Page last updated at 02:59 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.


In retrospect, how would you say the VCR affected your ability to function as a profitable business? At the time of its release, it was declared to be the death toll for the movie industry. Would you say that declaration was accurate? Michael Wainwright, Austin, Texas, USA

  • Dan Glickman, Motion Picture Association of America:

    It is clear there is a huge market for home video rental and home entertainment products either rented or purchased. I personally think that there is nothing harmful about finding new and more ways for consumers to see movies how they want and when they want and I think our companies recognise that too.

  • Lavinia Carey, British Video Association:

    History shows that the VCR re-awakened the public's interest in movies and far from dealing a blow to the film industry, it spurred the cinemas into improving their offering at a time when the box office had fallen to an all-time low in the UK.

    Cinema admissions in the UK are more than twice today what they were 20 years ago and the video industry contributes four times as much.

  • John Fithian, National Association of Theatre Owners:

    Obviously the VCR did not doom the film industry, just as the earlier and even greater peril of television did not doom the film industry.

    The cinema industry never believed that either of these technological tidal waves would doom our part of the industry. We simply saw them as new ways to bring more films to more people, and thus to enhance the overall popularity of and demand for films - following, however, the critical distribution pattern of sequential release that has made the film industry so profitable and popular all over the world.

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