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Information for Staff of Silent Film Screenings with Benshi
(16mm Film: Screening with Musical Accompaniment Using MD Player)

Silent film screenings with benshi are different from ordinary film screenings and should be thought of in the same way as performances of dramatic plays. The absence of even one element -- such as curtain raising, sound, lighting, music, projector, etc. -- will have a great effect on the screening.

Projector Film
Inflammable new print film is used. Rest assured that it can be projected in the same way as ordinary film.

Machinery required for screening (We can provide them for you)

  • Screen (Film size is standard)
  • 16mm projector (Film size is standard, speed is 24 frames a second)
  • Microphone, PA system
  • Minidisc Deck (MD)
    * Set the MD in a place from which the operator can see the screen, keep track of the benshi's voice and monitor the accompanimental music simultaneously.
    * The MD will be operated by a professional mixer provided by us.

    Benshi Desk and Chair
    The desk and chair are placed on the left facing the screen. Any desk and chair size suited to the venue will be OK. If using an ordinary office desk, try to decorate it, for example with a table cloth, so that it doesn't appear unsightly when viewed by the audience.

    Water Pitcher and Cup
    These are for the benshi to use during the screening. Some benshi prefer tea.

    Reading Lamp
    The lamp is used by the benshi to read the script during the screening. If the light source is too strong, it may not only lessen the projection effects but also hinder the viewing of the film. To prevent this problem, cover with a cloth if necessary.

    Benshi Dressing Room
    Please provide a room for the benshi to change into and out of stage dress, take breaks, and standby.

    Recording, Videotaping and Photographing of the Performance
    Recording, videotaping and photographing of the performance is strictly prohibited. Please make this clear to all who will come to view the film. Those who desire video tapes for journalistic or commemorative reasons must follow the prescribed application procedures. Be sure to inquire with us beforehand.

    We can also provide the machinery needed for screenings. Feel free to inquire with us regarding equipment not provided by the screening venue.

    For further information on silent film screenings with live benshi performance, write us, phone us, or E-mail us at katuben@attglobal.net

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