I will add in relevant information to this first post as people impart it.
So you've heard about this wonderful event called Cant Stop the Serenity, and think you'd like to get involved. That's great. The more the merrier. It's a very rewarding experience, you learn so much, and meet some great people.
stop is to check here
. http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com/foru ... um.php?f=7
See if your city/town is listed. If it is, contact your organiser and offer to help. I'm sure they'd love all the help they can get.
If you're city is not listed, let us know you're interested
. Many of the CSTS organisers are doing this for their second or third year this year, and have a lot of experience and wisdom they are willing to share. We will attempt to buddy you with one of these, to help you out as much as possible, although we are all willing to help where we can. Post a thread in the advice forum to start with and email beth at email@example.com
so our global coordinator is aware of who you are. introduce yourself briefly, and send her your contact details.
Pick a date
. CSTS centres around Serenity and Firefly's creator, Joss Whedon's Birthday on June 23rd. Events normally play out in the week or two on either side of this date. The closer, the better, but we know it can be hard to do this, when factoring in school/college holidays and your cinemas availability.
Look for a second in command
. Organising a CSTS event is a big responsibilty and a lot of work, which goes a lot smoother with someone to help you. Send their contact details to beth also. If we cant get hold of you, then we can make sure you are ok, by asking them. If there are many people willing to help you out, utilise them. The more people you have on board to help, the easier it will be for you as an organiser, and the better your event will end up being, if only because you are less stressed.
. For the event to be successful, you need to have people attend. The best way to do this is to let people in your area know about the event. Put out feelers early. Check Myspace, Facebook, Livejournal, Yahoo groups, Google groups, and anywhere else you can think of for local browncoats, and see who would be interested in coming. If you don't think you have enough interest to have a profitibale screening, see here. http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com/foru ... ?p=535#535
Look for a venue.
You obviously need somewhere to show the movie. Start with Cinemas. You want a good deal here, as this is often where people get caught out. Look for a flat fee, or a very small, per ticket sold fee. Try to avoid flat fees plus per ticket fees, as this can amount to a large value quickly. Try to avoid using a cinema that wants a fee per seat, rather than by ticket, especially if you aren't sure how many people will come in your first year. Mention to your cinema that it's 100% for charity, that you don't keep any of the proceeds for yourself. Talk about setting up and packing up time. Talk about AV equipment if you think you'll need it (ie microphone etc). Talk about ticketing options. Will they do this for you or do you have to organise it yourself? Do you have to pay for house staff? Can you get special deals at the candy bar by having your attendees show their ticket? Do you have to pay a deposit? Do you have to pay the total fee upfront? (we suggest avoiding this). Look into smaller chain or independent cinemas, they are often much easier to deal with, and will do better deals. This is all just rough guidelines and questions you should think about.
Can't find a cinema that will give you a good deal? Think DVD. Look for a venue that has DVD screening capability. Universities, halls, sport clubs... all sorts of places are possible venues when you are looking at using DVD instead of 35mm, although the quality of the actual picture obviously wont be of the same standard, but can still be pretty darned good.
. As much as this is for charity, we can't just stick our own copy of Serenity into a dvd projector and charge people admission. Universal own the rights to Serenity and fairly claim compensation for the viewing of it. They are aware of CSTS, and have set us up with a nice deal. For information on Licensing, see here. http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com/foru ... c.php?t=87
Work out advertising and media
. Start thinking about how you can get the word out to browncoats in your community. Design posters and handouts/fliers. Are there local sci-fi clubs you can contact? Local sci-fi events, or any other kind of event you might find a BC at that you can ask to distribute fliers at? Ask at any local universities, there are usually several clubs that fit this description. Write a press release about the event, and send it to your local papers and radio stations. for ideas see here. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/05/prweb524105.htm
and here http://www.prweb.com//releases/2007/1/prweb497086.htm
Put up posters in community centres if they will allow it, in shops, anywhere you can get away with. Don't narrow your target to just BCs either. There are plenty of potential BCs out there just waiting to be born. Many people will come just because it is a charity event.
Organise any merchandising and fundraising
. In 2008, there will be globally ordered tshirts and posters again, using a bulk order for all cities, rather than going solo, to get much cheaper prices. Look around the forums for this information. Many organisers will also set up orders for things like magnets, mugs, pins etc, so keep an eye out for those. You can do merchandise of your own as well. Just make sure you follow all the copyright rules, currently listed here. http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com/foru ... c.php?t=88
Think about doing some fundraising. CSTS is not an organisation. It is run by fans. there is no central fund, so either Organisers use their own money to fund deposits etc, or use presales of tickets or merchandise to cover costs. BBQs, Bakesales, chocolate sales, whatever is readily available in your state. Raffles are an excellent way to fundraise, if your Local/State laws allow it. Some States require a licence to hold a raffle that will cost more than the raffle would bring in. Some have a limit on the amount the prizes can be worth before a license is required.
Set up a Website
of some kind. Whether it be a livejournal community, myspace, Facebook, or more professional site. You need a place your potential attendees can easily find information specific to your event, a place to set up ticket/merch sales if they aren't handled on the day/by your venue. It's also an easy way to point media to your own event.
. CSTS is lucky to be blessed with global sponsors. 2007 saw each participating city receive a box full of wonderful items from the global sponsorship effort, including CDs, books, magnets, and many other cool things, both Serenifly and other related. Some of these Sponsors have signed on for 2008, and others are being negotiated. a list will be posted in the organisers only thread, so once you've sgined on to hold a screening you'll find out what marvellous things we have lined up. Seek local sponsorship. It never hurts to ask. Book stores, comic book stores, collector/memorabilia stores etc are often very BC friendly, or are owned/run by BCs themselves. Offer advertising on your website, by way of a sponsor list or an actual advertisement for more professional sites, or in a printed program if you use one. It can be a long slog, but it's very worth it when someone is generous.
That's pretty much covered the basics. There's plenty more information floating around the forums, so wander around and see what you can find, and don't be afraid to ask questions or for help.