FAQ

Contents:

  1. What is Film Board?
  2. Do I need a Michigan Tech ID to see a movie?
  3. What kind of equipment does the Film Board have?
  4. How are movies chosen?
  5. How do I join the Film Board?
  6. I am from a school-based organization, how do I enlist your services in some way?
  7. My question wasn’t answered in your FAQ, what do I do?

What is Film Board?

The Michigan Tech Film Board is the student group behind the movies that are shown in Fisher 135. These movies are presented every weekend (when there are classes or exams the following week) during the fall and spring semesters. There are over 30 members who choose movies, and show them to the Michigan Tech community.

The Film Board was founded in 1986. It was formerly known as the MTU Film Co-op and served as a liaison between the film companies and student organizations to bring films to the Michigan Tech campus. This served as a primary fund-raiser for many student organizations on campus.

Prior to 1986, movies were ordered and proctored by student organizations until it became too difficult to coordinate movie ship dates and payment schedules. It became clear that a medium had to be established to negotiate movie contracts with the film companies and collect payments. The Film Board was established to serve this purpose. The Film Board consisted of six members and one advisor when it was established.

The Film Board contracted movies for the term and student organizations were to bid on which movie they would sponsor. Typically, the movie with the highest foreseeable profits was the first one to go. By the time the last movies of the term were up for bids, it was questionable whether or not these films would even turn a profit. Inevitably, the organizations that selected these movies backed out on their sponsorship at the last minute, realizing that losing money on a movie was not conducive to a good fund-raising campaign. Many of these movies turned out to be unprofitable, and it was the Film Board that was responsible for footing the bill by virtue of its contract with the film distributor. In 1989, the Film Board submitted its only budget request to the Undergraduate Student Government requesting funding for a new projector, paying off its debts, and allowing $1000 seed money to get the Board started. The Film Board was founded as a not for profit organization.

Since 1989, the Film Board at Michigan Tech has grown immensely. The Board now consists of 30+ members and one advisor, has a structured leadership conduct and a constitution. It has a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Chair, Concessions Chair, Equipment Supervisor, and a Web Page Chair. The Board trains its own projectionists, selects and orders all of its own campus film features, and has all of its own equipment. The Board has contributed over $3000 to local charities since its reorganization. The Board uses its net ticket proceeds for maintaining and upgrading its equipment, Board functions, and serving students and the community through contributions to charities and sponsorship of campus events.

During the summer of 1999, the Film Board upgraded all of its equipment with the help of the Undergraduate Student Government. Fisher 135 was then the best theater in the Copper Country, with a large 35 mm picture and awesome Dolby Digital sound. Altogether, the upgrade cost approximately $60,000.

After the upgrade, the Film Board was approached about showing free movies a lot more often. For the money necessary to show free movies, such as the freshman orientation film, Winter Carnival film, and the study break blockbuster film, as well as the funds to fix and maintain equipment the Film Board turned to USG. The Film Board began submitting regular budgets to USG.

In 2009, the tradition of upgrading technology continued with the installation of a 2K digital cinema projector, making the screening of high-quality digital film prints possible. This change also enabled easier and higher quality advertising and the viewing of broadcast sports events on the big screen.

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Do I need a Michigan Tech ID to see a movie?

Movies are open to all members of the Michigan Tech Community. However, a Tech ID or credit card is required in order to check out glasses for our 3D shows.

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What kind of equipment does the Film Board have?

The Film Board has a Barco DP-2000 digital cinema projector fed by a Dolby cinema server and show player at the heart of its system, as well as a 35mm Simplex projector with a Strong Lume-X 2000 watt lamphouse for viewing legacy film prints. A Dolby Digital sound processor pumps 7.1 channels of surround sound to the speakers installed in Fisher 135.

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How are movies chosen?

Four times a year, the Board meets to determine which movies to show for the next six weeks. These movies are picked from a list issued by the distributors, Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. and Criterion Pictures USA. The Board selects movies based on box office performance and its probable performance on this campus. Organizations that wish to show other movies are welcome to enter a contract with the Board to present them. Individuals wishing to have a say about the choices of the Board should investigate joining the Film Board.

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How do I join the Film Board?

Joining is simple. Meetings are held on Tuesdays in Dillman 214 at 6:00 PM. Attend two meetings, and you will be given an application to fill out, your interview will be held the same week. If the Film Board likes what you have to offer, you will become a member.

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I am from a school-based organization, how do I enlist your services in some way?

The Film Board has had a long and proven history of helping other organizations, from cotton candy and popcorn services, to showing movies for other student organizations. If you would like to be one of those organizations please contact the President of Film Board as soon as possible or stop by a meeting on Tuesday in Dillman 214 at 6:00 PM. A certain amount of lead time is necessary for any such assistance, as it must be voted on at a Film Board meeting.

If you would like to promote your campus group or event through Film Board, please see our Advertising page for details.

If it’s a movie you want to show, reserving Fisher 135 in advance is key, any day except Friday and Saturday should do nicely. :-) If you would like Film Board to acquire a movie for you, this can be arranged as well, though a longer lead time may be in order.

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My question wasn’t answered in your FAQ, what do I do?

Feel free to use our Contact Form to ask any questions not covered in this FAQ!

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