An Open Letter to Swifties Filming Themselves with Flash Inside the Cinema
Oct 23, 2023   •   Alex Alvarez
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Oct 23, 2023   •   Alex Alvarez
Dear Swifties who film themselves with the flash on inside the cinema—
For two weekends now, Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour film has been screening worldwide, and we Swifties couldn’t be more ecstatic to dress up, exchange friendship bracelets, and sing our hearts out. But not everyone is exactly having fun due to some fellow concert filmgoers unfortunately throwing cinema etiquette and courtesy out of the window. We’re talking about those who keep turning on their mobile phone’s flash inside a dark theater. In case you need to brush up on your cinema etiquette, here are a few rules to remember:
Unless you rented out the whole cinema for yourself or you’re joining a private block screening, you have to follow the rules set for the public. And yes, this includes turning off your flashlight during the show to avoid disturbing other viewers.
When i say those that use front/back flash during the Taylor Swift The Eras Tour screenings are bastos, this is what i mean. Partida i chose the topmost row na hay
Girlies during the 6pm show at Greenbelt 3, sobrang hassle na kulang kayo sa aruga shet pic.twitter.com/kWgdewcuig
— Karis (@poseidonsparks) October 19, 2023
For most The Eras Tour film screenings, you’re with strangers who paid to be there and hoped to enjoy the same concert film peacefully, preferably without a flashlight blinding them. So keep this in mind: you’re not alone watching the cinema.
We’re not out here trying to police how you should enjoy things. You can sing and dance all you want — yes, Taylor herself said so — but remember to be mindful of others. At the very least, let’s observe the bare minimum of cinema etiquette and follow the golden rule when in public: Respect everyone’s space. Be courteous to your fellow Swifties, and avoid doing things that would disrupt their experience and enjoyment.
Sing as much as you want, but avoid shouting to the point that people can’t hear Taylor singing anymore. Dance as much as you want, but don’t block other people’s view of the screen. We’re all here to be wowed by Blondie’s performance, not stare at a squealing stranger’s back.
Sure, film yourself as much as you want, but don’t turn on your phone’s flash or torch. Again, we’re here to see Taylor, not the light from your phone.
tío @Cinepolis está bien que hagan ciertas concesiones con The Eras Tour Movie, pero por favor pongan ciertos límites de decencia, así se la pasaron en Sala 1/6:00pm en Cinépolis Nuevo Sur hoy
Grabándose a si mismos y la película completa con flash encendido: pic.twitter.com/o46OguWJv3
— tesin_1 (@1Tesin) October 14, 2023
Let’s say you want to max out this experience and treat it as if you’re attending the actual Eras Tour. Before buying your ticket, consider what you want to do at the cinema. Do you want to stand up and dance and go wild? Do you want to film yourself with the flash on? Maybe you should choose a seat at the back row or at the edges of the cinema to scream, dance, and take videos with your flashlight on in peace. No one’s asking you to quit having fun! We’re just reminding you that there are appropriate ways to do it.
Hello, PSA to Swifties who will watch the Eras Tour on cinema. Please consider the people around/behind you if u’re going to use flash inside the cinema. It literally ruined the entire experience for us because the people below us were always using the flash to record themselves. pic.twitter.com/8lrXVS2SFN
— lili (@lili_ws) October 19, 2023
Taylor Swift might’ve said, “Capture it, remember it,” but she didn’t mean to do it the whole time she’s singing!
A few seconds of a song is fine, sure, take the video for the memories. But to use your camera with the flash on the whole time? The whole 44-song setlist? That’s enough to escalate your status to Public Enemy #1 for blinding others (and yourself). If you want to film your whole experience, why not invest in proper cameras (say, GoPros?) that can film in low light and not disturb folks around you?
She said sing and dance not ruin the experience for everyone else
— eli ★ˎˊ˗ (@hartbrekprince) October 14, 2023
Hot tip: If you turn up your phone’s brightness, the screen is usually enough to light up your face. Plus, the movie screen is also bright enough to illuminate you. And if it isn’t, apps like Selfshot can give you a white screen to light up your face, while still filming from the front camera. This way, you won’t bother other people with the glare from your phone flash.
This still falls under the golden rule we discussed earlier, remember? Respect. If someone politely asks you to stop ruining their experience for them, you can quickly comply or ask for a compromise. You can opt to film yourself for a few seconds and proceed to enjoy the concert in the dark. Arguing with someone over whether or not you’re allowed to film can sour the whole experience, and no one wants that to happen.
We don’t know what’s worse: Filming with the flashlight on or quick bursts of flash inside a dark cinema. Both are equally blinding, which begs the question, Why? Why would you voluntarily blind yourself while singing to the Eras Tour instead of, I don’t know, beholding Taylor’s beauty?
shoutout sa mga inconsiderate cloutchaser na gen z kanina sa 3:30 screening ng the eras tour sa SM North
– having their flash with the 0.5 camera thingy on for almost half of the show
– taking photos w flash during show for 5 mins
– taking screen-facing video w flash during show pic.twitter.com/TQcryRPC9k
— aila #FreePalestine (@ailabelles) October 21, 2023
Look, we get it. In this highly digitized world, you want to film as much of yourself as possible to share it with your friends online. It’s cool to love Taylor Swift, cooler, even, to attend her concerts. And you want to cash in on those cool points. You can sing and dance and enjoy the concert all you want, but all everyone is asking is you remain courteous and brush up on your cinema etiquette. You paid at least PHP 500 to watch the movie (and so did everyone else in that room), so enjoy it. Live in the moment, folks!
There’s being excited about something and there’s being disconnected with etiquette
— Larissa Kinsey (@TheatoSaturn) October 14, 2023
What are your thoughts on this cinema etiquette?
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