The magic of the movies came to the South London neighbourhood of Balham last Saturday night, as the humble garden of a shared house was transformed into an open-air cinema. But who were the showmen responsible for this outbreak of cinematic delight?

Why, none other than Spectrecom Films’ very own Matt O’Brien and Chris Karageorgiou, who generously opened their home to film-loving neighbours and colleagues alike.

Chris and Matt are part of our stable of in-house filmmaking talent, and they’re also housemates. And as Matt reveals, holding their own film night had long been an ambition…

“We much prefer watching good films with others, so we decided to share an evening with friends, family and the local community.”

But an altruistic dream is one thing. Turning it into cold hard reality is quite another, requiring no small degree of hard work.

Outdoor Cinema Screening

The weekend before the event, Matt and Spectrecom Studios’ Facilities Manager Ionut Apetroae laid the groundwork by building a timber frame with white colourama.

(What they didn’t anticipate was that this colourama would rip and need replacing only hours before the screening…)

To put on a suitably dazzling show, Matt and Chris borrowed a projector and speakers from Spectrecom. They also raided the company’s prop store, taking loan of deckchairs, a punch bowl, red carpet and hundreds of fairy lights.

Invites were sent out in the form of flyers designed by Spectrecom’s illustrator, Juste Halavin. And crucially the boys hired a portaloo to ensure the evening was as comfortable as possible for all in attendance.

The day of the event and the weather was threatening to put a dampener on proceedings. Thankfully, the grey skies cleared and the sun came out to give its blessing for this hot-ticket summer event.

The audience were treated to free popcorn and a performance of ‘Mack the Knife’ by a contestant from the Hungarian version of ‘The X-Factor’, before the time finally came to reveal the evening’s main entertainment.

Pre-show Backyard Cinema

The identity of the movie being screened had been kept a closely guarded secret, but it was finally revealed as 2012 Best Picture winner ‘The Artist’.

A perennial crowd-pleaser, ‘The Artist’ proved the perfect choice of film – and the fact it’s a silent movie meant it didn’t even disturb those neighbours who chose not to attend!

But don’t take our word for it – here’s what ‘Backyard Cinema’ co-founder Matt O’Brien had to say about the evening…

“There was a really special moment about halfway through the night when I looked around and realised everyone was completely engrossed in the film, with just the flicker from the screen illuminating their faces. Moments like that are the reason we got into filmmaking in the first place.”

The big question, though, is will it happen again? Over to you, Matt…

“There is talk it could become an annual event, so fingers crossed!”

About the author

Hayley Canning

Hayley Canning

Digital Marketing Manager

Hayley Canning is our Digital Marketing Manager. With almost 5 years of digital marketing experience, she’s the expert on getting your video seen by the right audiences online.

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