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Author Topic: How elaborate and great are your screenings?
Dave Velazquez
Posts: 29
From: NY, NY
Registered: Mar 2012

 - posted July 25, 2012 06:13 PM      Profile for Dave Velazquez   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Velazquez   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
After discussing improving the sound quality of my screenings and getting a wealth of answers, i became curious to know...

How elaborate have some of you made your screenings? Do you include trailers, cartoons, Chaplin shorts?

How large is your audience, your venue, your screen? Outdoor? Indoor?

What full length features have you shown and what kind of reaction from the audience do you get?

And do you have any particular screenings that are absolutely memorable?

I screened my 800' reel of Star Wars for my best friends kids on the deck of his home in the early evening and we all had a blast. The kids were booing the villains and cheering the good guys...and then making shapes with their hands during the reel change. Good times!

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 7016
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted July 25, 2012 09:37 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I do maybe two showings a year for crowds of about 20.

They are often elaborate...but "great"?!...depends, I guess!

Typical show is a succession of shorts, cartoons for kids. I did a railroad film show this spring using the Titfield Thunderbolt(4x400') as my feature.

The sad part is even though I have a comfortable place to watch films at home with very little settup involved, me being me I don't show to a lot of people there...nooooooo!

-I take it on the road!

My favorite screen is a 92" wide pulldown. This was meant to lead a contented life dangling from hooks behind my wife's curtains. Just to make life interesting, I had to find a way to make it portable!

Various elaborate mechanisms evolved to hold up each end using tripods from other screens, and in one case a tentpole clamped in an old Christmas tree stand! (Don't laugh: it works!)

Then again this had to be made mobile. I discovered there is this channel under the seats in the minivan that this screen will slide through, starting under the passenger side front seat and almost reaching the tailgate. This will make for a really strange moment at the dealership if we ever replace this car!

Once we hauled this out to a Winter Weekend for our camping group at a big house we rent: screen, screen tripods, two projectors, five films (plus wife, kid, needy friend and wayyy too much luggage!).

Of course even this wasn't enough: I showed 'scope films so I had to throw in an anamorphic lens and mount. When I overdo it, I head right off the cliff!

-It was by the Grace of God I did this before I figured out how to hook my audio into a stereo! Much more of this and I'd need to rent a truck!

All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006

 - posted July 26, 2012 04:37 AM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I try to make the presentation as best as I can with what I have got, although at home, things have improved a lot over the years. [Smile] You dont need lots of money to achieve it, just a vivid imagination, [Roll Eyes] pencil and paper, for me making my own projector stand from bits and pieces years ago and getting the use of a welding plant [Smile] was fun. The screen "back then" for away shows was an large old roller blind with school board matt black painted as a border. That screen used to hang on old aircraft control cable on a trypod. The same goes for a couple of extension speakers boxes. I made those as well using two single 8ohm wired to a box attached to the projector stand, which worked well for the ST1200. Although all that was years ago, it was great making things up to improve the presentation.

I have been mucking about with Super8 since the 70s and used to put on a number film shows on, away from home, but not these days.
I find its better to keep away from features, unless its for a particular group that are interested in that subject. The great thing about Super8 is that you can join up reels of shorts onto one larger one, so there is something for everyone to watch.

One film show I did every so often "long ago" was when I worked in aviation when on the night shift I would take to work one 16mm and ST1200 projector. After getting the ok from my night shift boss, and depending how much work on that night, we would leave the aircraft that was in the hanger plugged into ground power and lit up like a chrismas tree [Big Grin] . The idea was to make it look that we were still working, truth was, we were in the canteen watching movies late at night having a glass of beer.....those were the days. [Wink]

Anyway the main thing is....have fun.


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Joe Taffis
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1592
From: United States
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted July 26, 2012 09:09 AM      Profile for Joe Taffis   Email Joe Taffis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave, I'm guessing you haven't checked out the thread at the top of this page "Your screening room pictures"...lots of photos of members' home theaters, etc. [Smile]

Joe Taffis

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Maurizio Di Cintio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 977
From: Ortona, Italy
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted July 26, 2012 09:16 AM      Profile for Maurizio Di Cintio   Email Maurizio Di Cintio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I live in a recently built flat, chosen with an eye to its floorplan: it had to accomodate the needs for (minor) alterations so that the living room was adjacent to a room reasonably large to host all the equipment for our hobby. Needless to say I had a projection hole fitted in the wall separating the two rooms. So my setup is readily usable with no hassle at all: I just have to lower the screen from the ceiling which I can remote control from the projection room along with the audio system (Dolby 5.1) which also manages the audio from the DVD/BD players. When the screen is lowered, it covers my 42” LCD TV (giggle, giggle)

My projector for ultimate screen presentations is an Elmo Xenon which I chose not just because of its huge light output but because its light seems to grant images a different quality than any other type of light source I’ve ever experienced: its just as if images were sharper and the colours more vibrant. Actually throwing light onto a ca 2 meters wide screen from less than 8 meters’ distance is somewhat overkill but I just like it. I usually use the lower lamp setting (switching to the higher when using cinemascope only).

I usually screen my own self-made films as I am primarily a small-gauge filmmaker, but I also own some spectacular prints such as Titanic, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Die Harder, Star Wars, Spiderman and Raiders of the Lost Ark, which whenever possible, I prefer to screen with double system sound, thanks to the GS’ ext sync capabilities. The last screening with guests was Titanic on April 14th to commemorate the 100th year from its sinking. It was simply awesome with digital 5.1 sound. In that case the sound came straight from a computer on which I had re-arranged the soundtrack in order to match film to reel breakdown (that’s 3x360m.... brim full) and self-start with a cue beep that makes everything extremely easy.

Needless to say the audience were blown away...

Generally speaking I do this kind of presentation 4 or 5 times a year and if the film, unlike Titanic, is not too long, I add trailers and/or (Italian) commercials to the program along with one or two cartoon shorts and anti-piracy jingle (the same that used to be screened in Italian cinemas a few years ago – perhaps I can add a link to Youtube in the future to let you see it). I also have a self-made ‘policy’ reel (about 2 minutes) highlighting the main features of my home cinema which I like to open each program with.


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Christian Bjorgen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 996
From: Kvinnherad, Norway
Registered: Oct 2009

 - posted July 27, 2012 06:17 AM      Profile for Christian Bjorgen   Author's Homepage   Email Christian Bjorgen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My biggest audience so far was around 150-200, when I did a mini-screening during a local BBQ-party in the store parking lot next door.

Usually the audience is 5-10 people, and my screenings are mostly divided into two segments; one for the kids and one for the adults.

For the kids, I mostly show short cartoons and the occasional Disney featurettes and cutdowns. Then for the adults it's a few trailers, maybe a A&C or L&H short, and then a B/W feature or a B-western [Smile] Then I usually round off with home movies if it's for family.

As for screen I use what available, same goes for stands, but I do have a 70" silver screen on a tripod that I bring along for outdoor events.

Well who’s on first? Yeah. Go ahead and tell me. Who. The guy on first. Who. The guy playin’ first base. Who. The guy on first. Who is on first! What are you askin’ me for? I’m askin’ you!

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Dave Velazquez
Posts: 29
From: NY, NY
Registered: Mar 2012

 - posted July 30, 2012 04:00 PM      Profile for Dave Velazquez   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Velazquez   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the pointing that out Joe. What a fantastic display of enthusiasm with all the bona ride home theaters. I really enjoyed that thread.

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Gary Crawford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 979
From: Manassas, VA. USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted July 31, 2012 07:13 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For my library showings...I have a series of four weekly shows about three times a year. For those, I usually have some sort of theme connected the features. I run a short subject and/or preview connected in some way with the feature. I do a little bi-fold set of notes for each evening..notes on the feature and short. For each show, I prepare a trivia quiz for that film and the stars of the film...and bring prizes for those who get the most questions right.
Most features are 16mm..but shorts and some features are Super 8 at times. I always have pre show and post show music appropriate for that film.
I've have done over a hundred films there... they have a pretty big rolldown screen....normal aspect ratio..BUT this fall, I'm hanging the 16 foot scope screen I use for outdoor shows at home in there for an all scope series of horror films leading up to Halloween. Curse of the Fly, The Fog, Dracula , Prince of Darkness and Masque of the Red Death.
16mm films shown on Kodak marc 300 machines. Super 8 on a standard GS1200 elmo with very bright Fuji ESC lamp, f1.0 lens and two blade shutter.
Oh..and the library provides popcorn and drinks for the shows...which I do free..just for the fun of sharing films and fun.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted July 31, 2012 01:41 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Having friends in for a film show is great fun. I try to emulate ,as much as possible, the cinema experience of the 1940's and 50's- something they cannot get at the local multiplex.
Guests are invited into my home cinema with the house lights dimmed and the screen curtains illuminated. I usually play cinema organ music or 30's and 40's music while eveybody is getting seated. Sometimes this is accompanied by a digital slide show of movie posters, film stars, movie equipment etc.
At this point I usually have a movie quiz or trivia game of some kind. I find this gets everybody relaxed and interacting and in the mood for a movie. I usually start off with a Pathe or Movietone newsreel, followed by a short of some kind, which might be a Blackhawk Laurel and Hardy, Little Rascals, or a digest. This part of the show is always super 8 as there is such a huge selection of great shorts material available on S8, and I like to show the GS1200 running - most people find it fascinating.
Then a short intermission to either load up the super 8 feature or bring up the digital projector for a DVD or Blu Ray feature. At the end of the feature I usually bring up some more music so that guests can sit around and chat. Of course, at this point, I am delighted if anyone wants to examine and talk about my super 8 and 9.5mm equipment, which is on display in the cinema.

The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1632
From: California
Registered: Aug 2007

 - posted August 04, 2012 02:26 AM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave, I find that it's a continual quest for improvement. Perhaps I have a case of OCD! But I wouldn't say it's a quest until I consider what my film nights were like several years ago, a projector or two as I could make do, with a sheet slung over a wood rod for a screen. So things have improved now in both sound and picture. In fact, I was grateful this week to pick up a larger screen, second-hand. that looks great but will need a brick to keep from rolling up.

You could say it's an attempt to make the most enjoyable time possible (when guests are involved) with a smoothly worked-out program and technical details also worked out with as much care as the circumstances and equipment will allow. In other words, "as possible" keeps changing, if slowly, but I do my best to make it a memorable and reasonably presented show no matter what.

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