Random Factoid #499

9 12 2010

Are projectionists on the chopping block?  The Hollywood Reporter has this report:

With [the switch from film to digital], the era of the reel projector is over. Currently, theaters are 35% digital, with the number growing just as quickly as manufacturing will allow for. Instead of a complex process of setting up film reels on platters and watching the cigarette burns for change over times while reading comic books, a “projectionist” will hit a button, make sure a little LED light is on, and sit back to read comic books while the movie they downloaded from a server plays flawlessly.

Technology races forward with a lot of positive effects, but here’s one human cost that we can get a little sentimental about. They aren’t gone completely, but sooner rather than later, we’re going to find ourselves holding a true memorial service for a completely obsolete profession.”

I think it’s kind of sad that a part of film history that has been needed since “The Great Train Robbery” will soon be obsolete.  Personally, I think there’s something kind of charming about watching a movie on film with all the scratches on the screen and pops in the sound.  It’s a part of going to the movies, and if audiences were really that concerned about picture/sound quality, they would have given up on the theater as soon as the LaserDisc came about.

So from where I’m sitting, I’m not ready to bid goodbye to the projectionist … even though I barely notice them or give them thanks.  (That’s what we have Christoph Waltz for.)



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