In October, I celebrated my 20th anniversary since I first got involved with cinema and the projection of movies. I can’t remember the exact date that I randomly ended up in a General Meeting of Flix, Loughborough Student Cinema during my first year at Loughborough University. Little did I know how much of an impact that decision would make on my life. I nearly didn’t go, but someone, that I had worked with in Ents the Saturday before was going and then found someone I knew from my study department was there too.
During this meeting, they were looking for Assistant Projectionists to help the Projectionist at the time. Without really thinking about it my hand went up – it was technical and sounded interesting.
This was a Monday evening. The following Sunday I started my training, which mainly involved learning how to operate the Westrex Tower so that you didn’t end up with film everywhere.
I wanted to know more about this world I had entered and started to search the internet for more information. It was still the early days so there was relatively little content. I saved the links in a word document and eventually uploaded it to the University services in HTML. This file later becoming what is now my website http://www.madcornishprojectionist.co.uk.
Slowly over time I got better and started to learn more and more. I joined an email discussion group and started to make friends in the industry.
I also joined the BKSTS so that I could get Cinema Technology Magazine. I also join the CTA, PPT and Mercia cinema groups.
Ultimately I then went on to work as a casual projectionist when I graduated in 2000 and moved to London, firstly at Norden Farm and other places, getting involved in different aspects of the industry and being helped along the way by far too many people to be able to mention here.
Little did I know or believe that 20 years ago when I went into that projection room at Loughborough that I would be today earning my entire living from either showing or talking about films, travelling all over the world and meeting a great range of people too.
But equally my time at Flix, on the committee caused me to make some my closest and dearest friends, some of whom I have worked with professionally at a later date.