BRAIN FOOD: We'd love that job - Cinema Projectionist - David Norris, Odeon Leicester Square, London

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

What do you do?

I take delivery of the reels, make them up and show the films. The 35mm film comes in 20-minute reels, which I check and splice together. We use the digital projector for animations. It's never boring here, there's always something going on. If it's not a premiere, it's a rehearsal for one. I see a film maybe eight times before it's shown. This is the best seat in the house - it has to be. The director will sometimes come up here to make sure a film looks right for a premiere. I've met David Lean, Cubby Broccoli and Baz Luhrmann - but I'm always professional, I never ask for autographs. I do love the premieres, though, they're the icing on the cake. It's good to see all the stars coming out onto the stage - that's why I got into this in the first place.

How did you get the job?

I always wanted to do something with films and started here as a trainee projectionist when I was 17, initially for six months. I've stayed for 23 years.

Does reality match the dream?

If anybody said they wanted to become a projectionist because they wanted to watch films, I'd say become a film critic. You see the films before everybody else, but you're not always watching them to be entertained.

As for meeting the stars, you've probably got a better chance standing outside!

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