will not enjoy it.

This is often true with media movie critics. We’ve all heard stories about movies that have been slammed by the critics only to become box office successes.

There’s plenty of other ways to decide how to select a great movie to watch that include watching the previews or movie trailers, as well as watching movie review shows on TV and the internet.

How To Host An Unforgettable Backyard Outdoor Movie Night

Have you ever wanted to re-live the experience of a summer night spent at a drive-in movie? A backyard movie event is the perfect chance to enjoy a movie under the stars with friends and family, without even needing to leave the comfort of your own yard. Here is how to create an unforgettable movie event in your own backyard.

Theme
What type of event do you want to host? A date night to celebrate an Anniversary, a neighborhood block party, a birthday, family reunion or graduation are just a few occasions you can celebrate with a backyard movie night. A regular family film night can even be made extra special by making it into a backyard movie night with an inflatable movie screen.

Pick the Movie
Once you decide on the type of event you want to host and the guest list, you can choose an appropriate film. If you are celebrating a birthday or graduation, let the honoree choose the movie. For a romantic date night, choose a favorite romantic film. If you are having kids at your backyard movie night, be sure to choose a family friendly movie.

Equipment
Once you have decided on a motion-picture, it is time to make a budget and get in contact with a local outdoor movie production company. Many audio / visual production companies work with a wide variety of clients; from individuals who wish to host a small event at their home, to clients who need huge inflatable movie screens to accommodate thousands of guests.

The outdoor cinema production company you choose should have a screen size just right for your backyard flick night. The company should also be able to provide you with a projector and sound equipment to make your movie night an unforgettable, stress free experience much like a drive-in movie or movie theatre.

Food
It’s not movie night without food. You have several options here. You might make your movie night a potluck and ask everyone to bring a favorite movie snack to share, or you might provide snacks or a light meal like popcorn, hot dogs or movie theatre style candy. To really get the drive-in movie experience, you might even consider renting concession equipment like a popcorn or hot dog machine. You could keep the snacks simple or have a little more fun with it. Consider themed snacks to go with your film; chocolate to go with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” or a meatball appetizer with “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”.

Set the Scene
Decorating and setting up your yard are other areas you can have some fun. Use lighting like Tiki torches or even Christmas lights to set a pretty scene and make it safer for guests to walk around in the dark. Consider heading to a local party store or putting your craft skills to good use and setting up themed decorations to compliment your movie. Lanterns, for example, would add an extra special touch to a “Tangled” backyard movie night. If you have a pool, a poolside movie is just right for a hot summer night. You might host a late afternoon pool party and barbeque, followed by a relaxing poolside movie night.

Seating
There are several ways to set up the seating for your movie night. For kids, blankets or bean bags are a fun choice. Adults might prefer chairs or comfortable cushions. If you do not have enough chairs for all of your guests, you could either rent chairs or ask guests to bring a favorite chair. Consider low chairs like beach chairs so that everyone can see the movie.

Whatever the size, theme or reason for your backyard movie night; taking the time to carefully plan the details, decorate and choose the perfect movie will help ensure your movie night is one that will leave you and your guests with special memories.

The World of Movie Distribution Is a Tough Place

The world of movie distribution is a tough place. After fighting and sweating to finish a movie you’re mentally and physically exhausted.

You just want to take a break and rest, but you can’t because finishing a movie is only half the battle. It’s time to enter the world of movie distribution.

Movie distribution is a tough place for filmmakers new to the grind. It’s hard to switch off the creative mind to deal with the business side of selling movies.

What I’ve learned the hard way is the movie distribution really starts with promoting and marketing a movie.

Social media is an inexpensive way to get the word out about your movie and create a killer viral buzz online.

It’s cool to go the film festival route to get your movie seen by viewers and potential film buyers, but over the years from talking to other filmmakers there is a common feeling that the film festival scene is too crowded now.

U.K. filmmaker Wayne Daniells from LiarDice Films told me his last trip to The Cannes International Film Festival was a ruthless feeding frenzy.

There were a glut of movies and producers were fighting to get the attention of movie distributors.

All in all Wayne expressed that it was a waste of time and money pitching his film there. I’ve heard the same opinion from other filmmakers that are frustrated with the film festival scene and no longer see it as a good way to secure movie distribution.

I personally like the direct route of contacting movie distributors to see if they’re interested in being sent a screener. This is where it helps if you have already been promoting and marketing your movie online using social media.

Movie distributors are more interested in acquiring movies that already have a strong online presence.

I’m strictly speaking from a true independent movie perspective. Studio budget movies are an entirely different animal when it comes to the world of movie distribution.

When it comes to movie distribution for an indie produced film the way it normally happens are independent producers and filmmakers take the risk making the movie without any guaranteed movie distribution deal in place.

They usually have to shop it around to sell it. That’s been my personal experience so far. I’ve never created content with a movie distribution deal in place.

It’s like writing a screenplay on spec, but you’re dealing with a movie. Promoting and marketing a movie through social media is an absolute must.

Start early before you’re movie is even finished. That way when you begin contacting movie distributors you’re movie will already have more appeal because people are talking about it.

Movie distributors that cater to releasing independent movies do very little marketing for most of the titles they release.

If you’re movie doesn’t have any actors or celebrity names attached to it then it won’t get marketed outside of the standard insert in a movie distributor catalog.

So once you do secure a movie distribution deal you’re already giving your movie a boost by promoting and marketing yourself.

My mind is all over the place today, so let me get back to finding a movie distribution deal. Hold up please. A nice Miller Lite would help me focus right now.

That’s much better now. There are different ways to land a film distribution deal. You can spend the money doing the film festival route. Deals get struck all the time at film festivals.

But honestly there is a glut of film festivals. The number of film festivals is way out of whack compared to the number of movie distributors that release independent films.

Skipping the film festival circuit works for many independent movie producers that don’t have name actors in their film or know their story won’t appeal to an art house crowd.

Hiring a film sales representative is a good call if you skip the film festival scene all together. A film sales representative or producer’s rep has contacts with movie distributors to get your movie screened.

Plus many of them can get you into magazines like Indie Slate and MovieMaker to make your movie look more appealing to movie distributors.

They also watch your back when it comes to movie distribution agreements. When filmmakers look at movie distribution agreements it can be overwhelming.

There is lots of legalese “mumbo jumbo” in there designed to lessen the amount of money you make from movie royalty payments or a straightforward buy-out of your movie.

Unless you have experience reading movie distribution contracts it’s easy to get taken advantage of. I’m in the habit know even if I have a films sales representative like “El Tigre” watching my back I still read all contracts completely.

You will be surprised at the hidden fees and costs some movie distributors try to get over on a filmmaker with in of all places, the contract definitions section.
My film sales rep and I once found a flat fee of $50,000 for marketing costs in the definitions section.

Hiring an entertainment attorney is another good move, but usually is too costly for a truly independent filmmaker. Plus from my own experience an entertainment attorney is not as helpful as a film sales rep with securing a movie distribution deal or getting you some press.

That’s not really the job an entertainment attorney. They’re great when it comes to negotiating your movie distribution contract. But most won’t get you a deal like a film sales rep. You can bring them in after you have a deal on the table.

I had two sharp entertainment lawyers that saved my ass from getting burned when it came to sell a reality show I produced called “America’s Wildest Bachelor Parties.” They got me a producer friendly contract and got me paid on time each quarter. I’m glad I hired them.

If it’s just not in your budget to hire a film sales rep or entertainment lawyer you can still secure meaningful movie distribution hustling hard yourself.

Promoting and marketing your movie online is followed up by putting together a clean and neat film package to send to movie distributors. Keep it simple with a DVD screener, one-sheet artwork, tight synopsis, tagline and very short bios for key cast or crew that have previous IMDB credits.

To get a list of potential movie distributors see what companies are releasing movies in the same genre as yours. The Internet makes it pretty easy to find contact information nowadays.

Movie distribution companies usually have a contact page for film submissions. Follow the guidelines and mail off your film package. They get a flood of film submissions, so be patient if you don’t hear back right away.

Movie distributors have certain times they are aggressively seeking films to fill their catalog and other times they have all they need for now. I have the buying months written down.

Once they get your film package they will Google your movie. That’s where having been promoting and marketing your movie online really stands out. It takes more than only having a website or blog.

You need some press and backing from online film bloggers to make your movie standout in the eyes of movie distributors.

I dedicated a chapter about movie distribution in a book on indie filmmaking I wrote. It might help you with more detailed movie distribution information. All the best with marketing and selling your movie.