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FAQ's

Is The McGuffin Film & TV Society a profit-making organisation?

No. Any money raised is used by the organisation to finance the screening of films plus campaign work related to the EMD Cinema. McGuffin Events (a sister organisation) is run as a profit-making body but all money raised is made available to the Film & TV Society in the form of a charitable donation. The society is dependent upon membership fees and personal donations for the remainder of its income, and receives no grants of any kind.

When McGuffin was first formed, it was supposedly going to screen only foreign films. Is this still the case?

No. When the organization was first formed, it was our intention to screen quality foreign-language films that would not normally be widely known outside of specific arthouse cinemas. A large proportion of our screenings featured foreign films while the remainder showed English-language and some television material. However, when it was announced that the EMD was to be sold, our main focus became campaign work with the aim of saving the building as a working cinema.

Has any high-profile support been received for the campaign to save the EMD?

Yes. In July 2003, the (then) Mayor of London Ken Livingstone visited the EMD to meet campaigners and show his support. Photographs from this visit may be viewed here. We have also received written support from Patricia Hitchcock - daughter of Alfred Hitchcock - and also the Musicians Union. The local Member of Parliament has also been very supportive of our campaign.

Some films have been stated as being "unavailable" for hire in Britain and yet copies of such films are held by the British Film Institute. Why were these not shown?

It is true that several such films were requested for screening by the membership. However, until 3rd January 2003, we were based in the EMD Cinema which was equipped with modern projection equipment - as are virtually all commercial cinemas. Film prints for use with such equipment normally consist of several separate reels of film. These are then spliced into one continuous reel for projection and then separated for return of the print to the distributor. This inevitably results in the loss of a few frames of film where each reel has been spliced. After several uses the film can appear to 'jump' wherever frames have been lost. For normal commercial prints this is not so important as they are only really intended for initial cinema runs, and can in any case be replaced. Films held by the BFI are archive prints, meaning that it would be difficult if not impossible to replace them. Running such films in a commercial cinema without damaging them would therefore necessitate showing one reel at a time with a ten-minute gap between each reel in order to allow the projectionist to replace them! This was obviously not an option, so it was our intention to install different projection equipment that could cater for these archive prints in another part of the EMD. The current situation regarding the EMD building has resulted in the postponement of this project, although it remains one of our objectives until this situation is resolved finally. Go to the Technical Information page for more details on projectors.

Who is responsible for the artwork of the EMD cinema currently used as the McGuffin logo?

The original drawing is by Colin Jeffries. However, the copyright is owned by ourselves and we are the only group authorised to use it.

Who designed the web site?

The orignal 'on paper' design was by our chairman. All of the 'on screen' and back-end work was carried out by Rodney Minter-Brown from Atemi Designs.

Can the membership suggest films for screening?

Yes. We are happy to receive suggestions for future programme schedules, although we cannot guarantee when - or even if - these will be held. We also cannot guarantee that such films will be available. This will depend on whether any prints are still held by the distributors. Film prints are often returned to their country of origin when it is deemed no longer financially viable to hold them. It would be financially impossible for us to hire such prints from abroad. However, we have succeeded in screening a number of films that were requested by members. We are hopeful that copies of some others are held by the British Film Institute, and may become available to us if and when projection equipment allows.

How can I find out what is going on?

The 'Latest News' page on this website is updated regularly with all significant news. The 'Contact' page provides an email link where we can be contacted with specific questions (although it may be a day or two before we are able to reply, depending on the actual question). In addition, members receive monthly updates by email.




 

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