What does Motion Picture Projectionists Do?
A projectionist is responsible for projecting featured films at theaters around the country. The position involves taking the films and unspooling them, piecing them together and threading them through the projection equipment. Projectionists work in a small room at the back of the theater to prep the film, project it, and then adjust for picture and sound quality, as needed. Essentially, projectionists make sure that the movie-going experience happens without flaws.Currently there are around 8,000 projectionist positions in the United States. That amount is expected to drop 27% to around 5,800 jobs by 2022. The expected number of job openings per year is around 310.
Motion Picture Projectionists Skills and Abilities
The most important skill set for a motion picture projectionist is knowledge of the equipment involved to project films. Being able to operate and control the equipment is essential. Problem solving and critical thinking skills are also needed to be able to adjust the picture for visual and sound quality purposes, as needed. This requires an attention to detail and monitoring the film as it plays. Having good vision and hearing is also necessary in order to properly supervise film quality and adjust accordingly.
Motion Picture Projectionists Duties
The duties required for this job include control and maintenance of the projection equipment, inspecting equipment regularly, monitoring processes and surroundings, and making certain films are projected properly. The position is a solitary one and is best for individuals who appreciate alone time. However, being able to project movies, and ensure they play correctly, is great work for anyone who appreciates films. Some more specific tasks include:
- Operate audio-visual equipment
- Prepare film for distribution
- Keep regular reports or records
- Splice and rewind film on the reels
- Perform minor maintenance of equipment
- Operate special effects equipment
- Arrange schedules for theater facilities
- Open and close theaters
- Manage curtain and screen controls
- Inspect films for breaks or imperfections
- Utilize equipment needed to rewind films
As technology change and evolves, film will transition to becoming more digital and projectionists will need to stay on top of industry changes. Even modern equipment needs to be supervised and adjusted.
Motion Picture Projectionists Tools and Technology
The basis for this type of work involves specialized equipment – film projectors, slide projectors and audio amplifiers. It may also entail basic tools for maintenance such as allen wrenches, screwdrivers and pliers. Understanding of the Internet and basic software may also be required.
Education and Training for Motion Picture Projectionists
There are no specific educational programs to train individuals to become motion picture projectionists. No minimum educational requirements are involved in this line of work. Almost all training occurs on the job. Research shows that about 25% of people in this field have a high school diploma and around 21% actually have a bachelor’s degree. An average of around 24.9% have some sort of college experience but no earned degree or certificate.
Motion Picture Projectionists Salary
The average pay for most motion picture projectionists is around $21,000 a year or $10 per hour. The lowest bracket of pay averages around $8 an hour. In some areas, projectionists can make as much as $33,900 a year.
Motion Picture Projectionists Jobs by Geography
Obviously, the state’s that have the most motion picture projectionists are those that turn out many of the country’s films. The film industry is the most active in California and Florida. California has the most with over 8,000 positions but Florida has a hefty amount at over 1,000. Texas and New York have about half of what Florida has.