Managed Community Movie Seasons for Social Distancing
But with most parts of the world facing an extended lockdown, it can be harder to work out how to enjoy a shared experience. If you’re living with guidelines about limiting the number of people you meet with, you might know that movie nights have emerged as one of the best and most creative ways of staying connected during social distancing.
While the normal movie theater experience is exciting because of the sight and sound of a professional theater, the third piece of the magic is the fact that it’s a shared experience, as everyone goes through the same emotional journey together, at the same time. While you may not be able to recreate the screen and sound system of a theater, by sharing a movie night over FaceTime, WhatsApp, Messenger or Zoon, you can recreate the experience that you generally enjoy in your managed community’s movie screening room, or the local movie theater.
Here are some tips that can help you put together a great shared movie experience, even while you’re social distancing.
Set up a group chatA group chat is a great way to share the movie experience – while you’re choosing a film, and while you’re watching. If you already have a community chat, suggest a movie night to the group, and circulate a few suggestions for films to watch, then find a time that works for everyone, and synchronise the ‘press play’ moment to make sure you all share the movie at the same time.
If you’re watching a classic, you might want to keep it to text messages during the film – but if you’re watching an action movie or a chiller, you might want to have voice calls going so you can share the screams! If you do run a video call, think about using a service which allows you to have the movie available beforehand (either pre-downloaded for offline viewing, or on DVD), so you don’t need to worry about bandwidth problems or streaming slowdowns.
Pick movies everyone’s okay withThe goal of a virtual movie night with your friends is to make sure that all of you have a good time. So, it goes without saying that everyone in your group needs to enjoy the movie you’ve all picked out. Talk to each other about what you want to watch – if there’s a big release you’ve been looking forward to, you could suggest that, or start with genres that everyone loves. That will help you to be sure that everyone will enjoy it. For instance, if there’s someone in your group who doesn’t quite feel like watching a horror movie, you could skip over that option.
Alternatively, if you’re running a group of people who trust each other’s taste, you could start a list where everyone gets to make one suggestion, and everyone agrees to watch it, no matter what it is. It’s risky, but you could find a new favorite!