Okay, I’ve been to my fair share of film screenings. Some were small and just a group of friends in a room. Some were international film festivals. No matter how large the venue is, there’s some things that you should NEVER do, lest you be struck down by the movie gods.
Don’t talk amongst yourselves while the film is playing. It’s incredibly annoying, and insulting to the people around you. If you came to talk, you picked the wrong place. How can you be distracted from a thirty-foot screen? Remember, the person sitting next to you may be the director of the film that you’re ruining.
Don’t look at the time on your phone. If you’re stretched for time, I’m okay for people leaving, and long as they don’t disturb others. Just, don’t use your phone in the theater. It’s incredibly too bright, and literally the entire theater can see you. Use a glow in the dark watch.
Don’t text. Same two reasons as before. You might get shanked in one of the classier theaters.
Don’t leave and come back. Empty your orfices beforehand, but occasionaly you run into the six-hour screening with a bucket of soda. If you must, leave when it’s a lull, and when you come back, stand in the back of the theater until it’s another lull so you can return.
Don’t take screaming children to a screening. I know that there’s a few theaters than ban children under 3 because they can’t be controlled. They really have no reason to be there. Especially if you’re going to a horror festival with nudity, gore, and demons. Unless you like psychiatrists…
Don’t gush at the stars in attendance. You may not go to many festivals with big name stars, but every once in a while you see a local or B-list celebrity. Just be cool, say hi, and don’t be too obnoxious. Don’t run up to them, ask them to autograph your stuff, take pictures, and ask them about their favorite plot hole in their cancelled tv series. They’re here for the same reason: to go see a movie and relax for the evening. Or, they’re making an appearance (AKA working).
Don’t fall asleep. Okay, sometimes you run into a film that is poorly written and edited to an extremely slow pace scored with slow music. It’s like a lullaby. You feel yourself drifting and nodding off. DON’T. Just, don’t.
Don’t leave before the credits are done. Each film that you see is a huge collaboration between dozens or hundreds of people. Some of them are most likely in the audience. Please respect them and stay until all their names are listed.
And there we go, a list of things not to do at an independent film screening. Now go and see some!