Future Cinema (sister company to The Other Cinema) have become well-known for expanding films beyond the screen and bringing them to life through large-scale events, recreating scenes and settings to dizzying effect. They’ve done it again with a 360 degree live cinematic experience of Bugsy Malone that’s currently running in London.
Last Friday, along with hundreds of other revellers, I was transported back in time to the 1920s for an unforgettable evening. East London’s cavernous venue The Troxy was transformed into Fat Sam’s Grand Slam; a spectacular speakeasy that felt a million miles from the rather bleak Commercial Road.
Walking into the grand art deco hall, it was hard not to be bowled over by the scale of the endeavour. A sea of tables – laid out in cabaret style seating so as to best enjoy the acts and show-girls on stage – were populated by men clad in spats and glamorous bejewelled ladies. The 50 plus actors in the production merged with the party-goers, and as unexpected moments of action unfolded, it was hard to distinguish between spectator and performer.
Increasingly, brands are aligning themselves with these much-sought after immersive events in order to engage people in new and surprising ways. Future Cinema have certainly capitalised on this notion of shared collective experience that transcends the everyday and offers you something unique.
And, pushing this idea further, on the eve of London’s Mayoral election, they are hosting a free screening of the brilliant film La Haine. Addressing the film’s themes of youth disenchantment and street culture, it’s being hosted in Tottenham’s Broadwater Farm for local residents, as well as, rather fittingly screening it in the outskirts of Paris on 5th May on the eve of the French presidential elections.
It’s no doubt a tricky balance creating events like Bugsy with their secretive, and rather exclusive appeal, to putting on spectacular cultural projects that local communities can feel involved in and even set up themselves. Perhaps by embracing this idea of social enterprise and empowering people outside the mainstream this could influence a wider movement in experiential brand marketing.