As someone who mostly goes to the cinema on their own, if there is one thing to be said against it, it would be that when you come out afterwards you don’t have someone to discuss the film with.
Now, there are many reasons why people will go to the cinema on their own. It could be that, like me, most of their friends are not huge film fans. They will go see a few films, but on the whole will not be there every week. Or it could be a time issue. That due to work or other commitments you can only visit the cinema at times that are inconvenient for your friends or family.
And this is where Social Media helps.
I use Twitter a lot. It is how I found @afilmclub after all. One thing I often do after seeing a film is tweet what I thought of it afterwards. This can be after seeing a film at the cinema or having watched one at home.
Because there are many people on Twitter who use it for film-related tweets, it is easy to make connections online, discuss film with them and so on. All things that perhaps you can’t do in person with those around you, or with those who aren’t as interested in film…
Of course, after a while, you may consider meeting those from Twitter in person. I have done this myself at FrightFest in both Glasgow and London, as well as at my local film festival held at Dundee Contemporary Arts, known as Dundead. There have been other occasions too, such as meeting to watch the odd film, but mostly at festival-type events.
Now, if you are an introverted person like I am, it can take a lot of effort to say hello at events like these. Even with those you have chatted with online. You might feel self-conscious about saying hello or be worried you might not come across well. These are fears I suffer with in person, with people I don’t know, and is often why I am happy to sit listening to others, rather than getting involved in the discussions.
So, how do you get around that?
Well, there is one thing to remember. You, like everyone else at a film event, are there for the event. It is not a date. You are there with like minded people, to enjoy the film or films, and discuss them. You are not there in the hope to impress someone in particular. Whilst it is of course possible you could meet someone special, that is not the main reason for being there!
When I attended FrightFest in Glasgow in 2017, it was the first time I had been to the event and wasn’t sure what to expect… But I ran into two people I know via Twitter, and we discussed the films in between, which was great. Before the London event, over lunch, I met up with someone I had previously exchanged tweets with and then a few more times during the event.
At Glasgow this year, the same thing happened; chatting with others in between the film screenings. It was a lot of fun to exchange viewpoints on the films, and in the case of Glasgow this year, the travel-related horror stories about getting there! Then at my local event, I met up with some people to form a team for the opening night quiz, and talked film between each screening with others. It is great to get differing views on the films and find out why some liked it and others did not.
My point is that if you are thinking of going to a film festival or event, but haven’t got anyone to go with you, don’t let that put you off. Reach out via Twitter, Facebook, or other social media to your film friends there, to see who is going and perhaps arrange meeting. It is worth the effort, even for those of us who aren’t good in public gatherings.