How to project a film on a wall

Written by pam raymer-lea
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How to project a film on a wall
Create a film night for your friends and family. (movie scene image by Nicemonkey from

Projecting a film onto a wall is, in most cases, a simple task. In the past, you needed a traditional projector -- complete with film threading, film breakage and an uncooperative sound system. Movie projection systems have come a long way since then, especially for the non-professional. Now it is easy to create a film night for you friends and family at home. And with a little more effort, you can host an outdoor event for the entire neighbourhood.

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  1. 1

    Choose a projector. DVD and hard drive projectors are best for home use. Many projectors play a DVD, including sound. There also are projectors that connect directly to a computer. These systems run the sound through the computer's speakers, but separate speakers might be required for a larger audience.

    How to project a film on a wall
    A typical home projector. (Work presentation image by Rido from
  2. 2

    Locate power. Finding the power to run your projector indoors is usually not a problem, but powering a projector outdoors can be a challenge. If you are not lucky enough to find a suitable wall with a nearby power source, you can try running the projector from a car or a marine battery.

  3. 3

    Choose a wall that is as white and flat as possible. Coloured walls will lend their hue to the image so, for example, a red apple on a blue wall will be purple. A crack or ripple in the wall will show through the film image. You can solve these problems by hanging a white sheet or piece of fabric, using a portable or inflatable screen, or painting the wall with movie screen paint.

  4. 4

    Place your projector appropriately to achieve a picture that is as large as possible while still being clear. The closer any projector is to the viewing screen, the clearer the image will be.

    How to project a film on a wall
    Film size determines how close a projector must be to the wall. (projecteur 8mm image by danimages from
  5. 5

    Make sure your speakers are sufficient for your audience size and venue. The sound produced by computer speakers might be enough for a small group, but a larger audience might need something louder. The sound from a DVD projector might be sufficient, but you also can use remote speakers, set up surround-sound or even broadcast sound through a series of FM radios (see

    How to project a film on a wall
    You may need extra speakers to meet the needs of your audience. (classic sound system ovwer white background image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from

Tips and warnings

  • When projecting a film outdoors, it is wise to talk to the neighbours and gain their support for the event. A visit from the police can put a damper on your film night.
  • Most films are protected by a copyright. Showing such a film in a private residence does not break the law. Showing the same film anywhere that is not a private residence is against the law unless you have paid for an entertainment license.

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