Evening ladies and gents!
With the weekend tantalisingly close, I wanted to give you a little weekend inspiration if you're stuck for ideas for the coming weeks. You may remember Summer's Featured Farm article which was all about Chris Horn's booming Film On A Farm diversification project based at his family farm down in Droxford, Hampshire. Well, I had an absolute blast learning all about the business and exploring the stunning farmland at Bushy Down Farm in preparation for producing the subsequent article for the magazine. Now, despite writing the piece all about the project and the experience of Film On A Farm events for the magazine, I was yet to actually attend one of Chris' events and so when Chris got in touch asking if James and I would like to attend an upcoming screening of The Greatest Showman at his farm on Friday evening, I absolutely jumped at the chance plus I am mildly obsessed with The Greatest Showman at the moment.
I love the outdoors, I have ever since I was a little girl, there is just something special about it. You would always find me out playing in my make-shift dens, jumping logs in the garden as if they were 4* cross-country fences or riding my bike up and down the lane until the sun set and I couldn't see beyond the handlebars.
I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Summer's evening, than sitting outside with blankets galore, watching the sun set with a great, feel-good playlist seeing us through until the film started. I wasn't wrong.
The atmosphere was fantastic from the moment we arrived. A stand-out moment would have to be the hugely enthusiastic young Scout who was on car-park signally duty. His display with LED signal batons signalling the cars into the correct field was similar to what you would see on a airport run way except with much more exuberance and fabulousness (if that's a word) - hats off to him, he did make us laugh and smile before we had even parked the car.
Entry to the event was effortless, there were no ques, efficient and helpful members of the team on hand to help at the gate and once we were shown the location of our seats. I was extremely excited! Plus - and I remember Chris saying - there was an impressive John Deere parked just outside the entrance which caught James' eye immediately. However whilst she most definitely looks the part, she plays an important role once the film is over as Chris' starts her up and uses her lights to illuminate the carpark to make it much easier for us all to find our cars and get out and onto the road safely. A very clever idea!
Once James had finished having a good old look at the tractor, we headed on in to take our seats and grab a drink.
We quickly found Chris who was in his element but found time to show us to our seats, he had reserved us some chairs and whipped up a lovely little VIP hamper for us to get stuck into; we also received a couple of drinks vouchers which was always a bonus especially for me as James was the designated driver!
Our adorable hamper, contained two a FOAF blanket, some delicious Candy Kittens sweets (which are my favourite!) and two packets of Tyrells PoshCorn, which worked out well because one was salted and one was sweet and James hates salted but loves sweet and I am the opposite!
We also received a couple of Chase Distillery booklets which gave details of the drinks on offer and so feeling rather spoilt for choice, we dropped off our blankets and headed to the bar. Unsure what to pick, Chris recommended Chase's Pink Grapefruit & Pomelo Gin with Tonic and so we both agreed. Firstly, it smelt incredible and was pink but it tasted delicious! Dangerously so!
G&T in hand, we headed back to our seats to get comfortable for the events of the evening ahead. You might also remember from the article, that the screen Chris uses is actually inflatable and so I was intrigued to see what it would look like in the flesh and I was impressed - the whole set up looked really professional.
I throughly enjoyed the whole event and the film was ten times better out in the fresh air, under a blanket of stars! There was even some spontaneous pre-movie entertainment which I am not sure the crew had booked. A few little ones had made the discovery of a lifetime in that if they stood in front of the projector, their shadows appeared on the screen for us all to see. We were treated to a rather hilarious and frankly quite endearing warm-up show as the children made hand-puppet shadows and danced along to hits such as Michael Jackson's Thriller!
The acoustics were brilliant and I found myself becoming totally absorbed into the film, Chris and his team truly have created something spectacular.
James and I both commented though on the advertisements before-hand. Nothing like those long and tedious adverts you get in the cinema which drag on for what seems like hours, no - these were some fantastically entertaining and informative adverts.
The first of which was by Chase Distillery, you can view it here - Chase Distillery Advert - Gin Made From Vodka, Who Knew?! - it's seriously good and will make you giggle, hats off guys, well done!
Also - video directly linked to YouTube below.
The second of which (and there were two I believe) were about the Take The Lead Campaign and whilst they were entertaining and light-hearted they were brilliantly informative. Bearing in mind, there were a number of people in the audience who don't live in the countryside and may not have the same knowledge and 'common sense' as we do. We both said these should seriously be aired on prime-time TV as it is a great way to get a vital message across. You can watch the advertisement here - Take The Lead Video or below as I have included this (again directly linked to YouTube).
Once the adverts were over, we sat back and watched the film in style. Despite it just about still being Summer, there was something quite magical about wrapping up in scarves, jumpers and gloves under blankets and the clear rural starry sky to watch such a fantastic feel-good, sing along film.
Everyone got involved, there were people (including me!) singing along to the hits of the film. Not only is it such an enjoyable way to spend a Summer's evening in the countryside but in doing so you are helping to support not only Chris and his business but also you're supporting farmer's
nation-wide who are hosting Film On A Farm events on their land.
For a country-bumpkin like me, sitting in a field in the midst of the countryside with fields, farmland and woodland as the most glorious back drop with the odd sheep dropping or cow pat decorating the seating area is just magical.
I have been to a drive-in outdoor cinema before, where we have rocked up in the truck, tuned in the radio and watched a film (Dirty Dancing I believe!) under the stars along with dozens of others, but this is different. You're all sharing the magnificence of the experience and the atmosphere together, rather than being shut away in your own separate cars.
You can attend Film On A Farm events up and down the country and whilst this year's events may be coming to an end (I believe there are a few dates left in September), this is most definitely something to book into your diary for next Spring and Summer.
The films on offer are changing all the time but you can be sure that the top quality experience will remain the same, thanks to Chris and his talented and passionate team.
Head to the website to find out more or to view venues and and dates: www.filmonafarm.co.uk
Once again, thank you to Chris for inviting us, we had an amazing time and you can be sure to see us at one of the Film On A Farm events next year.
Until next time...
Lots of love,