Movie voting

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Movie voting is a staple of Megafesting. The theory is that each Festor votes on precentages for the movies he or she would like to see, and the movie with the most votes wins. Each Megafest is typically long enough to allow multiple movie viewings, typically starting with the first movie and continuing until the Megafest ends.


Most gatherings used some form of movie voting, but the history is not well documented.


Megafest 2.1 and Megafest 3.1 featured spreadsheets that allowed automated calculations of votes. Megafest 2.1 placed all votes on the same sheet; Megafest 3.1 added several enhancements including blind voting (results were not visible until all parties have voted) and negative voting. Megafest 3.1's voting results are available at [1].


Megafest 3.2 introduced a new innovation in movie voting: A web-based system where all Festors could vote at once and view the results when voting was complete. This system has been used substantially unmodified in all following Megafests. The general procedure is:

  1. All Festors pre-nominate movies, typically by placing DVDs in view of other Festors. Festors discuss the movies; typically there will be several new and exiciting movies acquired especially for viewing at the Megafest.
  2. Each Festor nominates two movies.
  3. The Festors watch each movie's trailer, or a short selection of the movie.. The Festor who nominated the movie may attempt to promote the movie.
  4. Festors go to their computers and vote online. Festors are discouraged from viewing results before their votes are submitted to prevent late voters from being able to tailor their vote to achieve the desired result.
  5. When voting is complete, the Festors discuss the results and typically begin viewing the first movie.
  6. Festors typically watch the top three or four movies in the list, depending on the climate of the Megafest and other activities undertaken at the same time.

Request For Proposal

At this Megafest the previously hastily implemented Happiness Rating (tm) was beginning to feel the need to be improved upon.

I am proposing that the Happiness Rating (tm) be updated to more accurately reflect the True Movie Happiness Rating (tm) of those voting. With that in mind, here is my bit of goodness on how that might be accomplished.

Perfect Movie Happiness - This is the case that occurs if the movies that the individual voted for are ranked in the same order as the average of all the movie voters (a very rare thing indeed).

So if Perfect Movie Happiness is what we are trying to achieve with the True Happiness Movie Rating (tm), then all we would have to do is calculate the difference between each of the individual's ranked movies and the average's rank of each movie. If, for example, Humblik voted for movie A as his top ranked movie, but the average rank of movie A was 5th place, then there would be a difference of five places in rank. The likeliness of Humblik getting to watch the fifth ranked movie is low, but not out of the realm of possibility.

The actual scale of happiness, and how that is determined would need to be determined by the group.

Parlimentary movie voting

At Megafest 4.2, bouncing was filmed making the following proposal:

We could have a parliamentary movie voting system where by you vote for a party genre and then the genre nominates the movie. So that way if you really want a comedy but you don't want to pick which comedy, you could vote for the comedy party. But then if there aren't enough people to vote up one particular majority there could be a grand coalition between comedy and romance and you have a John Cusack movie.

Yanthor spoke up:

Oh, that's a really good point. Because if there are so many romance or so many comedy, it spreads the vote and some guns and explosions movie wins that no one actually wants to watch. Well, people wanted to watch, but not a majority of the opinion.

This exchange may be seen half way through the video for Megafest 4.2.

Megafest 5.1

At Megafest 5.0, it became apparent that voting for movies was far more interesting than actually watching the movies. So for Megafest 5.1, we came up with a new scheme: On nights which we were interested in watching movies, each Festor present could nominate one movie, watch trailers, and vote quickly, without any carryover for the next day or suggestion that anyone actually watch the movie that won. (Jaeger also spent time in advance ripping trailers for movies that were likely to be nominated, to speed up the actual voting process.)

This scheme worked well and seems likely to serve as the blueprint for future Megafest movie voting schemes.