Starting a performance (Mick Corfield)

Mick Corfield interviewed by Richard Wallace

Projectionist and BECTU representative Mick Corfield describes the process of starting a performance.

Clip

Show Transcript
What we used to do, we used to open... We used to go... And I’ll talk you through it ‘cos it always makes me laugh. And Jack Spittle who was the senior projectionist at the time, the old projectionist. So we used to laugh because we used to go through this routine, we used to go... It used to be like being on a ship. It used to be “House lights to half, Mr Corfield.” “House lights to half, Mr Spittle.” And we used to take... We had little dials, knobs, that we used to take down, so we used to take the house lights to half. “Projector turn on.” “Projector turn on.” So we’d turn the projector on. But then with the take up of the film, because the film would sag, because the take up of the 12,000 foot spool wouldn’t take up quick enough. So while you were doing with one hand various things you’d have to hold the film until it took up. If you didn’t it’d snap the film. So the film would still carry on going through the gate but end up on the floor and then you’d have to stop it really quickly, and when you’d try and stop it before you obviously opened the douser, which is obviously what lets the light on the screen, and then you’d see the film. So obviously we’d open the douser, open the shutter and away we’d go, whilst taking the house lights to half. So you’d got your house lights to half, you’d run your projector, you take your spotlights down, which’d be at the front of the screen which’d be shining on the tabs, the curtains, the tabs. So then obviously what you do then is you press button, button, button, dial, dial, dial, and open it all lovely, so it’d open up with the Cannon cinemas ident as all the lights would drop down. This of course making sure the film hasn’t broken and also bringing the sound off so we hadn’t got a bang, ‘cause when a join goes through it bangs. Fading the sound down and fading the sound up. So of course once you’ve done your adverts you have to do the same thing again for your trailers, you’d bring the tabs down. You wouldn’t put your house lights up but you’d bring the tabs down and you’d bring your stage lights up to half, so you’d do that. So it’s called presentation. So we’d do all that and then we’d stop for an ice-cream sale and we’d put a spotlight on and do the ice-cream sale and then we’d start the main feature and away we’d go. So that’s what we’d do. And then we’d have to be down there five minutes from the end. We’d go down periodically and check, we’d stay there and make sure it was in the right ratio, any hair in the gate, anything like that, and you’d have to try and remove it because you couldn’t stop the show – all these little tricks that you learnt over the time.

Title

Starting a performance (Mick Corfield)

Description

Projectionist and BECTU representative Mick Corfield describes the process of starting a performance.

Source

Interview with Mick Corfield

Publisher

The University of Warwick

Date

08/12/2015

Format

.mp3

Language

English

Type

Sound recording
interview extract

Coverage

1989-1992

Interviewer

Richard Wallace

Interviewee

Mick Corfield

Date of Interview

03/08/2015

Location

Coventry

Transcription

What we used to do, we used to open... We used to go... And I’ll talk you through it ‘cos it always makes me laugh. And Jack Spittle who was the senior projectionist at the time, the old projectionist. So we used to laugh because we used to go through this routine, we used to go... It used to be like being on a ship. It used to be “House lights to half, Mr Corfield.” “House lights to half, Mr Spittle.” And we used to take... We had little dials, knobs, that we used to take down, so we used to take the house lights to half. “Projector turn on.” “Projector turn on.” So we’d turn the projector on. But then with the take up of the film, because the film would sag, because the take up of the 12,000 foot spool wouldn’t take up quick enough. So while you were doing with one hand various things you’d have to hold the film until it took up. If you didn’t it’d snap the film. So the film would still carry on going through the gate but end up on the floor and then you’d have to stop it really quickly, and when you’d try and stop it before you obviously opened the douser, which is obviously what lets the light on the screen, and then you’d see the film. So obviously we’d open the douser, open the shutter and away we’d go, whilst taking the house lights to half. So you’d got your house lights to half, you’d run your projector, you take your spotlights down, which’d be at the front of the screen which’d be shining on the tabs, the curtains, the tabs. So then obviously what you do then is you press button, button, button, dial, dial, dial, and open it all lovely, so it’d open up with the Cannon cinemas ident as all the lights would drop down. This of course making sure the film hasn’t broken and also bringing the sound off so we hadn’t got a bang, ‘cause when a join goes through it bangs. Fading the sound down and fading the sound up. So of course once you’ve done your adverts you have to do the same thing again for your trailers, you’d bring the tabs down. You wouldn’t put your house lights up but you’d bring the tabs down and you’d bring your stage lights up to half, so you’d do that. So it’s called presentation. So we’d do all that and then we’d stop for an ice-cream sale and we’d put a spotlight on and do the ice-cream sale and then we’d start the main feature and away we’d go. So that’s what we’d do. And then we’d have to be down there five minutes from the end. We’d go down periodically and check, we’d stay there and make sure it was in the right ratio, any hair in the gate, anything like that, and you’d have to try and remove it because you couldn’t stop the show – all these little tricks that you learnt over the time.

Original Format

One-to-one interview

Duration

00:01:53

Bit Rate/Frequency

320kbps

Cinema

Reel Cinema, 12 Hagley Road West, Birmingham

Citation

The Projection Project, “Starting a performance (Mick Corfield),” Projection Project, accessed May 22, 2019, https://projectionproject.warwick.ac.uk/items/show/417.

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