TIFF 09 a transitional year maybe. I have only gone to one movie and was not impressed by the number of reserved seats that first were good spots for legitimate ticket holders and second they were left empty during the screening.
Is the amount of reserved seats a monster that we have created ourselves, I am not sure how but TIFF has to find a better balance this or they will be in trouble. I have run into so many people in the lineups that are complaining how they can't get tickets to films and yet there are always empty seats. I truly do not believe the average movie goer cares if the big stars are there or not and are more interested in directors and screenwriters as it is their vision we are seeing for the most part.
I waited till I was finished with TIFF before completing this blog entry as wanted to see if things improved and they did not. I attended a number of screenings, from early morning to Visa gala screenings to 7 out of the 10 midnight madness and found the same thing a large number of reserved seats at most screenings.
The Visa galas were the worst and The Informant was the worst with at least 5 rows of prime seats reserved which just is not right. I know people will say well there are lots of corporate sponsors and such and these people should be treated appropriately and I agree.
Here are a few thoughts on the whole reserved seats and sponsors
- I have no problem with actors, directors, and producers getting reserved seats as they can be their very presence cause disruptions through no fault of their own.
- A few dignitaries from each of the major sponsors and from TIFF itself should have reserved seats as again they will need to co-ordinate and mingle with the stars
- do volunteers, production assistants, and just employees of the sponsors need reserved seats, I don't think so
I have no problem giving away free tickets but tell me shouldn't they be expected to line up with everyone who has bought there tickets. I was at a Visa screening and sitting in the balcony as that is what I prefer and there was 3 rows of seats at the front middle of the balcony reserved for Fed-Ex as they sponsored the film. 3 rows is roughly 50 -60 tickets, would it be such a hardship for them to not all sit together and to have to line up early if they waited better seats.
TIFF you need to be careful with your reserved seats as the people who buy the tickets are the ones who keep the festival going. I went to 35 movies this year and this was down from my normal 40 or so and only due to the 2 U2 concerts I attended.
TIFF keep up the good work and we will see you next year.