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Projectionists operate and adjust the equipment necessary for the showing of films. They run projectors, audio equipment, rewinding machines and 7 or more reels of film.

When a new film is received, the projectionist has to compile a film programme, splicing and advertising films, trailers and main feature reels onto a large screening reel. The film has to be examined and repaired if necessary and loaded into the projector, which is also checked to ensure that it is operating properly. Once the film is threaded, the focus is adjusted to project a clear image. When the projector reaches the correct speed the shutter is opened and the film is shown.

The reel is rewound after the film has been projected. When a programme ends, the projectionist has to break down the advertising films, trailers and main feature reels and dispatch them to the next destination.

Projectionists are required to deal with all minor repairs to equipment. Thus, it is beneficial for them to be technically inclined and have a fair knowledge of the basic principles of machinery and electricity.

Projectionists may also be expected to control the following activities at a cinema: music before the film and at intervals; dimming the lights; adjusting the air-conditioning; and informing the audience of the safety procedures in an emergency like a fire.

Satisfying Aspects
- working with one's hands
- working without supervision
- being able to obtain a position without a lot of advanced education
- being able to see films

Demanding aspects
- working alone in close quarters
- having to work evenings
- weekends and holidays
- receiving films that are in need of repair

A projectionist should:
- enjoy watching films;
- enjoy working alone without direct supervision;
- be responsible;
- be an accurate worker;
- have good eyesight and colour perception;
- have good hearing;
- have manual dexterity;
- be mechanically inclined.

School Subjects
Grade 10 Certificate
National Senior Certificate is recommended

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Electrical Technology, Mechanical Technology

In-house training (6 months) is provided by the organization where the candidate is employed.

The training consists of three areas that include:

- handling of films
- projection (the technical side)
- operation of projectors (lighting, screening and sound)
- maintenance of projectors.

- Theatres
- Drive-in theatres
- Film studios
- Television studios

National Television and Video Association of South Africa (NTVA)
P O Box 16140
Vlaeberg, 8018
Tel: (021) 424-7575 Fax: (021) 424-7580