Performance of Abel Gance’s 1927 masterpiece Napoleon, September 24, 2007 at the Coliseum in Rome with the Triptych being shown on an 8.5 x 33 meter screen. The screen was built next to the Arch of Constantine on the Plazza del Colloseo, with the seating area and projection room in the Via de San Gregorio. Napoleon image copyright; Zoetrope Corporation and The Film Preserve, Ltd, with permission Courtesy: Boston Light & Sound, Inc.



Projectionist (full-time)


Cambridge , MA - Massachusetts USA

Application Date

January 01, 1970

Job Link

Job Contact

SALARY:  $50,122 to $59,000


Job Summary

The Media Technician (Projectionist) is responsible for all events and screenings scheduled in the Harvard Film Archive Cinematheque located in the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Reporting to the Harvard Film Archive Program Manager, the Media Technician is responsible for the handling, inspection and projection of all forms of media including motion picture film, video and digital materials. The role includes responsibilities in both the HFA’s Cinematheque and Collections areas. This position requires the coordination and performance of a broad range of technical functions connected to the production, design, setup, and functionality of media equipment used for screenings and events. The position receives minimal supervision, and requires strong communication and organization skills, as well as advanced knowledge of current media technology.

This is an hourly position that requires work regularly on nights and weekends, and occasionally on holidays. There is also intermittent need for overtime work.

Job Specific Responsibilities 

  • Observes FIAF (International Federation of Film Archives) standards and Harvard Film Archive procedures for the handling, inspection and projection of all archival film prints. Observes industry professional standards for the preparation and exhibition of digital cinema elements.
  • Inspects 35mm or 16mm exhibition prints before projection; making appropriate repairs and archival cue marks, determines correct aspect ratio and sound type for screening in the HFA theater.
  • Downloads/ingests/tests/ troubleshoots digital media for exhibition.
  • Ensures compliance with Harvard University and Massachusetts state guidelines regarding accessibility.
  • Receives, processes, and makes available virtual screening materials through the HFA’s streaming platform. Troubleshoots the platform and makes sure all systems are updated.
  • Communicates with HFA staff through e-mail, regular meetings and event-specific “fact sheets” regarding logistics and important issues.
  • Works with the Program Manager to schedule and conduct preview screenings of programmed films as needed.
  • Works with the Collections Archivist to schedule research screenings.
  • Works with HFA Collections Archivist on collections-based projects and tasks.
  • Sets up microphones and pre-show material as needed, as well as virtual requests such as Zoom intros/conversations/etc.
  • Adjusts masking as needed.
  • Projects 35mm film with 20-minute changeovers, 16mm film without changeovers, and various video and digital formats for the HFA’s public audience as well as Harvard student groups.
  • Works with visiting artists, curators and the Program Manager (and occasionally the HFA Director) to design and realize expanded cinema programs (multiple channel works, performance pieces, etc.).
  • Maintains constant vigilance with regard to changeovers, focus, and sound levels to ensure a seamless cinematic experience for audiences.
  • Records spoken introductions, lectures and conversations with visiting artists and performs cleanup of digital files and creates metadata according to established workflows to prepare materials for long term storage and preservation.
  • Installs, troubleshoots, and performs maintenance on portable and permanent equipment systems.
  • Coordinates equipment maintenance and repair work with outside vendors and the AFVS Department.
  • Maintains a projectionist log book detailing problems and procedures.
  • Communicates print condition issues with HFA materials to Collections staff in a timely manner.
  • Returns film prints to HFA Film Vault in a timely fashion following screenings.
  • Ensures the integrity of digital files according to copyright law, internal standards, and privacy concerns with both borrowed materials and HFA collection materials.
  • Monitors the cleanliness and safety of the projection booth, theater, and film vault and notifies the appropriate authorities in case of a problem.
  • Maintains a clean, well-organized, and professional projection booth at all times.
  • Helps staff evacuate audiences in case of an emergency.
  • Knowledge of the laws governing the projection of motion picture film, video, and digital assets are essential.
  • The successful candidate will be required to have/obtain Massachusetts Motion Picture Operator License (Details and Application Process).


  • 5+ years of experience with film (35mm,16mm, 8mm), video, and digital projection required.
  • Experience with handling and inspection of multiple film, video and digital formats.
  • Proficiency with change-over film projection.
  • Advanced knowledge of MAC OS, Windows OS, and AV software (Adobe, QuickTime, Vimeo, VLC)


  • Advanced experience with the handling and maintenance of projection equipment, especially archival 35mm film projection equipment.
  • Experience with digital uploading/ingestion protocols for projection (DCP, file links, etc.).
  • Experience with soft subtitling software.
  • Experience with DCP creation.
  • Knowledge of and experience with archival practice related to assessing and describing film condition.
  • Experience with audiovisual reformatting standards and equipment (video formats and small gauge film)
  • Knowledge of and experience with archival practice related to managing audiovisual digital files: storage codecs, naming conventions, archival storage, etc.
  • Solid organizational and communication skills.


The incumbent must be able to lift and move objects up to 70 lbs.


  • The work is performed in the projection booth of the Harvard Film Archive.
  • This is an hourly position that requires work regularly on nights and weekends, and occasionally on holidays. There is also intermittent need for overtime work.
  • Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members who will have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. All Harvard community members must also participate in a COVID-19 testing cadence. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage:

Please note: Unfortunately Harvard University is unable to offer work authorization and or sponsorship.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging :

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.