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.