Orange Night of FrightOn Friday night in Old London Town, fans of fear are in for a terrorising treat.  A certain East London cemetery is playing slumbering host to Orange Cinema’s Night of Fright.  Over recent weeks a series of clues have been left for members of their Facebook Film Club and now the trail has led to the terminus ““ a once in a lifetime opportunity to see The Exorcist ““ to see it as they have never seen it before!

State of the art wireless headphones, fog and wind effects will offer the audience the ultimate sensory experience while the eerie open-air setting provides a unique aesthetic for the quintessential scary classic.  Orange promise that the immersive viewing experience will be like no other and HeyUGuys cannot help but agree.  In fact we were so impressed we set out to discover how this extraordinary idea came about.

Hattie Magee, Head of Brand Partnerships for Orange UK, comments: “Our Film Club has attracted a great following this year and we wanted to reward our members with an unusual event that will delight true film fans.

“We believe films are better shared and there’s something very appealing about collectively watching a great film together, but with the benefit of pitch perfect sound. By giving our audience wireless headphones it means no distractions from people eating popcorn or talking. With the added 4D sensory effects, and a few other surprises, we hope to create a truly unique cinematic experience that enables film lovers to completely escape.”

As HeyUGuys will be there in person to experience this amazing event (and to report back once our hands have stopped shaking), our fear is that Hattie might be proven right.  We are rather worried that we will literally escape”¦and run screaming up the Mile End Road!   To be on the safe side we decided to sit down with Damian Barr ““ the innovator of the original Silent Cinema wireless screening concept ““ before we died of fright.

Damian Barr

Times journalist and BBC Radio 4 playwright, Damian began Silent Cinema at Liverpool Street’s stunning Andaz hotel (where he has also been reader-in-residence ““ a world first and a role he was able to perform almost entirely in pyjamas!).  He repeated this success with later screenings at Soho House, where he also hosts London’s premiere monthly literary salon, and now Orange Film Fans and HUG are benefiting from his simple yet brilliant (why on earth has no one thought of this before?) idea.

HUG: Damian that is the real beauty of this idea ““ that it seems so perfectly obvious now it exists ““ but how did you first conceive of Silent Cinema? I just thought this would be a great way to enjoy films””immerse you in the soundscape and also free you up from popcorn munching. It’s communal but personal. So I learned about the technology, adapted and came up with the Silent Cinema idea.

What was the first film you screened and what were reactions to it? We showed the Shining in the Andaz Hotel on Halloween. Perfect movie for perfect place! People have seen that movie hundreds of times and it has such iconic sequences. But through headphones everyone was totally into it””it was even scarier. Esp if you went to the toilets and forgot you had them on and found yourself sharing a cubicle with Johnny!!

How did the partnership with Orange come about? They’re constantly innovating and they are particularly active in film””they love creating exciting new experiences for their users. They liked Silent Cinema and saw the potential. I am really happy to be working with them.

Watching The Exorcist in an East London cemetery the night before Halloween sounds like a scary movie fan’s dream come true. What would be your ultimate Silent Cinema night? I think this is it!

Where do you want to take Silent Cinema from here? It’s all under wraps just now. I have been approached by potential partners in NY and Barcelona which is all very exciting!

And finally, the one question we ask all HeyUGuys interviewees – Damian Barr, what is your favourite “˜80s movie? Easy – Dirty Dancing.

Orange Cinema Presents: A Night of Fright will take place this Friday (30th October) in a secret East London location. For the brave members of the Orange Film Club who have been selected to attend (and two lucky HUG winners) it will be a splendid reward, for your intrepid HUG reporter it will be a challenge, for one and all it will be an unforgettable night.  A night we’ll tell you all about, as long as we survive”¦