Horror Club 2.0 Brainstorming
November 12, 2014 7:44 PM - Subscribe

So Horror Club, the very first MeFi movie club kind of petered out into nothing there. It can still work, but it maybe needs help. Let's brainstorm.

What worked:
1) The announcement with viewing options and non-spoiler plot description format.
2) Finding an audience. There are clearly many, many horror-loving MeFites.
3) The wild card/picks by a randomly chosen member.

What didn't:
1) Weekly picks. Even worse, the Halloween twice weekly picks were a disaster.
2) The selection process. I think we came up with good stuff, but we never had a good way to make it truly democratic. This not only made it more work than was really my bag, I think it kept other people from getting involved.
3) Keeping an audience. (See the items above.)

What do we think could be done to make this more fun, more inclusive, and less work?
posted by DirtyOldTown (11 comments total)
Weirdly, another thing I think may have been a bad idea was numbering the picks. People felt like they were getting behind and then bowed out.

Could we maybe revamp the club to be entirely picks by various members? Each time a person announces a pick, they could also tap a fellow Horror Club member to make a later pick? It'd make the thing more democratic and sort of a perpetual motion machine of selections. You pick your movie and a person to come after you.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:44 PM on November 12, 2014

And on a personal note, sorry if I let people down. It just felt like we were getting to the point where it was a lot of work for single digit comment totals and it was hard to see the point. I accidentally forgot to post one week and it seemed like maybe that was a sign I should just give up.

Inspiring, I know.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:49 PM on November 12, 2014

I loved Horror Club! I feel like I let it down, to be honest. TV came back and swept up my attention, work got insanely busy, and yeah, I'll admit the numbering made me feel like I had fallen hopelessly behind. I will try to be more of a participant in 2.0.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:11 PM on November 13, 2014

Yeah, I was sad to see this losing steam. I was fully on board for the first couple of rounds and then life got a little complicated so I mostly went back to lurking.

DirtyOldTown, we definitely appreciate you taking point. When it starts to become a burden for you, though -- yeah that's probably a sign that we need to change something up and figure out a better way to share the load so it can continue to be fun for everybody.

One thing I've been thinking about: do you suppose it's possible for a movie to be great and worth watching, and yet not really fertile ground for a lively discussion? A few of the picks over these last few months, I said to myself 'oh right, yeah, that was good' but never really joined the discussion because I didn't feel like there was much more to say about it, beyond 'I too liked this movie'. If that's the case, how do we identify and promote the movies that are going to lead to lively discussion? Or does every Horror Club selection even need to lead to that kind of discussion?

If we did some kind of a handoff thing like you mention above, we'd hopefully avoid the Horror Club becoming a burden on any one person (as long as the handee doesn't mind choosing a pick and taking responsibility for the next post, anyway). And in fact if people choose movies that they themselves are interested and invested in, they can maybe kick off the discussion in the comments; i.e., 'here's what I really enjoyed about this movie', 'here's why I think it's worth watching', 'here's one thing I totally didn't get and maybe you guys can help me out with this', that sort of thing.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 5:04 PM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

btw I'd still love to have a discussion about Triangle (2009), that thing blew my mind and I'd welcome an excuse to watch it again and talk about it.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 5:07 PM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I like the idea of handing it off to various members so not one person is responsible for everything because wow would that be a lot of pressure for a single person.
posted by miss-lapin at 5:48 PM on November 13, 2014

I don't know that there's a way to select movies specifically for what kind of discussion they will engender. But maybe your suggestion that people could be sort of informally expected to get the ball rolling on discussing their pick...maybe that would be the way to go.

How often do you think we should do these? I'm leaning toward biweekly, personally. Pick gets announced, next person gets MeMail telling them they're up, they have a week to pick and announce, a week later their pick goes live, then repeat process.

I do think we can sort of propose these rules for picks:
1) Unless it's a special circumstance of some kind, nothing that has been chosen before.
2) The only hard rule for availability is that no pick can be presented that is only available via torrent, etc. Streaming service availability or YouTube presence is preferred, but anything that is legitimately available at least on DVD is fair game.
3) We got a lot of praise for the format of our FanFare announcements. Those should stay the same, except maybe without numbers. Those were intimidating.
4) Every effort should be made to include new people with the picks, but very active members can repeat from time to time. The only "rule" I could see on this would be that we'd want to pick people who were actively commenting. So if you didn't comment on the last thread or so, you aren't eligible.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:26 PM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Will anyone actively commenting on a horror club thread be assumed to be willing to present the next pick and host the thread, though? I can imagine that some folks might like to be part of the discussion but wouldn't relish being put on the spot for that. Maybe there's some way for people to specifically opt in to the selection pool? Of course anyone who feels on the spot can always demur and we can repick, I guess...

Seconding biweekly, that seems like about the right timing to me.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:56 PM on November 13, 2014

Besides the busy-busy, part of my issue is that there's no easily accessible calendar or persistent post on the front page of Fanfare to remind me what's coming up and when. Going to the wiki becomes an extra step I'm not willing to take (I may or may not dislike the wiki . . .), even assuming all the FF clubs are there and current.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 4:01 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

DirtyOldTown, I think you're being rather hard on yourself. I appreciate your film club efforts and I have enjoyed reading the threads, even if I didn't watch all the movies or comment very often. As two unicycles said, a lot of the time I just didn't have a lot to say about a movie.

I would probably have some things to say and ask about Triangle.
posted by isthmus at 5:00 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I was enjoying following along with the discussions even when I didn't have much to say, or more frequently when I just couldn't find the time to actually watch a movie.
posted by whir at 4:30 PM on November 15, 2014

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