When I got to the Union the atmosphere was already buzzing, with so many people sat out on the grass in front of the big screen, and queues for the BBQ and concessions snaking around the intercourse. My flatmate and I found ourselves a space and staked our claim, and I am so glad we got there at the time we did because we got a great spot in the centre, and by the time that the film started the whole space in front of the screen was packed.
The screening started about half an hour later than initially expected, because the sun had not obliged us in setting, meaning that it was too light until about nine for the trailers to begin. Rather than this being irritating or frustrating it certainly gave me and my flatmate a chance to relax and chat, and buy all the things that we wanted to enjoy the film. Surge helped to ramp up the atmosphere and created a party feeling, playing music that had me smiling and singing along. Music like Carly Rae Jepson’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ and Imagine Dragons’ ‘Radioactive’ more than filled the time between getting there and the film starting. All of the Union Films staff that I interacted with were friendly, and seemed pumped at the response the screening got.
Not only that, but the screening itself was brilliant – the surround sound and massive speakers created an immersive experience with great sound quality. Similarly, the picture quality and the large screen were fantastic; I really felt like it could have been in a cinema. Having seen the film before it was nice to revisit it, but having talked to people at the screening there were many there who had never seen the film before, so to have this showing while it is still in the cinema is a real coup for Union Films and a bonus for the students of Southampton.
What I really loved about the experience of the outdoor screening was the atmosphere. It was incredibly enjoyable to sit with loads of other people involved in the university under the stars and enjoy the film. It was so inclusive, and being sat shoulder to shoulder on the grass with people I’d never met before really made me feel like a real part of SUSU.
My only complaint is about my own lack of preparedness – by the end of the screening I was feeling the chill in the air, and I ached from sitting on the ground for the two hours that the film ran. Next time I know that I need to take a blanket and a cushion to really enjoy the experience!
I’d love to see more events like this put on by Union Films, because for me – and everyone else, it seemed – it was a resounding success.