Roll camera, action! - half a century in cinema


Veteran projectionist Graham Lee recalls his experiences of the hidden world of cinema in a beautiful-made documentary produced by a Birmingham City University film-maker.

From One Million Years B.C., which made Raquel Welch a sex symbol, to the latest Harry Potter blockbuster, 70-year-old iMAX theatre projectionist Graham has seen many changes in his 52-year career.

He recounts his cinematic experiences to Birmingham City University lecturer Valentina Ippolito as part of Voiceless Reel, a documentary about hidden occupations. The film encapsulates Graham’s passion for the cinema as he talks about its history and how technology has affected the way in which we receive, consume or engage with films.

Hypnotic shots of rotating reels unfold the busy workday of Graham - a 3D cinema projectionist who works at the state-of-the-art iMAX at Millennium Point, also home to the University’s Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment (TEE).

Valentina, who lectures in film and technology at the University’s School of Digital Media Technology based in TEE, has been making a series of films about careers that enhance social experience yet are delivered by people with whom the audience has no direct social engagement.

“Working in the School at Millennium Point, adjacent to the iMAX stimulated my interest in 3D projection and led to me filming Graham,” said Valentina.

“Going to the cinema has always been a popular leisure time activity that allows viewers to escape from reality and surrender to imagination. Voiceless Reel is an elegant black and white documentary which takes you on an exclusive journey inside a dark projection room of the iMAX Cinema. It becomes a small window opening on Graham’s hidden world,” she commented.

The film, being shown as part of the Hello Digital 2010 programme, has previously been exhibited at the ‘Portobello’ Film Festival, London, and at the ‘I’ve Seen Films…’ International Film Festival, Milan. Valentina also showed the film and took part in ‘The Female Lens’ Networking Event, London, in March 2010, organised by Film Directing For Women (Birds Eye View Film Festival).

To view Valentina’s film click //

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