Projectionists are responsible for receiving films, programmes or even individual rushes to be shown on a big screen to the director and other post-production staff and inspecting them.
Skills required to be a projectionist
- experience in projection equipment
- ability to solve technical problems calmly and efficiently
- ability to work under pressure and in relative silence
- good communication skills
- ability to work long antisocial hours
- ability to work alone
Ways to become a projectionist
Many cinemas operate in-house projectionist training schemes. An NVQ/SVQ in projection is usually useful, as are health and safety qualifications.
Job role and responsibilities
During the later stages of post-production the director, producers, post-production supervisor and composer may want to experience the film on a big screen. Sometimes on bigger productions, even the rushes or dailies will be projected onto a large cinema screen for review. The projectionist is responsible for either loading the physical film or, as is now more often the case, a digital file or DCP onto the projection system ready for play out. The projectionist is also responsible for the security of the DCP, encoded by a DKDM, a special code that only allows the film to be played only on a specific projector during a specific date range. This helps protect against piracy.
Some other job roles in post-production
Good editors are invaluable to a film or TV show, and most began as post-production runners before working up through the ranks of assistant to editor
Sound post-production is a creative and technical job that involves re-recording and dubbing dialogue, sound effects and foley
Colourists make sure that all the scenes in a film match and work together by balancing saturation and brightness to make the colour consistent
Back to post-production