BWW Interview: 360 Screenings Look Back on Their Inaugural Year
360 Screenings has much to celebrate this Halloween - their recent screenings (a unique hybrid combining movies and Live Theatre) have been selling out well in advance of their dates and they've just wrapped more than a year of presenting screenings in Toronto! When they launched, BWW featured an interview with co-founders Ned Loach and Robert Gontier where they talked about the concept behind the company and their dreams of the future.
This year, in advance of their almost sold out Halloween screenings, we're catching up with Ned to find out the secret to 360Screenings success, as well as what they have planned for the future:
First of all, congratulations on the success of 360 Screenings! It's been wonderful watching the interest and excitement for the project grow with each screening! How are you feeling about the endeavor now that the first year is under your belt?
Thank you! We are thrilled, and always humbled when tickets are bought to our screenings. When we first started producing thesescreenings we only offered them on a one-night-only basis, but we are now in a position where we're able to offer tickets to more than one screening. It's thrilling, and exactly where we hoped to be after our first year.
Do you have a favourite screening out of the ones you've done so far? A certain genre that you find works better than others?
Each screening has been a triumph for us, each screening has offered an entirely unique experience, so it's hard to say, but artistically speaking, our One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest screening was an exciting achievement. Everything about the screening worked very well, and gave our guests the opportunity to challenge themselves to come up with their own personal character for the night. That film lends itself very well to an event of our nature, the mental hospital setting is iconic, the characters are memorable (who isn't terrified of Nurse Ratched?!), and the character undergo a beautiful transformation by the end.
360 Screenings is unique in that it combines Live Theatre (which you both have a background in) with film. I would think that ideally this means it would appeal to both crowds equally and generate a lot of cross industry interest. Have you found that to be the case?
Yes, we are in a really unique position that our attendance demonstrates both the film enthusiasts and theatre enthusiasts, and hopefully we are giving both audiences enough that they are intrigued see more of the other art form.
Do you notice it's more the 'film' folk or the 'theatre' folk that get the most excited about the shows being presented?
Our immediate crowd is more film enthusiasts, because we're presenting iconic films in new and unique way that hasn't been seen before in Toronto.
Your Halloween events seem to garner an extra level of excitement and buzz - do you think that stems from people's love of being scared? Or love of horror movies? Or both?
Both! People love an occasion, and the whole idea of getting scared is exciting, especially when revisiting films they've seen before, and living through the film's narrative!
And speaking of being scared, have you ever had anyone (like me) who fears they just can't take 'immersive' horror experiences?
Of course! But we try to ensure our screenings allow our audiences the opportunity to immerse themselves however much they like, so if they're too scared and want to step back, then they're able to do that.
Your screenings are also site specific, do you have a favourite location? Or a bucket list of locations you hope to use?
We have a list of about 50 venues and heritage spaces throughout the city that we'd like to visit. The difficulty is many of these spaces book early on with weddings, so we're already booking into mid 2014. We really liked The Christie House, which is where we held our One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest screening. It is truly a hidden gem in the city.
Your upcoming Halloween screenings are almost completely sold out - can you give us a hint??? What can we expect?
I'm afraid I'm going to have to remain tight lipped! But I can say that there will be a transformation that occurs, we're playing with that idea a lot this time around.