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The Rough Guide to FrightFest

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:51 pm
by soulmining
Ghouldrool asked me if I'd like to start a thread with some advice on how to survive the five day FrightFest experience, so here's a few tips - some serious, some lighthearted - for how to get the best out of the festival.

* Talk to the people sat around you. You're on the forum, you know how friendly and knowledgeable the FrightFest community are - they're just like you. So don't be afraid to strike up conversations with strangers... When I think back to the first few years at the PCC I don't think Festerin' Frank and I talked to anyone apart from Alan, Paul and Ian. I have made so many firm friends since the move to the OWE and this is in no small part due to the enormous community vibe created by this forum. Regulars or newbies, everyone should be made to feel welcome.

* Continuing on from the previous point, don't be afraid to talk to Alan, Paul and Ian. They don't bite! A huge part of the festival's success stems from the approachability of the FF organisers and their team - remember first and foremost they are fans just like us. And Paul and Ian always welcome a free beer if you're at the bar :wink:

* It's an intense five days if you're a w/e passholder so breaks do come at a premium! There's usually about 30mins between each screening with a longer break of about an hour around about 6pm to allow time for a proper meal... There are plenty of reasonable/cheap places to eat around Leicester Square (I'm sure there's another thread on the forum for this) like the West End Cafe, Stockpot etc. The Odeon bar usually opens around midday and is open until late, so that's always a good place to hang out - and many of us hang around outside the cinema debating the films we've just seen.

* Remember, with a line up of 27 films it's unlikely you're going to like every single one, so don't be too harsh on the organisers if something isn't to your taste - chances are some other people will have enjoyed it. (Yes, I was the one person that defended The Tesseract) We all have differing opinions, and the diversity of the programme should be applauded not criticized - would you really want to watch 27 slasher films in a row, really?

* If you're not enjoying a film don't be afraid to walk - as I've said, you're not going to love everything and breaks are limited... As much as I hate walking out of films (and I only did it twice last year - for KM31 and Skinwalkers) if a film hasn't engaged me in any way after 30mins then I'd rather use the time to socialise or have a longer break!

* Goodie bags (for w/e passholders) - these tend to be available for collection at a certain time on the Friday, but don't panic if you miss it, you can always pick them up later in the w/e. The FF team always strive to make the contents as equal as possible, but obviously contents will differ so don't moan if the person next to you has a slightly different DVD or t-shirt!

* Guests - many guests will be announced on the site prior to the festival. In most cases they will do a Q&A session after the film, so be prepared if there's a question you're dying to ask (and please make it concise and to the point!). There have been one or two uncomfortable moments in the past but I think generally the audience show respect for the guests that attend, and that's how it should be. Some guests may do signings in the downstairs foyer so you might want to bring something with you to get signed. The Cinema Store traditionally have a stall set up here and will sell the FF t-shirts.

* The Phoenix Artist Club (off Charing Cross Road) is the alternative watering hole favoured by FF for the w/e and is usually open until 3am... there will most likely be a post-FF party in there after the final film on Monday night.

* Remember, a raging hangover when you've a 10am start and six films ahead of you is not much fun as I will testify... or maybe I'm just a lightweight!?

* Laughing uncontrollably at scenes that are definitively *not* funny in any way is quite disturbing, in every sense of the word.

Any other tips or advice that people would like to add?

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:41 pm
by orlovsky
This is great, thanks for the pointers! A stickied FAQ would be really handy for newbies like myself.

I know the Odeon aren't normally happy about outside food & drink being taken into the cinema, are they as strict as normal during the festival?

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:31 pm
by pauluspink
Just dont be blatant if you decide to bring food/drinks into the cinema, yes they do search your bags but ive found that they only do this the 1st couple times. They'll soon recognise you (cause you do walk in & out of the cinema so many times) & you can just walk in!!! If they see you have food/drinks then they may well ask you not to do that, i really dont know about their policy but i did do this alot as it was hell of a lot cheaper to buy a 6-pack round the corner then to spend all your drinking money at the bar!!

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:20 pm
by scrobble
I've openly walked past the staff there many a time at Frightfest with bags of bagels, drinks etc. not bought on the premises and they haven't batted an eyelid. I think they recognise that it's not always feasible to either wolf something down outside the venue between films or to live off their iffy nachos and hot dogs the whole weekend!

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:49 pm
by arrangedletters
I'm so going to fall foul of that last one. I'm terrible for laughing at gore. I feel watching braindead at a young age had a negative effect on me.

*inside made me laugh in parts... :oops:*

Edit: on the plus side I can be a quiet laugher :D

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:12 pm
by Grindhouse
i would add that wear what you like remember though you have to be in it all day, so the more comfortable the better its a very unpretentious festival.
Have patience with your fellow film fans sitting next to you if they have to get up and move out of their seats a few times during films so what its not worth being irritable and ruining yours or their festival.
drink sensibly no one really wants a drunk next them,and be careful with your drinks no one wants to wear a drink either

also as soulmining mentioned speak to your seat buddies around you,some people might be a little shy so dont expect lots of chat at first.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:25 am
by krispyg
All good advice

I'd like to talk to people but I am incredibly shy around people I do not know so please don't think I am being rude with you.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:30 am
by lupogirl
Take a cushion. If your in the none luxury seats(like I am). 5 Days of jam packed films will numb that bum and soothe the ache in the small of back. Also non rustle wrappers of sweets. Nothing more annoying then a tension building scene ruined by a rustler sitting next to you.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:51 am
by maxmum
Yeah -popcorn argh! - Doomsday - I had an 'eater' next to me.. never stopped... all day.... mouth open chewing....urgh.

And of course - turn your mobiles OFF (not on silent and be texting with the light on either!)

And cushions are invaluable I agree.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:17 am
by Team Banzai
oh and try not to break the odeon toilet :D

i think the rule of thumb is ... treat the folks around you the way you would like to be treated yourself... and bring a couple of clean t shirts

above all HAVE FUN -

if anyone doesn't follow phil's guidelines have a polite word - and if a repeat offender and it's something major - talk to either the odeon staff or one of us

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:37 am
by rach
chck time out for the weekly food offer! it was 2 for 1 at a few places nearby last year!

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:11 pm
by DevilsKebab
Another piece of advice is to check the forums regularly in the week running up to the event.
Us forum regulars (or irregular in my case!) often make plans to get together before the event kicks off officially.

Usually meeting at a specific place for breakfast on the Thursday and I think this year we might try to add in a trip to see Hellboy 2.
Please....feel free to join us.
It's an easy way to break the ice when your new to the whole thing, we really are as open and welcoming as we appear on this forum.

A lot of us enjoy the event not just for the movies, but for the people we meet at the event too.
I've made many good friends from the Frightfest.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:45 pm
by kimblebee
Some good advice you guys, lots to take on board for us newbies, but glad everyone is so helpful :-) I must admit, the main thing I'm worried about (surprisingly isn't regarding numb body parts) is food - no-one has starved during the fest so far have they?? :-s

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:47 pm
by Team Banzai
no .. and even with the plentiful surprises we are planning you will still have time to eat between films :D

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:00 pm
by kimblebee
Oh good :-) I'm sure a lot of people will try to make sure they eat BEFORE Martyrs - That would be my advice (going from the reviews!) :lol: