How to Get a Job as a Film Projectionist

How to Get a Job as a Film Projectionist thumbnail
You may learn some projectionist skills on the job.

In the classical sense, film projectionists do more than flip a switch to start the theater's movie and then take a coffee break. Making sure all the movies in a given theater are running properly is typically a job that keeps you hoping. As a movie-goer, you probably even forget a projectionist is there until something goes awry. When problems sometimes arise, all attendees look over their shoulders in frustration at the person behind the movie projector. Consider certain steps in attempting to land one of these behind-the-scene jobs.

Instructions

    • 1

      Know about the film industry. Just like when trying to land any kind of job, it's helpful to know as much as you can about the subject matter. While you don't need to be a movie buff, show some interest in films and the entertainment field. You are serving a movie-going audience, so it gives you an edge if you are able to connect with your patrons on that level, even if remotely.

    • 2

      Investigate whether the state you will be working in requires projectionists to have a license. Official licenses are required in many fields, such as real estate and health insurance sales, and sometimes are necessary for projectionists. While no education is typically required, it may be helpful to take advanced courses in areas related to the film industry, as well.

    • 3

      Determine whether it's helpful for you to join a union. You may find as you search for jobs that many positions you encounter are union-based. Typically, to be considered as a union film projectionist, you must be 18 years old, a high school graduate, complete an apprenticeship lasting one to two years and pass a special examination. Union theaters only hire projectionists who have fulfilled these qualifications. On-the-job training may still be available at non-union theaters.

    • 4

      Demonstrate your attention to detail and highlight what stands out about you. Film projectionists must have good manual dexterity and mechanical knowledge, as most of their time is spent working with machinery. Highlight related experience on your resume and come prepared to the interview with examples of such skills. If you don't have specific background in the film industry, talk about how you like to tinker with home appliances or lawn equipment. With the advent of digital technology, traditional film projectionist jobs are not as abundant as in the past, so you want to project yourself as much as possible.

Tips & Warnings

  • Show how your skills are compatible with other positions at the theater; show you are a team player and willing to assist in other areas as needed.

  • Make sure you let your potential boss know you can work well somewhat isolated from others.

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References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images

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