E.T. (Bill Pearson)

Bill Pearson interviewed by Richard Wallace

Projectionist Bill Pearson describes the period he spent projecting E.T. including the problems with the print and the effect that it had on him and the audience.

Clip

Show Transcript
We showed E.T. The press show of E.T, Spielberg, we had a 60 foot screen there, colossal screen. When we had the 70 mm print come of E.T., the picture was in the middle and it was blacked out either side. In other words what we call 3:4 ratio of TV. So I rang the renter up in London and I said, "You know it isn’t 70 mm print?" He said, "No but Steven Spielberg wanted it ... although it was shot on 35, shown in 70 mm because of the sound and the size of the screen. And so we had to show it like that. But for me I had to come home and say to Joan, "I'm ever so sorry, love, after 50 years of marriage, I've fallen in love with somebody else. I'm sorry". Every day I said good morning to E.T., I fell in love with it. Every time when he says, "home", tears came in my eyes. And do you know, one of the only films we’ve run at Coventry, I used to go in on the last end of it to watch the audience reaction and when he said "home" and he came, they stood up and cheered and it was like being at the theatre. And it was a houseful. But it was such a wonderful feeling that what Spielberg had made I'd shown to the public. It's that kind of feeling you get inside. You can't get it on DVD. You don't get the same feeling as being in an auditorium with the seven track sound.

Title

E.T. (Bill Pearson)

Subject

Description

Projectionist Bill Pearson describes the period he spent projecting E.T. including the problems with the print and the effect that it had on him and the audience.

Source

Interview with Joan and Bill Pearson

Publisher

University of Warwick

Date

21/03/2017

Format

.mp3

Language

English

Type

Sound recording

Coverage

1982
Birmingham

Interviewer

Richard Wallace
Rebecca Harrison

Interviewee

Bill Pearson
Jon Pearson

Date of Interview

21/07/2016

Location

Birmingham

Transcription

We showed E.T. The press show of E.T, Spielberg, we had a 60 foot screen there, colossal screen. When we had the 70 mm print come of E.T., the picture was in the middle and it was blacked out either side. In other words what we call 3:4 ratio of TV. So I rang the renter up in London and I said, "You know it isn’t 70 mm print?" He said, "No but Steven Spielberg wanted it ... although it was shot on 35, shown in 70 mm because of the sound and the size of the screen. And so we had to show it like that. But for me I had to come home and say to Joan, "I'm ever so sorry, love, after 50 years of marriage, I've fallen in love with somebody else. I'm sorry". Every day I said good morning to E.T., I fell in love with it. Every time when he says, "home", tears came in my eyes. And do you know, one of the only films we’ve run at Coventry, I used to go in on the last end of it to watch the audience reaction and when he said "home" and he came, they stood up and cheered and it was like being at the theatre. And it was a houseful. But it was such a wonderful feeling that what Spielberg had made I'd shown to the public. It's that kind of feeling you get inside. You can't get it on DVD. You don't get the same feeling as being in an auditorium with the seven track sound.

Original Format

One-to-one interview

Duration

00:01:44

Bit Rate/Frequency

320kbps

Citation

The Projection Project, “E.T. (Bill Pearson),” Projection Project, accessed May 22, 2019, https://projectionproject.warwick.ac.uk/items/show/467.

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