I have been doing these for a while and they are normally pretty popular. They take a little bit of prep work, but patrons are usually very happy at these screenings. In case you aren’t familiar, interactive film screenings are programs where a movie is shown and the audience is given a script to participate in the show. For instance, in the Princess Bride, you can boo every time to you see Prince Humperdink or blow bubbles whenever “love” is mentioned.
A few of my favorites have been Elf, Willy Wonka and Harry Potter. I have done The Princess Bride twice and while the crowds weren’t as large, the enthusiasm was not in short supply! I’ll have some of my scripts linked below, as well as a link to scripts other libraries have used. I personally like to create my own scripts because I find that most other scripts have you perform one action, one time, which I don’t feel is fun for the audience. I like to find repeating elements in a film and use them over and over. For example, in Elf, you are going to see a lot of snow and yellow cabs (in fact you will see a lot of snow in ANY Christmas move, you will see a lot of yellow cabs in ANY movie set in NYC), so I had the audience blow bubbles whenever they saw snow and blow their noisemaker when they saw a cab. Pretty simple, right?
Other notes; NEVER give the kids something they can use as a sword and have them act out violence, they will continue to use the swords way past the scene. Tweens are the ones who get in the most trouble at these things; their parents think it’s safe to sit on a different row than their kids, and you are the one left trying to stop siblings from murdering each other with a glowstick. Kids also just like yelling “boo” at the bad guy, and to be quite honest, it’s fun!
I have also started incorporating water guns and silly string into the screenings and kids have really enjoyed that. Confetti is usually thrown at these events, so make sure you have an understanding director and a bribe for the janitorial staff.
The props are placed into a brown lunch bag and sometimes I can buy stickers to seal the bags and create a nice presentation. I plan for about 60 and always run out. I try to only let kids ages school age and older have a prop bag because it’s generally lost on younger kids. This also helps make sure that little ones don’t get ahold of an allergen when there is candy involved. I usually just fill the bags assembly line style. I always try to have the bags assembled about a week before to make sure I have all the supplies I need and have time to order more if needed. I add a script to each prop bag as well as putting a poster copy on the wall on each side of the screen.
Here are my scripts;
Harry Potter and the Sourcerer’s Stone (not listed but we added spraying the audience with water guns during the storm and silly string when they met the Devil’s Snare.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
A Christmas Story