Friday, January 1, 2010

"In Transition" -- bringing the film to your neighborhood

[originally posted 9/10/09]

Last night's debut screening of "In Transition" was an exciting event. We had people from many areas of the greater LA basin and beyond.

The communities represented included: West LA, Venice, Culver City, Topanga, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, North Hollywood, West Hollywood, Santa Clarita, Valley Village, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Irvine.

If your hometown appears on the list, realize that you are not alone in wanting Transition ideas to come alive in your neighborhood. If you weren't at last night's event, or if you didn't connect with local people, email us and we'll help link you in.

If you would like to show "In Transition" in your local community, here's how: Transition Los Angeles owns a copy (perhaps the only copy presently in the LA basin??) with public showing license. Select a date and place to show it, and let us know. You're in charge of A.V. equipment and publicity. We'll send the movie out to your site with a Transition Los Angeles core team member. After the movie, we'll help answer questions and facilitate discussion of the ideas in the film.

In the Transition process we don't show movies, then turn on the lights and send people home. The movie is the excuse to gather people, and provides a context -- a "gathering of the minds", getting people "all on the same page" -- for the real event of the evening: the community discussion. And, after all, that's what Transition is all about.

"In Transition" is a good, upbeat, introductory film. It starts out with an overview of the problems (peak oil, climate change, and the impacts that their simultaneous occurrence is bringing). It gives a brief sense of the history of the Transition movement. But the entire latter portion of the film is the good news: what Transition initiatives are actively doing to solve problems in their local neighborhoods. With film segments provided by Transition initiatives from around the world, it covers many sectors of society, including food, transportation, economics, and education. The film is good material for an awareness-raising event, as well as for invigorating and inspiring your local steering group.

Film hosting resources:
  • "Making the most of your public events," page 154 of The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, for more ideas about how to show a Transition film.
  • We'll ask attendees for a suggested donation of $5 each (no one will be turned away for lack of funds). This helps defray the cost of our buying the film with public license, plus it helps support the ongoing outreach efforts of Transition Los Angeles.
  • You're in charge of audio-visual equipment. The movie is in DVD format which means it will play on a regular DVD player or on a laptop with Windows Media Player.
  • You're in charge of publicity. We suggest that you schedule your screening at least a month forward on the calendar so that you have time to get the word out to gather a good crowd.
  • Our narrative which we used in publicity about the film. This can be used for email publicity of the film, for website posting, as well as for drafting text for the newspapers (below).
  • Sample flier (coming soon) which you can adapt to your site and location. Put these out at local libraries, local coffee houses, any community bulletin boards, etc.
  • Local community newspapers Most have community calendars in which you can publicize a few lines about your event for free. Read their press guidelines, follow the format, and submit your info prior to press deadline dates. Many have online input forms or email submission procedures.
  • Remember that for all publicity efforts, only a portion of the project is getting people to show up at your event. Publicity reaps other benefits as well. It gains name recognition for your local group. It tells people that they're not alone in yearning for change. And it says, loudly and clearly, that good things are happening in your local neighborhood.