VOTD: Find Out How Film Projectors Work

how film projectors work

If you’re a huge fan of movies, but you don’t know much about the technology that makes them possible, then we have the perfect informational video for you.

University of Illinois professor Bill Hammack, known as EngineerGuy on YouTube, has put together this informative video about how film projectors work. As the video description says:

Bill tears apart a film projector to reveal the amazing mechanisms used in the pre-digital age to trick the mind into seeing a moving image. He uses high speed photography and animations to show how the projector moves the film intermittently, how a shutter strategically blocks light as the film moves, and how the photo sensor reads the sound. He explains how all these mechanisms are synced.

Find how film projectors work after the jump!

In an age when audiences seem much more concerned with how special effects in big budget blockbuster are put together, it’s easy to forget just how amazing the technology is that just makes it look like pictures are moving in front of us. Motion pictures are just a visual trick to make it look like we’re seeing action in front of us, and since we all have the ability to create videos in our pockets now, we definitely take it for granted.

The video explores the various types of film, from 8mm to the glorious 70mm (which Quentin Tarantino is utilizing for The Hateful Eight this year), and focuses on how the illusion of movement is combined with an optical soundtrack to make a film. The physical medium of film may be dying out as digital filmmaking takes over, but without the invention of this visual trickery, we simply wouldn’t have the movies we love today.

Thanks to The AV Club for bringing this video to our attention.

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