Friday, 8 September 2006

Where's my film society gone?

Dear University Of Surrey student,

Welcome to the new term. If you've found this page, you're probably looking for Oscar Film Unit. Did you find our profile on the Student Union website? Did you spot the bit in the university prospectus about how Oscar Film Unit "shows films for the whole university community" and come looking for us?

I'm sorry to say, we're not Oscar Film Unit. No! Wait! Don't go yet! Let me at least explain.

Oscar Film Unit (aka OFU, pronounced "off-yew") was the film society and it was the campus cinema. Apart from one-off special events, OFU hasn't shown a film at Surrey since 2001 and hasn't made a film since 2003.

This site exists to promote both these aspects of the society and to enable we graduates to tut about how great it was back in our day. One of the main aims of this, apart from to be really irritating, is to encourage you, the current student to get involved. Do you think it's bizarre that a university the size of Surrey has no active film society? Well, get off your behind and organise it. Go on. Go now. The Union, contrary to popular belief, is waiting, right now, for you to volunteer.

Drop us an email and we'll even help you out in any way you can. (But beware of advice that starts, "It was better in our day because...")



Monday, 3 July 2006

Saved for the nation

Long ago, in November 2005, in fact, we reported that the University / Union had begun disposing of OFU's assets.

One of the last of OFU's Old Guard, Scoot, told us that the Fumeo projector and rewind table had gone. More disturbingly, the cupboard containing OFU's 16mm, 8mm and VHS archive had also ominously disappeared.

We have always believed that the contents of that cupboard represented a unique and valuable historical resource for the University of Surrey and the community at large. The humble spools of film contained therein are completely irreplaceable.

Fortunately, we have already preserved a number of the films as part of the Oscar Film Unit Gold Anthology project. But the most important piece of good news is that Scoot himself rescued several reels of film, including the legendary Boy With A Moon And Star On His Head and has donated these to the Official OFU Archive, to which this site belongs.

Along with the few remaining films, Scoot supplied complete Projectionists' Logs covering the period from 1993 to the society's eventual demise, which perhaps form the most substantial written record possible of OFU's days as a film exhibitor.

Update: We have located the missing 16mm prints. They are, mercifully, currently safe and sound in the care of the University of Leicester Students' Union.

Saturday, 18 February 2006

OFU films available for streaming

Have you been wondering exactly why it is that we're issuing OFU DVDs, but haven't got around to putting any films on the Interweb yet?

So have we. In fact, we've become so attached to the idea that we've launched a new Web Cinema - the WebPlex - for that very reason.

OFU's films will appear, bit-by-bit, in its very own dedicated "screen" at The first film, Kidnap!, is available for streaming right now in Windows Media or RealMedia formats.

Update: Also available (in Windows Media format only): Rag '69, Under Construction and The Famous OFU Sex Film.

Update: The streaming problem for Firefox users has been resolved.

Update: Now also available: Rag '67, in full Kodachrome(TM) colour!

Monday, 30 January 2006

50th Anniversary DVD - website launched

We've put together a brief website about the Gold Anthology collection, which lists all the films on the disc and offers some helpful hints if you're having difficulties with the DVD.

(URLs updated following Xillennia server move, 25th July 2006)