Monday, 17 May 2010

The Loop

You fire up the machines.

You programme the shows.

You lift the metal halo out of the centre of the print, lock it onto a spare platter.

You place the brain into the centre of the print, like the nucleus of some giant, black cell.

You lace the leader of the film through the brain and off the platter, over and under rollers, zig-zag to the highest point.

You drag the leader over to the projector, loop it around the turret - ready to be laced and locked in a moment - and then back to the platter.

You thread the film back onto the metal halo and spin the platter, taking up the slack.

You go back to the turret, clean the rails that hold the film in place, unscrew the gate, clean and replace.

You thread the film through the projector, teeth locking into sprocket holes.

You turn the manual handle until the intermittent sprocket is still, ensure the film is in rack, each frame pausing precisely aligned on the aperture.

You make sure the loops are large enough to give enough leeway to the print, but not too large as to snag.

You press the button with the loop symbol.

You press the on button.

You return to the platter one last time and spin it again, taking up the last of the slack until the rewind arm is drawn over into position.

Then you wait.

The start-up alarm sounds, and the machine grumbles into life.

The machine pulls the film through the brain, eating the cell away from the centre out.

The rewind arm spins the platter, rebuilding the print ready for the next show.

A cue passes through the projector, read by a little light.

The show starts.

Soon, cues will tell the projector that the trailers are starting, then the feature, then the credits, and then that the show is over.

The film moves in an endless cycle from platter to projector and back again, rollers roll, wheels turn, platters revolve, the intermittent sprocket rattles it's stuttering spin.

Once the show is finished, you do this all again.

Once the day is finished, you do this all again.

I turn twenty-eight tomorrow.


  1. Really?! I'm 30 tomorrow!!

    Happy birthday!

  2. I'm...still 20. Damn. Either way, happy b-day (old) dude. Watch a good movie :)

  3. Great, I am the oldest fucking person here....hello 34 going on 24.

    Happy birthday, by the way.

  4. lol, happy birthday man. You're just about twice my age, so...yeah. Birthdays already kinda bore me, so I'd dread to think how I'll be when im older :)