Curriculum Focuses on Mechanics and Operation of Film Projection Equipment and Proper Handling and Presentation of 35mm Film Prints
The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) and Boston Light & Sound, in partnership with Martin Scorsese’s non-profit organization The Film Foundation, will host a three-day, intermediate-level film projection workshop offering expert-led training in the proper handling and presentation of 35mm film in theaters. The hands-on, educational event takes place October 30 – November 1 at Boston Light & Sound in Boston.
Areas of instruction, intended for professional projectionists and other specialists responsible for film prints, include the handling of 35mm reels, working with lending institutions, and the technical skills needed for projection and maintenance. Instructors include experts in archival projection, as well as specialists from Boston Light & Sound and AMIA. Also contributing to the program are WB Distribution, the Coolidge Corner Foundation, and filmmaker Peter Flynn.
Over the past decade more than 90% of cinemas have migrated exhibition to solely digital projection, raising concerns that professional expertise in projecting 35mm is rapidly declining. Prints are difficult to obtain and expensive to replace, and require special knowledge and skills to project. Keeping movie projection at a high level of exhibition is important for preserving both access to, and the physical safety of, archival and rare films, which ultimately benefits audiences. AMIA’s projection workshops are designed to address these challenges, and encourage best practices for film projection through instruction, education, and support, as well as building a collaborative community of film handlers.
“The need for projectionists with the knowledge and experience to appropriately project 35mm prints has only deepened as the commercial market has moved toward digital,” said AMIA President Andrea Kalas. “The education we provide with our outstanding partners will ensure that audiences can continue to enjoy films, whether blockbusters or rarities, in their original format and that film prints will be returned to their archives undamaged.”
Margaret Bodde, executive director of The Film Foundation, added, “There is nothing quite like seeing a film projected on the big screen in its original format. The Film Foundation is committed to ensuring the continued availability of film prints, so it is extremely important that individuals are trained in the proper handling of 35mm archival and restored prints so that film projection does not become a dying art. In the past, projectionists learned from experienced mentors. This workshop provides training and support for this vital community.”
Participants of the Projection Workshop will receive certificates of completion from AMIA. Last year’s event sold out and drew accolades from attendees. In the coming year, AMIA plans to offer additional workshops with related content for both beginner and expert audiences.
“As time goes by, our precious film heritage is becoming more and more fragile, and new prints of older features are becoming more expensive and less available,” said Chapin Cutler, co-founder of Boston Light & Sound. “But archival prints that date back to original release dates continue to be viable and shown to audiences around the world. Proper film projector maintenance, alignment and hygiene is important to protect these precious materials. So, too, is presentation quality. Both go hand in hand. Passing on our understanding of how to maintain the best practices in film projection in is an important mission for Boston Light & Sound. We are proud to support AMIA along with our partners at Alamo Drafthouse by helping to develop and provide these workshops.”
The fee for workshop participants is $350, and attendance is limited to 12 participants. For more information, and to register, visit http://www.projectionworkshop.com/.
ABOUT THE PROJECTION WORKSHOPS
The AMIA Projection Workshop program was developed in partnership with the Alamo Drafthouse to provide resources and training to support those involved in the projection of 35mm film. Areas of instruction include: the handling of 35mm prints, working with lending institutions, and the technical skills needed for projection and maintenance. In addition to hands-on workshops, our goals also include the support of the broader community of 35mm exhibition – from encouraging peer-to-peer training to increasing the availability of online resources.
As the world’s largest international association of professional media archivists, the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) is uniquely poised to bring together a broad range of experts. Members represent film studios, corporate and national archives, historical societies, labs, post production, universities, footage libraries and more. Because of this diverse membership, AMIA provides an opportunity to interact with every facet of the field and a single forum to address the best ways to preserve and provide access to our media heritage in digital and analog formats. For further information, visit www.AMIAnet.org and follow AMIA on Facebook, Twitter (@AMIAnet) and Instagram (@AMIArchivists).
ABOUT BOSTON LIGHT & SOUND
Boston Light & Sound are known as the specialty presentation gurus. From early success presenting Napoleon, complete with a live orchestra at the Colosseum in Rome, to engineering and installing digital cinema and film projection systems at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Doha, Qatar, BL&S has a reputation for technical expertise and craftsmanship. One of the nation’s leading entertainment technology companies, BL&S maintains the personal touch of a small specialty operation. Services include technical expertise and equipment for the arts and entertainment industry, and world-renown pro-AV. For more information, visit www.blsi.com.
ABOUT THE FILM FOUNDATION
The Film Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Martin Scorsese in 1990 to protect and preserve motion picture history. By working in partnership with archives and studios, the foundation has helped to restore over 750 films, which are made accessible to the public through programming at festivals, museums, archives and educational institutions around the world. The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project has restored over 30 films from 20 different countries. The foundation’s free educational curriculum, The Story of Movies, teaches young people about film language and history. For more information, visit: www.film-foundation.org.
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