Participate in a Groundbreaking Film Study on July 14th and Earn a Free Ticket to a Screening!

Knowing of your passion for the cinema, we hope you will be able to participate in a groundbreaking study of people’s reactions to film and TV trailers. The study will be conducted on July 14th from Noon till 8:00PM. We are looking for 50 participants to spend 30 minutes watching these trailers, and then answer some brief survey questions. We also plan to record your facial expressions and use computer software to analyze and categorize reactions to different scenes in the trailers. To recognize your participation, you will be invited to an advance screening of The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott! We will also provide results of the study when completed to anyone interested in seeing them. We hope to see you on Tuesday July 14th.

Dear Film Lover!

​Traditionally, when filmmakers solicit audience feedback on films, they do so through written surveys or focus groups. Yet these surveys take place when the film is over, as participants try to remember what they were thinking and thinking minutes if not hours earlier. Clearly these forms of feedback are highly imperfect, but they are the only means filmmakers have had available.

​Until now. State-of-the-art software can now analyze your facial expressions and automatically identify your emotional responses to a film in real time as you view it—scene by scene, second by second, frame by frame. By analyzing aggregating your responses with those of participants—all of which will remain anonymous—researchers will be able to evaluate how distinct groups of viewers with different demographic profiles and film-going preferences respond differently to the myriad elements that go into a film.

​Just imagine the creative and marketing possibilities this technology opens. Filmmakers will now be able to assess precisely how effective any given scene, actor, or even soundtrack is. This rich source of data will not replace filmmakers’ intuitive judgement and creative process, but will better inform it. And they’ll be able to identify which types of people will most like their films, which will enable them to make the best possible films for the most receptive audiences.

The Details

WHEN: Tuesday July 14th, From Noon till 8:00 PM

WHERE: Study will take place at 411 Lafayette Street, just next to The Public Theater, on the sixth floor.

HOW LONG: The study will take approximately 30 minutes.

WHAT YOU’LL DO: Watch three upcoming film & TV trailers while your emotions are detected and analyzed by software analyzing your facial expressions. After each trailer, you will be asked some brief survey questions.

PRIVACY: All responses are strictly anonymous, and the software that analyzes your facial expressions while viewing the trailers will not be saved or identified to a specific participant.

WHAT YOU’LL GET*: Some cool feedback on how different trailers create different emotional responses, a chance to advance filmmakers’ understanding of how different aspects of films create these responses, help advance research, and get an invite to an advance screening of The Martian, directed by Ridley Scott or an invite to an advance screening of another movie from a major Hollywood Studio!

LIMITED SEATING: We expect a lot of demand for the limited number of available slots, so sign up early.

*You must register and complete the testing on July 14th to be eligible.


Anthony Zangrillo is the President and Owner of the Motion Picture Club. While an undergraduate student at NYU, he founded the Motion Picture Club. At the Fordham University School of Law, he was the Online Editor of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal and started the IPLJ Podcast, which continues recording to this day. You can find him on Instagram: @anthony_mpc.


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