Good Screenings FAQ
- Q: What's this all about?
- A: Good Screenings is a way for companies, community groups, charities, schools, churches and ordinary people to organise their own screenings of good films - films that make you think about the world in a different way. Screening organisers can charge for tickets and keep the profits.
It’s made possible by revolutionary film distribution system – a clever piece of software called Indie Screenings. Indie Screenings lets you make your own booking of a film online, it automatically calculates the screening fee, takes your payment and the whole thing takes about 5 minutes.
- Q: Who is Good Screenings?
- A: Lots of good people. The team behind environmental hit The Age of Stupid, director Franny Armstrong and producer Lizzie Gillett invented this tool to help release their film in 2009. It was a massive success with over 1200 individuals and organisations – from garden centres to government departments – organising screenings. Then they had another idea – to open the idea up to other great filmmakers who want their films to have a positive impact – by partnering with The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, a UK based non-profit dedicated to enabling great filmmaking. The C4 BRITDOC Foundation team are running Good Screenings. If you have any problems, we are the people to come to – but please look at the rest of the FAQ first as all the most common problems have answers below.
- Q: When did it start?
- A: It launched in May 2009 with the Age of Stupid, and that film had over 1200 bookings in the next 6 months alone. In March 2010 we launched Good Screenings to build on this amazing success with another 7 films to offer more great social action films for people to watch. We plan to keep adding brilliant films to the site throughout the year.
- Q: How does it work?
- A: Anyone wanting to arrange a screening comes to our website, www.goodscreenings.org, to buy a license - the amount of which is set according to who you are, where you want to screen, which country you're in, how many people will watch and various other factors. The lowest fee is 1 pound (for a school screening in e.g Sierra Leone) and the highest 12,000 pounds (for a multinational corporation screening to 1,000 or more people in eg America). A few days before your screening, you'll get a DVD in the post. You can charge whatever you like for tickets - and pass round a fundraising bucket too, if you want - and all profits are yours to keep for your campaign group or pocket. After the screening, you can keep your DVD as long as you promise to book any further screenings through the site. That's it.
- The Films
- Q: Who picks the films?
- A: We do – the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation team, plus the Age of Stupid team. We find them, watch them, discuss them and pick those we think are the best things with the best social change potential.
- Q: I'm a filmmaker. Can my film get on?
- A: Possibly. Good Screenings will be looking for more brilliant social justice documentaries to recommend to audiences, charities, foundations, companies, schools, community groups, campaigners and documentary fans all over the world.
But we can’t take them all.
We are prioritising award-winning films, festival hits or those that have opened theatrically or those with a proven ability to create social impact. We are particularly interested in environmental films.
The first question is: do you control the non-theatric rights? Good Screenings deals with the non-theatric market, so you should be OK if you a) haven't sold to a distributor at all, b) sold other rights (TV, DVD, theatric, internet), but kept non-theatric, c) didn't sell in certain territories (you could then offer your film via Good Screenings in whichever territories you still control). If you have sold all rights worldwide then you either have to go back to the distributor and ask to have non-theatric back, wait for your deal to end or have a chat with your distributor and see whether they'd be interested in signing up to Good Screenings.
If you’d like to have your film considered – please get in touch for more information at email@example.com
- Q: Yes, I have non-theatric rights. What do I do next?
- A: Please email details of your film to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Buying Blanket Licenses
- Q: We are a big organisation with X offices in X countries. Can we buy a blanket license to screen throughout our organisation?
- A: Yes. We have already made blanket deals with the NHS, Transport for London and the British Council, which we're absolutely delighted about. Please contact us on email@example.com to discuss.
- Holding a Screening
- Q: I want to hold a screening. What do I do?
- A: Go to the website - www.goodscreenings.org, click on the big green "Start Booking Now" button and then follow the instructions. Don't worry, you are not committing yourself to paying anything until you put your credit card details in at the end.
- Q: Where can I screen?
- A: Anywhere as long as it’s in the country you booked it for. Your front room will do fine but if you want more people to see it why not try; pubs, schools, church halls, museums, bookshops, offices, fields, canal boats. We’ve had screenings in all of these sites. If you have a good relationship with a local independent cinema then why not try them? One thing to note is that you should always discuss with the venue any costs from their end - find out if they have a projector and a screen or whether they’d need to hire one in etc. Good Screenings is not responsible for these costs.
- Q: I'd like to hold a screening for X people, in location X. How much would it cost?
- A: We can’t answer that question as it is too vague. Just go to www.goodscreenings.org and follow the process until our software has generated a quote for you. It's also really easy to use and you are not committing yourself to anything. Go on, give it a go...
- Q: I don’t want to pay for a booking yet though, I just want to find out how much it costs. What do I do?
- A: That’s fine. Just visit www.goodscreenings.org and answer all the questions relevant to your booking. Once you’ve generated your fee you can just close the window - the booking won’t have been made and you won’t have had to pay a penny. Then, when you do want to make a booking, just go through the process again and move on to the payment side of things.
- Q: I can't get the Good Screenings website to work for me. Can I book on the phone?
- A: Sorry, we don't have the person-power to book screenings individually. Maybe you could ask a friend to help you with the website? It definitely works, as we’ve had over 1000 bookings since we started. Have you tried using a different Internet browser, like Firefox? Start by clicking the big green "Start Booking Now" button... or email us after you’ve tried that on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Q: I don’t know how many people are going to turn up. It could be 100 or it could be 10. What information should I enter?
- A: Just put your best guesstimate.
- Q: I'm not sure whether my organisation counts as an X or an X in the Good Screenings options.
- A: Just go with whichever one you feel is closest, we don't mind.
- Q: I've already got a copy of the DVD, I just want a license to screen it in public.
- A: There's an option towards the end of the booking where you can tick "already got the DVD" and so we won't send you a copy (and your license fee will be a bit cheaper).
- Q: It's mad to post DVDs all round the world. Why don't you have a download option?
- A: We agree and we're working on it... Should be up and running soon.
- Q: Is there a legal agreement?
- A: Yes, everyone booking a screening has to agree to our Terms and Conditions.
- Pricing & Payments
- Q: How do you work out the price for your license fees?
- A: Our cunning software calculates a bespoke license fee based upon who you are, where you plan to screen and how many people will watch the film. For example, a school in India screening to 20 pupils would be charged £10 and a multinational corporation in Britain screening to up to 100,000 people would be charged up to £22,000.
- Q: I think your fee is too high in my case, because of X.
- A: If after using the software honestly, you feel that the quoted fee is too high or low then contact email@example.com explaining why you think you are the exception which breaks the rule and we'll get back to you. But we spent ages working out the prices and we think they're right.
- Q: Ok. What if I want to hold multiple screenings. Do I get a discount?
- A: Yes, the system allows a 30% discount on additional screenings, after you’ve booked your first, as long as you book at the same time.
- Q: Why isn't the film free?
- A: Films are not free to make. Most of the documentaries on Good Screenings will have taken years to complete and we want the filmmakers to be able to gradually recoup the cost and the unpaid time they have committed. It’s very rare for documentaries to make big profits (although this does happen) and very common for them to leave the filmmaker with debts (although we'd like this not to happen).
If we can make this alternative funding system work, we can make it possible for more filmmakers to step outside the mainstream media and start making independent films, without advertising execs or corporate suits watering down their content.
Having said all that, you can choose to take a copy of the film and screen it illegally without a license and we’ll probably never find out. And you can steal from charity shops, evade your tax and change your granny’s will when she loses her eyesight, too.
- Q: So I’ve gone through to the payment section but it wants me to pay through PayPal. I don’t have a PayPal account. Is there some other way I can pay?
- A: You don’t need to have a PayPal account to pay for the film just as long as you have a credit card.
- Q: How secure is PayPal?
- A: Very. It’s the world’s most widely used secure payment provider. See the PayPal website for their view www.paypal.com
- Q: I work for a school/local council and it is not possible to pay by credit card. Can I send a cheque? Will you send me a payment order?
- A: Sorry, we don’t have the people power to process payments other than credit card. Why don't you pay on a personal card and then get reimbursed by your organisation?
- Problems & Refunds
- Q: What happens if I haven’t received my disk in time for my screening? It’s tomorrow and it still isn’t here!
- A: If you've booked your screening through the Good Screenings website and haven’t received your disc three days before your screening then please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email will definitely be answered, as long as it's a weekday.
- Q: What happens if I have to cancel my Good Screening. Can I get a refund?
- A: If your DVD has not yet been posted out, you can get a refund minus an adminstration fee. Contact email@example.com to do this. If your DVD has already been posted, you cannot get a refund. Either way, you can rebook your screening by starting again with the Good Screenings website.
- Q: I booked a screening and no one turned up to my film/the venue had hidden costs and it ended up costing me more than I thought. Can I get a refund?
- A: Sorry, no. It states in our terms and conditions that Good Screenings is in not responsible for the success of your screening. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to publicise your screening and make sure that you’ve discussed any extra costs with your venue before you go ahead with the screening.
- Q: I had to cancel my screening at the last minute because we had a death in the family/my wife gave birth unexpectedly. Can I get a refund?
- A: Obviously there are some circumstances that are totally out of your hands. In these situations please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know - we’re not ogres. Maybe we could let you screen the film again for free.
- Film Festivals
- Q: I want to screen the film at my festival. How much will it cost? How do I go about it?
- A: contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the filmmaker. email@example.com
- Mailing List
- Q: How do I keep up with what's happening at Good Screenings?
- A: Join our facebook page.
- Anything Else
- Q: My question has not been answered. Who can I talk to?
- A: If this is not a porky pie, and your question really isn't answered here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as fast as humanly possible.