Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Traverse City Film Festival! Volunteers are integral to the festival process.
The following information is for existing and potential volunteers. Some of this information has changed from last year, so please read each section carefully!
QUESTIONS? NEED HELP?
Please call the festival at 231-392-1134.
Our Commitment to You:
- We will do our best to make the hard work of volunteering fun. Our goal is to provide a positive and friendly atmosphere in which everyone is treated with courtesy and respect as we come together to create an exciting event that celebrates the movies.
- During the Festival, you will have access to festival managers, staff, and the volunteer coordinator who can answer your questions and help you find venues and volunteer assignments. You can also call the TCFF Office at 231-392-1134 for assistance.
- You will receive advance notice of volunteer meetings by email, along with other important announcements including some special perks. Please make sure your email address is accurate in the volunteer system by logging in here.
Your Commitment to Us:
- We ask you to commit to a minimum of 12 hours (2-3 shifts) during the festival. You need to attend a volunteer meeting and/or orientation and receive your volunteer credentials before your first festival shift.
- You need to sign a volunteer agreement when you get your credentials before the festival.
- Out of town volunteers are responsible for their own lodging, transportation, food, and other personal expenses.
- During the festival you will not be able to view movies while on duty unless your Area Manager or Supervisor allows you to do so – please do not plan to watch films during your shifts. Most of the time we need our volunteers during screenings for many tasks. Please purchase tickets to the films you want to see rather than planning to watch films during your shift, and please do plan to attend the volunteer screening.
We prefer that you apply using our online application. Please do not sign up for more shifts that you are actually willing and able to work.
Volunteer Job Descriptions
There are a variety of volunteer assignments available before, during, and after the film festival and include roles such as ushers, box office, and concessions. Some require special training, so make sure that you are already trained (or are prepared to attend training) for the assignment you select.
* Flexibility and a sense of humor are excellent assets!
* You must be 16 years of age or older to volunteer. Volunteers under 18 must have proof of their date of birth, and written permission of a parent or guardian, and job options may be limited.
- Assist in admitting patrons to venues
- Take tickets at venues
- Assist patrons in finding seats
- Clean venues after showings
- Respond to patrons’ needs during screenings
- Straighten up public areas during shows
Open Space Ushers
- Crowd control
- Light security—control prohibited items/activities
The film festival strives to promote public transportation throughout the event to reduce traffic and parking impacts to downtown Traverse City. It is important to encourage festivalgoers to use the Smart Commute system to attend movies. Many residents and visitors are unfamiliar with the Smart Commute system and will need assistance. This is a very interactive assignment.
- Advising festivalgoers about the schedule
- Answering questions about the film festival
- Offering other information as requested
- Helping festival-goers board the buses
Concessions (during festival at movies only)
- Clean-up/set up concession stands
- Popcorn preparation
- Reconcile cash/inventory
Merchandise (before and during Festival at special events, Friday Night Live, venues)
- Reconcile cash/inventory
Box Office (NOTE: additional training required/cash handling experience preferred)
- Staff box offices before and during festival
- Directions to venues, info about films
- Info about ticket availability and other services available
- Answer phones/route calls
- Staff office during festival
- Typing/filing/administration/data entry
- Run errands/purchase supplies and equipment
- Relay information to and from venues/management/office
- Support for board and staff members
- Dispatch volunteers as directed
- Staff credentials tables for volunteers, media, dignitaries
- Staff special events
- Crowd control
- Assist with special seating requests
- Staff Green Rooms/VIP areas
- Set up/cleaning
- Monitor catering
- Make coffee, etc.
Transportation (must have valid, unrestricted DL or CDL; may use personal, rental, or donated vehicles including passenger vans, pick up trucks, box trucks, passenger cars)
- Vehicle support for all areas
- VIP transport to hotels, airport, appearances
- Operations transport
- Film traffic
- Concessions support
- Merchandise support
- Run errands by request
Stage Services (NOTE: additional training required – please contact TCFF office to see if volunteer assignments are available. Construction/carpentry skills and heavy lifting required, must be available pre and post Festival)
- Lift, carry, move equipment, supplies, materials
- Set up/tear down equipment, projection booths, seating, open space
- Construction needs at all venues
Production Services (NOTE: additional training required – please contact TCFF Office to see if volunteer assignments are still available. Technical experience preferred)
- Print traffic (moving films to and from venues)
- Projectionist assistance
- Operate spotlights
- Lighting and sound support at all venues
Stage Support (NOTE: additional training required – please contact TCFF office to see if volunteer assignments are still available.)
- Panel assistance
- Stage management
- Receive, sort, inventory, and distribute festival merchandise, concessions, and supplies
Volunteer Survival Tips
WHAT TO WEAR:
Wear loose, comfortable, presentable clothing. Khaki shorts, pants, skirts, jeans with no holes, and capris are perfectly acceptable apparel for the event. Keep in mind that you will be on your feet during your shift, so make sure you select clothing that is comfortable. (Click here if you would like a visual aid.)
- Half-shirts or belly-revealing tops
- Skin-tight (lycra, spandex, bike pants, etc.) pants or shorts
- Low-riding pants (no unmentionables showing, please)
- Very short or micro shorts
- Muscle shirts
- Anything with holes
FOOTWEAR SHOULD BE COMFORTABLE FOR WALKING AND STANDING FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME, AND IT SHOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR INDOOR OR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.
WHAT TO BRING:
You may bring your own water, juice, or other beverages in plastic bottles, and/or soda pop in cans or plastic bottles. Consumption of alcoholic beverages while on duty is strictly prohibited.
If you are an usher and have an extra flashlight to bring along, it will come in very handy.
Bring rain gear and sun protection, as necessary, if you are scheduled to work at an outdoor venue.
We cannot guarantee a secure area for you to store personal belongings, so do not bring any valuables or large or bulky items. You should plan to only bring what you can fit in your pockets and/or a small bag.
Cell phones and electronic devices must be turned off or silenced during screenings.
Children are not allowed to be with you while you are on duty. Please make other arrangements for your children during your shift.
As volunteers, you are the goodwill ambassadors for this event, so DON’T FORGET TO SMILE!
A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER
The festival’s success depends on volunteers. If you can’t make your shift for some reason, please let us know.
We ask that you arrive ON TIME for your shifts.
You must bring your credentials to each shift you work, and you must wear your volunteer t-shirt.
This one is very important and comes directly from the Board of Directors: Please DO NOT wear your volunteer tshirt during the festival when you are not working. It is very confusing to patrons who have purchased tickets to find people sitting in seats wearing volunteer tshirts. Patrons think you are volunteering and taking up their seats!
Please bring a change of clothing if you plan to attend the festival before or after a shift.
HOW TO SIGN UP
- Many people prefer to sign up online. Just log in to our website in the volunteer area – if you can’t remember your username and password, the site will send it to you, or you can email email@example.com.
But please remember:
- You do NOT have to sign up online!
- Call the festival office Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5 pm: 231-392-1134
- We can assign you shifts