Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Movie Night

I'm thinking about putting together a little movie night for me and a few friends next week- i was hoping once a week, but it will probably end up once a month (family obligations being what they are)... so i found myself at Evite, thinking about setting this up. I landed here:



http://www.evite.com/pages/invitations/movie-tv-night.jsp

So I wondered: do you guys often watch movies with friends? Do you formally have movie nights, or movie clubs of some kind? And if you do - what can Netflix do to support, or facilitate this activity in some way?

28 comments:

  1. The short answer is: Yes.

    My brother used to have Movie & Pasta night every other week - a casual get-together of whoever was available to have some great homemade pasta and watch a movie... but he moved out of town recently.

    A few weeks ago, I put together a list of movie night double and triple-feature possibilites to start my own version of the tradition. I just need to get off my butt and set our first date.

    I've always used eVite for such occasions and it does the job pretty well... but it would be nice to see a way to get Netflix involved. Back when the Friends page prominently displayed the movies your friends had at home, I would often call someone up and say, "I see you have such-and-such from Netflix... why don't you come over so we can watch it together."

    Here are a couple half-baked ideas. I'll get back to you if I think of more:

    1) When Netflix ships you a movie, maybe there could be a block on the Friends page that says something like, "We just shipped you Brazil! Your friends Anne & Joanna both have this movie in their queue. Click here to invite them over to watch it with you." And then the button would send you to a form to type in a custom message to e-mail your friends along with the option to send the invite to other friends too.

    2) Something like custom lists, but where you could suggest "movie pairings." Users could name the movie group, write a quick summary of the group's "theme," pick 2-5 movies that should be watched together, and write a quick note for each movie describing why it fits into the group. Here's an example:
    Terry Gilliam's loose trilogy:
    - Time Bandits - childhood
    - Brazil - adulthood
    - Baron Munchausen - old age

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  2. Yeah, I started movie nights for my friends when I first set up my home theater. Been going on and off with different groups of people since 2004. It's been as often as every week, and sometimes nothing for a month or two. The summer days are less movie-friendly in general.

    I run a mailing list, which is really the only way to keep everyone informed of things as a movie night gets scheduled and then plans for food or movie choices come together.

    Here are some of the ideas that I'd batted around, trying to deal with movie nights:

    1. A calendar that lets people pick which days of upcoming weeks would be best for them to attend. This never caught on.

    2. A Netflix queue special for Movie Night, where anyone could log in and add a movie they would like to watch at Movie Night onto the queue. This also never caught on.

    2a. Some way to "join" people's queues to find out what is in common, as a way of picking a movie.

    2b. Some way for non-Netflix members to be involved in the process of picking a movie.

    3. Being able to see what a star rating _would_ be, for someone who has never watched the movie.

    4. Recommendations based on collective tastes, rather than individual tastes.

    5. Easy way to find coupons and deals for food local to me.

    6. High quality (with 5.1 surround sound) movies direct to the TV, so when we can't pick a movie fast enough to get onto the queue, we can still pick something when everyone's there. (It's always a hassle trying to get everyone to agree on a movie days in advance.)

    6a. Foreign movies on instant watching should not necessarily be the English audio track, instead of the original language and subtitles.

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  3. When I get together with friends we tend to just drink. When I watch movies while I drink I go to Sleep. :^)

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  4. Wow, I was going to mention that 'Public Performance' law but apparently the MPAA is saying it's A-OK!

    http://www.mpaa.org/Public_Performance.asp

    Might wanna put a link to that in whichever page supports inviting your friends on netflix (the true goal, i guess, would be for netflix to fulfill the same niche as 'flixter' and allow non-members to have some kind of semi-access and be invited to movie parties by friends, making netflix a truer social network).

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  5. I agree with Amanda. I would definitely like to be notified when I rent something that my friends also have in their queues.

    Also, for people with multiple account profiles (which are usually a group of people living together), I think there should be some form of notification when someone receives a movie that is on the queue of someone else in their house. I wouldn't check to see what movie my roommate got every time he received something, but if it was something I'd been wanting to see myself, I would want to watch it while it was home rather than him sending it back and me getting it again a few weeks later.

    Also, sort of unrelated, but I completely agree with Wesley, foreign films on Watch It Now should be subtitled, not dubbed, and it should be specified. I refuse to watch any foreign films on Watch It Now because I can't stand when the voices are dubbed over in English.

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  6. Wow, the 'Movie Night' ability can be full of functions or a simple alert. I think Amanda has some great ideas.

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  7. My friends and I see movies often. When we see a preview of something that we want to see, we all agree to see it around the day that it comes out. There are times when 1 of us can not make it, but we try to catch the movie when everyone is available.

    One idea is similiar to creating a friends network to share movie ideas and recommend movies to friends is open it up to people in general. Allow people to join a movie "community". Allow people to start a movie night with people in their area that are on Netflix.

    There is one thing that I would like to see back on Netflix is that Netflix will tell you theaters that are showing a movie that someone wants to see. Maybe even sell tickets to the movie.

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  8. 1) When Netflix ships you a movie, maybe there could be a block on the Friends page that says something like, "We just shipped you Brazil! Your friends Anne & Joanna both have this movie in their queue. Click here to invite them over to watch it with you."

    Something like that would be very cool. Most my friends don't live close enough for it, but some do. Might well get me to use the Friends section more.

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  9. My wife belongs to a book club which has actually morphed into a movie club. You might actually consider a hybrid model -- where you show all the movies that were first books and invite book clubs to rent the movie to go with the book.

    I like amanda's first idea as well.

    Watch Now offers lots of possibilities too. I'd like to see virtual movie nights, where you can invite friends to watch a streaming movie at the same time and perhaps even offer a real-time chat function, kind of like cracking jokes in the theater. There's nothing like talking about a movie (or TV show) you both saw the night before around the water cooler at work or at school.

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  10. We used to do this, but it's been converted into Game Night instead. Sometimes we'll pop in a movie to watch while playing games. We always talk about movies we watched recently and do the whole recommending to each other thing. If i had more free time, I'd love to do more movie nights. Great topic!

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  11. I love Amanda's ideas-excellent!

    Also the poster before me-virtual movie nights-that's right up my alley! Let's do it!

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  12. It'd be kinda cool if there was a 'Movie Night' for Watch Instantly with like a chat function. So you wouldn't need to organize a whole party at your place. You could watch with friends all over the country at their computers at the same time.

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  13. With the release of Grindhouse earlier this year I have been thinking about doing a Grindhouse night at my house where I would rent three grindhouse classics from Netflix invite friends over and have a triple header of exploitation fun. I'm still thinking about it so if Netflix came up with something to help me facilitate this it would be awesome!

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  14. I thought in addition to Amanda's suggestion of "invite to movie night" Netflix could offer the popular movie as an extra to thier monthly movies if they invite their friends and the friends accept. In other words if you have a 3-at-a-time account you could offer the movie in common as the fourth when friends are invited.

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  15. I used to do movie nights about once per week, but found that was too frequent. It's hard for people to make a weekly event, and once they break the habit of attending regularly, they tend to show up less and less often. Or maybe my friends just don't like my taste in movies :)

    I have discussed reviving the movie night tradition with some of my Netflix friends, and we all agreed that it would be really nice if we could get some sort of notification if a movie from our queue makes it into the top 5 of a friend's queue. That wouldn't work too well for people who are constantly shuffling their queue, but I think it would be useful for the majority of users.

    I also think it would be nice to have a way to see which movies in my queue are also in my friends' queues. That way I could be certain to pick something that most everyone wants to see. I wouldn't want this information cluttering my queue all of the time, but an alternative view of my queue with this info would be really nice.

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  16. That's Great Michael! I'd be happy to come over for movie night. Just let me know what time and if I should bring any...oh, wait...what?

    Oh I see how it is...Fine! I didn't want to go to your stupid move night anyways!

    Aside from my disappointment, I think Amanda's ideas are really good. And I'd love to see a netflix form of the e-vite (especially for non-members, think of it as an additional hook to get them to join!).

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go plan my own Bigger, BETTER movie night to not invite Michael to.

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  17. Nope - have no friends to invite. Just me in my BVDs with a bottle of Boone's Farm and a bowl of microwaved popcorn while sitting on a tattered chair in front of my ancient television.

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  18. Some more suggestions:

    1. A way to contact you without having to comment on unrelated blog entries (an e-mail form protected by word verification/captcha that we could use to e-mail questions/suggestions would be great!)

    2. A Netflix "rewards" system. TiVo has a system where you can refer someone and get rewards for it. I've personally gotten five "real life" friends to sign up with Netflix, and it would be cool if we could get a free month's rentals, or swag, or something out of it.

    3. Do you know how we can find a link to our profiles for OTHER people to see? I want to put a link to my profile on my myspace page and the old URL no longer works.

    4. Is there a URL you can give out to people that are Netflix users to add you as a friend (there used to be and that link no longer works on my myspace page)? The old e-mail method works, but it would be nice if I could give out a URL for them to simply click on to add me (or vice versa).

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  19. My bad, I found the URL for adding friends. The other queries still remain viable.

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  20. michael, from netflixAugust 30, 2007 at 12:49 AM

    A Netflix "rewards" system. TiVo has a system where you can refer someone and get rewards for it. I've personally gotten five "real life" friends to sign up with Netflix, and it would be cool if we could get a free month's rentals, or swag, or something out of it.

    When I first got to Netflix, i asked this exact same question. I was always talking about how much liked the service and thought i should get something in return... but a few people pointed something out:

    When you really love something, a product or service or ... you know... anything... it feels great to turn other people onto it. You turn them onto it because you sincerely believe they'll like it, or benefit from it, or whatever. The minute you get PAID to turn people onto something, well, it changes it. People might push something they don't totally love on other people just to profit from the transaction. I think the reason we don't reward people for turning others on to Netflix is about this: we want to make the service so good that you WANT to introduce it to other people. If we need to reward people to do it, they shouldn't be doing it in the first place. It's all where you come from. I think i like knowing that when someone recommends something to me, they aren't getting some kind of kickback. Anyway, we love it when people tell their freinds about Netflix, but as far as i know, there is no intention to give any special rewards for doing so. Just good karma.

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  21. How do 'Affiliates' fit into that? And I quote :

    Referrals Bring You Big Bucks!

    Earn money for each new customer you bring to Netflix. You'll get $9.00 for every new sign-up!

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  22. michael, from netflixAugust 30, 2007 at 9:01 AM

    The affiliates program is not really about telling friends about your experience - but rather an advertising program (that you sign up for and it is quite formalized), where you put links or banner ads on your site and if they generate new customers you are rewarded. This isn't my field, but i believe these are different propositions.

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  23. I have friends that I do a "movie club" with. Its like a typical book club but obviously with movies and we do more than one a month. we havent been able to figure out a good way to organize it and i think netflix would be a great place, since my friends and i all use it. if there was a forum to invite certain netflix friends to join club, maybe a place to suggest next film or have netflix suggest it for you, ect.

    a place to comment on it, discuss it, rate it and list all your movies. maybe track the history of how long each person has it, not sure. could be a lot to do there.

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  24. We usually plan our movie nights around "events". When Spidey 3 came out, we watched parts 1&2. We watched Pirates prior to the latest one coming out.

    My fiance cooks up a ton of food and people starve themselves all day so they can eat as much as possible. The movie's probably more of an afterthought!

    I typically pick dvds from my collection. But on occasion I've needed a Netflick and it can be very difficult to schedule for. It would be nice if you could schedule an extra movie on your queue for a certain date. Then you wouldn't get a new movie until you've sent all your dvds back.

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  25. it would be great to be notified when you add something that is in your friend's queue.

    let me add this other bit. most of my closest friends live long distances away from me. i use the friends feature to stay in touch with them as if we were still movie-going buddies. it would be really cool if netflix thought outside of localities to a wider cyber idea of "movie night."

    one of my group of friends and i have a list-serve just for gabbing about "grey's anatomy" it would be great if netflix could create an evite+netflix event where people could feel connected- in the same web-room even if they are far apart.

    that's my wish at least.

    damali

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  26. I used to belong to a casual movie club that meet for pizza nearly every weeken, and we'd discuss all topics about sci-fi, movies, and so forth. We'd then, go over to someone's house and watch Dr Who. When we finally made it thru the Who episodes that we had we started watching Sci-Fi movies (which we did as well to change things up ever so often while watching Dr Who). We might also watch some Star Trek, or Blake 7, Space 1999, the Invaders, and so forth. It was fun while it lasted. Many friends had to move to other areas of the country, and now there's just two of us now, which sadly work to much nowadays.

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  27. My brother used to have Movie & Pasta night every other week - a casual get-together of whoever was available to have some great homemade pasta and watch a movie... but he moved out of town recently.

    A few weeks ago, I put together a list of movie night double and triple-feature possibilites to start my own version of the tradition. I just need to get off my butt and set our first date.

    I've always used eVite for such occasions and it does the job pretty well... but it wo

    ReplyDelete