As the days get shorter and the weather more miserable, the idea of heading off on a night out isn’t always appealing. If you want a fun evening but can’t quite face the cold or the club, a watch-party is a great way to get together whilst saving money. So, gather your friends and flatmates, load up a film, pop some popcorn,and get watching! Here are five things to consider when hosting a watch-party.
1. Pick your Film
The first, and most essential step to planning the ultimate watch-party, is picking the right film or TV show. The key is to know your audience: are they up for a marathon, will they appreciate an indie arthouse flick, or is a beloved rom-com a safer bet? (2000s chick-flicks from Clueless to She’s All That, are always solid watch-party material if you’re stuck for choice). Familiar favourites like Bake-Off or Strictly are always a crowd-pleaser, plus they can become a regular get-together thing to watch. Why not make the most of the weather and welcome in the Spooky Season with a horror flick (or if you’re not so brave, a festive favourite like Hocus Pocus or Ghostbusters, will get you in the Halloween mood). You’d even be forgiven for cracking out the Christmas films already – it’s October, right?
2. Pick your Location
There’s no point throwing a watch-party if you’ve got nowhere to watch it. In the age of streaming, the beauty of the watch-party is that it can be done anywhere – even squished into a tiny Halls room watching on a laptop or phone. The goal is to make the most of your space, if you’re inviting friends over to your flat, try decorating with fairy lights; blankets, and plenty of cushions, for a properly cosy binging environment. You could even hook a speaker up to your laptop to create that at-home cinema surround-sound feel.
3. Pick your Snacks
Let’s be honest, part of the fun of the cinema is the snacks. Microwave some popcorn for a taste of cinema at home or set up your own pick-and-mix station to be the ultimate host. If you’re having a group of friends over, ask everyone to bring a sharing snack and have your very own potluck. Baking beforehand is also a fun way to extend a watch-party into an all-afternoon or evening event, and what better cinema snack than freshly baked cookies?
With every watch-party, there are going to be a few obstacles. Check in advance that you can actually watch the film you want, to save yourself the blunder of finding out it’s been removed from Netflix just as everyone sits down to watch. Plus, there’s the audience… where there is always that one person on their phone who asks, ‘what happened?’ after missing the action every time, or the one who talks the whole way through the film. Whilst you don’t want to ruin the fun, you’ve got to make sure everyone can enjoy the film – try to get everyone to leave their phones in another room.
5. Be Extra
The key to throwing the ultimate watch-party is to be a little extra. This is where you can get creative and have some fun. If your audience is committed enough, get everyone to come dressed up as a character from the film, with a prize for the winner. Or task everyone with making a drink based on a movie – think Martinis for a James Bond marathon, or homemade Butter Beer for a Harry Potter binge. The point is to transform an evening just watching a film, into an event. So, start planning your ultimate watch-party now!