Carroll Community College (CCC) hosts a handful of free movie nights throughout the year on campus, and these movies continue this spring starting with Star Wars: The Force Awakens on May 6. Leigh Swistock, current CAB president, sat down with The-Quill to shed light onto CAB’s process for selecting which films to show.
Deciding which films to show may sound like quite the impossible task to some, but CAB has developed a simple decision-making process among themselves. The CAB members merely sit around a table and select films they think students will be interested in, going off of the list of film rights available to them through their distributor. They then “narrow it down to five movies” and vote; whichever film receives the most votes is the film shown.
On the prices of showings like The Book of Life, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, and the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Leigh said that all of them, being newer films, are “somewhere around the $1,000 mark.” The money for the rights to show these films comes from student activity fees.
Explaining how the newer films cost more, Leigh continued, “Out of those three, Star Wars is the most expensive, mostly because it’s the newest movie and it’s the most popular; everyone wants to see Star Wars. The Book of Life is the cheapest; just not as big an audience interested in it.”
To retrieve the rights to screening the films, CAB goes through a film distributor company called Swank Motion Pictures. Besides just getting the rights to showing the films themselves though, CAB also receives all promotional advertising material, which saves them the trouble of creating their own.
The turnouts to the film showings vary, with 100 or more attendees being a good outcome, whereas below 50 is less positive. Whether the films are shown inside or outside seems to have a big impact on attendance.
On the matter of venue, Leigh said, “The outdoor movies do much better than the theater movies. I think that’s just an attraction: sitting on a lawn, bringing a blanket and a chair, and seeing an outdoor movie.”
The next two film showings, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Zootopia, are two outdoor films, and CAB is extremely optimistic about their turnouts. “We’re expecting that Star Wars is going to be very popular,” Leigh muses.
Both students and community members are welcomed to attend the upcoming screenings, free of charge. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be showing Friday, May 6, at 8:00 p.m., and Zootopia will be showing Friday, June 3, at 8:00 p.m. Both showings will be located outside at the Amphitheater, unless the weather happens to interfere, in which case the rain locations will be the Scott Center Theater for Star Wars and room K100 for Zootopia.
EDIT (May 6, 2016): The May 6 showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be held in the theater at the Scott Center due to rain.