Monday, 2 November 2009

Film Quiz with Phil Clapp

The Cinema Exhibitor's Association represents about 90% of all exhibitors in the UK, and advocates on behalf of the industry with the Government and other film industry sectors, particulary distributors. Phil Clapp is the Chief Executive of the CEA, and before that he worked at the Department of Culture Media and Sport. He's been at the CEA since 2007.

What is your favorite cinema?
Not sure I have a favourite – and that’s not just a diplomatic answer given my day job. Anywhere were a film is well-presented, the staff seem to take an interest in your cinema-going pleasure and the audience adds to rather than detracts from the experience. There are a very long list of cinemas which fit the bill.

What's your first memory of cinema going?

All seems a very long time ago now, but most probably seeing Disney’s THE ARISTOCATS at the now long-defunct Concorde Cinema in Bristol. Either that or Saturday morning matinees in the early 1970s at the Rex Cinema in Bedminster…

What's your strangest or most exciting experience of moviegoing?
Strangest was probably the late evening premiere of MAMMA MIA at CINEXPO last year. I sat and watched in wonderment as an audience of hard-bitten industry veterans were whipped into a state of near frenzy. I recall Universal Exec Duncan Clark signing off with ‘We think this will make you some money….’

What film or project have you been involved in are you proudest of?
I think the challenges we face in supporting small and medium-sized cinemas in navigating the transition to digital cinema cannot be overestimated. So - at the risk of tempting fate – I think the work we are currently involved in through the establishment of a UK Digital Funding Group could well be a project of which the CEA and the wider industry can look back on with a great deal of pride.

What's one thing the industry can do to be more successful?
I think the industry needs to continue to be able to see itself as the consumer sees it - as one of a number of leisure opportunities available to them at a time when leisure time is increasingly pressured. By ensuring cinema remains THE place to see a film, and an affordable and escapist night out, it won’t go far wrong.

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