I was thinking today about the online analyses we do here on the forums. I think the educational benefit for users who participate is tremendous, and it’s fun to work through an analysis as a group. I’ve been part of two now, and it’s really helped my expand my understanding of the theory.
The issue that always seems to come up though is people being able to see the movie, or tv episode or whatever it is. Sometimes things are available on streaming platforms, other times they need to be rented or purchased. I think this is a barrier for participation.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we could arrange online screenings for the community? (For educational/analysis purposes, of course)
This lead me to do some digging into what would need to happen to make public screening a possibility. It looks like it comes down to one of two things.
You obtain public performance rights for the specific film you wish to screen. This would probably involve dealing directly with the studio / distributor and paying whatever fees they see fit to obtain the rights. Probably very costly and time consuming.
You obtain a public performance license, which is a pre-negotiated license that allows you to screen media from any entity that is a signatory to that license. Something like the MPLC Umbrella License.
The brief amount of reading I’ve been able to do only really discusses screenings in actual, physical locations. I’m not sure if that is a requirement of the licenses themselves or just because that’s how the majority of screenings are held.
Other than that, there are terms about promotion (I don’t think we’d be promoting a screening anywhere besides the board, so we’re good) and things of that nature that we’d have to adhere to.
So, here are my questions:
Is this something the community would be interested in?
Does Write Bros. or any Dramatica associated entity already have a Public Performance License? I believe there are screenings before Dramatica User Group meetings, but I’m not 100% sure.
Has anyone looked into this before, and what did you find? Is this is actually possible?
If Write Bros. doesn’t have a license, and assuming it’s legally feasible to do online screenings, would folks be interested in chipping in to cover the cost of a license? (I don’t have a quote, but I few things I read suggested a few hundred dollars a year)