Pay-per-view

In a pay-per-view event you pay your audience to watch a movie, typically about the animal farming industry.

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How it happens

Photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary
Photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary

You set up one or more laptops on a table on a pedestrian street. People walking by are offered to watch a short 4-minute video and be paid a small amount of money afterwards. The amount of money is typically low, yet high enough to give people reason to consider. The American animal rights organization, Mercy for Animals, pays viewers one dollar ( about 0,8 euros ). When a person has watched the movie, you talk with them about it and for example ask them to become a member, go vegetarian/vegan or sign a petition.

What you need

To get the best viewing experience in a noisy environment, use headphones for each viewer. This puts a limit on how many viewers at a time you can show the movie to, but it ensures that they are focused on the movie. It is recommended to use laptops, tablets or other viewing equipment that makes it possible to show the movie to multiple viewers. It can be a good idea to use headphone splitters that enables two viewers to listen to one movie screening.
You should bring a table for your display equipment and optionally chairs for viewers to sit on while they watch. It is also a good idea to bring flyers to hand out and sign-up sheets for petitions/e-mail lists or other activities that you want people to engage in.

Photo courtesy of Mercy for Animals
Photo courtesy of Mercy for Animals

Where to show movies

Pay-per-view events are typically carried out on pedestrian streets, but can also be held at schools, outside malls or other public places where you can get a permit. Generally you will want a place with high pedestrian traffic that also has room enough for people to watch your movie.

What to show

It is likely that your organization has a library of animal rights movies to show at pay-per-view events. Generally, pay-per-view movies are about the animal farming industry, but your message may vary. Remember that people are usually too busy to watch through a long movie. A short movie a couple of minutes long is best suited to the pay-per-view format. To see an example, click here to download Mercy for Animals pay-per-view movie from meatvideo.com.

Who to show it to

Generally everyone should be given the chance to watch your movie. However, if your movie contains violent images, you shouldn't show it to children. This especially applies to pay-per-view events, because there is an implied business transaction between you and the viewer. Because parents may not be comfortable with strangers asking their children to do things for money, you should generally seek the parents permission before showing the movie to a child, even if it is non-violent.