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TOPIC: Projectionist Quals

Projectionist Quals 17 Sep 2007 22:12 #22562

  • Filmfisher
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We have 4 projectionist all yelling for a raise. To your knowledge is there anywhere located a "qualification" knowledge quiz.
How do any of you who hire a projectionist qualify?

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Re: Projectionist Quals 18 Sep 2007 11:39 #22563

  • jholliger
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try the manual downloads at filmtech I recall seeing several training manuals and a few tests for projectionist.
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Re: Projectionist Quals 18 Sep 2007 22:50 #22564

  • Ken Layton
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If you're in the Projectionists Union then you qualify.
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Re: Projectionist Quals 18 Sep 2007 23:18 #22565

  • slapintheface
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So few states have unions anymore.....
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Re: Projectionist Quals 19 Sep 2007 01:50 #22566

  • rodeojack
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I guess that after nearly 40 years in and around the booth, I'd base hiring a projectionist on my own experiences. I started as a youngster, bugging a local indie to let me in his booth, which turned into a lifelong family friendship and professional association. There was union training along the way, work as sub and chief projectionist in Olympia, Seattle and surrounds, exposure to techs from RCA, Altec and Dolby, and all the same years of practical experience that many of you have accumulated over the years of your ownerships.

From chatting with a lot of you, my impression is that there are few dummies here. So, in suggesting how to train and evaluate a projectionist, I'd have to admit that I'm the first person a prospective operator would have to satisfy.

So... How do you want your booth run when you're not up there yourself? We all have our hotbuttons. You know how you like your shows to look, the timing on your lights, makeup-breakdown, cleaning, maintenance, monitoring quality, etc. Digest that down to a short course and see how your operators deal with it. I suspect that, aside from maybe getting a picture on the screen in a pinch, your theatre's training wouldn't work for me any more than mine would for you.

My boxoffice and booth are my top two "most important" parts of the theatre. On the few occasions when I had other than family in the booth, the operators usually made a little more than the concession workers. I wouldn't go overboard on this, because while the booth operators control the equipment that forms the basis for your customers' attendance, the concession workers actually have to deal with them on a personal level. As most everyone here is cross-trained in various areas, none really deserves to be paid substantially more than another, "time on the job" notwithstanding.

Do you consider your positions to be "entry level" jobs? If you're ok with trading off minimum wages for the constant "revolving door", then fine. If not, then maybe I'd look at what comparable wages are in your area, and bump that up a bit.

Where you are seems to make a huge difference in this area. Some areas in the country are paying the federal minimum, and owners there look crosseyed at what we're paying in Washington. We have something like the first or second highest minimums in the country, because some bright politicians are convinced that entry-level fry cooks should be able to buy homes and raise families in Seattle (median home prices, $500k) on those wages.

Sorry... the soap box was a bit closer than I thought!


[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited September 19, 2007).]
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Re: Projectionist Quals 19 Sep 2007 17:38 #22567

  • Mike
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Great post Mssr RJ: I have never learned projection though I can usually trouble shoot every problem we ever have as I have seen it all. If 4 projectionists are clamoring: they may have a point. It does depend on where you are and how busy you are. We could give everyone raises and raises and be broke and out of biz. On the other hand: you want to keep a trained person. You cannot replace experience.

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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Re: Projectionist Quals 20 Sep 2007 00:44 #22568

  • Ken Layton
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As I understand it, isn't Massachusetts a state that requires projectionists be licensed?
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Re: Projectionist Quals 20 Sep 2007 07:16 #22569

  • rodeojack
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Yes... at least it used to be. It was under their public safety laws "520 CMR 3.00".

I googled it this morning & could only find references to a union action against a theatre in 2003, where the union suggested that use of unlicensed projectionists could result in burned-down theatres. So... I'm not sure if the law is still in effect.
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Re: Projectionist Quals 27 Sep 2007 15:59 #22570

  • Avco
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In New York City projectionists need tobe licensed.
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Re: Projectionist Quals 27 Sep 2007 20:36 #22571

  • rufusjack
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Avco:

Being very new to this business, why would that be the case?

Old laws based on a time when equipment could burn the house down? or something else?

I just can't see what the public safety need is to require licensed projectionists.

What can a projectionist due today (or in 2003) that could burn the house down?

[This message has been edited by rufusjack (edited September 27, 2007).]
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Re: Projectionist Quals 28 Sep 2007 10:20 #22572

  • Avco
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It's one of those laws that is still on the books for NYC. The department of Consumer Affairs manages this license. It costs $200 to take the test and $75 for the two year license. In this city you have to have a license to sell newspapers/cigarettes/run a ice cream truck/sell hot dogs from a cart/etc.. There are a few states that you must be licensed in the booth. In this city you even have to have a permit to go out of business.
In Los Angeles the only license still on the books is if you are running Nitrate stock film in special venues like archives and that one is handled by the Fire department.

[This message has been edited by Avco (edited September 28, 2007).]
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