Useful stuff

Regional Screen Scotland

Why Cinema Matters

Cinema matters for lots of reasons and you can prove it - to funders, and Local Authorities, to town planners, to all your community.

Your Cinema, Your Community

At Regional Screen Scotland we know that cinema matters. Watching films is good for you and your community! Our research demonstrates the personal and social benefits of having a local cinema or film society in your community.  Have a look at the survey results here.

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Your Social Impact

This online ‘toolkit’ will help you make the case for how much your cinema matters to your community, by measuring and understanding the social impact value you have.  It will help you improve the way that you gather information on your performance and impact.

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Getting Started

Thinking of starting your own cinema? Here we talk you through some of the things to think about

LICENSING

Seeking an exemption from the requirement to hold a cinema license for your premises?

Each Local Authority in Scotland makes its own arrangements for issuing a cinema license for the use of premises to screen films. (This is of course totally separate from the license that’s required from a film’s distributor in order to be able to screen a particular film.)

However, if films are to be screened by a group which is operating on a not for profit basis, that is, either not charging for admission or charging only to cover costs, and not for personal gain, then that group can apply to the Scottish Government for an exemption certificate under The Cinemas Act 1985 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/13).

Please write to:
Licensing Team
Criminal Justice
Justice Directorate
The Scottish Government
GW.14
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh EH1 3DG

The Scottish Government will endeavour to reply to all correspondence received within 20 working days.

I know the film I want to screen, how do I find out the licence holder?

The licence holder of a film is most usually the films’ UK distributor. Many films, from many different distributors, are available through what are known as ‘gateway distributors’. The major ones in the UK are
Filmbankmedia
BFI
MPLC

* 1 – Find out who the Licence holder may be
Distributors are listed on bbfc.co.uk/search or imdb.com

* 2 – Confirming the Licence Holder (Gateway UK Distributors)
A list of which catalogues Gateway Distributors represent can be found in our FAQ, along with their contact details.
Contact details for individual distributors can be found here: independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/resources/distributors/default.aspx

* 3 – If the film doesn’t have a UK Distributor
Locate the production company or funding body using imdb.com

* 4 – If the UK Distributor no longer exists
Contact the Independent Cinema Office (ICO) or the BFI to see if they can help. For foreign language films it is advisable to contact individual consulates in the UK – see below for some suggestions.

For a detailed walk through we will follow the steps for following films:
1) Mamma Mia (Phyllida Lloyd, 2008)
2) Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009)
3) Comrades (Bill Douglas, 1986)
4) The Princess and the Frog (Ron Clements and John Musker, 2009)
5) Sexy Beast (Jonthan Glazer, 2000)
6) XXY (Lucia Puenzo, 2007)
7) One Hundred Mornings (Conor Horgan, 2009)

* 1 – Find out who the Licence holder may be:

Start by searching for the title on the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC): bbfc.co.uk/search/. Every film screening in cinemas or available to buy on DVD has to be passed for exhibition by the BBFC, and the distributor who submits the film for certification is the licence holder at the time of submission, so this is the good place to start.

Once you’ve searched by title you’ll notice several versions (listings of different films, varying running times, and additional material listings). Click on the most recent date entry listed as video/film.

Clicking on the title you will be taken through to a list of versions and companies submitted. Again look for the most recent and the video/film type:
1) Mamma Mia – Universal Pictures Int UK
2) Antichrist – Artificial Eye Film Co.
3) Comrades – the most recent entry of 2009 was submitted by BFI (British Film Institute)
4) The Princess and the Frog – Buena Vista Home Entertainment
5) Sexy Beast – Although not the most recent, Film Four Distributors should be the one we look at first as they have submitted both film and video versions.
6) XXY – Peccadillo Pictures
7) One Hundred Mornings – is not listed – this will be addressed later on in 3.

imdb.com sometimes lists the UK distributors of a title, so this is also worth checking.

* 2 – Confirming the Licence Holder (Gateway Distributors)

So the companies we think are the licence holders we need are: Universal Pictures, Artificial Eye, BFI, Buena Vista and Film Four.

Part-time Cinema Space (Art Centre / Multi-purpose Venue / Film Society / Community Group): If you are not a permanent cinema you will most likely go through a Gateway Distributor who manage the licences of a number of individual distribution libraries. For the contact details for the licence holders we are looking for, visit the pages on the ICO – contacts for booking on DVD: independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/resources/dvd-booking-contacts/default.aspx

Using the ICO’s page you will notice:
1) Universal are handled by Filmbank – for Mamma Mia
2) Artificial Eye are handled by the BFI – for Antichrist
3) BFI handle their own – for Comrades
6) Peccadillo handle their own – for XXY
Both Buena Vista and Film Four are not mentioned. For these, take a look at our FAQ on Gateway Distributors and their libraries. You will find the following information:
4) Buena Vista is handled by Filmbank, MPLC – for The Princess and the Frog
5) Film Four is handled by Park Circus – for Sexy Beast

You should then search the online catalogues to confirm these titles are available, and then book them (be sure to find out whether the screening copy will be supplied or whether you have to supply your own):
A) Filmbank can licence both 1) Mamma Mia and 4) The Princess and the Frog.
B) MPLC can licence 4) The Princess and the Frog
C) BFI can licence both 2) Antichrist and 3) Comrades
D) Park Circus can licence 5) Sexy Beast.
E) Peccadillo can licence 6) XXY

Permanent Cinema Space: If you are operating a permanent cinema you may approach the individual distributor direct for a licence as opposed to going through the Gateway Distributor. For contact details go to the Film Distributors page on the ICO (Independent Cinema Office) website: independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/resources/distributors/default.aspx

* 3 – If the film doesn’t have a UK Distributor

If you could not find the film you’re after via the BBFC it could be because the film has not got a UK Distributor. This may be the case if you are trying to screen a film you have seen at a Festival, or watched abroad. If this is the case you should look at imdb.com to try and locate a production company or sales agent.

7) One Hundred Mornings is listed on imdb.com/title/tt1327827/. Scroll down to the ‘Additional Details’ box and click to see more information about the companies. The companies you should look for are the production company, or the national funder. In this case you should search for contact details of both Blinder Films and the Irish Film Board.

If you cannot find these details you should contact the Festival to see if they can forward your email onto their contacts for the film.

* 4 – If the UK Distributor no longer exists

If the film is listed on the BBFC but you cannot locate the company listed there, nor find any reference in the online catalogues of the Gateway Distributors, then it may mean that the film cannot be licenced (and there are a lot of titles like this).

You can contact the Independent Cinema Office (ICO) or the BFI to see if they are able to help source the licence holder – but it can be the case that even if you are able to buy the film on DVD you are not able to licence it for a screening.

If the film you are looking for is from a particular country, the following organisations may be able to help:

Goethe-Institut (Germany); goethe.de/kue/flm/syn/enindex.htm
Institut Francais (France); institut-francais.org.uk/francais/home
Consulate General of Japan in Edinburgh: edinburgh.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/

Gateway Distributors: Who licenses what?

Gateway Distributors manage licences for a number of individual distributors libraries.

Cinema For All, cinemaforall.org.uk:
Offers the Cinema For All Booking Scheme made especially for Film Societies and Community Cinemas. Films are licensed at a flat fee of £85 (plus onward shipping), with special collections at a lower administration charge-only charge. The list of titles available is updated whenever new titles are added and at least quarterly.
To access this scheme visit: http://cinemaforall.org.uk/booking-scheme/
Contact info@cinemaforall.org.uk, 0114 2210314

BFI (British Film Institute), bfi.org.uk/distribution:
Offer licences from £80.00, not including shipping fees. Libraries that they licence:
Artificial Eye
British Film Institute
Soda Pictures
Contact Bookings Unit on bookings.films@bfi.org.uk, 020 7957 8938/5

ICO (Independent Cinema Office), independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/resources/distributors/default.aspx
Offer licences for selected titles, which is constantly updated.
Contact bookings@independentcinemaoffice.org.uk, 0207 636 7120

Filmbank, filmbank.co.uk:
Offer the Single Title Screening Licence (STSL) for commercial and non-commercial public screenings. Account applications and bookings can now be made online via the new online system and screenings start from £79.00, not including shipping fees. Libraries that they licence:
Buena Vista International
Delanic Films
Disney Pictures
Dreamworks
E1 Entertainment
Entertainment
Eros International
Film & Music Entertainment (F&ME)
High Fliers Films plc
Icon Film Distribution Ltd
Kaleidoscope Entertainment
Lionsgate
Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM)
Metrodome Distribution Ltd
Miramax
New Line
Optimum Releasing
Paramount
Pathe
Pixar Animation Studios
Sony Pictures (Columbia Tristar)
Studio Canal
Touchstone
Trinity Films
Twentieth Century Fox
United Artists
Universal Pictures
Verve Pictures
Warner Bros
Online booking is available or contact: info@filmbank.co.uk, 020 7984 5950

MPLC UK, mplcuk.com:
Offer the MPLC Movie Licence which can licence a public screening for the titles within their collection from £75.00 (audience capacity less than 200). Libraries that they licence:
Buena Vista Pictures
Dimension Films
Fox Walden
Fox 2000 Films
Fox Searchlight
Hollywood Pictures
Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM)
Metrodome
Miramax Films
Pixar
Touchstone Pictures
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp
Walt Disney Pictures
As well as a number of independents
Contact ukinfo@mplc.com, 01323 649 647

Park Circus, parkcircus.com:
Park Circus aims to be a leading international sales and distribution company. We provide distributors, cinemas and film festivals with knowledge, ideas, rights and prints to make screenings of classic films straightforward. Libraries that they licence:
Arrow Films
Film4 Library
Hanway Films
The Harold Lloyd Collection
ICA Films
Icon Entertainment International
ITV Studios
MGM / United Artists
Sony Pictures Repertory (DVD bookings through Filmbank)
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, UK (DVD bookings through Filmbank)
Other Selected Titles
Contact bookings@parkcircus.com, or 0141 332 2175

EQUIPMENT

Equipment for Part-time Cinema Spaces for Non-Theatrical Screenings (Art Centre / Multi-purpose Venue / Community Cinema / Film Society / Community Group)

Making sure you get the equipment right for your exhibition is important.

Equipment introductions and background

The Independent Cinema Office has lots of advice here
www.independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/resources/

Take a look at some examples of the equipment needed:

Projector
There are models ranging from under £1,000 to £10,000 and beyond. For an idea of models visit:
projectorpoint.co.uk/professionalprojectors.htm
An important factor to consider is the location of your projector: if it will be sited at the rear of your auditorium many projectors require special long throw lenses which can be expensive (£1,500 – £2,500).

Screen
Screens can be permanently installed or portable.

Examples are here
www.projectorpoint.co.uk/screens
www.harkness-screens.com/cinema-screens.html

DVD/BluRay player
There are a huge range of possibilities but it is usually worth getting a player which can play DVD and BluRay discs. These players often include an “upscaling” facility which can improve the picture quality from ordinary DVD discs.
It is also worth noting that the more expensive a player, the more sensitive it can be to disc imperfections. So having a cheap, basic DVD player as a standby for use with temperamental DVDs is a good idea.

Sound
You should pay as much attention to good quality sound as you do to the picture quality. Audiences are very unforgiving of poor quality sound but will accept a surprisingly poor picture.
A good quality single loudspeaker placed centrally behind or below the screen is the minimum you should aim for. For stereo two loudspeakers placed on stands at the left and right edge of the screen works well. But ideally you should have three speakers placed behind the screen – positioned on stands to the left, centre and right of the screen.
A sub-bass can be added, usually close to the centre speaker but the position isn’t critical. Surround sound speakers can be added if you have the time and expertise to set them up correctly for the auditorium in use.
Note that if speakers are placed behind the screen, the screen surface must be a perforated type to allow the sound to come through properly.

Blackouts
Dark curtains or blinds can do the trick here (heavy curtains are especially good as they can help improve the sound quality of the venue). Speak to a local supplier.

The publication Tentpoles and Pixels written by Ron Inglis has detailed information about what is needed, what to look out for, and a suggested layout. See 3.5 Equipment and Fittings, pages 22-33.
scottishscreen.com/images/documents/Tentpolesandpixels.pdf

Try and visit your nearest exhibitor who operates in a similar way, see what equipment they have and watch a film there, you can find more details on our map. If you are unsure who your nearest one is, please contact info@regionalscreenscotland.org

Equipment Suppliers
The suppliers listed below have supplied equipment for RSS or Scottish Screen funded applicants during 2009-10. Look at their websites and what they’ve done previously. Speak to more than one, and discuss your specific requirements before making any decisions.

5. AVCom
Stanlake Mews, London, W12 7HS
Tel: 020 8735 3410
avcom.co.uk

6. Component AV
6 Princes Street, Arbroath DD11 2BL
Tel: 01241 431 780
Email: glen@componentav.co.uk
componentav.co.uk

7. Streamtec Audio Visual Solutions
2 Kirkgate House, Baden-Powell Road, Kirkton Industrial Estate, Arbroath, DD11 3LS
Tel: 01241 436 862
Email: info@streamtec.com
streamtec.com

8. Vision Sound and Light
18 Barlow Park, West Pitkerro, Dundee DD5 3UB
Tel: 01382 480 900
Email: vision@visionsl.co.uk
visionsl.co.uk

If you have questions about equipment please contact info@regionalscreenscotland.org

Equipment for Full-Time Cinema Spaces for Theatrical and Non-Theatrical screenings

Making sure you get the equipment right for your exhibition is important.

Equipment introductions and background:
The ICO’s (Independent Cinema Office) provides a background to the equipment needed.
www.independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/resources/

Equipment Specifics:
The publication Tentpoles and Pixels written by Ron Inglis has detailed information about what is needed, what to look out for, and a suggested layout. See 3.5 Equipment and Fittings, pages 22-33.
scottishscreen.com/images/documents/Tentpolesandpixels.pdf

Try and visit your nearest exhibitor who operates in a similar way, see what equipment they have and watch a film there, you can find more details on our Screen community page. If you are unsure who your nearest one is, please contact info@regionalscreenscotland.org

Equipment Suppliers
The four suppliers listed below are the main suppliers and installers of commercial cinema equipment in the UK:

1. Bell Theatre Services
9B Chester Road, Boreham Wood, Herts, WD6 1LT
Tel: 020 8238 6000
Email: sales@bell-theatre.com
bell-theatre.com

2. Future Projections
Unit 2, The Windsor Centre, Windsor Grove, London SE27 9NT
Tel: 020 8766 7090
Email: sales@fproj.com
fproj.com

3. Omnex Pro Film
Unit 6, Avondale Industrial Estate, Avondale Road, Edgeley, Stockport, SK3 0UD
Tel: 0161 477 7633
Email: sales@omnexprofilm.co.uk
omnexprofilm.co.uk

4. Sound Associates
Keeble House, 81 Island Farm Road, West Molesey, Surrey, KT8 2SA
Tel: 020 8939 5900
Email: info@soundassociates.co.uk
soundassociates.co.uk

The suppliers listed below have supplied equipment for RSS or Scottish Screen funded applicants during 2009-10 and are appropriate for non-theatrical installations but in most instances do not supply commercial cinema (theatrical) equipment:

5. AVCom
Stanlake Mews, London, W12 7HS
Tel: 020 8735 3410
avcom.co.uk

6. Component AV
6 Princes Street, Arbroath DD11 2BL
Tel: 01241 431 780
Email: glen@componentav.co.uk
componentav.co.uk

7. Streamtec Audio Visual Solutions
2 Kirkgate House, Baden-Powell Road, Kirkton Industrial Estate, Arbroath, DD11 3LS
Tel: 01241 436 862
Email: info@streamtec.com
streamtec.com

8. Vision Sound and Light
18 Barlow Park, West Pitkerro, Dundee DD5 3UB
Tel: 01382 480 900
Email: vision@visionsl.co.uk
visionsl.co.uk

If you have questions about equipment please contact info@regionalscreenscotland.org

ORGANISATIONAL ISSUES

What should I do about unaccompanied children?

A number of venues have asked about children being left unaccompanied at events – how do you protect the children and yourselves; does a representative of the organisation need a disclosure check?

Have a look at the following by Voluntary Arts Scotland and Volunteer Scotland – for an overview on the legislation, advice on appropriate measures, and contacts for more information:
voluntaryarts.org/sdm_downloads/child-protection-part-v-protection-of-freedoms-act-and-the-disclosure-and-barring-service/
volunteerscotland.net/disclosure-services/

How do I recruit and manage Volunteers?

The following are organisations who offer support and advice for voluntary organisations, as well as organisations looking to recruit and work with volunteers.

Volunteer Scotland
Volunteer Scotland has a section dedicated to managing volunteers as well as resources. And they support a network, where you can advertise positions available (volunteerscotland.org.uk).

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
And have the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) on your radar (scvo.org.uk). They have a directory of local offices throughout Scotland who are put in place to deliver and support voluntary organisations at a local level.

Links

If you want to keep up-to-date

Regional Screen Scotland
The development agency for cinema in Scotland.  We can give information, support, advice and sometimes funding, for exhibitors in our area, and will signpost you to useful information.

Creative Scotland
The national leader for Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries.  It’s their job to help Scotland’s creativity shine at home and abroad.

Cinema For All
Cinema For All is the national agency for the development and support of the film society and community cinema movement in the UK.  They offer a wide range of services and resources dedicated to the needs of community cinemas.

BFI Neighbourhood Cinema
Advice for Community Cinemas from the BFI.  See here for Seven Steps to starting a Community Cinema.

UK Cinema Association
Representing the interests of the UK cinema trade – includes the Digital Cinema Funding Group

British Board of Film Classification
An excellent resource for finding out who holds the licence to what film as all publicly screened films have a BBFC certificate.  Find out more about the system of classification at this site.

Independent Cinema Office
A cultural film programming and booking agency based in London. Organiser of several specialist film tours, and training events.  Support also offered for those wishing to start an independent cinema including a consultancy service for establishing and growing cinemas.

Reel Scotland
ReelScotland is an online-only source for reviews, previews, features and interviews covering some of the most exciting film and TV related events taking place around Scotland.

Voluntary Arts Scotland
Here you will find a wide range of resources and contacts to assist you in your activities – whatever your preferred art or craft. News and information about funding, good practice resources and consultations are continually being added. Check out this page which has lots of info about the Grow Your Own Cinema initiative.

 

Support & Information

British Film Institute
Education, research, and the BFI Southbank complex incorporating the the three NFT cinemas.

Film Distributors’ Association
Representing the interests of UK film distributors and providing box office information. Advance information about film releases is available on this site.

Grow your Own Cinema Info Pack
The Grow Your Own Cinema project worked with 20 voluntary arts groups across Scotland during 2016 to support groups in hosting initial film screenings in their local communities. The resources which came out of the project are now available for everyone to use.

Scotland’s Screen Community Facebook Group
This is for everyone involved in showing films in Scotland whatever way – big or small, indoors or out.  Here you can share information and ask for advice.

 

Distributors

British Film Institute
Education, research, and the BFI Southbank complex incorporating the the three NFT cinemas

Cinegi
A secure, digital distribution service for legal public screenings.

Filmbank
A leading distributor of films for non-theatrical exhibition (film societies, community cinemas, etc)

Independent Cinema Office
A full list of UK distributors is available on the ICO website

Motion Picture Licencing Company UK
Use the MPLC Movie Licence and use your own DVD/BluRay discs for community cinema and film club screenings

 

Audience Development Agencies

Audiences UK
National network for audience development agencies in the UK – an excellent newsletter

Culture Republic
Culture Republic is Scotland’s new cultural engagement hub, combining 
the expertise of Culture Sparks (Glasgow) and The Audience Business 
(Edinburgh) to provide cultural organisations with the support they need
 to understand and engage with the public

Neat
An arts network for the north east of Scotland

The Touring Network
A membership organisation set up to support live performance in the main, but with a very useful contacts database

 

Reviews & Information

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
Excellent database listing information on films including distributors, production companies, synopsis’ and production stills.

Find Any Film
A great source of information about where to obtain a huge range of films, either on DVD, in the Cinema, online etc.

Screen Daily
The cinema trade’s weekly ‘bible’. Articles and reviews as well as international box office results

Variety
Hollywood’s leading entertainment newspaper. Originator of slang such as “boffo” (excellent box office) “chantoosie” (a singer) and “chopsocky” (a martial arts film)

Pearl & Dean
Supplier of screen advertising to cinemas. An excellent web site for the enthusiastic cinemagoer

Digital Cinema Media
Supplier of screen advertising to cinemas. An excellent web site for the enthusiastic cinemagoer. (Formerly Carlton Screen Advertising)