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9 screenings of Date Number One: $1690 (venue cost only), showing your film to customers on a big screen 9 times: you know, like they say, priceless

There are great advantages to showing your movie on a large screen. The larger than life image & the necessarily loud sound are overwhelming & it creates a unique, memorable & in my opinion more forgiving (of any technical flaws in the movie) experience. Re: that forgiving item, what I mean is that certain minor things (not huge visual problems of course) that need to be fixed in the movie may not be noticeable when viewed on a large screen because the brain is busy taking in the huge image & loud noise. Those same mistakes are more noticeable on a TV/computer screen, when watching the movie from a DVD. Anyway, I've learned a lot by watching Date Number One w/ 9 different audiences in 4 different cities over the last 3 or so months. Right now, using the acquired knowledge, I am making some changes to the movie, before it has its 10th screening in NYC on 8/31 @ Pioneer Theater (get your tix now). More on that later, this post is about the hard cost, the venue rental if it is a rental & not a booking, of producing screenings.

Aside from venue cost(if any), the other costs to worry about are: marketing/advertising, employees (if any), equipment rental (if any, like a projector, if the venue does not have one),
travel/lodging/food (for out of town screenings). But this post is about the venue costs, so this is how the venue costs of the 1st 9 screenings of Date Number One breaks down:

Screenings # 1 & 2, Washington, DC: Venue cost: $800
Screenings # 3 - 7, Seattle, WA: Venue cost: $850
Screening # 8, Kensington, MD: Venue cost: FREE
Screening # 9, Takoma Park, MD: Venue cost: $40

Total Venue costs for 9 screenings: $1690

$s were charged for entrance from most customers at each of those screenings. So revenue was generated. But when other expenses (marketing, projector rental for 2 of the screenings, etc.) are added in, most screenings did not produce a profit. BUT, as I figured at the beginning of the Date Number One self-distribution project, the first 12 or so screenings will be a learning experience & after that I would have a very good understanding of what needs to be done to make a screening profitable. So I am close to having a good handle on the doing-a-screening-well thing. Each screening becomes easier & easier to do (& less expensive, screenings #8 & 9, & the upcoming #10, were bookings, so no venue costs (#9 had a nominal fee of $40 to cover some staff pay, but that is not a real/high, in the $100s type, venue cost)). I am planning 10 more screenings in various cities right now, screening #s 11 - 20, and I am pretty sure that I can make those profitable (or at least not huge loses). We'll see how it goes, will blog about them when they are done.

Regardless of the profit or loss scenario, showing Date Number One to an audience on a large screen & watching people live through the movie for the 1st time is an awesome & exciting experience.

- Sujewa


Jacky Treehorn said…

Nice break down for those considering DIY Self-Dist. I have a feeling you will be making a profit very soon.


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