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Author Topic: Should we tell them?
Kenn Fong
Film Handler

Posts: 47
From: Oakland, CA 94610 USA
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 07-04-2000 11:56 PM      Profile for Kenn Fong   Author's Homepage   Email Kenn Fong   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Over the last several years, a number of movies have included extra footage inside or at the end of the credits as a reward to moviegoers who stay to pay respect by reading the names of the less well-known but perhaps every bit hard working as the stars.

In our theatre, we begin cleaning -- discreetly -- as soon as the audience begins to leave the auditorium. (I say discreetly because we have a small number of very savvy filmgoers who stay to enjoy the closing credits and soundtrack, some of whom are relatives or friends of people who work at ILM or Lucasfilms or some other industry company.)

With quick turnarounds, every minute is important, considering the next audience is clamoring to pounce on seats for the next showing. We take pride in our presentation, which includes a clean auditorium, if at all possible. The alternative is to let the customers in right away and haphazardly try to pick up around them, but that means they watch the movie surrounded by garbage and we have to weather complaints about the filth.

Today I had a minor disagreement with our doorman, who told every ticketholder that there was a joke at the end of "Chicken Run." Consequently, we had over 250 people who did not leave until the curtain came down.

My position -- as an usher and movie enthusiast (and perhaps someday writer and producer) -- is that the added footage is a lagniappe, a little surprise present to the customer who willingly stays to read the credits.

Since the turnaround for "Chicken Run" is only 35 minutes, and the showing in question was delayed three minutes to allow everyone time to visit the snack bar, our short-handed crew (due to "holiday-itis") felt a lot of pressure to get the auditorium picked-up and swept before the next group entered, and they were quite anxious to get in.

What's you position on this? How soon do you send your crew in to start picking up?

kenn

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Kenn Fong
qwertyuiop.net
The Screenwriters Home Page

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Phil Connolly
Film Handler

Posts: 80
From: Derby, England
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 07-05-2000 02:24 AM      Profile for Phil Connolly   Author's Homepage   Email Phil Connolly   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In an Ideal world, not until the curtain closes. There is nothing worse then trying to watch the closing credits and feeling rushed by ushers: Cleaning, talking, turning lights up etc.

On the other hand I don't think the audience should be told if there is an extra scene at the end of the movie. If they rush out and miss it, its their loss.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17664
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-05-2000 02:53 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I would not tell the customers. It should be a treat.

I never allowed my ushers to clean beside or in front of customers who were watching the credits. If there was someone 3 rows from the back, then they were only allowed to clean the back 2 rows. If there was only one person in the theater and he was in the front row, then they could clean the entire auditorium except that front row. Obviously, being quiet and discrete was mandatory. It is very annoying to have cleaners walking back and forth in front of someone when they are trying to watch the credits.

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Tom Ferreira
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 203
From: Conway, NH, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-05-2000 08:33 AM      Profile for Tom Ferreira   Email Tom Ferreira   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The same goes for Me Myself and Irene-there's a very funny bit at the end of the credits, but you have to sit through five minutes of bit player identifications to get to it. Most people get bored about half way through the credits and leave. Unless there's something always going on, people will leave anyway. I've seen people leave during Jackie Chan outtakes. People actually left during the Toy Story 2 'bloopers'!
Two things I've never understood-people leaving as soon as the credits start, and people leaving trash on the floor. People seem to believe there's a certain way to act when going to the movies, which is why I don't waste my time sniping 'Please Take Your Trash Out' policy trailers. It wouldn't do any good.

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Kenn Fong
Film Handler

Posts: 47
From: Oakland, CA 94610 USA
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 07-05-2000 09:50 AM      Profile for Kenn Fong   Author's Homepage   Email Kenn Fong   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We do try to be careful not to say anything to each other -- although I always say "Thank you," to each person who passes me on the way out -- but with the tight turnarounds it's impossible to wait and still do a comprehensive job of cleaning with the next crowd flooding in. I've tried psychology, "We'd really like to give you a clean theatre, but if you'd don't care, come in" and pleading, "Would you please give us another five minutes so we can complete the cleaning," but that doesn't work unless there's a customer with a leader-type personality in front, who will then keep the rest out.

For most showings of "Chicken Run," we have another auditorium getting out within minutes. If it's "Titan A.E." no worry, there's almost no one watching, but "Perfect Storm" has had big crowds, "Me, Myself, & Irene" has small but messy crowds, and "Big Mama's House" is unspeakably dirty. We can let the others ride for a few minutes, but "Perfect Storm" has to be hit RIGHT AWAY, as the next crowd is already filling the lobby and tries to get in as soon as the doors open to let the other crowd out.

In the Jim Carrey movie, if someone has stayed through most of the closing credits -- which I think are neat since I have friends who work as extras or crew -- I'll tell them if they start to leave just before the bass scene.

kenn

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Kenn Fong
qwertyuiop.net
The Screenwriters Home Page


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Ky Boyd
Hey I'm #23

Posts: 314
From: Santa Rosa, CA, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-05-2000 02:03 PM      Profile for Ky Boyd   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wouldn't have my staff telling everyone about the joke at the end - its a little reward for staying and reading the credits. And as a credit watcher, nothing irrates me more than having the cleaning staff come in and start picking up during the credits. I don't care how quiet anyone says they are some clueless usher always bangs the broom and dustpan together or chooses to drag in the trash bin. It's rude. Needless to say, we don't rush in to pick-up during the credits at our theatre. I also think its a nice touch, when possible, to position an usher to thank people for coming as they exit the auditorium (on the lobby side of the doors). I'd say whoever does your scheduling, ought to pay attention to the exit times as well as the start times. Personally, I like the 45minute break but its not always possible.

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Travis Cape
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 122
From: St. Louis, MO, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 07-05-2000 04:38 PM      Profile for Travis Cape   Email Travis Cape   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We try not to clean up while the credits are rolling, but then we also have people who engage in "Hi-Pointe social hour". They sit in their seats, slowly wander into the lobby, and finally hang out under the marquee. I would never tell a customer about added footage. That just creates a debate about whether it is good enough to wait for. On the issue of trash, it seems that society has lost the degree of class to pick up after themselves. We debate whether the older people or younger people do this. It doesn't matter. The older ones drop their food and the young ones throw it. The end result is the same.

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Scott D. Neff
Theatre Dork

Posts: 919
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 07-05-2000 07:43 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Author's Homepage   Email Scott D. Neff   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The RULE here at Cinema West has always been "No Cleaning until 1) the theatre is empty or 2) the movie has tailed out."

At my 4 screen theatre I enforce that to the letter, but others I'm not so sure about, we have a 6 and a 9 that i'm sure break that rule somtimes.

Luckily we make it a practice of scheduling New Releases with 40-55 minutes of intermission so we don't run into that problem. Although there are the exceptions, or the snafus with regards to incorrect running times. (I love movies that get out 30min after they start!!)

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Scott D. Neff
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www.cinema-west.com

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Andrew D'Vrey
Film Handler

Posts: 92
From: St. Paul, MN USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-05-2000 11:19 PM      Profile for Andrew D'Vrey   Email Andrew D'Vrey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I almost always stay to see the credits...assuming i haven't read them a million times already from the port hole window. But nothing pisses me off more than the cleaning lights coming on thirty seconds after the credits start. And I'm not talking about the show lights coming to midpoints, I'm talking about those damn halogen or flourescent lights washing out the white letters on the screen. That and the packs of ushers at busy theaters that come in and start gabbing away.

If you're an usher and there's someone reading the credits in the theater, go the hell away.

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"And the monkey flips the switch."
- Major Don West, "Lost In Space"

Andrew D'Vrey
IATSE Local 219

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Kenn Fong
Film Handler

Posts: 47
From: Oakland, CA 94610 USA
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 07-05-2000 11:35 PM      Profile for Kenn Fong   Author's Homepage   Email Kenn Fong   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In an ideal world, I agree with all of you, wthe ushers should stay out. But with our audiences, and the size of our auditoriums, it's not possible with a short turnaround and the next group fighting to come in. (We seat 580 in the main auditorium and nearly 500 upstairs in the former balcony.) I guess with smaller auditoriums and fewer customers (and perhaps neater ones too), it's easier to hold back.

When I go to my favorite venue, the Embarcadero in San Francisco, the ushers always wait until the auditorium is empty, but their houses are smaller and their audiences are much more fastidious.

As far as changing the schedule to permit more time, that issue has been raised. As my friends in the Army used to say, "that's above my pay grade."

kenn

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Kenn Fong
qwertyuiop.net
The Screenwriters Home Page

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Lance C. McFetridge
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 134
From: Penn Yan, New York
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 07-06-2000 01:37 PM      Profile for Lance C. McFetridge   Email Lance C. McFetridge   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think that most of the older croud really likes to be thanked, and my staff does a really good job of it. Makes for a more personal end to the entertainment. I also agree while it is distracting to clean while the credits are rolling, the size of the auditoriums dictate extra time cleaning. Pretty tough to give a two hour movie that plays at 6:30, an extra 45 minutes to clean, but it would be nice. We find that the more mature croud tends to stay away from movies that start well after 9:00.
lance

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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 07-08-2000 03:28 PM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Last night, when I saw Scary Movie, I had a feeling there would be something at the end of the credits. My friend and I were the only two people in the entire auditorium (which was nearly packed) that stayed and saw the scene at the end. I convinced my friend to stay by saying "Let's just let all these people leave and get in their cars so we won't have to deal with all the traffic on the way out." No usher entered that auditorium until the projector was turned off.

I admit that I usually feel disappointed if I stay for the credits and there isn't something unusual in there, though. I think it would be neat if a movie were made so that there was an important 10 minute scene after the credits.

Evans


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Dave Williams
Wet nipple scene

Posts: 1836
From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 07-09-2000 06:14 AM      Profile for Dave Williams   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Never tell em a damn thing. They hate you for living. Why do them a favor? Damn customers always bleeding when you shoot them in the face, stains everywhere... Oh wait where am I?

I NEVER give my seal of approval on any movie, makes the customer feel like its a refund guarantee. Same goes with special suprises at the end. If they do not want to look at the end of the movie, screw em.

Have you ever looked really hard at all the credits? I do. Sometimes I will find my name in there and ask myself "it sure was fun doing that!" or maybe even "i dont remember getting paid, I think I will call my agent....

... Or even yell out to those that remain "SEE I TOLD YOU JERKS I MADE THIS MOVIE, NOW GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAISE GOD THAT YOU ARE GRACED BY MY PRESENSE!!!"

You know apparently I wrote the music for the movie "Supernova", too bad I sucked at it.

Dave

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"If it's not worth doing, I have allready been there and done it"

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5242
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 07-09-2000 08:02 PM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I always delight in saying to someone I know had seen a particular movie, "How'd ya like that last scene after the credits?" Which is nearly always followed by "What scene?". Then I say, "Oh, you should've stayed and watched the credits, it was great, and really tied-up that last loose end in the story."

I love saying this, especially if there WAS no scene after the credits. Heck with 'em for getting up and walking out before the movie's over!

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Better Projection Pays!

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Kevin Crawford
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 207
From: Sacramento, CA, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 07-10-2000 12:52 PM      Profile for Kevin Crawford   Email Kevin Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wait a minute. You have curtains? Damn, I may have to see that.

I agree that the ushers should not clean until the blue rating band has past the screen, or if it is Universal, the theme park ad. But to solve your problem one of two things must happen. Either longer intermissions, and better scheduling of exit times, or hire more staff. Either more ushers, or a doorman that keeps people out of the auditoriums.

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