Movies of many genres draw more students to Late Night Film Series



By William Wright| @KyKernel

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The Late Night Film Series is filling Worsham Theater with three times as many moviegoers than in previous years. In the 2009-10 school year, Late Night brought 3,553 people into the Student Center to watch free movies.

In the 2011-12 school year almost 10,000 people attended. This year, the group is already beating that record by more than 4,000 viewers, with more than 10 movies left to show.

“We’re very interested in new ideas and approaches, and that philosophy is very responsible for our growth in 2011. We established a vision for ourselves. We wanted to go from a campus afterthought to a campus staple and tradition,” said Zach Lamb, an English senior. Late Night employees cite collaboration with faculty, student organizations and academic departments as a contributing factor to the dramatic increase in attendance.

The group is also collaborating with OUTsource to make the Queer and Now movie series. Movies will be shown that relate to contemporary topics in the LGBT community.

“The movies apply to a specific community, but they are movies that everyone can enjoy,” said electrical engineering senior Kelly Mautz. Late Night partnered with the Hispanic Studies Department to show Noches de Terror, a series of Spanish horror films. It also partnered with the English department to show films about literature. “We keep a very open mind with collaborations,” Lamb said. “It gives both Late Night and the other group great exposure.”

Late Night shows popular movies that students want to see and more obscure movies that its organizers want students to see, Lamb said.

There’s a strategy in scheduling which movies to show and when to show them, said Parker Britton, a linguistics and German sophomore.

“We will show a more popular movie on Thursday, and then bring them back for a similar, but more obscure, movie on Friday,” Britton said. “We pair everything up specifically, it’s not haphazardly thrown together.”

Movies with similar themes or concepts, such as “Black Swan” and “American Psycho,” are shown in the same week.

Lamb said the group has taken a disciplined approach to marketing. The student employees of Late Night design all the posters they put up around campus. The graphic designers who make the posters are all students.

According to Lamb, Late Night has the most extensive poster route on campus with posters in the most places. Though the students design the posters themselves, none of them students are graphic design or marketing majors. Computer science, English, Spanish and political science are some of their majors.

“We think we have great variety, and a great diversity in taste as far as movies, and we try and reflect that in the series itself,” Lamb said.

The use of social media has also helped increase attendance for the series. Mautz said the group has been on Facebook for a while but now does posts daily rather than every few days or weekly.

“People keep track of us through our websites,” Mautz said. “We started amping up the Twitter this fall, and we also have a Tumblr.”

Students are encouraged to suggest movies to Late Night through social media. Late Night materials can be seen around campus featuring a squirrel.

“We want the squirrel to be as recognizable as the wildcat,” Lamb said.