Thursday 5 March 2015

Borderlines at Tarrington

The Lady Emily Hall, in Tarrington, has been involved with the Borderlines Festival for 5 years now – an association which grew out of our participation in the Flicks in the Sticks scheme. Originally, we used the Flicks technician and equipment service for the showings, but have now acquired all the necessary kit and (most of) the expertise to run them ourselves.

Preparation for the Festival, for us, starts before Christmas, when I am sent the catalogue of films to choose from. I then circulate this to about 30 of our regular Flicks attendees and ask them to pick their choices for our 2 showings. This usually results in a list of 20, which has to be re-circulated as a short-list ! Having picked 3-4, we submit these back to Ian Kerry, with dates, and he sorts out clashes between nearby venues and allocates us 2 films.

We are probably not bold enough, from an artistic perspective, when choosing films, because we are looking to get as large an audience as possible to maximise revenue for the Hall – the increased publicity from the Festival is very effective in doing this. However, the Festival films are usually very popular and the audience comes from all over Herefordshire.
In Glorious Technicolor event with Francine Stock Lady Emily Hall, Tarrington, Borderlines 2012
The Borderlines films nearly always provide us with the biggest audiences of the year, sometimes spectacularly so ! A couple of years ago, we showed Resistance (filmed in Herefordshire) and after having a lot of enquiries in the preceding week, decided to run 2 showings in the evening, without our usual mid-film break – so we started at 7pm with 110 in the audience, then ran it again at 9:30pm with another 45 as audience – our average Flicks audience is 35.
Interval tea break at Lady Emily Hall
We always provide refreshments at the halfway point in the film, with wine for sale as well, and often have this available before the films – in fact, my primary concern before the night is to judge the audience numbers correctly so I can provide enough wine ! I had to go home for more, while Grand Budapest Hotel was showing, as we had run out before the film.

The half-time break is sometimes difficult to finish, as everyone becomes engrossed in conversation – turning the lights off normally works ! It’s also useful for feedback, though, if the heating or sound level/ quality aren’t right – I’ve added sub-titles at this point several times.

It’s all a team effort, as it wouldn’t work in our Hall without volunteers who set out the chairs; prepare and serve refreshments; print the posters; distribute posters; and finally clear-up afterwards.

It also wouldn’t work, without the team at Arts Alive in the background, preparing the programme, all the associated publicity material and everything else required.

John Tallis
Flicks in the Sticks Promoter, (projectionist, wine waiter …)
Lady Emily Hall, Tarrington

Films screening at Lady Emily Hall, Tarrington at Borderlines 2015

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