Project Coordinator: Marina Uzunova
As sweeping changes to film exhibition technology transform the way films are screened and viewed, caboose launches the collaborative on-line project Planetary Projection, introducing some of the world’s remarkable film projectionists. We invite you to help us find a few more, in every corner of the globe, so that they might tell us their stories.
Read an article on early film projectionists by caboose proprietor Timothy Barnard
The Machine Operator: Deux ex machina of the Storefront Cinema
L’Opérateur de vues animées: deus ex machina des premières salles de cinéma
“Operador de máquinas”: Deus ex machina de la primeras salas cinematográficas
Projection has been a central part of cinema from the beginning – the Lumière Cinématographe camera doubled as its own projector – but has received little critical or scholarly attention, and projectionists themselves even less. Around the world, the variety of projection practices throughout film history has been a part of the diversity of global film culture. What will happen to that diversity when this variety disappears under the weight of digital technologies?
Planetary Projection invites film projectionists around the world to describe their work and their often idiosyncratic view of film in capsule portraits either written first-hand or composed by local correspondents out of interviews. Web surfers will discover a gallery of film “characters” who are not shy about their tastes and opinions when it comes to cinema, each with his or her own peculiar answer to that age-old question: what is cinema? Along the way, readers will learn about technical matters and get a rare glimpse of film exhibition practices around the world.
Our on-line album will gradually form and grow, exploring film projection from every angle: the technical, the philosophical, the aesthetic, the historical, the experimental and even the erotic – it's all here! You can help by telling us about projectionists you know or by becoming an informal regional correspondent in search of more projectionists on our behalf. For more information, contact project coordinator Marina Uzunova. You can also download this one-page PDF description of the project to circulate to people you think might be interested in it.
Plans are already underway for a book on film projection, a heterogeneous collection of articles by film scholars on the history, theory and practice of projection, from early film to post-film; discussions of cross-cultural projection practices; projectionists' writings; illustrations and more. Please contact us to find out more or to submit a proposal.
Please check back soon, as we are always adding new vignettes as they arrive. Have you ever projected film? Consider writing a vignette for us.