Page last updated at 02:50 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.


Isn't it about time that, in a global economy and a digitally connected world, that delays between releases in countries that speak English (in particular for Hollywood films) are eradicated? People wouldn't turn to BitTorrent if they didn't have to wait three months for something that's already released in other parts of the world. Paul Kerton, Birmingham, UK

  • Dan Glickman, Motion Picture Association of America:

    Some of our companies do release films 'day and date' in all regions. An example of that is Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith. But this is an individual company-by-company decision based on marketing and consumer demands.

  • Lavinia Carey, British Video Association:

    The high costs of film prints, the necessary promotion and advertising of a new film and the risk associated with theatrical releases are the main reasons for the small number of simultaneous releases, even where English language movies are distributed by one rights owner worldwide.

    In a world that actually isn't digitally connected everywhere yet, most films are still distributed to cinemas in expensive 35mm pancake form. For small productions, the cost of simultaneous worldwide release is prohibitive and where it is funded by selling the distribution rights to different companies in different territories, the release patterns can't so easily be controlled.

  • John Fithian, National Association of Theatre Owners:

    We have consistently advocated reduced or eliminated windows between the US and international theatrical release. We do not control the timing for film distribution, but we do anticipate that digital cinema will ease the current costs and burdens of distribution internationally.

  • Curt Marvis, CinemaNow:

    Yes, it is about time, and I think we will see the Hollywood studios adapt their traditional release 'windows' more and more. They are already starting to release their big hit movies around in the world on the same day and date.

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