This Saturday night, at about 9:30, or whenever it starts to get dark, some friends and I are going to get together on the banks of the Huron, behind the new VG Kids building, and test out the Cycle Powered Cinema concept. And, you’re invited. There could be glitches, as we’ve yet to attempt the projection of a real movie, but it should be fun regardless. As of right now, we’re planning to show a cartoon, a Buster Keaton short, and the Robert Mitchum film Night of the Hunter. And, thanks to a generous donation by the Corner Brewery, there will be beer for those of legal drinking age, at least until the keg runs dry. All we ask in return is that, if you want to join us, you donate $10 toward the purchase of additional generators, so that we can build-out a few more bikes and start showing free, bike-powered movies in Ypsi’s Riverside Park, which, hopefully, is where all of this is headed.
In the completed system, once we’re done, we’ll have at least eight bikes, and they’ll power the film directly, in real-time. For the time being, however, we just have two built. That means we’re going to have to start peddling earlier in the day, in order to charge a battery. We haven’t done the math yet, but I’m guessing that we’ll have the bikes set up at around 6:00, in case you want to arrive early and put in your time on the bike before the film starts.
Oh, and I should mention that the reason we have two bikes now, instead of just the one that we had at the winter Shadow Art Fair, is thanks to $200 in contributions from the Sidetrack, the Corner Brewery, and the old Elbow Room, as well as $214 in contributions from patrons of the Corner Brewery. Thanks to this infusion of money, we were able to build out another complete bike, and get the inverter, and other infrastructure pieces we needed in order to make a somewhat reliable system. (And, by that, I mean one that won’t blow up, like the one we had at the last Shadow Art Fair.) We’re still waiting on a few parts to come in, but Andy Claydon – the guy handling all the technical stuff – is confident that we’ll have them in time.
Oh, and this public unveiling couldn’t have happened without James Marks offering to let us use the VG Kids facility. Thanks to his generosity, we’ll not only have access to bathrooms, but a beautiful space on the banks of the river, and a large white wall to project our movies on.
Again, I think it’s worth reiterating that this is a proof-of-concept viewing, so things are likely to go horribly wrong. We’re hoping to have enough juice to project two hours of film, and big enough speakers to reach everyone in the audience, but you never know. So, we’re not making any guarantees. And that’s in part why I’m not publicizing this widely, and just announcing it now, a few days before the event… With all of that said, though, I do hope to see you there, for what promises to be an historic event.
Oh, and if you can’t make it, but would still like to contribute toward the project, you can do so by visiting the Cycle Powered Cinema page and clicking on the “donate” button… And, if you hate the whole idea, but still want to support something bike related, I hear that Jim and Forrest Karnopp, from Cafe Luwak, are looking for people to sponsor them in a Make a Wish Foundation bike ride. (Forrest will be doing the 300 mile ride, and Jim will be doing the 50 mile one.) They’re great guys, it’s a great cause, and, if you donate $20 or more to either one of them, you’ll receive a free breakfast buffet at Cafe Luwak. But, as the deadline is July 1st, you’d better do it now. Just click here to support Forrest or here to support Jim.
[Those of you who are new to this whole Cycle Powered Cinema initiative, can find my last update on the project, which is considerably more detailed, here... And I'm sorry about the graphic above, but Linette wasn't home to help me.]