“It started out as a hobby”


Michael Woll from EVENTED (Germany)

Portrait_Michael-Woll
Michael Woll, EVENTED, Ensdorf (Germany)
AIRSCREEN user since 1999

To begin with, can you tell us something about your company?
My name is Michael Woll and I’m the managing director of EVENTED in Germany. We host outdoor movie and drive-in cinema events in Germany, France and Switzerland. We are a team of around five people and spend the summertime, the main season for outdoor cinema, travelling to the different locations, supplying various open-air cinema events with movie screens, projectors and sound systems.

When did you start working in the open-air cinema business?
We have been working with AIRSCREEN for 17 years now. Back then we were looking for a system which was easy to install and resistant against winds in the open field and found it in AIRSCREEN which we still use.

What brought you to the open-air cinema business?
Like many others in the outdoor movie world it started out as a hobby. So first it was just for the fun of it and as events grew bigger and bigger I ended up here with lots of screens and events all over Central Europe.

What do you particullary like about it?
The great thing about open-air cinema is that you are able to tell a story. The story being told on the screen in an unusual setting. It’s not the familiar environment of a regular indoor cinema which has the same appearance everytime you go there. Every time it is a different setting with new challenges. So I need to find a way to cast a spell over the audiences with the help of the environment I find at a particular location.

Which screen sizes do you own?
For outdoor purposes we have screen sizes from 32ft (10m) up to 80ft (24m). For indoor events or smaller outdoor cinemas we use the AIRSCREEN airtight models e.g. the 24ft (7.32m). One benefit which accounts for all sizes is that the frame also can be used as a giant inflatable billboard.

What are your favourite events
I like series of events taking place at historic settings. For example «Gladiator» at an historic Roman bath or «Highlander» in an ancient castle. I also really enjoy drive-in cinema with movie classics like «Bullitt» especially if the spectators show up with vintage cars. It is great fun when the setting and the movie become one.

What is the challenge for you as a technical supplier here?
The challenge for us is to have equipment which adopts to the environment, as the location itself hardly can be changed. For example the screen needs to be designed for easy transport. If you have a delicate grass location for example which should not be harmed so that you cannot use heavy equipment like truss construction. Or a historic castle which gives no room for a fork lift.

What do you think is it that the audience fascinates about watching movies outdoors?
The audience knows that they get a unique experience which can not be replicated so easily. Because of this thrill people love outdoor cinema events and like to watch movies which they already know.

What are the challenges for you as an open-air cinema provider in the future ?
Bringing exciting movies to exceptional places. I guess that an event with a standard movie in a familiar environment has served its time; proper concepts and good movies are needed.

What makes an AIRSCREEN a safe product?
AIRSCREEN is an extremely flexible product when it comes to the set-up. This means that we can deflate the screen very quickly and have it flat on the ground within 20 to 30 sec if the weather changes dramatically. If you have a thunderstorm for instance, which happens quite often in Germany during the summer, you can keep the audience safe and also continue the screening right after its over. Another 5 min and the screen is up in the air again.

Can you name further advantages of the product?
One of the biggest advantages is the efficiency of the system. That is the amount of resources you need to set up a screen which is 59ft (18m) wide and 36ft (11m) high. If you bear in mind that this screen can be set up with four people in 1.5 hours, it is a very good ratio compared to existing alternatives. For our customers this also means that short term events become very affordable. Apart from that the inflatable framework gives us great flexibility on the spot. Depending on the evironment you can tilt the screen a little bit, move it a few meters to the front or back, etc.

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