Open Campus Day At Warwick

Nigel Watson

Talking Pictures alias






About Us



Returning to the University of Warwick is like visiting a friend's house that has been subjected to an extensive course of make-overs. Since my graduation, way back in 1988, Warwick has gained a new library block, new academic and accommodation blocks, and the Arts Centre, Sports Centre and Union Building have been radically re-modelled.

Arts Centre in the background.In the Union Building the Cholo Bar is far bigger and brighter, though rather disappointingly all it's white studded plastic flooring has been replaced. Back in the 1980s the floor would become sticky with spilt drinks causing a peculiar squelching sensation as you walked anywhere near the bar.

Outside the old pyramid-like structure of the Union Building has been levelled out to a more conventional box-shape and there is now an amphitheatre between it and the Rootes building.

Away from my film and literature course I used to spend a lot of time shooting and editing videos for the Warwick student TV service. It was called UNITEL and in my third year I spent virtually every Sunday afternoon editing together a 20-minute programme. This was done by editing from one VHS machine to another without an edit controller or any other electronic gadgets. This process meant that short edits took time and effort, so we tended to shoot our material using the one camera available to us in a way that reduced the amount of edits required.

Most of these programmes featured interviews with visiting performers at the Arts Centre, news of activities on campus and coverage of events in the Union Building. The main problem with UNITEL was that it's programmes were rarely shown on the monitors in the Union Building, and when they were the distractions and noise of the place drowned out their impact.

On attending the Open Campus Day on 7 May 2005 to celebrate the university's 40th anniversary, I noticed that UNITEL has been re-branded WTV. They have a more sophisticated camera and the monitors throughout the building are bigger and more practical. Furthermore, you can watch their productions online at

Andrew Lydon, Darren Slade and Nigel Watson. In the common room.Meeting up with Andrew Lydon and Darren Slade, who were fellow film and literature students, we wandered about the campus pointing out the changes that have been instigated since our graduation. The only place that seems remarkably unchanged is the film department common room. It still has the pigeon holes and film screening times pinned to the notice boards. We remembered how the room filled to bursting point when we were waiting to see a film in the nearby screening room, and that it hosted several rather low-key film student parties. The highlight was always Victor Perkins who always wore the shirt that film director Nicholas (Rebel Without A Cause) Ray, gave to him after an aborted attempt to write a film script together. Other memories of the film course include the time when a projector fell off its stand during the screening of a Jean-Luc Godard film. For a split second I was amazed by this dazzling piece of cinematography until I realised what had caused it. I can also remember Richard Dyer's pink socks, which had a bigger impact on my senses than any theory of post-modernism or structuralism. 

The place may have physically changed but my memories of Warwick are of people and events that are more important than mere bricks and mortar. They will stick to my mind as well as the floor used to do in the Cholo Bar.

Film Festival

As part of Warwick's 40th anniversary celebrations 15 teams of five people are invited to create their own 7 minute video in 24 hours. The resulting films will be judged and the best will be awarded prizes. The competition starts at 7pm on 17 June 2005.

For details visit:
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