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Please join us in welcoming Layton Hebert to UCLA Library as senior film projectionist for the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

We asked Layton a few questions about himself and his professional aspirations.

What goals do you have as senior film projectionist for the UCLA Film & Television Archive?

As senior studio projectionist, I intend to uphold UCLA Film & Television Archive’s place at the very pinnacle of cinematic preservation and exhibition. I also hope to modernize or improve upon certain hardware and software elements in the Billy Wilder Theater’s world-class projection booth. The goal of a projectionist is always to deliver a perfect show to the audience. My definition of a perfect show is one where the audience never once considers the presence of a projectionist and is thus able to be completely immersed in the diegetic effect of the cinema.

How has your prior experience prepared you for this role?

I have been a film projectionist for over 16 years. Each year during Labor Day weekend, I make the pilgrimage back to my native Telluride, Colorado, and work as a projectionist/technician at the Telluride Film Festival (TFF). TFF has been a fruitful training ground for my career as a projectionist. Additionally, I was a Senior Projectionist at the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive. Before that, I was a projectionist at Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Theater. I have also worked in camera department on films such as "The Hateful Eight" and series such as "Hunters" Season 2.

What projects will you be tackling first?

Some of the first items on the docket here at the world-famous Billy Wilder Theater will be to perform all annual maintenance on our projectors, air compressors, and assorted AV equipment during the month of September. Much of this equipment (such as our film rewind and our splicers) came off the assembly line as early as the 1950s. Additionally, much of our equipment is no longer available or has been “sunsetted” by the manufacturers. This makes regular maintenance of paramount importance to the archive.

What do you like to do outside of work? What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

When not in the projection booth, I can be found in the mountains or in the desert riding mountain bikes or “bikepacking” (backpacking on a mountain bike with special bags for my tent and sleeping bag). I am also a voracious reader of postmodern American fiction. I am currently re-reading the work of Thomas Pynchon. Besides that, I go to the movies at least once a week. American Cinematheque and the Alamo Drafthouse receive the majority of my patronage. My favorite genre of film is the dystopia. Beyond that, environmental preservation and housing justice causes are important to me and I am involved in the L.A. Tenants Union (in addition to my beloved labor union University Professional & Technical Employees - UPTE).

What is your preferred name and what are your preferred pronouns?

My pronouns are he / him and I go by my first name, Layton.

Associated Staff Member