Re: [Frameworks] 16mm Xenon projection suggestion please

From: Tom Whiteside <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 09:05:32 -0400

I do outdoor shows in 16mm, about a 50' throw, image is 12' wide. I'm not sure what you mean about the projector being elevated 30' - please note that in order to get square corners ( a rectangular image) your lens must be in line with the center of the image - there is no keystone adjustment in film projectors as there is in video projectors. You can tilt the screen to a certain degree (pun pun) but ...... The screen should be perpendicular to the throw.

I use the Bell and Howell 1568 projectors with Marc 300 lamps, somewhat comparable to a xenon. It's plenty bright, you really do want to wait for darkness however. ("Civil twilight" is a better indicator than "sunset," see the charts in your location.) If possible, position your screen to minimize ambient light. Look out for traffic, I have seen outdoor shows annoyingly marred by car headlights turning the corner a block or two away. If you've never shown in that location before, go there at night (at the same time as showtime) with a large piece of white foamcore, have someone hold it up and look carefully for light falling on that surface. Some amount of ambient light is unavoidable and need not be a problem, but if you have a strong light falling directly on your screen it can mess you up. Depending on your screen material you may need to be aware of light behind the screen as well - a proper screen should be opaque, which most bedsheets are not. Also note that your sound system will need to have more punch than what you would use indoors.

Biggest problem outdoors is the wind. A screen is a big sail and it doesn't take much to bring it down, so engineering that is really important. If there is a wall in the right location and you can attach to that then you are lucky.

FYI, tonight's Durham Cinematheque show (outdoors) is "Would You Like to Buy a Car?" with Jam Handy dandies from the early 1950's, plus timely tips on buying a used car from the 1970's, with an extra special look at tires and hydroplaning. If you come to the show please drive carefully.

- Tom dba Durham Cinematheque since 1991

From: [] On Behalf Of robbie
Sent: Friday, July 15, 2011 3:57 AM
To: Experimental Film Discussion List
Subject: [Frameworks] 16mm Xenon projection suggestion please

anyone have thoughts or suggestions regarding projecting 16mm outdoors?
im researching the options projecting 16mm film for an outdoor installation in late September. the projected throw will be approx 40-50' with some city light contamination. the projector will perhaps be elevated as well 30' adding to the distance/throw.
i want to project in 16mm if possible, but with these configurations i may have to embark into new grounds of higher video projector lumens illumination , which i hope to avoid.
therefore, does anyone consider 16mm xenon doing the job? and if so, what wattage suggestion? 350w? 750? or higher?
thanks for any ideas.


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Received on Fri Jul 15 2011 - 06:05:45 CDT