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# What is a film Reaction Index?

• Sometimes on this website and in print you see film RI's - scores which rank movies.
• If you attend a Viewing Session you will be asked to help create such an index.
• Many clubs keep such indices for their own seasons.

## So what are they?

Every member of the audience at a screening is asked to rate the film or films they have seen on a score of A, B, C, D or E. This is purely their own assessment of how good each film was.

Usually clubs give out slips of paper, but some have schemes where you drop a token into the A-box or the B-box and so on. To keep it simple paper slips or boxes are usually marked something like:
 A B C D E Excellent Good Average Poor Dreadful My Lovely Short OUR MAJOR FEATURE

When the votes are collected each A gets multiplied by 100, each B by 75, each C by 50, each D by 25 and each E by zero. Then you add these totals together and divide by the total number of slips (a + b +c + d + e) . The result is the RI.

### An Example

At one viewing session the movie My Life Without Me scored:
 Rating A B C D E Votes 8 17 13 1 0

If you add up all the votes you see that 39 people expressed their opinion of the film. So if we do the sums:
 A 8 * 100 = 800 B 17 * 75 = 1275 C 13 * 50 = 650 D 1 * 25 = 25 E 0 * 0 = 0 Total 2750 Divide by 39 = 70.5

For practical purposes fractions of a percent make no difference so it is usual to round the score up or down to the nearest whole number. In this case 71.

### What does it tell us?

At its simplest the scores show which films were liked better than others. It is also worth looking at all the votes to see if it is a movie which split the audience. Sometimes a movie with several As and several Es gets a modest overall RI but is likely to be a better film society bet. Controversy is usually a good stimulus to discussion after the show.

If you study the RIs after a viewing session you can get an idea of how a film is likely to be received by your audience - even if you were not there to see it yourself. What you know is how fellow film society enthusiasts reckoned it.

### Region Wide Reactions?

How about each society that takes the block-booking titles keeping RIs for them all? We can collate them at the end of the year and get an idea of how a huge audience spread over several counties felt about them. We may even find interesting differences!

In any case asking your audience to vote helps keep their interest. Always have a large chart showing how the previous presentation scored.