Boris Šimičević, Via SOLIS, Zagreb (HR)
AIRSCREEN user since 2009
To start with, tell us something about your company?
We started in 2009 when we bought two smaller screens and started a project called Openair Cinema during the summer in tourist places on the coast here in Croatia. At the moment we have six employees on a seasonal basis as we have a big demand during the summer whereas the winter is quiter since it is too cold for open-air cinema here.
How easy it is to train your staff for the job?
They get it pretty fast. It only takes a couple of days and they can do it completely on their own.
What sizes do you have?
Right now we have five AIRSCREENs from 3.60m to 9.15m screen width.
What made you come to AIRSCREEN in the first place?
I saw an AIRSCREEN for the first time back in 2006 during my trip to USA. I had the opportunity to participate in a project called Openair Cinema. It was then when I saw an AIRSCREEN for the first time and, one can say, fell in love with the product. So I decided to do a little research and then start an AIRSCREEN business here in Croatia.
And what was it, that made you fall in love with the screen?
The simplicity in the first place. How simple it is to set-up a whole cinema, in just one hour. The screen has great advantages compared to other screens which can be set up outside. It was love at first sight.
What are the main advantages for you with AIRSCREEN?
First of all, how easy the whole system is, to handle, the set-up, the deflation, etc. That gives us the chance to do different cinemas on different locations at the very same time. So we don’t need many people, trucks or anything. Everything is very simple.
Secondly, you can see that it is a top quality product, the screen, how everything is made. It is very strong when inflated but very light when being moved. It is great that something so big can fit in a regular van.
And the whole partnership between the AIRSCREEN Company and their customers is a great help. For example we had very bad experiences with other equipment like projectors from other companies where it took over three months to repair it and get it back. And that’s is a great issue for us, especially during the high season. If anything goes wrong with our screens I’m sure we can get a fix within one or two days.
We heard that it is quite windy in Croatia. Does this cause any trouble with the screens?
Yes, there are strong winds here but the AIRSCREEN widthstands them easily, even in situations when you would normally think it is impossible. It can cope with winds up to 38 km/h and compared to other screens this is very good.
How did you experience the support by AIRSCREEN?
We always receive help with any question we have from the AIRSCREEN Company or other AIRSCREEN partners. With any inquiry we can just give them a call and get instant help and feedback.
Do you feel like your are part of a family?
Yes, for sure. For example we can call our partners here in the region if we have an inquiry for a screen size we don’t have. And it is a big advantage when you have partners which hold your back with equipment or just know-how.
What kind of events do you do with your AIRSCREENs?
We do a couple of tours around Croatia providing open-air cinemas in hotels and camping sites all over the coast. Also we do festivals like the the Starigrad Paklenica Film Festival or the Avvantura Festival in Zadar. So far we had approx. 250 shows and the demand for our services is growing and growing.
Tell us something about the festival we are at right now?
It is a festival for music documentaries and we have three different locations here. What makes it unique is the location as it happens in a national park, one of eight in Croatia. And the good thing about the AIRSCREEN is that it does not have any bad influence on the ground or the location, where it is set up. When we planned this with the government and the organizers this was a big issue to them.
What are the feedbacks from the customers to your events in general?
In the beginning it is not easy to explain the product to new customers. Sometimes they are suspicious in the beginning but when we set up the screen for the first time we always get a “wow effect” and pretty soon we make the contract. We haven’t had one customer who said “no” after a presentation with the screen. And we have a lot of customers back from the beginning in 2009 and I guess this speaks for itself.
In general people are always impressed by the set-up. We experience this every day in our business as it is still a new thing here in Croatia. Before we started our business AIRSCREEN was not known to anyone here and now the words is spreading and we get more and more inquiries.
What are your favourite events?
It is hard to decide as each event has its own unique sides. I like everything… for exampledrive-ins which we started back in 2011 when we did the first drive-in cinema in Croatia. And after the good word spread we did this in several other cities including Split and Zagreb. I also like the screening on the coast as we travel a lot along fine places during the summer.
Were do you see yourself in the future?
First of all, I think that Croatia has great potential in tourism. It is one of the main Croatian industries. We have a very big coast and more and more hotels and campsites ask us about the screens and we would like to increase our sales here as well. As we are an offcial partner for the region we can offer our customers both options, rental or purchase.