1. Be nervous. You may naturally be on the edge of your seat, but if you are not, just GET NERVOUS. Audiences will warm to you if they feel you are a little terrified.
2. Thank the audience for coming and see your movie, and remind them that this a very special screening for you as it is…the premiere, this country’s premiere, the first time you’ve seen it with such a big audience, etc.
3. Camp it up! Not that I’m saying that you should say “fiddlesticks” every third word, but your cultural heritage is part of what makes you and your film interesting.
4. If you are really bold, as you climb onto the stage to introduce the film, trip up and stumble.
5. When doing the Q&A session, kick off as soon as you can. Ask the organisers to start as soon as the credits roll by dipping the music and bringing the house lights up. You don’t want to let any of the audience leave as the credits are rolling.
6. Don’t be an artist. There’s no greater way to bore an audience stupid than to reflect on the naval-staring you performed during the ‘conceptualisation of your allegorical story of the inner child’s journey from the womb to the grave… blah blah blah’, BORING! Tell them a funny story.
7. If an audience doesn’t start asking questions, launch yourself into some entertaining anecdotal but relevant story.
8. Have a list of questions and give it to the organisers who can sit in the audience. They can then ask questions to which you have amazingly good and amusing answers.
9. Keep answers short and sweet. If you have inexperienced actors with you, beware, they may ramble.
10. Ask audiences to tell their friends about the next screening, remembering to give them times, dates and venues. Also, tell them you’ll be in the bar outside should anyone want to chat. It’s a good way to get free drinks and sometimes a free dinner.
I pulled this list from my book The Guerilla Film Makers Movie Blueprint, an A to Z of practical film making techniques, strategies and templates. There is more information on the book here… (and you can buy signed copies direct from me here).
Onwards and upwards!