After a film in Mobile Cinema, it’s not just the credits that run.
Hoosier Films, a distribution service showcasing Indiana films and filmmakers, is raising funds for its unique Mobile Cinema project – a mini movie theater on wheels.
Founded by husband and wife team Thomas DeCarlo and Meredith McGriff, the Hoosier Films team launched a streaming service and annual film festival to introduce audiences to more local films, but with Mobile Cinema they’re trying to give the whole state access to some of the best indie -Movies of Indiana.
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“Independent films sometimes just have a hard time breaking into the community,” McGriff said. “There aren’t many venues for it, and it’s hard work for filmmakers to get their films out, so we really want to support them.”
The idea for Mobile Cinema was inspired by a mobile event space created by Daniel Weddle in 2019.
Weddle and his team created the 20-seat concert wagon in 2019 with the intention of creating a space that would appear like a person was at an in-house show but out in the field.
The venue, built from a 16-foot panel van, also included a four-person stage and four-person balcony.
Hoosier Films has used the concert wagon as a mobile cinema several times, Weddle said, to test their idea of movies on wheels. Then DeCarlo reached out to Weddle to discuss building advice for his own mobile venue.
The mobile cinema will seat 16 people, have signage such as movie posters and a marquee running through the vehicle, and will include a screen.
McGriff said that when building the interior, they hope to incorporate art deco design elements, in addition to reusing materials from old theaters that can be reused.
“We really want more of the nostalgic theatrical experience,” said McGriff. “We want people to remember these historic theaters in the state.”
But in addition to the aesthetic elements, McGriff said they also plan to add stairs and an elevator for accessibility, do electrical work, and soundproof the vehicle.
That’s where the Indiegogo fundraiser comes in.
Hoosier Films hopes to raise $36,000 to build the Mobile Cinema. Each donation tier has different benefits associated with it, with the lower donation values being tied to physical items, and the higher donation values allowing a donor’s name to be affixed to one of several locations on the vehicle.
“We’ve followed the model of many renovated historic theaters where they’ve had supporters donate a certain amount of money (and have, for example, a small plaque on one of the seats in the theater,” McGriff said.
Mobile cinema is beneficial for indie filmmakers as it gives them the opportunity to exhibit their work across the state. Additionally, according to the Indiegogo campaign, filmmakers receive 50% of net event revenue when Mobile Cinema starts screening films.
For audiences, access to local, independent cinema that they otherwise would not be able to see due to the lack of independent cinemas.
“I love that sense of excitement that people get when they see their own community in the film,” said McGriff. “I think this is a really unique place. I think coming in here… is going to be a really nostalgic experience, but we also offer contemporary films and I just hope that people feel that sense of accomplishment because they helped create Mobile Cinema.”
McGriff said she will see the vehicle at at least one event every week after the Mobile Cinema is completed.
Learn more about Hoosier Films’ Mobile Cinema project
To contribute to the Hoosier Films campaign or for more information on Mobile Cinema, visit the Indiegogo page at https://bit.ly/3N3PjrK.
To learn more about Hoosier Films, visit their website at hoosierfilms.com.
You can reach Pulliam Fellow Griffin Wiles at [email protected] or on Twitter at @griffinwiles.