(I gave a look to see if there was a specific topic devoted to noobs. I didn't see one. I do apologize if I've missed it.)
I was here a while back when I had some vintage projector bodies I thought might be of interest. Well my sister threw them away anyway (short story, still boring). And I stopped posting because I felt like I'd bean outsider making a nuisance of myself (it's happened before.)
But I always thought about how I wanted to do a BYT. I have owned and used a projector (a Dell 3200) in the house for a TV and flirted with the idea of using it on trick or treaters and Christmas Decoration. I live in a fairly confined space in the off season.
But last year I started using the summer house at the beach as a summer residence. And this year I started to put plans into action for my theater.
I kept a record at a different place I posit, with the expectation that when I did actually do the show, I'd come back here.
Here are those posts:
« Reply #13834 on: 2015-07-20, 14:08:48 »
Back on the coast. Brought up the projector etc...
I'm figuring I'll get a painter's drop cloth (white) and stretch it with 2X2s. Sink some pvc pipe in the sand and slide the 2xs in. ropes down from the top corners to stakes in the sand. I figure, i'll run a test tonight. Set the projector on a tripod and run a picture through it. I
ll go on to the beach and hold up a towel of some thing just to see if the light goes far enough. Also to get a sense of the size of the projected image.
Let you know tomorrow.
« Reply #13836 on: 2015-07-21, 14:56:12 »
Proof of Concept test went OK.
I'm using a Dell 3200 MP and I kept it inside the screen door (you know it's July in Maine when you're invaded at night by gigantic June bugs. I don't know if locals call them July bugs. It's like "Abugolypse Now", one found his way to my bedroom and started crawling in my hair. I grabbed him in the dark and heaved him against the wall. I heard him drop to the floor and I started to feel sorry for the poor buzztard, he didn't do anything outside of his nature. Then I heard his buggy buzzing as he came back from disconsciousness. Bzzzzt.. Bzzt Bzzt BZZZZT. Soon he was buzzing the room and landed on me through the blanket and sheet. Walking on me, with all six feet individually identifiable! Two pounds of bug in a two ounce container. Whoosh went the blanket, bonk went the June bug, probably leaving an indentation in the sheetrock. Clack, skittle went the eyeglasses I had forgotten I had lain beside me: still haven't found them. Click went the light switch. There he is, he may be dead, he may be stunned, but he'll soon be food for the terrorists that rule the septic tank. [note: this is reference to a discussion on a different topic... I only leave it here because of the general discussion here about insects in the North East.)
Walking to, I'm thinking of Leonardo - or was it Michelangelo? who professed never to hurt a fly for doing what it was intended to do. Walking back, well just another way I'm no Leonardo. Open the bedroom door, what? He's... but then... who? The other one did sort of look like he'd been out for a while. THIS one! buzzing the room alighting on the curtains! Magnificently disgusting! The wings don't fold neatly under the carapace armor right away and the helmet is open so the antennae... the hairy reddish bushy eyebrow antennae are twitching, not so much as in but rather causing a breeze!
He knows I'm here. Quick, get another tissue, screw up your guts man! Grab it! Got it...
It's probably a sign the God loves me and wants to reward me for making the right choice. I walk towards the bathroom again, but this time, I keep going. I open the front door where dozens of June bugs come to bathe in the porch light, even after it's been turned off for a good quarter hour. Some have decided to take a swim in the pail of water for dipping sandy feet before entering the house. They hope I'll change the water in the morning before they've drowned - sorry, I slept late this morning. I opened the door, slipped my hand full of store brand Kleenex, and June bug out. Mosquitoes immediately attach. A flick of the wrist and June is cleavered from the white she was sure was to be her shroud. Something buzzed my ear. Did I let one in while letting one out? I don't hear a helicopter or a crop duster, it must have been a moth. Thanks God!)
So that will could be an issue in projection. Those things will throw a big shadow.
I went about 25 feet down the drive way (as opposed to a beach run. Hey, that might work, just show the movie on the beach sand) and held up a canvas I have yet to use for a landscape.
The light is sufficient. I have issues with focus and with image size! At around 40 feet the image is rather large! I'm saying, Broad side of a barn large. I have to see if there is a way to miniaturize the image. Perhaps shrink the display settings on the computer...
I'll work on it some more if the fog lifts by tonight.
« Reply #13838 on: 2015-07-22, 20:32:58 »
I bought some 3 mil plastic drop cloth (9X12) I doubled it over for a 6X9 (ish) area. I wrapped it around two 2x2x8 sticks and I'll try to put them in the sand (didn't get the PVC pipe mentioned above)at the top of the dune. I'll probably have to shoot from out side to keep the image size down.
It's getting dark. I gotta get on it.
[later that night]
Worked great, but the projector was only about 12-20 feet away (so it's out in the elements). I tested with Quadrophenia which starts with an oceans view, so it worked. I have it recorded on the DVR and I access the DVR on the laptop which is what I use for video source. Didn't do a sound check, and the screen needs to be closer to the edge of the dune and I need the pvc pipe idea to raise it up a few feet off the ground as it was the sticks were buried two feet down. Also, the haphazard nature of screen construction (Duct tap and sticks) makes for an imperfect screen. But I'm not going to worry about that this year...yet. But otherwise... it works actually really well as far as the picture on the screen goes.
Didn't draw any crowd (which is ok too).
« Reply #13839 on: 2015-07-26, 21:02:52 »
So I went on ahead and did a show. It was a mitigated success.
I used sound surround sound computer speakers, a laptop and the screen I fashioned out of sticks and plastic. I pounded in the pvc and I whittled away at the sticks so the fit was right, I tied the whole thing down and across to try to fight the wind (which had died by showtime, which of course meant we were "The Lobby" for the mosquito cloud).
My friend the film prof had never seen Birdman when I had asked him when I first saw him. I let it go, I asked him about it again about a week later and his issue was around the gimmick and Michael Keaton (whom he has had second hand bad experience with) But the other night he said that he got the movie and watched it and really liked it such that he couldn't wait to watch it a few more times.
He had helped me with the "Mad Scientisting" of the project, and he came over to see the show.
The show. I spent a couple of hours before dark getting things set up. Meanwhile I was playing The Concert For NYC DVD at least over the sound system to sort of set the mood and heighten the "What the hell is that moron doing this time?" vibe across the beach. Then I raked the seaweed off the audience area and lit a couple of citronella candles. Once it got dark enough and I got the image zoomed and focused and keystoned and level and and and and... I began the show. I found A Trip To The Moon on Netflix, all restored and colorful with background music by Air. A full film in 15 minutes and really just solid "Special Effects Deluxe" I thought it was a perfect beginning for my crude projection efforts.
It was magical! The pastel colors of the restored film along with the soundtrack and the subtitles (on a silent movie!) (Note to self, Silent Movie is a great drive in movie, find it!) Movie Prof ambled over and gave us a quick history of A Trip To The Moon (he's "A trifle too pedantic" But I think he loves to play the blues).
A crowd formed and it was time for the Bottom Film of a double feature. CreepShow. Why? 1. It's a Drive In sort of movie. Campy and scary enough for young lovers to hold on to each other, and it's just that side of "Short Attention Span Theater" in that it's 5 short stories, as would be the comic book.
2. It has Stephen King in one of the vignettes! I'm in Maine (film prof and his wife had just gone to Bangor the day before to tour SK's home) and many of the stories in the movie are Maine based.
3. There is a story about a guy (Leslie Neilson) burying a guy who had cuckolded him (Ted Danson, an aside; Danson is a cabinet maker actor. He is very bad at the broad presentation of the character the framing of the character. But he is excellent at the small intensities that make the character seem very human.) up to his neck on the beach, facing the incoming tide. The scenery had resonance with the crowd.
Next time I will only use one thickness of the drop plastic for the screen. I had worried about the light bulb showing through the screen (I had read this was an issue*) but upon reflection, since nobody is looking directly through the screen, in that it is up on the top of a 7 foot dune , the bulb won't be an issue. Meanwhile double plastic came off a tad dark (also Creep Show is shot dark for effect, or at least that's what we projectionists tend to tell ourselves when in fact it's that we need to adjust the rods for the optimum arc.)
The screen disappeared into the night sky as the darkness gave way to the stars. A shooting star across the corner helped remind everyone that, YES, we're outside, watching a movie. Of course the fact that it was cold last night did it's part to keep that thought if not foremost, at least "there" too.
The "crowd" grew as folks who were on the beach looking for a bonfire were intrigued by The Vanities, instead. "Mind if we hang here and watch?" "No, of course not, that's what it's here for!"
The double feature had to settle for one this time. It was cold and the sound got harder and harder to hear (There's work to be done on that front.) So we all said our "thanks for coming"s and "that was cool"s etc etc, and I was left to finish up. Which I did.
Today, we're hearing from people who saw the show or at least saw that there was a show going on. Cool, maybe a tradition is born.
The A Trip To The Moon
showing was really really cool to my mind anyway. It hung up towards the end so I moved on to CreepShow
but after everybody else left, before I cleaned up I put it back on. that was when a few other kids (late teen, early twenties) showed up and were digging on the experience.
I found Silent Movie
on an Asian streamer, quality looks good at the computer screen resolution, I'll rather get the DVD, but if not, hey, streaming something from the other side of the world is way cool in it's own right too!
Second feature could be Porky's
(as discussed here) Or could be Pink Floyd's The Wall
(also from here). Open to other suggestions. The audience is likely to be people 55-65 years old (maybe an oldster or two and beach bum youngsters too). I'm thinking a chimenea style fire place would be a great way to cook Jiffy Pop without throwing light into the eyes of movie goers. A box of wine or two, maybe a BOB (Big Ole Beer) or so... But then a $10 disposable charcoal BBQ would do the same thing maybe better.
I don't know what happened with the sound. Do I need an amp of some sort or do I just need to get longer wires to get the speakers closer? Also, I'm thinking that the cold night air may have dampened the speakers. I do believe I'll cover them with Press 'n Seal (great stuff) or plastic bags next time. And get longer cords. I don't have an amp here. Yet. (Saw one at the pawn shop the other day though...)
* I read that here, from a guy who was shooting from the back of his garage. A very early post.
Thanks for reading. Advice/comments (even those telling me to shorten it up) greatly appreciated. Of all the forums on the web I've been in, you guys are among my all time favorites.