Last week we launched our new training initiative, Technical Skills for Digital Exhibition with a Forum at BFI Southbank. Read on for a diary of the day and an introduction to #TechSkillsUK from one of our newly appointed Technical Ambassadors – Dave Petty, AV Technician at Cornerhouse in Manchester, who’ll be available to advise independent film exhibitors in the North West Hub region as part of the scheme.
Over to our guest blogger, Dave!
The Tech Ambassador roles have been filled by around two dozen people, hand-picked from the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to offer their expertise and specialised knowledge of digital cinema and all its AV-related trappings to those in need of a helping hand.
After some brief intros from Hatice Ozdemirciler (ICO Head of Training & Professional Development), Tony Jones (Film Hub Central East) and David Sin (ICO Head of Cinemas), it was over to Jim Whittle from the Barn Cinema in Dartington, who outlined his prototype site visit to CUBE in Bristol.
This visit provided a framework for the Tech Ambassador pilot scheme to build upon. Jim’s extensive knowledge of D-Cinema gave CUBE the opportunity to convert to digital safe in the knowledge they had someone on hand who was familiar with kit, spec, and who crucially had worked with the handful of companies that install everything necessary to exhibit digital films to DCI-compliant spec. In a world of confusing acronyms and technical minutiae, someone like Jim is exactly what the independent sector needs; expanding that role to a fleet of Technical Ambassadors (of which Jim is one) will allow for a faster, more efficient flow of specialist knowledge for those who most require it.
Even for someone familiar with much of the areas discussed it was a lot to digest, but invaluable in terms of both brushing up my own technical knowledge, and being able to offer this knowledge to those in need as a Technical Ambassador.
All that remains is to be allocated sites across the country which we will visit to offer our advice with the fleet ranging from freelance AV techs to long-standing projectionists (and many technical areas in-between), it’s down to the ICO to assess applicants’ needs and fit an Ambassador to their requirements.
A bespoke service is being offered, and I for one am relishing the opportunity to help bring independent cinema into the digital age. For what could be an intimidating prospect for those making the transition, we as Ambassadors should be able to make the road travelled a little less bumpy.