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Movie Party Guide

In this guide:

A thought-provoking film can be a great way to bring people together to talk about how we can take our democracy back from corporate power. The right film can provide a common context for discussion—and MoveOn movie parties have been some of the most well-attended and popular events in the past. As you plan your movie party, remember that it can be a challenge to engage people after a two-hour film. Some folks may leave right after it ends—and that's the key moment to talk about the local campaign. Make sure you have a good plan for getting attendees involved in local organizing.

This guide will provide you with everything you need to know to run a successful party, step by step. If, after reading it, you still can't find the answer to your question, reach out to your Council Coordinator, Regional Coordinator or Field Organizer.

The process is straightforward—but read through the guide carefully to avoid common pitfalls. Be sure to print the agenda and have a copy on hand for your event.

Before Your Movie Party

Step 1: Invite friends and co-workers

We will invite MoveOn members in your area to attend your event but don't depend on that to build a good crowd! The best way to invite folks is to send them an invite email and then make a follow-up phone call.

You should also call people to invite them to your movie party. Asking personally is the single best way to get folks to attend your event. So once you’ve sent out invite emails, a follow-up call will help make sure they received and understood the email. (And of course it’s fine to just call someone to invite them even if you don’t have an email address for them.) This is a vital step in order to have good attendance at your event.

You can also obtain a list of local MoveOn members to call. Log in to the Council Page to download a list from the recruitment calling tool. This list contains the names and numbers of the most active MoveOn members in your community who have a strong interest in this campaign.

Step 2: Get a copy of the movie you'll show

As host, you'll want to make a plan to get a copy of the film right away! As already indicated, the pre-approved movies for this party are Capitalism: A Love Story and The Corporation. If you want to get central recruitment for a showing of a different film, check in with your Regional Coordinator or Field Organizer right away.

Here are some options for getting a copy of Capitalism: A Love Story and The Corporation:

a) Order the DVD online:

You can order the movie for same-day delivery on Amazon.
Total cost: $26 ($17.99 for the DVD; $7.98 for shipping & handling).
Click here for the Capitalism DVD page
Click here for The Corporation DVD page

b) Rent the movie locally:

You can rent the movie at your local video store or Blockbuster for about $5. Most Blockbusters don't let you reserve copies ahead of time, unfortunately, but you can check. Click here for the store locator.

c) Stream the movie online:

You can pre-order the movie for same-day play-on-demand from Amazon. You should have a high-speed internet connection to use this option.
Total cost: $14.99.
Click here for the order page for Capitalism

Click here for the order page for The Corporation

d) Get it from Netflix:

Here's the Capitalism movie page and The Corporation movie page on Netflix.

(If you rent from Netflix, we recommend having a back-up option, like identifying where you can rent or buy the movie locally if it doesn't arrive in time.)

e) Get it from "Redbox," a $1-a-day service that has boxes outside of grocery stores and other locations: http://www.redbox.com/

f) Buy the movie locally. You may be able to find the DVD for sale at local stores like Target or BestBuy

 

Step 3: Think through logistics

As the event host, you'll want to think through all of the logistics. Here are some things to consider:

Step 4: Remind your guests about the party

Your guests will expect to hear from you in the 24 hours prior to the meeting. A reminder is always important to ensure attendance. You can log in to your host tools page to send an email to everyone who is signed up, reminding them what time you are starting and how to get to your house. You should also give them a reminder call. If they listed their phone numbers, that information will show up on your host tools page. Calling is a great way to check in with people who indicated in their RSVP that they can bring snacks or help out.

Step 5: Final Preparations

Preparation is key—make sure you’re ready for your movie party. Read all your materials in this guide and print out a copy of the agenda to have on hand during the party.

During Your Movie Party

This section of the guide will take you step-by-step through the event agenda. But first, here are some quick facilitation tips:

Both Capitalism: A Love Story and The Corporation are over two hours long, so you won't want to delay getting started—even if latecomers are still trickling in.

Here is a basic agenda for the event (total time: 2.5 hours)

  1. Welcome, introduction, and sign-in (10 min.)
  2. Introduce the Other 98% Campaign and "Fight Washington Corruption" Pledge (10 min.)
  3. Show the movie! (2 hours)
  4. Discussion & celebration (10 min.)

1. Welcome, introductions and sign-in (10 min.)

As people arrive, you'll want them to feel welcome and comfortable. It's a good idea to have a designated "greeter" —someone who isn't dealing with any logistics or set-up, whose role for the evening is to welcome people as they arrive. A greeter asks people about themselves (e.g., "What motivated you to come tonight?") and orients them to the space (directs people to sign-in, snacks, restroom, etc.).

People can introduce themselves and talk informally as they arrive. Even if people are still trickling in, you should start the program no more than five minutes later than the start-time you advertised.

You'll want to officially introduce yourself and welcome everybody, and tell them briefly what's on the agenda for the evening. Tell folks the following:

Then you can do a quick round of introductions, asking people to answer the following questions. (You'll want to keep this moving so that the film does not start late.)

Ask the people who said they are interested in finding out more about the local campaign to please indicate this on the sign-up sheet, and, if possible, to please stay a few minutes after the film to check in with others here who are also interested.

2. Introduce the Other 98% Campaign and "Fight Washington Corruption" Pledge (10 min.)

Ask someone to read aloud the Other 98% campaign story.

Election 2010: Stop the Takeover

Corporate interests and their right-wing allies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to take over Congress. If they succeed, then goodbye health care and environmental laws—hello, tax cuts for the rich and Wall Street deregulation. And they're targeting progressive heroes like Alan Grayson and Russ Feingold in particular.

This fall, we need to stop corporations from defeating progressive candidates and putting the Republicans back in charge. It won’t be easy—many voters are demoralized and the Republicans are pulling out all the scare tactics they can think of. That’s why we have to organize more powerfully than ever before.

MoveOn Councils will be on the front line, leading the fight to stop the takeover. We’ll have two goals: to make sure every voter in targeted areas knows that this election is about stopping the corporate takeover of government by the Republicans, and to mobilize as many members as possible to volunteer in the crucial races.

Here’s what's ahead:

 

Briefly explain the member-led process that brought MoveOn members to the "Fight Washington Corruption" Pledge.

Ask someone to read aloud the "Fight Washington Corruption" Pledge. You can also find the pledge here.

This is your opportunity to engage your attendees in the local campaign. Here are some things you can share with them:

You'll want to end this section by asking people to fill out the Other 98% "Count on me" card.


3. Show the movie! (2 hours
)

The only thing that can really go wrong here is if you have a problem playing the DVD, so make sure you have tested your systems first, and have a tech person assigned to jump in and help if needed.

4. Discussion and Celebration (10 min.)

These films tend to get people fired up! While some folks may be in a hurry to leave right afterward, it's likely that a lot of folks will want to talk about what they just saw, celebrate the recent health care bill's passage—and discuss what they can do! Ten minutes is not a lot of time—the suggested discussion agenda below is intended to help you make sure people leave with a clear sense of how they can get involved to rein in Wall Street and corporate influence in Washington.

Basic discussion questions:

Final Campaign Pitch:

Take the last few minutes to thank everyone for attending and joining your local Other 98% campaign. Let everyone know about any upcoming Council events or planning meetings.

5. Mingle and Celebrate!

If people can stay longer, use this time to casually socialize and get to know each other more.

After Your Movie Party

1. Fill out who attended.

You can go back to your host tools page to indicate who attended your event. If you're a MoveOn Council Coordinator, go ahead and add those attendees directly to your Council.

2. Fill out a post-event survey.

You will receive a survey in an email the night of the movie party, and we really hope you will take the time to share your thoughts and experience with us. This is really important, because it’s the only way we get everyone’s feedback. This helps us to know what went well, and what improvements we can make for similar events in the future.

3. Thank your attendees—and send in photos from your event.

To send attendees an email, just log in to your host tools page and send your thank-you email from there. Please encourage folks to send in photos and video from the event.

Now is the time to celebrate! You’ve thrown a successful Other 98% House Meeting, and helped kick off a national campaign to rein in corporate influence in politics. Thank you for all your great work!