Premiere League

Last week I was in conference manager mode overseeing the official UK premiere for the Macedonian film The Third Half.

ThirdHalf01

I will no-doubt review the film soon, but this isn’t the main focus of this post. Like most event management – organising a premiere is an exhausting process requiring a ridiculous amount of forethought and planning  (for what essentially lasts only a few hours). If it goes well, it should be seemless. If it doesn’t, well that doesn’t even bear thinking about!

Having run a couple of my own film premieres in the past, I was already reasonably aware of the type of requirements involved. This was on a grander scale however. We needed to make sure everything would run smoothly but there were a couple of bumps to overcome beforehand:

1. The local AV support team were down in numbers or unavailable to cover the event. Therefore I had to step up and make sure I was completely up-to-speed on any technical issues which might/might not occur during the evening.

2. The film was passed on in a format which would not work with our systems. I needed to convert the film into a compatible form. This wasn’t totally straight-forward and took a bit of time to figure out. The biggest obstacle were the subtitles.

3. Despite having a guest-list it was impossible to predict the exact numbers attending (film journalists/media were invited, but we were not sure if they were going to show). This made things interesting as a drinks reception planned for the end of the evening. It needed to be flexible, classy but not  over-indulgent. We couldn’t afford go wildly over-budget or under-cater, a surprisingly tricky balance.

4. We were planning to do a Q&A with the director Darko Mitrevski. Unfortunately it transpired Darko would in LA for the premiere date agreed, so we needed to do this using the wonders of technology (also factoring in any time-differences). This created some additional complexity to the event.

Thankfully, I’m happy to say all the hard work paid off and the entire team helping (many of whom were volunteers) did a fantastic job. There is usually something a bit magical about a film premiere. Even though I was there in an official capacity, I’m pleased to say that this was no exception. Well done to all involved!

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