News

Basic Tech Set-up for Film Screenings

Tips, specs and software for perfecting your DIY film screening

At the May Scalarama Glasgow meet-up, Eileen Daily (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Document Film Festival, Picture Window) gave a presentation and led a discussion on basic tech set-up for DIY/non-theatrical film screenings, covering film formats, how to prepare films to get the best presentation and what free software is available to help you do all of this easily.

We’re hosting Eileen’s PowerPoint (above), which formed the basis of her presentation and covers basic terminology, ideal technical specs and useful guides to that free software (plus hot-links to download it).


Scalarama Glasgow is running monthly meetings in the lead-up to September’s season of DIY film programming. They’re aimed at helping exhibitors brand-new and experienced alike to put on films, and each month has two invited experts on different aspects of film exhibition. They’re free and open to all, full details here.

If you have any questions or could use some advice, get in touch with us here: info@matchboxcineclub.com

A Guide To Glasgow Venues

A detailed list of Glasgow venues capable of screening films, compiled for Scalarama 2019

For Scalarama 2019, we commissioned Sam May (University of Glasgow) to compile this detailed list of all the venues in Glasgow that are capable of screening films. The list includes contact details, hire costs, technical set-up, accessibility information and hopefully all the other information you might require (general information on licensing here). We’ll do our best to keep all this information up-to-date, but it’s certainly accurate as of May 2019.

If you have any queries, or to add your venue, please email info@matchboxcineclub.com.

You can also download the list as a PDF here or in large-print format here.


Andrew Stewart Cinema (UofG)
9 University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ (Kelvinbridge Subway)
Michael McCann | Michael.McCann@glasgow.ac.uk
(0)141 330 3803
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: 16/35mm film projection facilities with Dolby surround sound; Video and DVD available.
Capacity: 138 seated
Cost: Technician’s cost of £15ph
Accessibility: Limited wheelchair accessibility through fire exits

Argyle Street Arches
253 Argyle St, Glasgow G2 8DL (Glasgow Central, St Enoch’s Subway)
Abi Crichton | events@argylestarches.co.uk
(0)345 241 6253
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: No equipment provided, would have to be externally hired
Capacity: Maximum 400, depending on space used
Cost: £2,000 plus VAT
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible with disabled toilets. No hearing loop. Guide dogs welcome

Avant Garde
34-44 King Street, Merchant City, Glasgow, G1 5QT (St Enoch’s Subway)
Duty Manager | info@avantgardemusicbar.com
(0)141 552 7123
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Projection screen only – no projector or audio equipment
Capacity: 80 (Basement space)
Cost: £100
Accessibility: No wheelchair accessibility or hearing loop

Barras Art and Design (BAaD)
54 Calton Entry, Glasgow G40 2SB (High Street station)
Harry (Events Coordinator) | events@baadglasgow.com
(0)141 552 6279
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: LED screen, 2.5×4.5m. Built in sound system
Capacity: 350 theatre-style seating
Cost: Free for venue hire, but LED screen hire is £500
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible with disabled toilets

Blackfriars
36 Bell St, Glasgow G1 1LG (High Street station)
Ross McLelland | info@blackfriarsglasgow.com
(0)141 552 5924
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Cinema screen and projector with HDMI compatability
Capacity: 50 seated
Cost: £150
Accessibility: No disabled access

Category Is Books
34 Allison Street, Glasgow, G42 8NN (Queen’s Park station)
Fi and Charlotte | categoryisbooks@gmail.com
(0)141 463 4934
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Basic projector and screen hung from the back bookshelves
Capacity: 30 capacity, 12 seats on site, welcome to bring more
Cost: Pay what you can, suggested is £20ph to cover staff costs
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, autism friendly venue

Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA)
350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow (Cowcaddens/St George’s Cross subway)
Alex Misick | alex@cca-glasgow.com
(0)141 352 4919; (0)7804 606 954
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: Cinema equipped for 16mm, 35mm and digital projection; Theatre equipped for digital projection
Capacity: 74 (cinema), 144 (theatre)
Cost: Free (if included as part of open-source programme offer); tech hire at £15 p/h for a minimum of four hours.
Accessibility: Wheelchair access; disabled toilet, hearing loop

Cinemor 77
Yurt and Pop-up Cinema, mobile; based in Glasgow
Gary Thomson/Neill Patton| cinemor77@gmail.com
07796996184
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Various Projector screens, High Quality – Projectors (HDMI), BluRay, Macbook, Laptop, PA and speakers
Capacity: Various depending on location & set up, Yurt seats 25 Adults or 40 kids with bean bags, cushions & blankets included
Cost: Hiring fees negotiable
Accessibility: Yurt – Wheelchair accessible

Cineworld Renfrew Street
7 Renfrew St, Glasgow G2 3AB (Buchanan Street subway)
Duty Manager | renfrewstreet@cineworld.co.uk
(0)1413536289
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: Sony 4K Digital Projection systems, with surround sound. DVD/Blu-ray also available
Capacity: 100 seat theatre
Cost: £750 (including film license)
Accessibility: Wheelchair access, disabled toilets. hearing loops

Citizen M
60 Renfrew St, Glasgow G2 3BW (Cowcaddens Subway)
John Rush | citizenrush@citizenm.com
(0)20 3519 1111
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: 6x8ft screen. Projector set up with HDMI and USB connections
Capacity: 50 seated
Cost: £450 per screening
Accessibility: Disabled access and toilets, no hearing loop

Creative East End
200 Gallowgate, Glasgow G1 5DR (High Street station)
Jennifer McGlone | jennifer@creativeeastend.com
(0)141 552 2501
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Both venues have screens, speakers and projectors with HDMI compatibility
Capacity: 40 seated (venue 1), 50 seated (venue 2)
Cost: Hire price dependant on the type of film screened
Accessibility: Wheelchair spaces in screen, no hearing loop at present

Drygate Brewing Co.
85 Drygate, Glasgow G4 0UT (High Street station)
Michael Haughey | events@drygate.com
(0)141 212 8815
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Screen and projector with HDMI compatibility
Capacity: 240 theatre style and 150 cabaret style
Cost: Prices vary depending on availability/notice; standard is £500 + VAT
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible with lifts and disabled toilets.

Engine Works, The
23-25 Lochburn Rd, Glasgow G20 9AE (60 bus to Maryhill Library)
Events Team | hello@theengine.works
(0)141 945 3180
Licensed for screenings: No (but open to applying for one)
Tech: Fully A/V equipped with a PA system
Capacity: 160 seated
Cost: £1,250 (Weekdays)
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible with accessible toilets on all levels

Everyman
Unit 3-5, Princes Square, Glasgow, G1 3JN (Buchanan Street subway)
Claire Miller | privatehire@everymangroup.com
(0)203 145 0502
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: Cinema with screen and projector; DCP, 35mm and Blu-ray
Capacity: 70 seated
Cost: Prices vary on a case by case basis
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, accessible toilets. Infrared system for audio description and hearing assist

Flying Duck, The
142 Renfield Street, Glasgow, G2 3AU (Buchanan Street subway)
Tom Clarke | tom@theflyingduck.org
(0)141 564 1450
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Screen and projector with HDMI compatability
Capacity: 50 seated
Cost: £30
Accessibility: No wheelchair accessibility

GFT
12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB (Cowcaddens subway)
Duty Manager | privatehires@glasgowfilm.org
(0)141 332 6535
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: 2K digital, 35mm, 70mm, Panavision 3D, Beta SP, Digibeta (£50 charge), DVD, Blu-Ray, VHS and laptop (Cinema 1); 2K digital, 35mm, Beta SP, Digibeta (£50 charge), DVD, Blu-Ray, VHS and laptop (Cinema 2); 2K digital, Beta SP, Digibeta (£50 charge), DVD, Blu-Ray and laptop (Cinema 3)
Capacity: 394 (Cinema 1) 142 (Cinema 2) 60 (Cinema 3)
Cost: Prices vary and screens are subject to availability
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, disabled toilets, hearing loop

Glad Cafe, The
1006A Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow, G41 2HG
Joe, Kim | joe@gladcafe.co.uk, kim@gladcafe.co.uk
(0)141 636 6119
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: Screen with HD film projector and Blu-Ray player
Capacity: 55 seated
Cost: Sunday – Thursday: £100, Friday to Saturday: £150
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible with disabled toilets

Glasgow Guild, The
265 Renfrew St, Glasgow G3 6TT (Charing Cross station)
John, Jonathan | n/a
(0)141 246 1062
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: 1.5×2.5m projection screen with projector (not HD)
Capacity: 60 seats
Cost: Refer to venue
Accessibility: Steps at the entrance so limited wheelchair accessibility

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
2 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3NY (Buchanan Street subway)
Laura Curran | laura.holms@glasgowlife.org.uk
(0)141 353 8050
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: 6ft projection screen, HDMI-compatible projector and sound system
Capacity: 100 theatre-style
Cost: £750 plus VAT
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessibility, disabled toilets and hearing loop

GMAC
Fifth Floor, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD (St Enoch subway)
Joanna Healy | hello@gmacfilm.com
(0)141 553 5400
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: Cinema with screen, HD projector and built-in sound
Capacity: 48 seated
Cost: £300 (includes license fee)
Accessibility: Accessible building for wheelchair users, no hearing loop

Griffin, The
266 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4JP (Charing Cross station)
Duty Manager | hello@thegriffinglasgow.co.uk
(0)141 331 5170
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Screen and projector with HDMI compatibility
Capacity: 80 cabaret style, 50 theatre style
Cost: £150
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible with disabled toilets

Grosvenor, The
24 Ashton Lane, Glasgow, G12 8SJ (Hillhead subway)
Duty Manager | info@grosvenor.co.uk
(0)141 339 8444
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: Cinema with screen and projector. DCP, VHS, 35mm and Blu-ray
Capacity: 102 (1 wheelchair space) both rooms
Cost: Weekday evening – £500 plus VAT, Weekend evening – £650 plus VAT
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessibility

Handmade Burger Co.
78 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5UB (Buchanan Street subway)
Ben (Events Manager) | events@handmadeburger.co.uk
(0)121 374 2496
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: Blu-Ray and AVI through a 120” HD 1080p; surround sound system
Capacity: 20 seated
Cost: £100
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, with disabled toilets

Icebox Arts and Music Centre
Unit 2, St Luke’s Business Estate, Glasgow, G5 0TS (Bridge Street subway)
Jamie (Events Team) | theiceboxglasgow@gmail.com
No phone number, bookings done via email or Facebook page
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Projector with HDMI compatibility, 8.5x5ft wall space, built in surround sound system. Venue also allow external projectors and portable screens to be brought in
Capacity: 80 seated
Cost: £50
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible; accessible toilets pending

ISO
65 Virginia Street G11TS (Queen Street station)
Ciara Dunne | studio.manger@isodesign.co.uk
(0)141 572 9150
Licensed for screenings: No (In the process of obtaining one)
Tech: Fully A/V equipped, screen with projector with HDMI compatibility
Capacity: 40 seated
Cost: £60 for Scalarama screenings
Accessibility: Basement venue with no wheelchair accessibility

Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel
11 Blythswood Square,Glasgow, G2 4AD (Cowcaddens subway)
Laura Gillespie | conference@kimptonblythswoodsquare.com
(0)141 248 8888
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: Cinema screen with built in speakers and projector with DVD compatibility only
Capacity: 44 seated
Cost: £350 flat rate (includes choice of film and popcorn for attendees)
Accessibility: Wheelchair spaces and hearing loop within the screening room

Kinning Park Complex
43 Cornwall Street, G41 1BA (Kinning Park subway)
Events Coordinator | hello@kinningparkcomplex.org
(0)141 419 0329
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Projector and screen (£10 hiring costs)
Capacity: 75 (Downstairs Hall) 120 (Upstairs Hall)
Cost: £37.50ph
Accessibility: Downstairs hall is wheelchair accessible; ground floor toilets

Lighthouse, The
11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU (Glasgow Central station)
Melissa Kerrigan | melissa.kerrigan@glasgow.gov.uk
(0)141 276 5360
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: HDMI compatible projector with a white wall, built in sound system
Capacity: 100 seated
Cost: £195 plus VAT for evening screenings
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, lift to all floors. Accessible toilet

Loks Bar & Kitchen
16 Newlandsfield Rd, Glasgow G43 2XU (Pollokshaws East station)
Nikki Clow | events@loksbarandkitchen.co.uk
(0)141 632 5727
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: 12ft screen and HDMI projector
Capacity: 180 seated
Cost: £50 plus VAT
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, disabled toilet, no hearing loop

Market Gallery
334 Duke Street, Glasgow, G31 1QZ (Bellgrove station)
Alice Andrews | market@marketgallery.org
(0)141 556 7276
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Projectors and projection screens available on request
Capacity: n/a
Cost: Venue is not available for hire, event proposals to their committee
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible

Nice N Sleazy
421 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3LG (St George’s Cross subway)
James (Events Manager) | sleazys@googlemail.com
(0)141 333 0900
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Portable screen, projector with HDMI compatibility
Capacity: 60 seated
Cost: Monday-Thursday, Sunday: £60. Friday/Saturday: £100
Accessibility: No wheelchair access

Old Fruitmarket
87-101 Albion St, Glasgow G1 1NQ (Glasgow Queen Street station)
Sarah McLeary | Sarah.McLeary@glasgowlife.org.uk
(0)141 276 8441
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: No projectors or screens; technician £25ph
Capacity: 600 theatre-style
Cost: £2,450 plus VAT, with a 10% box office commission
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, Sennheiser infrared hearing systems

Old Hairdressers, The
22 Renfield Lane, Glasgow, G2 5AR (Glasgow Central station)
Rob, Sinead | theoldhair@gmail.com
(0)141 248 9558
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Screen and projector (HDMI); Sound engineer and PA system
Capacity: 50 seated
Cost: £50
Accessibility: No wheelchair access

On The Fringe
Shawlands Shopping Centre, 126 Kilmarnock Road
Meg Curran | meg@thesouthsidefringe.org.uk
(0)141 632 4200
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Basic screen and projector set-up; £4ph hiring cost
Capacity: 30 theatre-style
Cost: £15ph, or £40 for a 3-hour block
Accessibility: Ramp access to building, no disabled toilets

Panopticon (Britannia Panopticon Music Hall)
117 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HD (High Street station)
Judith Bowers | info@britanniapanopticon.org
(0)141 553 0840
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Cinema screen with projector
Capacity: 100 seated
Cost: Minimum £200
Accessibility: No wheelchair access

Pipe Factory, The
42 Bain St, Calton, Glasgow, UK, G40 2LA (High Street station)
Verity Hocking | verityhocking@thepipefactory.co.uk
(0)779 531 2291
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: No equipment provided
Capacity: 30 chairs for screenings
Cost: £75
Accessibility: No wheelchair access

Platform
The Bridge, 1000 Westerhouse Rd, Glasgow, G34 9JW (Easterhouse station)
Niamh Tumilty | hires@platform-online.co.uk
(0)141 276 9670
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Projector, 3x4m screen, or 7x12m surface. Loudspeakers
Capacity: 210 seated
Cost: Hiring costs negotiable
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, accessible toilets, induction loops, scooters and guide dogs welcome.

Rost
49 Bell Street, Glasgow, G1 1NX (St Enoch subway)
Paul Sweeney | paul@rost49.com
(0)141 387 9469
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: 3×2.5m screen, with a 1080p HD projector
Capacity: 60 seated
Cost: Hiring costs are negotiable, happy to support
Accessibility: No wheelchair access

Rum Shack, The
657 – 659 Pollokshaws Rd, Glasgow G41 2AB (Queens Park station)
Shaun Galbraith | shaun@rumshackglasgow.com
(0)141 237 4432
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Projector (HDMI), 230x300cm screen, built-in sound system
Capacity: 45 seats availble, space for 70 with external seating hire
Cost: Hiring costs vary, technician costs £12ph (min 4 hours)
Accessibility: Not fully accessible but assistance available

Saint Luke’s
17 Bain Street, Calton, G40 2JZ (High Street station)
Chae Houston | chae@stlukesglasgow.com
(0)141 552 8378
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: Projector screen and speakers only, no projector
Capacity: 225 theatre style
Cost: £500 plus VAT
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible

Seamore Neighbourhood Cinema, The
304 Maryhill Road, Glasgow, G20 7YE (St George’s Cross subway)
Ross Hunter | rosshunter@centralhalls.org
(0)755 201 1508
Licensed for screenings: Yes
Tech: 5m screen, 6500 lumens HD Projector, great active speakers, a Blu-Ray player and capacity to play straight from a laptop.
Capacity: 129 leather seats, can extend to 200 if necessary
Cost: £29ph for Scalarama events
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible; accessible toilets. Able to subtitle films on request.

Sloans
108 Argyle St, Glasgow G2 8BG (Glasgow Central station)
Rachel Farmer | info@sloansglasgow.com
(0)141 221 8886
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: 6x11ft screen available to hire
Capacity: 110 theatre seating
Cost: £200 Sun-Thurs, £400 Friday and Saturday
Accessibility: No wheelchair access

South Block
60-64 Osborne Street, Glasgow, G1 5QH (Argyle Street station)
Ishbel (Reception) | southblock.reception@waspstudios.org.uk
(0)141 271 4700
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Portable projector screen and projector with HDMI compatibility
Capacity: 30 theatre-style
Cost: £37ph for evening screenings
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, accessible toilet

Space, The
257 London Road, G40 1PE (High Street station)
Lori Lynch | lori@thespacescotland.org
(0)141 237 1221
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Projector screen, projector (HDMI) and sound engineer available
Capacity: 100 seated
Cost: £20ph with £15 PA system hire
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible

Stereo
22-28 Renfield Ln, Glasgow G2 6PH (Buchanan Street subway)
Ian Findlay-Walsh | monostereomutations@gmail.com
(0)141 222 2254
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Projector: Optoma 1080p, HDMI compatible
Capacity: 100 seated
Cost: £100-£120 for 18+, £200 for 14+ event
Accessibility: No wheelchair

SWG3
100 Eastvale Pl, Glasgow G3 8QG (Partick subway)
Rosie (Events Team) | rosie@swg3.tv
(0)141 337 1731
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: 8ft 16:9 projection screen with projector and sound system
Capacity: 50 seated (Poetry Club venue)
Cost: Dependent on availability and popularity of the venue at the time
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, accessible toilet

Tramway
25 Albert Drive, Glasgow, G41 2PE
Dean Browning | dean.browning@glasgowlife.org.uk
(0)141 276 0950
Licensed for screenings: No
Tech: Basic screen and projector set up with built in sound system
Capacity: 90 seated (Tramway 4)
Cost: Hiring fees negotiable
Accessibility: Lift access, accessible toilets on all levels


Scalarama Glasgow is running monthly meetings in the lead-up to September’s season of DIY film programming. They’re aimed at helping exhibitors brand-new and experienced alike to put on films, and each month has two invited experts on different aspects of film exhibition. They’re free and open to all, full details here.

If you have any questions or could use some advice, get in touch with us here: info@matchboxcineclub.com

FHS-Lock-Up

Co-screening Open Call

Want to be a film programmer? Want to work with us? If you have a great idea for a screening, we’re looking for you…

Matchbox Cineclub are looking for collaborators for an upcoming screening or film event! We want to help encourage more pop-up/independent screenings in Glasgow and Film Hub Scotland have supported us to organise co-screenings this year. We have a small budget that will go towards film licences, venue considerations and marketing.

So far this year, we’ve teamed up with Venom Mob Film Club (Shogun Assassin), Backseat Bingo (Under The Cherry Moon) and Sad Girl Cinema (watch this space!). We’re now opening the doors to any and all pitches for a one-off event.

Anyone is welcome to pitch. However, we will prioritise the following*:

  • Start-up film clubs/series (or otherwise dormant ones)
  • Young programmers (18-25)
  • Programmers/groups from BAME backgrounds
  • Films and/or events that fit our general focus on cult film, not-on-DVD/Blu-Ray/VoD/Streaming/General Release and/or recently screened locally (and yet dead good)
  • Films and/or events with a compelling extra element

What’s in it for you? Apart from covering costs, you’ll get the benefit of Matchbox’s reach/platform/design etc to hopefully launch your own screening series, as well as any advice, expertise and connections we can pass on.

If you have an idea, we’re looking for a short paragraph of no more than 100 words explaining your pitch, with reference to film title(s), guests or other elements, and why your screening is worthwhile. NB “X is an awesome film” probably won’t get too far.

All pitches to info@matchboxcineclub.com, with the subject line “Pitch”. Any queries likewise.

PLEASE NOTE: 

  • Closing date for entries is Friday 14th June.
  • The screening will likely but not necessarily take place in September, as part of the Scalarama programme. Date and venue TBC/up for discussion.
  • Any ticket sales will be managed through our online shop. Proceeds from the screenings will be split equally between Matchbox Cineclub and the successful pitchers.
  • Please don’t pitch us on film festivals à la KeanuCon, Cage-a-rama or Weird Weekend, or any related screenings.
  • We’re not responsible in the unlikely event that you randomly pitch us on a screening or an event that we already have lined up but haven’t yet announced. We’d never, ever steal an idea, but coincidences do happen.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, we already have a very long list of films and events we’d like to programme.
  • If you have an idea that’s just too good to share, please feel free to get in touch separately for advice on how to set up your own screening.
  • We will do our best to respond and give feedback (if requested) on all pitches, but we can’t guarantee it.
  • If you’re an established organisation looking to work with us, best just email us separately – we’re always open to collaboration.

*Because we want to, not because it’s a condition of the funding. NB complaining about this is a useful way to disqualify yourself and your pitch 🙂

FHS-Lock-Up

A Basic Guide to Licences for Film Screenings

Ever wanted to screen a film? Our straightforward guide will tell you what licences you need to screen films in Scotland, how to get them and how to get started

When we started screening films we knew there was stuff we didn’t know, or assumed was probably wrong – whether through wilful ignorance or plausible deniability, we definitely didn’t do things correctly straight out the gate. This is true of a lot of film events, and usually in good faith. Briefly, we figured out what we needed to know and that one problem is that there aren’t necessarily straightforward/simple answers to some basic questions. Licensing for film screenings can be like traversing shifting sands from one event to the next.

However, there are basics and we learnt them and this, here, is the skeleton of a presentation we gave in March 2019 as part of Scalarama Glasgow’s Programming and Licensing event at Glasgow Short Film Festival. You can download it as a two-page PDF here.

Why confirm licences?

  • Legally, you have to (¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
  • Threat of fines (and your venue can be classed as a “contributory infringer”)
  • The greater good (exhibitors, film makers, distributors and everyone in between depend on each other to sustain the film industry)
  • Access to funding and other support to help keep doing what you’re doing

These are the licences venues need to screen films anywhere in Scotland:

  • Cinema Licence (from your local council)
  • Entertainment Licence (from your local council)
  • Performing Rights Licence (PRS) (from PPL/PRS)

Depending whether or not you want to plan your screening (e.g. if you want to advertise your screening anywhere outside your venue or online), you will also need one of two kinds of licence:

  • Single Title Screening Licence (STSL, for planned screenings, free or not)
  • Public Video Screening Licence (PVSL, an umbrella licence for unplanned and/or “ambient”, free screenings and/or members-only orgs)
  • NB Filmbank’s Licence Wizard is a handy way to figure out which you need

You can confirm most licences from ‘gateway’ distribution companies who manage large libraries on behalf of major studios, for example:

 Or sometimes licences are held by individual distributors, for example:

Some tips for finding elusive licence holders:

Useful + more detailed guides: 


F.A.Q.

Q: How much is a film licence?

A: Depending on the context and source, it can be anywhere from £60 + VAT to several hundred pounds. Some distributors demand a percentage (often 35%) of final box take versus a minimum guarantee (MG), meaning you pay whatever is more.

Q: Can I haggle/negotiate?

A: You can try. Haggling is more commonplace in Europe and North America than in the UK. And some distributors, e.g. Filmbank, operate an online portal that doesn’t allow for it.

Q: Who will know if I don’t get a licence?

A: Distributors, especially the bigger ones, do keep an eye on screening activity and if they’re made aware of unlicenced screenings of their films, they will investigate. Most commonly, they’ll simply chase you to book it in. Other local exhibitors, including cinemas, will likely notice screenings that seem to be unlicenced too => side-eye and/or bad blood.

Q: Do I need a licence if my screening is free or for charity?

A: Yes. Although on rare occasions you may be granted a licence for free, you still have to confirm permission to screen with the licence holder.

Q: Do I need a licence if the director/star is coming?

A: Most likely. Unless the director is also the licence holder and/or the film doesn’t have distribution, they probably won’t manage the screening rights for their own film.

Q: If I own the DVD, can I screen it?

A: Not without a licence. However, the licence fee most likely will not cover screening materials (i.e. DVD, Blu Ray), which you usually must provide yourself.

Q: If someone released the DVD/Blu Ray, can they grant a screening licence?

A: Sometimes, but not always. The rights to distribute a film for home entertainment and the rights to distribute a film theatrically or non-theatrically are not essentially the same.

Q: What do I do if I’ve exhausted every avenue and explored all possibilities of finding a licence holder?

A: In the very unlikely chance you have (see Sophie Brown’s Point Break saga), there is the option to self-indemnify, meaning you make a record of your attempts to source the licence, reserve the box office take and prepare for the licence holder to eventually come forward. No-one recommends you do this.

Q: Which films are in the public domain?

A: There isn’t a definitive answer or resource for this. Websites that claim to be definitive are not and in any case are often based in the US, which is a different distribution territory that also has different copyright laws. On top of this, the legal status of films often changes over time. All you can do is research.


Scalarama Glasgow is running monthly meetings in the lead-up to September’s season of DIY film programming. They’re aimed at helping exhibitors brand-new and experienced alike to put on films, and each month has two invited experts on different aspects of film exhibition. They’re free and open to all, full details here.

If you have any more questions or could use some advice, get in touch with us here: info@matchboxcineclub.com

 

 

Destination Wedding UK Premiere

_J4A4682a_web
Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in Destination Wedding

We’re excited to announce that we’re closing KeanuCon 2019 with the UK premiere of Destination WeddingKeanu Reeves stars alongside Winona Ryder in Victor Levin’s romantic comedy. KeanuCon, Europe’s first Keanu Reeves film festival, takes place at CCA, Glasgow, on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April, 2019.

Frank and Lindsay have a lot in common: they both hate the bride, the groom, the wedding, themselves, and most especially each other. For 72 hours, they are trespassers in paradise.  But the weekend’s relentless events continually force them together, and if you fight with someone long enough, anything can happen. When the instinct to love proves very difficult to kill, they must decide which is stronger: their hearts or their common sense.

Destination Wedding is Keanu and Winona’s fourth onscreen coupling since filming 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula – during which Ryder insists the two were married for real (director Francis Ford Coppola confirms the wedding scene he filmed could be legally binding).

Of his character, Keanu says, “I liked his wit and his suffering. You root for Frank. I root for Frank. He’s trying to overcome his past when he meets Lindsay and finds himself attracted to her.” But, on the other hand, “Love is good for other people, but he knows it will just end in disaster for him. So, why bother? Save yourself the pain.”

_J4A8998.CR2
Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in Destination Wedding

Producer Lyon says, “Keanu has a natural sense of timing and delivery. He is a hilariously funny person with a dry sense of humour and just a pleasure to work with. I think it was fun for him to demonstrate a side that hasn’t been seen before and allows him to show a piece of who he is as a person.”

However, while we’re happy that KeanuCon will end well, we’re not sure Destination Wedding will, especially if we take into account this poster capitalising on Keanu’s recent John Wick success, which purports to be for the Thai release of the film…

destination-wedding_90901214

Matchbox Cineclub’s KeanuCon features ten and a half films over two days, including My Own Private Idaho, Speed, The Matrix, Constantine, Keanu’s directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, and John Wick. There will be a rare screening of Keanu’s first lead role in a Hollywood feature, Permanent Record, accompanied by an even rarer outing for his film debut in the National Film Board of Canada short, One Step Away.

Day two closes with a double bill of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, followed by a live performance from Wyld Stallyns, before KeanuCon 2019 closes with the UK premiere of Destination Wedding.


Weekend Passes for KeanuCon are sold out; very limited single tickets are on sale via our online shop.

Death of the Mod Dream

The £250, semi-psychedelic musical made in Amsterdam, London and Knockentiber

cropped-moddream_fontdesign1

In 2012, I had been asked to contribute a chapter to the book World Film Locations: Glasgow on underground filmmaking in the city, of which whatever there was was not particularly well documented. Luckily, Billy Samson, who died last week, had just co-directed, with Gavin Mitchell, Death Of The Mod Dream. In the book, I likened their film to “a Scottish no-wave film directed by Roy Andersson,” but really there’s not much like it.

Purportedly based on a 1980 novella – Death Of The Mod Dream, by Edna Barnstaple – Billy and Gavin’s film concerns “a young man out of time who considers himself to be the last Mod on Earth. He lives in the City Of Scotland, a depressed, paranoid, curfew-controlled community with his mother and sister, who all fail to understand each other.” The synopsis continues:

“One day, this humdrum existence is disrupted when he uncovers what he has been led to believe is a mysterious ‘Mod time capsule’ buried on the beach. He takes it home, hoping for at best a wallow through a glorious mythical past he never knew. Little does he know the contents of the capsule are not what they seem and his reality is about to be turned upside down…”

Anyone will tell you making a feature-length film is a very particular achievement, requiring equal measures of talent, inspiration and determination. To make an episodic, blackly comic, semi-psychedelic musical in Scotland, for £250, also takes admirable perversity. Death Of The Mod Dream, like Billy, is a little extraordinary.

The questions I asked Billy in 2012, via Facebook message, were mostly for background research. This interview is published here for the first time, unedited. RIP Billy x


How much and what was shot in Glasgow/where?

All of the indoor scenes at the mod’s house were shot between 2 friends’ flats in Glasgow. The indoor parts of the dream/horror sequences were shot in Glasgow or Knockentiber, depending on where the actor lived, with black bin-liners/green screens taped to the ceiling to give it continuity. The beginning and climactic scenes at the beach were filmed between Irvine beach and an embankment in Crosshouse (for the scooter plummet). The cop sequences were done in a pub in Kilmarnock that was halfway through being redecorated. Extra bits were filmed by ourselves and others in Edinburgh, London and Amsterdam. All the special effects/animation sequences were done at home.

How did you go about picking the locations and did you have any problem getting permission to film/did you even have to ask?

Just had to ask to use people’s houses, which was handiest for all concerned so they all agreed to it. The beach stuff we just turned up and filmed. Only minor problem was concealing the camera so passers-by didn’t keep jumping in front of it.

Can you give me some technical details – budget, casting, equipment used, how long the production took?

Budget worked out at around £250 (probably), which mostly went towards transport costs and endless AA batteries swallowed up by the camera. All actors and contributors gave their services for free, on the condition they’d get something out if it in the event it went global 😉. The bulk of the film was shot on a 1st generation Flip camera a friend ‘borrowed’ from her work. When that had to be discreetly returned, the last few bits were filmed on actors’ own cameras. Casting was straightforward- Adam Smith was such an obvious choice to play the main character we barely had to think about it! Most roles were like that, didn’t have the time or budget to train up ‘proper’ actors (and didn’t it want to seem ‘stagey’) so just used friends for their obvious attributes that would suit the role. Although we did chop and change between cast and crew- some actors were originally to be soundtrackers/effects people and vice versa. Filming started early June and the final edit was around early October. The editing + effects (and waiting for other parties’ contributions) took substantially longer than the live-action filming.

Did you have any support or advice from institutions/individuals or funding at all?

We never approached anyone for funding, mostly through not knowing how to go about it, but also because we thought it probably wouldn’t be necessary (and a worry it may involve compromises to get access to that funding) considering it would always be low-budget (we had no intention of casting any megastars, or real actors come to that). Various people advised us on certain effects, for example my dad suggested filming a glass of Resolve in close-up for the underwater sequences. Ended up using it for blood cells and cloudy wispiness in the horror + dream sequences (by utilising different filters) too.

What was the inspiration to make the film and do you see it as part of any kind of continuum in Scottish/contemporary filmmaking?

It arose from a drunken night with Gav, the co-creator. We imagined a film billed as the ultimate mod sci-fi experience, but with loads of Phil Daniels/Leslie Ash types storming out the cinema when they discovered all it involved was 3 boring hours of a guy playing My Generation at every speed on his record player then jumping off his bed. But other ideas arose, and gradually we realised the story had a deeper resonance which we could flesh out. Once we took it seriously, it rapidly began writing itself. While of course, remaining faithful to Edna Barnstaple’s original novel 😉. I’m not sure where it fits in, historically. I liked the idea of an ambiguous story which the viewer could interpret as merely having been a figment of the central character’s warped imagination, like Once Upon A Time In America or JG Ballards’ Unlimited Dream Company (the Keith Moon/Rolls Royce/fish tank sequence was subconsciously inspired by the cover of my edition of that book). Plus of course it’s a musical where no-one literally bursts into song, like Dirty Dancing!

Have you heard about any similar projects taking place? I.e. other independent or DIY features getting made?

Heard about quite a few short films, which friends and friends-of-friends have been involved in. I read something about a feature length film in Scotland recently, looking to attract some big names, but I can’t remember much about it.

What’s the plan for releasing and distributing it?

I honestly don’t have much of a clue! There’ll be a premiere at the Old Hairdressers on 3rd Feb, and it’ll probably be made available online at some point. Still to work out how one goes about having it on iTunes and suchlike. Promotion will probably be just the usual haphazard spammy way I plug any records I’ve been involved with!

Will you do another and what if any are your plans?

No plans as such, I never consciously set out to be a director of feature-length films, this one just kind of ‘demanded’ to be made. Particularly once we recruited Adam in the lead role, he insisted we should start ASAP and it rapidly grew legs from there, interrupting a Paraffins promo video I’d half-filmed and have still to resume! But who knows, I’ve had plenty other addled conversations with friends about imaginary films, so there’s every chance another one might demand to be made 🙂.

Sean Welsh


Buy or rent Death Of The Mod Dream on Amazon here (or watch it on YouTube below)

Brothers In Arms Scotland offer support to men in Scotland, of any age, who are down or in crisis and empower them to ask for help when they need it, without feeling a failure if they do.

Jackal Films: The Making of Stiffy

Following our Glasgow Short Film Festival retrospective programme, Two Weirds Is Too Weird: The Jackal Films of Alice Lowe & Jacqueline Wright, director Jacqueline Wright has very kindly allowed us to host The Making Of Stiffy, a behind the scenes look at her 2005 short, written by and starring Alice Lowe. Watch it now, with descriptive subtitles, on our Facebook page.