How to project a film on a wall
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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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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.
- Projecting a film onto a wall is, in most cases, a simple task.
- These systems run the sound through the computer's speakers, but separate speakers might be required for a larger audience.
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.
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.
- Finding the power to run your projector indoors is usually not a problem, but powering a projector outdoors can be a challenge.
- 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.
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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.
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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 mobmove.org).
- 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.
Pam Raymer-Lea is based in Los Angeles. She holds a M.F.A. in film and television, a master's degree in education and a B.S. in fine art. Raymer-Lea has taught a variety of subjects including filmmaking, writing, art, art history and science. She is a jewelry maker and is skilled in a variety of crafts ranging from glass blowing to home improvement.