Page last updated at 02:49 GMT, Thursday, 9 February 2006

Digital film: Industry answers

Some of the leading figures in the global film industry have answered your questions about movies in the digital age.

The BBC News website asked for your queries about the way new technology is being used - and the eight sharpest and most pertinent questions were put to the virtual panel.

Click on each question to read the answers.


Why would I pay to go to a cinema with uncomfortable seating, high prices, even higher priced food, bratty kids and high gas prices when I can sit at home with my family and friends in front of a 60" plasma screen eating my food on my comfortable couch and watch a brand new movie I just downloaded for $0? Ersal Cahit, Kitchener, ON, Canada

  • Dan Glickman, Motion Picture Association of America:

    This kind of a question is very interesting to me. I myself love to go to the movies and I love being in the theatre with other viewers and sharing the communal experience of watching a movie with several other strangers.

    But it is clear that some people also like to stay at home and watch movies on their couches or their personal home theatres. Theater owners are experimenting with different kinds of options for moviegoers and I continue to believe that lots of people will always love going to the theatre and some won't - everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  • Lavinia Carey, British Video Association:

    I can see why someone who is completely unaware of the consequences would choose to watch a new movie for free if that's the alternative! But you won't get great movies for much longer if everyone moves to that business model as movies need to be paid for. So if you enjoy watching movies, please switch to a legally supplied source straight away.

  • John Fithian, National Association of Theatre Owners:

    Enjoy your couch friend. You earned it.

    The cinema experience, however, continues to be an important alternative for people who, in director M Night Shyamalan's words, relish the communal experience of films on the big screen, which remains the best and most powerful platform for the full range of cinematic art.

  • Curt Marvis, CinemaNow:

    Most people are not illegally downloading movies, so even at home you should assume there will be a fee. That said, it is still less expensive to watch a movie at home than to go to the theatre.

    But I think people will always go to the movies. People do like to leave the house. Mom and dad want to get away from the kids. The kids certainly want to get away from mom and dad. Of course, certain movies are better for home viewing while other movies are better in the theatre.

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