„We share this same passion for outdoor events.“
Horacio Garcia, Proyección al Aire , Guadalajara (MX)
AIRSCREEN user since 2004
To start with, tell us something about your company and what made you come to AIRSCREEN in the first place?
My name is Horacio Garcia; I am the AIRSCREEN partner for Latin America and I am based in Mexico. I am not only a partner but also an AIRSCREEN user as well. Everything started 10 years ago, when I met people from the AIRSCREEN family in Guadalajara. They mentioned the equipment they had and what they were doing in Germany. Very quickly after that, they sent the first AIRSCREEN to Mexico, actually they sent two of them. That’s basically how everything started. Then we put all our efforts together to do something big in the Guadalajara International Film Festival.
Tell us something about the festival, how did they like your service?
Well, film festivals in Mexico and around the world try to have some outdoor events. Already with the first projection we made a good impression on the organisers. We were successful right away; our screens have been perfectly integrated into the event and used in 5 different locations in the festival.
And how did this experience make you feel?
It was fantastic; because all the conditions were combined. We could enjoy the nice landscape and the beautiful weather in front of a great screen. At that moment AIRSCREEN sent us a very big one, it was 12m large and nobody had ever seen something like this before. Really, it looked amazing and beautiful. I remember that they played a very controversial movie but I cannot even remember the title as I was so fascinated by the screen. Everybody was impressed and the actors, the director and the producer joined the event as well as a TV show broadcasted everything live.
So were the directors satisfied with the quality of the projection?
We had a high quality projection: a screen with its professional surface and a 35mm projector. This combination was perfect.
Which moment do you prefer to remember the most with AIRSCREEN?
It’s hard to pick one, there are several. All the events have their special things; I think I’ll go for Riviera Maya in Tulum but also I liked Playa del Carmen because you cannot compete with that marvelous beach. I also enjoyed Traverse City Film Festival very much, we sold them a huge screen and they invited us to Michigan. Michael Moore is the director of that event, he builds a nice spirit around it and we could meet him. I will always remember this unique and fantastic experience.
Sounds nice and for which other festivals do you work for?
For the last 3 years we’ve received a lot of requests and then participated to film festivals as Cabos film festival, Riviera Maya Film Festival (close to Cancun), Ficunam and many others. In the past, outdoor screenings played just a small part in film festivals and now it is becoming a real asset, a very important part of the total show.
So how is your company expansion coming along?
So far the Guadalajara film festival has been so happy about our collaboration that they finally booked us for all the next editions. In ten years our Mexican brand has expanded a lot, at the beginning it started very slowly and right now we have several events on the same day in different places of the country. We mainly rent equipment and work together with many different film festivals. We also go on tour and project not only for private clients but also in collaboration with governmental institutions as well.
How could you describe this evolution?
We can assist to situation where nothing ever happened in Latin America and we now project for world premiere there! Producers, directors and so many other talented people are part of events where outdoor movies are the key point. For many modern or even classic events, they use AIRSCREEN because it’s the best way to do it I guess.
What do the spectators say, is it a special moment for them?
They react very positively because you have many factors contributing to the success of the event. We’ve seen projection in the most beautiful part of cities and on beaches as well. Next you need a good movie and that combination ensures you having an extraordinary experience. It’s a great feeling to be out there and to enjoy these particular vibes. People love it, directors love it, festivals love AIRSCREEN, and it’s simply a very nice experience for everybody.
What about the location of the screen?
There is no limitation! You can put an AIRSCREEN on the moon actually, it will be perfect. For us it never has been a problem since it’s easy to transport. For example in Playa Carmen close to Cancun, the wind was very strong and the screen was not even moving. If we had used a different type of screen or a fixed construction it would have fallen down. However, the AIRSCREEN remained strongly in place. It’s very resistant.
Can you explain us the set up of an inflatable screen on a beach?
First of all take the dimensions; the screen has to fit on the beach. Then think about where to place the anchors, you can either choose a weight that is already there (a bench, a tree…) or you can dig in the sand. If you can’t, the alternative is to use water tanks or sand bags to anchor your screen. More importantly; don’t forget to ask if you are on historical or protected place because it could be forbidden to modify the environment. The third step is to think about the power supplier, where the electricity will come from and that’s it. Next place your screen, projector and speakers. Thus in less than one hour the installation is done. To be more precise, the only step that might be complicated is to get everything on the sand. Besides that everything is easy.
Can you tell us more about the technical aspects?
It’s quick and simple to set up an AIRSCREEN; you roll it out, attach the screen surface to the frame, attach the belts and inflate it. Plug the necessary things (sound system and projector) and enjoy the movie! Depending on the size it takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to install. For the Airtight models it will just take you 10 to 20 minutes. If you take everything into account, you’ll need the proper amount of AIRSCREEN family members and 2 or maximum 3 hours to set up the entire equipment (chairs, screen, pop-corn, projector etc.). One last thing to say: it’s very easy to remove.
Is it a resistant or sensitive material?
Well projectors nowadays are really resistant to all type of conditions and besides that, they are outside just for few hours. The screen is also a really reliable product as it is made out of a strong material. It resists to wind, fire and sun. AIRSCREEN is the safe option for users.
Can you give me three words that will describe AIRSCREEN the best?
´Quality´, it’s actually a professional cinema surface. More precisely, it’s way more than just a thing where you can project on, it’s a real screen that you can use in an open air environment. Then I would say the ´size´, it’s really impressive how big they are. In the brochure it doesn’t really convey but when you set them up, it triggers everybody’s curiosity. Finally I will pick ´practical´ because it’s easy to transport and to install.
So you have mentioned “the AIRSCREEN family” a few times what does it mean for you?
The AIRSCREEN family is the concept of being an element of this worldwide network of outdoor screenings. When I say family it’s because I am always in contact with partners in Spain, Germany, USA, Argentina, Guatemala and we share our experience and knowledge. I consider myself as an individual who is more meaningful than a partner. It’s not for an economic interest that I work with AIRSCREEN, it’s just because we share this same passion for outdoor events. So whenever I get in touch with somebody, I tell them that they will not only become a partner but also a member of the AIRSCREEN family as well, it’s not like they buy and goodbye.
One last question: why did you start your business in the open air cinema industry?
I think it’s a very noble industry; I like it because you are always in contact with people but also with the cinema industry at the same time. You are the final touch of the entire process. I like my job a lot because I have the chance to travel and discover original places. Concerning the spectator, you can either be with an audience attending a premiere or with a more marginal social group. We made some projections in poor areas where cities try to improve the culture of their citizens. It happened that some people were watching a movie for the first time thanks to our organization. I’m very thankful because I experience extraordinary occasions and that’s very rewarding. We deliver a nice product to people and that’s what I like.