As you may know, in celebration of Geek Pride Day I undertook an epic quest - to watch all six Star Wars movies back to back. With bathroom breaks in between each movie, the marathon totalled a stupidly long 14 hours. You can see the trail of snark and sarcasm I left on Twitter on my #swthon page. My body clock is still readjusting, and so with retrospect I give you five tips to survive any movie marathon without falling asleep.
1. Don't go it alone
Never, ever attempt a movie marathon solo, not unless you've got an iron will. Having a movie buddy (or buddies) gives you enough peer pressure to make sure you stay awake as long as possible. A good thing to do is develop a punishment for anyone who decides to 'rest their eyes'. Anything longer than a blink and they get a slap or get sat on. A harsh punishment, yes, but you don't want someone snoring half way through The Fellowship of the Ring, do you?
2. No alcohol. At all.
Everyone knows that alcohol is a sedative. It slows you down and makes you sleepy. Why would you want that if you're trying to stay awake throughout the night and most of the next morning? Coffee and energy drinks are what you need, though be sensible. Too much caffeine in your blood isn't pretty. Substitute alcohol shots for shots of energy drink and play a drinking game. Not only will the caffeine keep you awake, playing the game will stop the marathon from becoming boring.
3. Get social
Make up a hashtag on Twitter and have you and your marathon buddies live-tweet the event in real time. Once you get others taking part in the conversation, you'll feel a bigger buzz about it all, which can be of great help in that 'dead zone' between the Americans going to bed and the British waking updates also gives your eyes a break from staring at a screen for hours on end, so you'll feel less boredom and less eye strain.
4. Pre-set bathroom breaks
Establish right off the bat when there'll be time for bathroom and snack breaks. Every hour? After every movie? Whatever you decide, make sure that everyone agrees and sticks to it. Otherwise one of your group will go 'take care of business' and fall asleep on the toilet. You don't want that, especially since you're the one who's going to have to wake them up.
5. Don't fall asleep
I mean after it's all over, don't immediately go and get some shut eye. You do that, and your body clock thinks you're nocturnal and you spend the next week wide awake at 4 in the morning and falling asleep at your desk every lunchtime. Grab a few (very) small power naps during the day, but make sure you stay more or less fully awake until your normal bedtime.
What movie marathon techniques do you have? What's your recommended marathon?