Watch This: Learn the Mechanics of How a Film Projector Works

July 20, 2015

Film Projector

Have you ever wanted to be a projectionist? Back in the days when 35mm projectors could be found in every theater, in every cineplex, in every town. Nowadays they're lost relics of a different time. That doesn't mean we can't still learn about the art of projection and how it works, in hopes that we may teach this art to future generations. Bill Hammack, also known as "engineer guy" on YouTube, has posted a video examining the mechanics of how a film projector works. He spends most of his time with a 16mm projector, but it's the same general idea for 35mm projection. And it's just fascinating to learn the actual engineer dynamics of how a projector works, and how they fixed the flickering effect created by the mechanics inside the machine.

Thanks to SlashFilm for the tip on this, found on engineerguy's YouTube. From the description: "Bill tears apart a film projector to reveal the amazing mechanisms used in the pre-digital age to trick the mind into seeing a moving image. He uses high speed photography and animations to show how the projector moves the film intermittently, how a shutter strategically blocks light as the film moves, and how the photo sensor reads the sound. He explains how all these mechanisms are synced." I would love to see an entire series about the evolution of film projection, including the various advancements in use in today's top-of-the-line gear and the way digital has transformed the process. Perhaps one day. For now this is a good introduction.

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1 Comment


That's cool. I love these kinds of videos made for the lay man. Funny to think about how these will be obsolete within ten years.

DAVIDPD on Jul 20, 2015

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