Ghostbusters at Fort Mifflin

Here’s a long-exposure photo that Stephen Whittam took at the Guerilla Drive-In Friday night, where we showed Ghostbusters at Fort Mifflin:

"Ghostbusters" at Fort Mifflin

Fort Mifflin is right next to the end of the runways at Philadelphia International Airport — you actually drive through a tunnel under the end of the runway to get to the fort. THe long streaks of light are the floodlights from a landing plane; the dots are its strobes.

The combination of proton packs up on the screen, with gusty WHOOSH-es as the planes land right overhead, with the light sweeping in an arc around the crowd as the plane goes by, was actually pretty damn awesome.

There was a very friendly reporter-and-photographer team from the Associated Press at the show. I spent some time getting my photo taken in various poses: “Now look like a cinema REBEL!” We finally got me doing a sort of a “Ha-DOUUUU-ken!” thing with one of the 16MM reels from the movie. Check a regional “entertainment” section near you for a portrait of me looking EXTREMELY BADICAL.

The crowd seemed happy, I was not hit by lightning while riding out, the projector, didn’t explode, and I don’t think the Cub Scout troop who was staying the night there learned any new words from the movie (except for “dickless”, which I bet they knew already.) The next movie is Saturday night, June 27th — if you’d like to know where it’s going to be, get out there and find the MacGuffin!

5 responses to “Ghostbusters at Fort Mifflin”

  1. You know, ANONYMOUS COMMENTER FROM TOLEDO, OHIO, that’s often the first question people ask. For some reason, I’m reluctant to count heads at the actual drive-in. First, it’s dark, and second… well, I don’t know what the second reason is. My goal isn’t to grow the audience to a particular size.
    As long as the audience isn’t so small that we’re sitting around looking at each other going “well, THIS is awkward!” and not so large that the screen is too small, I’m happy!


  2. I would guess sixty or so, but I’m really bad at that sort of thing – it’s the main reason I don’t work for CNN at protest rallies.
    Also, is a larger screen possible? By that I mean, is the projector light capable of casting enough lumens for a larger screen, or is it a function of the projector’s focal adjustment thingee (technical term for something that may not even exist on the projector, which would kinda suck if it doesn’t) such that you can make the screen size bigger but still keep the projector close to the screen itself, thus maintaining the lumens level. Ok, I put waaaay too much thought into this.
    For the record, it’s the low-fi approach that is one of the more appealing things about the experience. That and, who doesn’t like a 1977 BMW motorcycle with a sidecar? That’s a sweet ride.


  3. Jim, don’t EVER complain about putting too much thought into something 🙂
    From the disjoint learning I’ve done about projectors since starting this thing, the fatness of the cone the light makes is called the “throw”. You can get a “short throw” lens which makes a fat cone, and you can get a “long throw” lens which makes a skinny cone. One of the two is brighter, but I’m not sure which it is. Regardless of your throw, you can always focus, so it’s pretty much up to you and how bright you want your screen to be.
    The size of the screen on Saturday was totally a factor of where I happened to park the motorcycle. If I were to do it over again, I’d back waaaaay up and make the screen much bigger. Of course, that wall wasn’t all one color…
    Anyhow, yeah, bigger screen is totally possible. It’d be nice if there was a great big white wall somewhere that isn’t just in a boring parking lot (hanging out in a parking lot seems an awful lot like… hanging out in a parking lot.) Can you think of anything?


  4. I’m going to need to get back to you on the big white wall thing. My initial thought is (and this is kind of entering nuttyville) something that would be about four times the size of your screen, as you mentioned, yet fully transportable in your BMW, which is admittedly a tall order. I’m thinking a hoistable cross brace with a clothes line connecting the top pieces – the screen can drape from the clothes line and the cross brace design would keep the line taught. Bungee cords can be affixed to each bottom corner of the screen and connected to the ends of each cross brace, and the whole thing can be leaned up against a wall like a gigantic kite.
    Of course, you’re kinda screwed if you don’t have a big wall, but maybe the thing can be wedged into a tree or something, which would be drop dead funny to witness. Again, I’ve taken the express train to nuttyville on this, but it just might work. The design is loosely based on my tent’s rain tarp.


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