Volunteers drive Thin Line

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David Minton/DRC
Joshua Butler, festival director for Thin Line, a music and documentary film festival, talks a group of volunteers through the basics of what the different passes for the event mean during a training session for volunteer festival staff at the Campus Theatre in Denton.

Nearly 30 people spent a portion of the day Saturday at the Campus Theatre for volunteer training in preparation for Thin Line, a documentary film and music festival that opens Wednesday in downtown Denton.

For more than an hour and half, the volunteers — who ranged from high school students to retirees — were instructed by festival director Joshua Butler in everything from how to sell tickets and process orders to usher responsibilities.

As of Friday, Thin Line had 209 registered volunteers to assist with the five-day festival.

A volunteer’s work is “absolutely essential” to the overall success of Thin Line, which is a volunteer organization, said Paul Melter, a volunteer coordinator.

“There would be no Thin Line without volunteers, plain and simple,” he said. “It can’t be more specific than that.”

Meltzer said there are three reasons why people volunteer: it’s “socially enjoyable,” people want to be of service to others, and those who volunteer for the festival believe in making Denton a cool place.

Volunteers generally work four-hour shifts, and for each four hours worked, they receive a voucher good for one festival event.

Volunteers this year will be tasked with transporting filmmakers and other festival guests, tearing ticket stubs, counting the number of event attendees, managing movement of people in theaters, selling tickets, calling up orders of tickets purchased online and several other tasks.

Among this year’s volunteers is Zane Lemon, who along with his wife, Deanna, has volunteered the last four years. Lemon said he and his wife initially volunteered because of their love for the arts but now it’s a do-not-miss event.

“We find out when the Thin Line film festival is going on, and we don’t plan anything for that time,” he said. “It’s kind of part of our yearly schedule.”

Zane Lemon said the event allows them a chance to meet people from different art groups as well as Denton residents.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said.

First-time volunteer Daisy Best said she has attended Thin Line every year since it began.

“I thought it’s about time that I contributed,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Meltzer said positions are well staffed. However, more volunteers are still needed Friday to usher and work the box office, and daytime drivers are needed throughout the festival.

“We’ll pretty much accept all willing adults and ... students,” he said.

To volunteer, visit http://bit.ly/1ejbKB7.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.

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