Make the most out of Chicago’s warm, summer nights by hosting your very own DIY Facets outdoor movie night! Contributor Eric Guzman provides a simple step-by-step guide to make sure your night is a cinematic success.
It’s pretty easy to host a movie night: pick a flick, pack some snacks, turn off the lights and then sit back and relax. But when it comes to hosting a movie night outside, things can become a bit more complicated. As such, we have come up with our own little guide to help you get started on hosting your very own outdoor movie night!
Step 1: Setting the Mise-en-scène
Location, location, location. It’s a tale as old as time that is especially true for setting up a spot outdoors. Find a wide open space, perhaps in the backyard or balcony, to put out some chairs and seats. Or if you want to be more casual and comfortable, lay out some blankets and pillows.
Tip: Make sure to de-bug the area beforehand to prevent any uninvited insects.
Step 2: Lights! Camera! Project!
One of the most important items for an outdoor movie night is the projector. However, what is not important, is buying a fancy, new projector that will break the bank. Rather, you can rent one or, better yet, make your own for only a George Washington.
Tip: If you are using a bed sheet for a screen, iron it first to reduce wrinkles.
Step 3: Snacks for the Stars
Obviously, popcorn is a must-have for watching movies, but for watching movies under the stars, get creative and serve some snacks that will really go well with the warm summer air. Consider making some movie-themed milkshakes or some shark popsicles for shark week! There’s plenty of fun and healthy options available so be sure to try out as many as possible.
Tip: Prep for your outdoor movie night by making a few snacks a day or two ahead of time.
Step 4: Curate the Classics
Choosing the right movie to watch can be a difficult decision. Luckily, Facets is here to help. If you’re looking for fun for the whole family, try out Facets Kids, our streaming service specially tailored for kids. Featuring short and feature-length films from all over the world, Facets Kids has films about a magical lemonade stand, a puppet fisherman and even a live-action/animated hybrid music video. If, however, parental guidance is not required, then visit our Videotheque to find recent releases, rare or out-of-print films and even some Facets exclusives.
Tip: Keep the fun going throughout the summer by curating your own weekly outdoor film series. Create a series based on horror films, Australia/New Zealand Cinema or perhaps even a series based on radical feminist film with films from Valie Export, Lizzie Borden and Chantal Akerman!
Step 5: The More the Merrier
Last but not least, don’t forget to invite your friends and family! Send an invite online, or better yet, make your own personal, customizable movie tickets.
Tip: Make sure to tell your neighbors in advance about your plans since an outdoor movie night can be potentially disruptive. And if you want, you can invite them too! The more the merrier!
Author: Eric Guzman is a writer from LA that studies film in Chicago. This summer he is the Editorial Intern at Facets.