ASUPS Campus Films: an insider perspective

It’s a Friday afternoon and the hot, late summer sun is just beginning to set as Tacoma’s north end cools down. On the basement floor of McIntyre Hall, Corey Freidman is hard at work stacking concessions, making popcorn and setting up a ticket booth.

Freidman, a sophomore, along with Edward Jones, senior and ASUPS Student Programmer, make up a working team of an up-and-coming institution here on campus. ASUPS campus films provide an inexpensive way for Puget Sound students and Tacoma community members to access recent and modern films.

Freidman is a Spanish and International Business major. Hailing from Portland’s eclectic northwest quarter, he has been immersed in his home city’s long-standing cultural scene for many years. He spent his formative years in Arezzo, a provence in central Italy, and grew to adopt the natural food culture of the country. On campus, Freidman brings these sensibilities to the student film series.

“I try converse with each customer a little bit,” Freidman said. “I like the fact that Campus Films is student run. The upper management gives the employees a lot of say.”

He ascertains that working for Campus Films is one of his most enjoyable co-curriculars.

“It’s the exchange, the interactions. I love letting people in even if it is for them. Just to talk to people for 10 seconds, the smiling and bantering,” Freidman said.

The casual atmosphere also provides a certain amount of laid-back fun on the job. Campus films offers a number of classic movie theater fare including Reese’s, Milky Way and Snickers as well as popcorn and soda. Offering concessions allows Campus Films to provide a traditional movie theater atmosphere. Sharing this type of experience with peers is what makes Campus Films an invaluable institution at the University.

Campus films is currently at an interesting crossroads. Easier access to films on the internet has seeded a slow and steady decline for the club since the late 1990s.

“The nature of events was different fifteen years ago than today,” Jones said.

There was once a time when Campus Films sold out shows on a regular basis, now the organization has difficultly filling seats if the film doesn’t pique student interest. The current crew behind Campus Films seeks to end the malaise.

After a two-year gap, Campus Films is bringing back the Foolish Pleasures Film Festival, where student-made films of all genres are submitted. Along with the festival, ASUPS Campus Films hopes that an increased social media presence will increase their notoriety and bring more students and community members to film events.

Together, the people, audience and collective love for film are what drive Campus Films into reinventing themselves for a new era on the Puget Sound campus.