Movie Projection – WXXI Arts InFocus

Movie Projection – WXXI Arts InFocus


IT’S A TIMELESS TRADITION, EATING YOUR POPCORN
AND ENJOYING A CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE. BUT HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED BACK OVER YOUR SHOULDER TO
SEE THAT BEAM OF LIGHT COMING FROM A TINY HOLE IN THE WALL? DO YOU EVER THINK, WHO’S
UP THERE? WELL, LET’S MEET ONE OF THOSE MYSTERIOUS PROJECTIONISTS. BRI MERKEL:My name is Bri Merkel and I’m a
projectionist at The Little Theatre and the IFC Center. There’s a certain mystique about
movie projection because nobody really knows exactly what goes on up there. Most of what
we do is still film, we do some digital but 35 is still where its at and we do a lot of
building, we do a lot of breaking down, which entails using reels of 35mm film and then
putting them on to platters. I went to the Selznick School for film preservation and
archiving at the George Eastman House. I started working as a part time projectionist here
and then I got promoted to be the lead projectionist and I got to work all the time. The movie
arrives at the theatre and we take that movie and we drag it upstairs, it’s pretty heavy.
And we take each reel and we use a make-up table and what we do is we splice each reel
of a film, every film is somewhere around six to eight reels. We have to compile them
and put them together so we splice it all together. And then we take the bigger reels
from that make-up table and we put it onto platters which platter allow us to play an
entire movie through without having to switch projectors and run reel to reel which you
may have seen in old movies or something like that. It runs completely through the film
and thats how we’re able to have one projectionist who’s doing five theaters at a time. A theater
like The Little is really important to Rochester specifically and a theater like The Little
and to any community. Having a place like this where you can be doing something that
you like and see that other people are enjoying what also inspires you is really awesome. EVAN: EVEN THOUGH THE LITTLE THEATRE HAS GONE
MOSTLY DIGITAL, ITS SO COOL THAT THEY STILL MAINTAIN A FILM PROJECTOR. FOR MORE INFORMATION
VISIT THE-LITTLE-DOT-ORG.

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