Lisa Burdge | Live Chat Series | Episode 1

The first Instagram Live Chat Series with MDFF Greece—Athens’s (Nov 6-8) guest Daniel Gava, Brand strategy advisor to the architecture and design industry. Daniel has been invited to present the live chat series via an Instagram Takeover, joined by top creative industry fellows to talk about the current state of affairs, the think tanks, and practices currently in motion.

This is part of MDFF Greece’s initiative New Forms Of Presence, as a response to this forced intermission, in which guests of the festival are invited to experience new ways of expression, communication, connection, beyond the traditional formats of engagement, enhancing a spirit of community within the creative “tribe.” The guests are invited to reinvent themselves through a series of personal semiotics, always connected to each one’s oeuvre or discourse; to present, connect, and communicate, beyond their familiar form of presence, allowing new shapes of being to come forth via new contexts. 

The concept was based on the idea of presenting our  guest Daniel Gava by raising a simple question: What is the new form of presence for a Brand strategy advisor to the architecture and design industry during a lockdown? How can a live experience exchange, to a certain extent, touch upon thoughts, reflections, and topics of discussion that we hold behind the screen? These live chats aim at the one hand to zoom into the guests individually, and on the other hand, zoom out looking at the way each can share knowledge and observations or inspirations that relate to the industry each one represents.

This first “episode” includes three 20 mins chats with three guests.


A conversation with Lisa Burdge

The first guest sees Lisa Burdge, co-founder of Olympic Studios, Archlight Cinema, and The Cinema at SelfridgesShe is the creative mind behind the drive to reinvent the Independent Cinema scene in the UK.

The chat revolves around the current state of the cinema scene, how the viewing experience has evolved in recent years, how cinema survived by many things such as Netflix, how big movies have been postponed for the first time globally, the art in keeping the dialogue with an audience, and the expected transformations in the near future. 

“…When we put the allocated seating etc. in place before the lockdown, we had so many people come out of screenings saying thank you so much for staying open, we really needed to go out, and that was before the lockdown so you can imagine how desperate everybody is now. There is certainly talk in the industry and in the media saying, “oh well, everybody is now at home watching Netflix, and they will get used to that, and nobody will want to go to the cinema anymore.” I think that has been leveled cinemas since cinemas started, as soon as the video came out they were like “oh cinema is going to be dead because obviously everybody can watch films at home now, everybody has video players, nobody is going to want to go to the cinema. When DVDs came out, the same thing happened, oh it is really good quality now huge screens at home, big television screens, that was seen as the death of the cinema. I think we had this leveled up so many times, and I hope, and I think that people come to the cinema, not just to see a film, they come to share the experience with others. You can’t replicate that, certainly not in our cinemas… our sound is incredible…we think about all the details from making sure that our packaging for our snacks doesn’t rustle and doesn’t make noise, and we don’t sell smelly food…from making sure that the space in front of the seats is big enough, so you don’t have to move your knees when someone passes… Going to the cinema is a motive, and certainly your first experience you don’t forget… We do other things here at the Olympic as well. We do other events, and regarding how we are engaging we have the things in Instagram, but we also do all sort of other things, from men’s virtual gatherings to virtual disco, Gary who is our cinema booker he’s been doing a film quiz on Zoom which people absolutely love it… We’ve done a photography workshop, acoustic live of mini-concerts with bands that have played up in our music room here. We have a lot of alternative content; it’s not just the cinema, so we are very lucky… The place doesn’t belong to us… it kind of belongs to the community. They love it and they embrace it and they support it in so many ways This building was built as an entertainment center for the local community in 1906… and that’s what has been the case, its been taken over by the local community, and that’s such a wonderful thing…”_Lisa Burdge