We encourage the use of In the Shadow of the Blade to educate audiences about and pay tribute to Vietnam War veterans and their families. This guide is intended to provide general advice to your organization in order to help you maximize your screening.
The film screens on DVD. Once the DVD is purchased, there is no additional cost for public screenings of In the Shadow of the Blade by non-profit or educational organizations. For- profit and political organizations will be assessed a $250.00 fee for each public screening.
If you would like to sell DVDs to help raise funds for your organization, please contact us.
We are happy to provide you with several downloadable tools to help promote your screening, including a discussion guide, a sample press release, a customizable movie poster, and a logo. Additionally, we’d like to offer some suggestions to help your screening go smoothly.
Step 1: Establish Screening Goals
Decide the goals you have for your screening. Is it to pay tribute to your community’s veterans? To honor a special event, such as Memorial or Veterans Day? To educate an audience or increase your membership? Your goals will help you define your potential audience and other activities associated with your screening.
Step 2: Find a Venue
You will want to find an appropriate place to hold your screening based on your desired outcomes, the size of your anticipated audience, and the quality of sound and projection. The ideal location offers high-quality audio and video (DVD) projection in a room that can be darkened. Some movie theaters offer rentals for special events. Look at your community’s schools, colleges and even churches as well; many have auditoriums and are happy to accommodate these types of educational events. Non-performance meeting spaces, such as a VFW hall, might work if the room can be darkened and you are able to arrange high-quality projection and audio playback equipment. Be sure that you will have comfortable seating, an area that can be reserved for VIPs, and wheelchair accessibility.
Step 3: Plan Your Event
Once you have found an appropriate venue and set the date and time of your screening, you should think about other associated activities that meet your goals. Some ideas to consider:
Invite a veteran or a leader from your community to deliver opening remarks.
Ask a Scout group or other organization to post the Colors before the movie.
Invite a panel of local veterans to participate in a post-show Q & A.
Use the screening as an opportunity to honor a local hero.
We encourage you to plan your screening in a way that meets your goals and provides a meaningful experience for your audience. Out of respect for our veterans and the families of the fallen, we do ask that you provide an appropriate sense of dignity and decorum.
Step 4: Publicize Your Event
Now that you have a program, and a date, time and place, it’s time to spread the word. Ticketing your event will help you keep track of expected attendance, and, if you are raising funds for your organization, allow you to collect money. Many online services like Eventbrite now offer free ticketing and event organizing services. Once this is established, download the sample press release to send to your local newspapers and television and radio stations. (Be sure your spokespeople are prepared to talk with the media.) You should also consider sending your release to schools, veteran organizations and other community groups for inclusion in their newsletters. And be sure to email it to your members, with an invitation to forward. Your venue and your ticketing service may also help you spread the word, as will social media.
A customizable movie poster is available for download. Contact us for publicity photos and other media assistance.
Step 5: Hold Your Event
As you set up for your event, you might consider:
- A registration table with registration forms, nametags, pens
- Reserved seats for your speakers or dignitary guests
- Literature about your organization
- A DVD sales table
Your Master of Ceremonies should be prepared to introduce dignitaries in the audience. We also recommend that all Vietnam veterans be asked to stand during introductory comments. Be sure to remind the audience to turn off their cell phones, and that video and audio recordings of the film are prohibited.
If you would like to talk to others who have coordinated successful screenings, or need more information, please contact us. And be sure to log into our blog and let us know about your screening so we can help you get the word out. We wish you all the best for a successful event!