As silent film fans, we’re past the point of going to a show, seeing empty seats and blaming the venue for not doing enough to get people in. There’s no budget for advertising for silent film shows, really, and ads aren’t necessarily going to be effective anyway. But there is something we can do about this.
There’s no such thing as saying “Why wasn’t this advertised more?” anymore.
Ten, fifteen years ago, I could tell when we got listed in local papers or TimeOut at the Silent Clowns Film Series, because there’d be a bump in our attendance at that particular show. But the internet and the gradual disappearance of hard-copy periodicals has completely changed all that.
It’s harder to get noticed, and harder for people to find out about your show. You can post it on your website, and send out a press release. But that means people have to be looking for silent film shows in your town or city, in order to find you. It does happen, and it does work. A little.
But, as fans, there’s something we can all do. And that’s participate in the ripple effect. If you are on social media or read blogs, and you see a listing for a silent film show, don’t just click on ‘like’. That doesn’t spread the word. It just lets you know that you liked this idea.
Someone who’s posted something about a silent film show doesn’t know your friends, the people who are connected to you on Twitter, Facebook or on emails. But you do. If you see a post about a silent film show, even if it’s not in your area or even if it’s a film you’re not going to go to because you’ve seen it a lot or you can’t make it, retweet or repost it. This helps get the word out.
We fans are the ones who have the ability to make the word spread. Be part of the ripple effect.It’s up to us fans to do what we can to support audience preservation.