TECHNICAL AMBASSADORS APPOINTED TO HELP INDEPENDENT EXHIBITORS
Posted: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:30
Technical Ambassadors (TAs) have been selected from each of the nine BFI Film Audience Network Hub areas (listed below) across the UKhighly skilled and experienced projectionists, technicians and engineers who can help improve standards of digital presentation across the UK through an 'on-call' service model for exhibitors across their regions or nations.
Applications for support were officially launched earlier this week at the Technical Ambassadors New Technology Forum at BFI Southbank, where the team of Technical Ambassadors from across the UK gathered together for the first time. The Forum included a keynote speech from David Monk, CEO of European Digital Cinema Forum (formerly of Texas Instruments), presentations on future cinema technologies, including immersive sound, Higher Frame Rate (HFR), laser projection and new high brightness "white screens". Forum attendees were also given a backstage tour of the film vault and technical facilities at the BFI Southbank.
For the first time there will be a taskforce of skilled and experienced projectionists, technicians and engineers available to independent and specialist exhibitors to visit them on site, who can help improve standards of digital presentation across the UK - all the while strengthening their knowledge, obtaining new skills and making new contacts Technical Ambassadors will be available for booking by independent exhibitors through an application process on the ICO website. Please see http://www.independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/training/techskills
For the next 6 months the Technical Ambassadors will deliver on-demand assistance and training to organisations within their own and neighbouring FAN Hub regions who request assistance and training with their digital equipment. We envisage training sessions may cover the following areas:
- presentation skills for screenings; live-by-satellite events; conferences; live music; 3D; pop-up screenings; Skype Q&As and building playlists
- maintenance skills: server maintenance; updating software; testing sound equipment; measuring light levels; charging lamps
- creating DCPs or other kit compatible digital files
- Setting-up and updating technical equipment including kit requirement assessment; quality but cost effective kit recommendations; system configuration and interface; installation of second-hand equipment; advice on funding and budgets.
Professor David Monk (referred to by many as the "Godfather of Digital Cinema") said: "This is a really important initiative to make expert advice available that is truly impartial, accurate and current. The numbers of people in the UK that really understand digital cinema exhibition are pretty few and far between. The Technical Ambassadors have a great opportunity to share knowledge and address issues facing independent cinema owners planning to upgrade their facilities or better use their existing kit."
Catharine Des Forges, Director of the ICO, said: "A lot of the enquiries we get in the office are on technical issues; it can be very difficult for independent exhibitors looking to develop their facilities to gain bespoke independent advice and Tech Skills will be of fantastic benefit to the sector."
Eddie Berg, Director of Partnerships for the BFI, said: "The BFI Film Audience Network is all about bringing a greater choice of film to audiences across the UK through a network of partners who understand their local audiences and who can now take up the advances offered by digital technology to capitalise on creating new opportunities for audiences to engage with film."
Rebecca Davies, Film Partnership Manager for Creative Skillset said: "In the fast-paced environment of digital exhibition, this support network of technical expertise will be an invaluable resource to the Film Audience Network and its partners. Venues will be able to access affordable on-site expertise to train and educate staff in managing new technical challenges, helping to create in-house solutions in the future and ultimately enabling optimum presentations for audiences."
This training programme is supported by Creative Skillset's Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with Lottery funding and by the industry.