See Mark Kermode’s latest post lamenting the lost art of cinema projection in the digital age, with a short video of his visit to the Cinema Technology awards for projection where they in turn awarded him for his “crusade to improve the standard of cinema presentation”. Our Projection Hero installation has apparently hit a nerve and seems to be exploring something incredibly poignant about the unsung heros of the projection booth, working behind the scenes to deliver the cinematic experience.
Exhibiting the mini-cinema at the MeCCSA conference last week, hearing the blast of Pearl and Dean as the lights dim and the curtains open, watching the videos of veteran projectionists Maurice Thornton and Pete Stamp through the tiny little projection booth windows, it all started to make sense. It was great to see the installation screening the correct films at last. Maurice says, “you are a performer and you’ve got to behave as if you’re on the stage… that’s the difference between showing a film and pressing a button”, whilst Pete cheerfully acknowledges that the Curzon’s DSN digital projector will eventually make his job obsolete … as you manipulate the cinema with your smartphone.
If you are interested in having a go, the installation is on display at the Pervasive Media Studio in the Watershed Media Centre, Bristol for the rest of January 2012 before being finalised and put on permanent exhibition at the Curzon Community Cinema in Clevedon some time in February. Pop by and try your hand at being a Projection Hero…. and you can also test the third iteration of the Curzon Memories App here.