Tuesday, December 7, 2010

“I Think You’re Projecting”

Here at Film Gab, we not only love movies, we love all the minutiae that goes on behind the scenes, inside the studios, on location, at the box office and within the projector’s booth as well. And sometimes our hunt for ever more enticing movie lore reveals something extra special that we’d like to share with you.

Today’s treat is an article from Slate about the dwindling number of movie house projectionists. The advances in technology and the rise of multiplexes have combined to makes this once essential piece of the movie-going puzzle increasingly obsolete. According to Joe Rivierzo, a 30-year veteran of the craft:
"Digital will eliminate us completely," Rivierzo says. "All you have to do is load it and play it, and a lot of this stuff can be done off-site. We have theaters now running with 35 percent of the house digital. Once they go over 51 percent running digital, and they run it that way for 90 consecutive days, they can eliminate the presence of a projectionist. Our only saving grace is they can't manufacture these digital machines fast enough."
So despite the fact that there are more screens now than at any other time in the history of film, the number of technicians committed to ensuring a satisfying experience at the theater is at an all-time low. And that’s a shame because the further Hollywood gets from the hands capable of crafting our celluloid dreams, the further it stays from our hearts.

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