Projection Hero

By Nic Price on 16 December 2011 — 1 min read

Projection Hero by Beatnic
Projection Hero, a photo by Beatnic on Flickr.

I learned to be a projectionist in the early 1980s.

Our physics teacher at school, Mr Smith, taught me and a friend. We would practice “lacing up” the film, focusing the lens and switching reels as quickly as possible. We learnt to cut and splice the film to make edits or repair damage.

So when I went to Bristol’s Watershed Centre on Wednesday, I was immediately drawn to “Projection Hero” which is currently installed there.

It’s a collaboration between Charlotte Crofts of UWE, and Tarim.

“There will be a laptop, housed within a large white box, which will form the cinema screen, framed by working velvet curtains and lights. There will be two little viewing holes, for projectionists windows at the back so that you can peep in and watch the tabs open up. We’re using a curtain mechanism powered by a motor controlled by arduino, all hidden in a recess behind the computer screen, together with speakers and all the power cables. The floor of the cinema will be raked and populated with tiny little hand-carved cinema seats.”

Inside the cabinet, a QR code is generated, which you can scan with your handset. This will take you to a uniquely generated URL showing you the projectionists controls.

You can dim the lights, open and close the tabs (curtains), move to the next reel… all using your handset.

Read more about the Projection Hero project on Charlotte Crofts blog.


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  • Projection Hero is back in the Watershed bar with new movies on – all to do with the art of projection – if you get a chance to have another go… and also the auditorium lights are now working!

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