Film Hub North: Technical Skills for Digital Exhibition

Posted 29 July 2014

Symon Culpan, one of Film Hub North's Technical Ambassadors, says hello. 


The grass isn't always greener in the multiplex...


I'm Symon Culpan, one of 19 newly appointed Technical Ambassadors for the Independent Cinema Office and BFI Film Audience Network's UK-wide Technical Skills for Digital Exhibition programme.

As one of the two appointees for the North, I'll be working alongside Film Hub North to deliver bespoke technical advice and training for exhibitors in our region. I'm a cinema and stage technician, with experience as both a film and digital projectionist, working as part of the projection team at the National Media Museum where my role also includes in-house content creation and DCP mastering for events, film festivals and screenings. 

Registered self-employed, I also operate as a freelance projectionist, AV and events technician, and design and operate lighting and sound for theatrical productions. I provide content authoring services for events, film festivals and individual clients on a freelance basis, and I'm currently the Short Film Projections Manager for Leeds International Film Festival too.

I'm really excited about the possibilities of this scheme and look forward to meeting exhibitors, helping them to improve their skills and knowledge and further their development. One of the most exciting things is getting behind independent exhibitors and helping them to improve, especially those who operate on a not-for-profit basis without the financial support structures of the wider industry. Not just because these ventures both deserve and need our support, but because these are often the venues where there is often significant room for improvement!

We all know our audiences respond that bit better if we give that little bit more. That's what this scheme is about, guiding exhibitors through improvements in projection technologies, sound systems and screens, and giving advice, assistance and training. Whether it be installing equipment for live satellite broadcasts, alternative content provision or upgrading to DCI specifications we can help exhibitors connect with wider support structures and improve their cinematic offer to their audiences.

We all recognise how much poor audio or visual quality can impact on how a film is received; if it looks and sounds poor, then the audience experience is poor. Establishing a DCI compliant community of exhibitors is ideal because then our customers don't just benefit from higher definition images and wrap-around sound, but also the cinematic experience is preserved as universally as possible across all sites. The intentions of the filmmakers are more accurately represented (from colour reproduction to audio definition); the blacks are black, the whites are white and the grass is always the same shade of green. The grass shouldn't always be greener in the multiplex!


If you'd like to apply for the ICO Technical Skills for Digital Exhibition service you can do so here

Please note you must be a member of Film Hub North to apply. Membership is free of charge and is open to any organisations working in film exhibition in Yorkshire, Cumbria or the North East of England. 


Symon Culpan is Projectionist and Theatrical Lighting and Sound Technician at the National Media Museum. He also works as a freelancer for festivals and theatres including Hyde Park Picture House and Hebden Bridge, with a wide range of projection equipment experience.

The other Technical Ambassador for the Film Hub North region is John-Paul Burgess, Box Office Manager at Showroom Workstation and Technical Manager for the Leeds International Film Festival. He has a unique range of experience in running projection within various trusts, multiplexes and independent arts organisations, which he looks forward to sharing.

Chris Black

Film Hub North AdministratorRead more posts by Chris Black


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