Star and Shadow Cinema and the Wonders of DCP Written by Arto Polus


Star and Shadow Cinema and the Wonders of DCP

Star and Shadow Cinema sent five volunteers to Northallerton to learn the wonders of Digital Cinema Projection and Cinegi tech skills with the support of Film Hub North. We are from left to right Carmel McGrath, Rachel Bollen, Nyree Denney, Marek Gabrysch and Arto Polus. 

Everything went as planned until the gates of Newcastle train station. Tickets I had purchased were for wrong departure – merely ten days off! Luckily we were early and managed to board the train as intended. After disembarking In Northallerton we strolled to our destination the Hambleton Forum. We were greeted from distance by Victoria Lockley, 'you must be from Star and Shadow' whilst we were concentrating on tweeting. We had insisted on bringing five people under special permission so we were easily distinguishable.

After initial hospitalities the stage was taken over by friendly and knowledgeable Symon Culpan who is an experienced projectionist and current technical ambassador for DCP and DCI. He gave very informative and practical presentation about the Digital Cinema Initiative and Digital Cinema Package. He told us that, 'DCP is only six files', and continued that the training should actually be called DCI training. He lead us around the venue and we got to try out the projector and other features of the Forum's in-house system. Post-presentation Rachel from our group commented, 'We received a balanced presentation about the practicalities of working with DCP without going too much into technical detail that we wouldn’t remember and could put us of. Made it feel attainable.'

During lunch hour we discussed a little bit about the high end cinema experience from community cinema perspective, which seems to be going for completely automated experience without human touch. There is clearly space for warm and cosy experiences in the future Star and Shadow! After lunch which was provided by the organiser, it was time to learn about Cinegi under the guidance of Denzil Monk. Cinegi is new theatre and live arts distribution company that offers its own niche content in HD to community cinemas and other small organisations without DCP projection system.    

After the training it was time to head back. We enjoyed our trip and the training felt like a comprehensive introduction to something that we will be using in the future. 'It was functional and served a purpose. Totally sorted out my understanding about the technicalities that I had not seen before.' concluded our volunteer sound engineer and professional arts technician, Marek Gabrysch.