Mis à jour le 21 December 2021.
Daniel is a professional dancer who’s passionate about the technical aspects of cinema. When he moved a stone’s throw from his previous apartment, he kept it and completely redesigned it to make it into a personnal theater. This unusual project was fueled by the ambition of this great artist and the expertise of Connecting Technology. The result is an ultra high-end and unique theater room equipped with the best video and audio immersive technology.
What is your story and where does your passion for cinema come from?
I have always been passionate about the different aspects of cinema. When I was just 4 or 5 years old, I tried to build my own movie two-reel projector with a shoebox, a lamp and construction toys. Obviously, it didn’t work, but the passion was already there! It kept on growing when, as a child, I received my first projector as a gift, a Cinette model with films in 16 mm reels lasting a minute and a half. The projected image was ridiculously small, but I was blown away by the technique and the possibilities of this device. It was this projector that really gave me a taste for cinema.
My training as a professional dancer then opened the doors to the most prestigious schools and venues, such as the Paris Opera. I started learning about what was going on behind the curtain and about all the technique that was put into making the shows fascinated me, sometimes even more than they should. I was then drafted for the military service in the navy, and they were wondering how they could use the talents of a professionnal dancer. Luckily, my artistic training led me to the cinema service of the armies at Fort d’Ivry where I edited films for submariners. I worked on military training videos as well as movies including many Louis de Funès. I really enjoyed making these edits with tape recorders, film and working with equipment that I would never have imagined even getting close to.
Subsequently, I resumed my career as a professional dancer which brought me to television sets. I worked on the first color programs there with Jean-Christophe Averty. I worked both on stage dancing and backstage, as sound assistant, image assistant or cameraman. It was an ideal position to learn the technique I had been admiring for so many years as well as being taught the secrets of sound and image by professionals in the sector.
When and why did you decide to design a room dedicated to cinema?
The placement of the television and the quality of display have always been a priority to me. When I moved into a new place, I first thought about where to place the TV and speakers, then I figured out how to arrange the furniture within the remaining space. At the time, I was getting the largest TVs possible, it was plugged into a stereo system paired with four speakers – two in the front and two in the back – to deliver sound throughout the room. In 2000, I switched from stereo to a 5.1 system, then I subsequently upgraded my system with a Sony video projector when Blu-rays and 7.1 soundtracks became more popular. The last change I made before I finaly decided to go for my personnal theater was switching to 4K with the Sony VPL-VW760ES projector.
As I have always followed the latest trends and innovations, my system has become increasingly intricate over the years. I starting getting more and more speakers and the room was not processed, the result was sometimes disappointing with the reverberation and the mixing of the different channels. I also had to place the center speaker up high because my previous projection screen was not accoustically transparent, which is not optimal. When I had the opportunity to buy a new home close to the first one, I decided to keep my previous apartment to transform it into a real personnal theater. I was thus able to realize my dream and optimize both my living space and my cinema space which are now spread over two separate apartments.
What is the size of this room and the technical (electronic) area?
I only kept the kitchen in my previous place to prepare snacks before the movie. All of the other living spaces have been redesigned to make room for the cinema room. After insulating and acoustic treatment, the room is approximately 5 m by 5 m, or 25 m2. When sitting in the room, only the front of the electronic devices is visible. The back opens out into the old bedroom, which has been transformed into a technical bay. The Sony projector has its own bay to limit noise.
Why did you decide to work with Connecting Technology?
Les Années Laser magazine is a real reference for me. This magazine partly conditioned or at least contributed to the evolutions of my different systems. So it absolutely made sense that I turned to Les Années Laser when I wanted to make my theater room. They recommended Son-Vidéo.com for the electronics. In view of the scope and requirements of the project, Son-Vidéo.com advised me to reach out to Connecting Technology to help and support me in the modeling, development and design of my personnal cinema. Then Denis Goria invited me on a Sunday morning to give me a demo of the Connecting Technology cinema room. Since that day, he helped me along with his technician Christophe Delage to get my own room going.
What were the requirements for this cinema room?
I had high expectatoins for my personnal theater and that is why I wanted to work with professionals. I wanted to have the best for the size of my room and enjoy a real cinema atmosphere, without trying to overdo it.
How long did it take for Connecting Technology to make this cinema hall?
I was really impressed that Connecting Technology managed to finish this cinema room in just one week. On Monday morning, they arrived and started by emptying the apartment, then working the masonry, breaking the partitions to push back the walls of the old room. The rest of the design was then done like a large puzzle, with most of the elements being designed in the factory from the measurements previously taken. On Friday evening, after only a week of work, the cinema was operational.
Was the room acoustically treated?
We have not reworked the sound insulation of the building because I do my cinema sessions in the daytime. On the other hand, the room has been entirely acoustically treated to limit resonances and reverberation and obtain the best possible rendering. To do this, acoustic panels were placed on all the walls and an absorbent mat placed on the ground as well as on the platform. The ceiling is covered with acoustic tiles in which a starry sky in optical fibers is installed to reproduce the atmosphere of the most beautiful rooms.
Can you list the equipment used and tell us why you chose these brands?
The design of my cinema room was partly influenced by the equipment of my old home theater system. I wanted to keep my Sony VPL-W570 projector , but to make the most of the largest screen possible, Connecting Technology recommended the Sony VPL-W760ES which has better optics to go with a fixed Lumene 350 Movie Palace screen measuring 3.3m in width. The latter has a transparent canvas so I can place my front speakers behind the screen and thus use the entire width of the wall for the screen.
Behind the projection screen, we kept my Yamaha S112 IV speakers for which I have a particular affection and which would have been difficult to replace by a better model. These are accompanied by my old Cabasse Kéréon 350 central speaker.
For the surround and surround back effects, I use Elipson Infinite 8 speakers which are completely hidden behind an acoustic canvas. We were thus able to save space and retain the neat appearance of the room. Finally, the Atmos effects are delivered bu four Elipson IC8 in-wall speakers.
The lows are handled by an Elipson Infinite S12 subwoofer with a 12″ driver. This subwoofer is a passive model and needs to be paired with an amplifier, so we used the Yamaha PX10 which can deliver up to 2 x 1000 watts. An Emotiva BasX A-500 power pack is also used to support the front speakers and take a load off the Denon AVR-X7200W that I already owned. I am exclusively using an Oppo UDP-205EU Blu-Ray player as the source. This player is the perfect device to get the best of the laser lamp of the native 4K projector Sony VPL-VW760ES. Finally, the armchairs are particularly comfortable Lumene Hollywood Luxury III cinema models.
How do you control the system (apps, universal remote controls, etc.)? Applications? Universal remote control?
I control the entire room from my iPad. Connecting Technology has its own application (Kalismart) which allows all equipment to be grouped together, whether they are controlled by IP, RS-232 or infrared. This is waht we call home automation. When I press start, the room lights up and the various devices turn on. If I decide to launch the film from the app, the Blu-ray player kicks in and the lighting dims. The color of the lights can be adjusted manually from the app, as can the intensity level.
What is the first movie you watched in this room? Which one gave you a taste for home theater?
Being a big fan of blockbusters for the quality of the sound and the pictures, I picked San Andreas as the first movie I wanted to watch in this room. Finally, the one that gave me a taste for home cinema is not a film, but the video of a car accident in Pau from the Cinette projector from my childhood. Managing to film and immortalize such a thing was absolutely amazing to me at the time.
What do you use this home cinema room for?
I use this room about every other day by myself. At the start of the film, I often have fun adjusting the colors of the room to match the tones of the credits of the film being shown. I also use this piece for screenings with friends, especially for the birthdays of my relatives. I like to recreate real cinema sessions like the ones I experienced when I was younger, that is to say by starting the session around 8:30 p.m. with the screening of a documentary, followed by the news, then an intermission with a drink and champagne. Then we go on to a movie to extend the show until midnight.
Do you watch anything other than movies? Sporting events? Series? Video games? Concerts?
I’m a big fan of blockbusters, but I also enjoy documentaries. The images are sometimes spectacular, especially on the Adventure Extreme Collection in UHD 4K. I also watch concerts from time to time, but I like going to actual concert a lot more.
What is the thing that you are most proud of in this movie theater?
Quite frankly, during my first session on San Andreas, I was a bit disappointed with the Dolby Atmos, the effects of which were slightly timid. I then contacted Connecting Technology who came back to take measurements and adjustments so that the result could be more in sync with my preferences. Since then, my room suits me perfectly and I’m proud of it as a whole. This is the reason why I called on a company that specializes in this sort of work.
Do you think you still have things to improve in your room? (material, treatment, control, etc.)
As this cinema room is recent, it is difficult to find things that need improvement. The only possible thing would be to switch to an 8K projector, but the interest of such a device is very limited at the moment.
What kind of advice would you give to someone who wants to make a room like this?
It is important to study the constraints well and to define the budget that you are prepared to spend. You need good technical knowledge or go to professionals. It is necessary to establish a relationship of trust with the company that is doing the installation so that the advice according to the budget is as relevant as possible.