NAO Film QuizWhile on leave over Christmas, a Facebook message popped up on my phone that I wasn’t expecting. It was from a member of my intake of graduate trainees, inviting me to join a team at the NAO Film Quiz.

Pleased to be invited, and always enjoying a social evening with my fellow trainees, I said yes. I do worry that my friends might have thought someone of my age and background would know a lot about films. Well, they certainly know better now!

The Film Quiz is one of several annual events run by the NAO Sports and Social Association. Like their other events, this one was a masterpiece of creativity and organisation. So many teams wanted to take part that they put it on two evenings. I reckon nearly 200 people joined in.

Our modest entrance fee also covered generous snacks and a nice bottle of bubbly, and one of our team nipped out at half-time for more. This was welcome as the quiz was at tea-time. I made a note to myself: next year remember to bring a packed tea!

The quiz rounds were intriguing. Each consisted of a series of film related questions, with different types of tasks to complete. They included one round where we had to fill in the missing insults. I thought I might come into my own on this one, as I was able to supply the missing insult: “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries”, but to my surprise there was a big Monty Python fan on our team who beat me to it. In another round the excerpt stopped just before the character’s demise and we had to guess how they died. Who would have guessed that someone might get so angry they exploded? There was one about the alter egos of various super-heroes, and another in which we named the actors in the other version of the film being talked about.

The most hilarious round and the climax of the evening was the “selfies” round, in which members of staff acted out scenes from films. This included a very senior member of the NAO team, looking suitably terrified of an inflatable shark in a scene from Jaws. I was very glad that I had done a bit of swotting the night before, because I managed to identify a scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by a line which came up in the selfie.

I was impressed with the amount of effort which had gone into acting, directing and imitating the films. There were even funny outtakes, such as the aforementioned member of senior leadership having a fit of the giggles!

After each round, we swapped our answers with a neighbouring team and when we got our papers back we were pleasantly surprised by our marks – we thought we were in with a chance with scores of 75% on some rounds.

Alas, we underestimated the culture and erudition of our colleagues, and when the final results were announced we emerged in joint 13th place (there were 15 teams). Still, winning is not everything, and we had a very enjoyable evening. Next year, if I can find a team who will have me, I will have to do a lot more swotting!

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