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PULSE THE MAGAZINE FOR THOSE WHO MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN - EDITION 11 - SPRING 2013

NEWS THE GALLERY SEE YOUR WINTER IN PICTURES

............. FACES OF ANDRE MORT EMPIRE TECHNICAL DEPARTMENT

............. BEHIND THE SCENES AT BRAND ENGINEERING

............. FILMS IN FOCUS THE CROODS IRON MAN 3 EPIC THE GREAT GATSBY

............. HELPING YOU TO DELIVER


COMING SOON

KEEP YOUR EYE’S PEELED


A letter from Roz Spring is always an exciting edition for Pulse as we look forward to another years worth of amazing films and a new team of students from Southampton Solent University take over Pulse. A massive thank you to Charlotte, Linzi and the team for all your hard work this past year. It has been a challenging year in different ways and everyone at Pulse would like to thank them for juggling jobs, 3rd year studies and helping us produce a fantastic magazine each quarter. In this edition we have Sutton in Focus, your pictures thanks to the Pulse reps and lots of interesting features. Continue to keep in contact and send us comments and ideas plus your entries to the chocolate competition.

Roz xx

Please say a massive welcome to your new colleagues, who have all joined us in the past 3 months:

Name Rebecca Yates Craig Davies Georgina Warner Luke Graham Mark Woodhouse Jack Quirk Charlotte Compton-Cook Aileigh Fleming Darren Paton Erin McDermott Carla Brown Caledonia Kelton Alan Cheung Simon Lavender Bethany Lall Abbie Lewis Nico Ignacio Klaudia Sroka Alec Mackender Clair Murray Simon Witney Sean Cook Kate Driver Pippa Franklin Jessica Foy Sarah Graham Emily Richardson

Position Operations Assistant Assistant General Manager Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member

Cinema Basildon Birmingham Bishops Stortford Bishops Stortford Bishops Stortford Bishops Stortford Bishops Stortford Clydebank Clydebank Clydebank Clydebank Clydebank Clydebank Hemel Hempstead Hemel Hempstead Hemel Hempstead Hemel Hempstead High Wycombe High Wycombe High Wycombe High Wycombe Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle

Produced by: BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Feature Writing Editor: Charlotte Webb Deputy Editor: Linzi Radwell Staff Writers: Sarah Abrahams, Gemma Clapp, Catherine Earp, Alec Malloy, Gary Peters, Charley Ward, Sophie Westrope. Designers: Chelsea Allen, Sam Ribbits, Harry Smith

Name Gavin Cowings Ryan Coady Rosie Greaves Bridget Sproats Callum Mcleod Jessica Crowhurst Zhene Nagra Ashley Culler Matthew Clark Rourke Pickford Mithunan Sothilingham Robert Rooney Toby Lines Dominic Villers Ben Meaden Adam Grey Graeme Willets Morgan Blunt Tash Bond Laken John Natasha James Bradley Wood Anthony Lewis

Position Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member

Cinema Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Newcastle Slough Slough Slough Slough Slough Slough Sutton Sutton Coldfield Sutton Coldfield Swindon Swindon Swindon Swindon Swindon Swindon Swindon Swindon Wigan


w o a n t e l b a l i a v A

m e n a i s C e r i p Em


Contentsspring 6-7 8 9 10-11 12 13-15 16-17 18-19 20-21 22-23 24-25 26-27 28-33 34-35

SAVER DAYS GREAT MOVIES, GREAT PRICES 10 MINUTES WITH ANDRE MORT CINEMA ETIQUETTE THE DO’S AND DON’TS THE BIG E: IN ACTION LEAFLETS THE BIG E: IN ACTION FILM CUP THE NEW COFFEE SHOP SILVER E AMY, EMMA, NICOLA, JENNY, MATT BUILDING THE BUZZ EMPIRE CINEMA ARTS CUSTOMER FEEDBACK LETTERS BEHIND THE SCENES BRAND ELECTIONEERING THE GALLERY YOUR WINTER IN PICTURES TEAM IN FOCUS SUTTON FILMS IN FOCUS REVIEWS COMPETITION CORNER

‘13

08

15

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33 R 2012 || PULSE MAGAZINE|05 SPRING 2013 PULSE MAGAZINE | 05


Empire Cinema’s is well-known for its popular Sav£rday Tuesdays amongst film goers, but have you ever stopped to consider why the company offers customers cut-price tickets once a week, and what it means to the customer experience as a whole? Pulse explores these questions and more by talking to those in the know...

W

hen it was set up seven years ago, the company vowed to value every customer who walks through Empire’s doors. “We are not exclusive,” they said. The early team were keen to consider the once-aweek cheaper ticket price initiative to ensure customers received the best unique service available. Paul Baxter, Operations Director, told us how pricing strategy works for Sav£rday. “Initially it wasn’t having any real impact upon the business,” he said. “So we started to discuss it with Thomas, our owner, and decided to use it as our value driving offer. We reduced the price further and gradually rolled out the savings scheme across all the cinemas, with the minor exception of Leicester Square.” Over the years Sav£rday Tuesday has had a big impact on improving the company’s market share. In the last two years it has helped increase admissions and box office takings, ahead of the rest of the UK. Since 2008, three of the Empire’s biggest days have been Sav£rdays - with six out of the top 10 since the company began. This achievement is great considering the openings of competitors nearby. Other cinema competitors have clearly seen this growth as nearly all of our competitors now have a similar offer. As a wise man once

said ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’ Attracting huge numbers of customers through the doors all at once has always been a challenge for cinemas, and dealing with the highs and lows requires the teams to be ready when they hit. This has never been more so than with days like Sav£rday and the company recognise there are two main challenges: The first is dealing with the volume of people that come in whilst striving to offer an OMG level of service. The second is encouraging customers to purchase refreshments like they would any other time. Lisa Rowland, Customer Experience Manager, explains how the staff tackles the busy times successfully. “The teams know that we have to be fast and move the queues quickly,” she says. “We strive to keep up the same standard of customer service as usual. Maintaining the attitude of ‘Making it Personal’ on busy days; recognising customers need speedy professional service more than anything else. Clearly now is not the time for chit-chat.” Empire’s customer feedback survey shows that people generally have a great time when visiting the cinema on a Tuesday. During the last round of “Your Opinion Matters” in October 2012, 90% of the 314 Sav£rday customers that completed the survey said they were either “really happy” or “fairly happy” with the way the cinema was being managed,

06 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013

with 85% “really happy” or “fairly happy” with their welcome. Lisa acknowledges the positive responses from cinemagoers and how wonderful it is to receive them. “We had some lovely comments from customers,” she says. “And in terms of numbers, they always outweigh the poor comments: usually about 10 to one”. One particular customer from Clydebank said the staff were very friendly, smiley, welcoming and helpful. Another customer visiting our Swindon cinema said the team brilliantly managed the crowd in the entrance and there were people to help locate customers’ seats. Comments also include areas to improve; as one customer points out how there was no manager present welcoming guests in one of our premises. “It was a free-for-all,” they said. This gives the cinemas something to work on, ensuring that customer service is a priority. “Excellent floor management from the Duty/Experience Manager is essential,” says Paul. “It makes all the difference to a customer having a stress-free experience and consequently choosing Empire Cinemas every time.” Lisa explains how things have improved over time with the help of the staff. “In the early days the service we gave wasn’t that great and cinema managers have told me the teams struggled with the sheer number of


PULSE SAVERDAYS

customers,” she says. “Since then it’s great to see the staff preparing the cinema so there are ample hot dogs available, all toilets opened and fully stocked, mops and buckets to hand, etc. Managers work hard to have the right number of staff on shift without overspending on their payroll and working with Head Office to ensure technology is working.” Leon Fairbank, General Manager at Empire Great Park, says that he loves how Sav£erday is a wonderful chance for a wider range of viewers to visit the cinema. “For me Sav£rday creates an excellent opportunity for customers of all ages and backgrounds to escape into a world of possibilities. The challenge creates a create sense of achievement through the team. It really highlights how significant a role they play in delivering our overall customer experience.” John Hodgson from Empire Sunderland says: “Our deals like JNRS, Seniors and especially Saverday have opened our cinemas back up to a wider audience. They have also allowed hard-core film fans the opportunity to see two or three films a week without it breaking the bank.” Making the customer’s journey as smooth and seamless as possible is clearly the aim of everyone at the company, during any day of the week but especially on busy times like Sav£rday Tuesday. The aims demonstrate that Empire wants cinema to be accessible to everyone. It is great to offer customers a chance to see the latest films without having to compromise on the quality of facilities, surroundings or service levels. What do you think? What are your biggest challenges when working on a Tuesday? We want to hear from you! Send us your questions or comments to the Editor of Pulse by emailing: empirepulse@ gmail.com

F

act

“ The company’s busiest day ever was Tuesday 30th October 12 where the cinemas took more in one day than in some of the whole of the off peak weeks. ”

Q

Got a Question you want to ask?

Each edition we will ask any question of anyone at Empire Cinemas you want!

Q

I get asked by customers why don’t we do an Unlimited card like one of our competitors?

It is a scheme we have considered. The average Unlimited card holder goes to the cinema 3 times a month. 3 Sav£rday visits are cheaper than a month’s subscription and we don’t tie customers in for 12 months. This doesn’t mean that we will never offer customers an equivalent card but at the moment Sav£rday works for us and our customers and the money we save from not having such a scheme can be passed back on the customers by way of cheaper tickets.

A

SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 07


10 PULSE FACES OF EMPIRE

WITH

MINUTES

ANDRE MORT What is your job role?

I am Technical Director for the whole of Empire, I am currently based in Slough where we are working on the digital roll out. I am in charge of anything to do with sight and sound, projection and any other projects that require my involvement, for example digital roll out and ATMOS installation. What is a typical day for you? My day usually starts around 7am, which gives me plenty of time to check emails and catch up with anything I have to do before the phone calls start around 9am. Emails are always first on the agenda as most of my day revolves around the content of emails. No day is ever the same; sometimes I’ll be working on projects, discussing technology items with suppliers, or dealing with plans for digital and sound upgrades in the cinemas. What is the best thing about working at Empire? I love watching films at the cinema itself and playing with new technologies (us men and our toys!) Aside from this it’s all about the people because Empire is such a small company and so everyone is

Andre flying a plane

familiar with each other as part of the company’s team, which creates a really friendly atmosphere to work in. How can Empire continue to evolve with ever changing technology? Empire needs to be ahead by continuing to be one of the leaders within our industry. We have installed Dolby Atmos in Empire Leicester Square. We were also one of the first to install a fully digital cinema a few years ago at Empire High Wycombe using Barco and Kodak equipment. What makes Empire different? Empire is a company which cares more for its customers, unlike others within our industry. The customer service we provide here is brilliant and we bring a personal touch to each experience. Empire understands that we have to take care of the people that come through the front door. How do you unwind after a long day at work? I read a lot in my spare time, I watch films, make models and watch some TV.

2108| 02 RPULSE EMMUMAGAZINE S | ENIZAG| AM WINTER ESLUP2012 | 50

The man himself

Other Interesting Facts! Which upcoming films are you most looking forward to? Die Hard and Star Trek

What is your favourite film of all time? Where Eagles Dare. Odd choice maybe, but a great film with one of the best actors for his time, Richard Burton.

Who is your favourite actor? Richard Burton

What is your favourite cinema snack? Minstrels with a cup of coffee. I must be one of very few that doesn’t like popcorn.


ane

PULSE CINEMA ETIQUETTE

EMPIRE CINEMAS

ETIQUETTE GUIDE Despite words to the contrary, some cinema experiences are spoiled by those who fail to turn their phones off, those who insist on munching their popcorn loudly and those who feel the urge to stick their feet as high on the chair as humanly possible. It all adds up to something rather unpleasant; the minority spoiling the fun for the majority. Wouldn’t it be great if a neat guide were available, listing the etiquette blunders? Well, thankfully there is. Empire has produced a Cinema Etiquette guide, handily entitled ‘The Empire Cinemas Etiquette Guide’. It lists the key things to avoid doing if you want to watch your film in peace, such as keeping talking to a minimum, not taking off your shoes, no littering and refraining from PDAs (public displays of affection). So where did the idea come from? “The idea of focusing on cinema etiquette was born out of a suggestion from one of the Empire Cinemas General Managers,” says Sarah Owens, Empire’s Marketing Executive. “The Empire Cinemas Etiquette Guide campaign was then developed by Empire’s marketing team and House PR as a platform to help create the best shared cinema experience for all.” To give the campaign some gravitas, media personality Paul Ross was asked to lend his support, appearing on the guide in various poses. Sarah says this was to “add further credibility”. She adds: “Paul Ross has decades of experience in the film and TV industry and is a big fan of film and cinema so was a natural choice and good fit for the project. He was able to draw upon his many years of cinemagoing and provide a number of funny stories and anecdotes about his own experiences.” Empire’s guide is based on the views of our customers, with 85% saying they wanted an official cinema code of conduct. A further 66% said they wanted to tell off a fellow

cinemagoer for troublesome etiquette. Taking heed of this, the 10-point guide aims to create a shared enjoyment, ensuring that you can watch a film without having to worry that the chatterbox behind you will inadvertently let slip what happens to the love-struck hero. Plenty of chat has been harvested on social media and in the mainstream media concerning the scheme. “The talkability of the theme of etiquette meant coverage of the Etiquette Guide continued to grow beyond its initial launch. “It created a huge buzz on social networks, prompting consumers and media alike to give their views on what annoys them in the cinema and even went global with BBC World and BBC Russia both covering the release of the Etiquette Guide. Coverage is continuing to appear months beyond its release,” Sarah explains. The guide is also for multipurpose use, and will be woven into other projects throughout 2013. “We’ll continue to reference the Etiquette Guide where appropriate and encourage our cinemagoers to abide by it for a greater shared cinema experience for all,” says Sarah. So, the next time you take a trip to the cinema with your smartphone and other gadgets in your pockets, remember the guide and sit back and enjoy.

PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013 | 09


G I B E N O I T C A IN THE

LE AFL

Back in August, Customer Experience Manager Lisa Rowland launched the third Big E In Action competition, asking you to create either a 500-word pamphlet or a 90-minute film to show how you improved your customer’s cinema experience in 2012.

A

fter several great entries in the pamphlet category, Empire Wigan took home the £250 prize for their creative leaflet which saw an input from the whole team. These were the excellent entries that were received, including the all important winner.

SWINDON

Swindon’s talented team decided to use a humorous Star Wars theme in their pamphlets, which showed the comparisons between their Empire and the Galactic Empire from the customer’s point of view.

THE TEAM... David Crook, Rhoney Fox, Craig French, Andy Godby, Will Stuckey, Rebecca Ferguson, Kayla Fyfe, Alex White, Andrew Fisher

GREAT PARK

Empire Great Park decided to run with the theme of escapism for their leaflet and created a design that boasted of the cinema’s aim to take customers to any destination they desire or “to infinity and beyond”. THE TEAM... Shelley Dove, Jodie Brooks, Sophie Watton, Darren May

RD BISHOPS STORFO created

Empire Bishops Stortford a leaflet that showed how Empire is constantly finding new ways to stand out against our competitors. This included facts about the cinema, a focus on customer service and also a special mention for the new Dolby ‘Atmos’ screen in Empire Leicester Square. THE TEAM... Tom Silkstone, Kelvin Clarke, Adam Root

10 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013

SUNDERLAND

Sunderland’s creative team used video game The Sims as inspiration for their leaflet, which was awarded second place. It showed how their cinema fulfils the needs of their customers to give them a great overall cinema experience and provide a bit of TLC. THE TEAM... Anish Patel, John Hodgson, Olwin Mould, Anna Martin, Turo Rissanen, Amy Hedley

SUTTON

The leaflet from Empire Sutton featured the cinemas successes and marketing from 2012 in a unique “E” design, making theirs stand out from the crowd to secure third place in the competition. THE TEAM... Adam Watts, Alex Vickers, Laura Jacques


E

N

LET

PULSE BIG E IN ACTION

WIGAN WINNE RS The winning pamphlet came from the team at Empire Wigan, who worked together to create a leaflet that captured the values and beliefs of their cinema and of Empire Cinemas in general. Playing to their strengths, the team exploited the expertise of illustration graduate Mike Frodsham and journalism graduate Matt Brown. “All the team are thrilled that our pamphlet won the Big E In Action competition this year. We believe the pamphlet gives a fun, professional and honest representation of what we do at Empire Wigan and how we do it,” explained Matt. The team will use their £250 prize to buy a tablet for the staff room, to enable the staff to use it during their lunch hours. “We believe in giving back to the team as many of them are shining stars in the pamphlet. We think this is a great way of doing so,” Matt added. The pamphlet is set to be used within the local community to spread the word of Empire Wigan and Empire Cinemas, including appearing in local libraries, waiting rooms and leisure facilities.

THE TEAM... Mike Frodsham, Matt Brown and the rest of Empire Wigan

SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 11


E G I B N O I T C A IN THE

PULSE BIG E IN ACTION

FILM HEM E L H WINNERS EMPSTEAD Although all of the entries received were of an excellent quality, one cinema that stood out from the rest was Hemel Hempstead, who secured their £250 prize with a short film that they describe as “essentially an advert for Empire Cinemas”. The film has an overthe-top, fifties style (complete with the slicked back hair and cheesy American voiceovers), an idea that was based around Empire’s values. “The main focus was to try and showcase the unique points of the Empire experience, such as food quality and excellent service, in a form we could show to potential suppliers and new staff, or even customers,” explained Richard Conian, who helped create the film. Customer Experience Manager Lisa Rowland and National Operations Manager Andy Bush chose the film for several reasons, one of which being their straightforward yet effective approach. “It was a simple idea that managed to get across in a very short time an awful lot of what we offer customers. In the rules it stated the film must be no longer than 90 seconds, which Hemel Hempstead managed to achieve. Producing a shorter film caused the cinemas to be really focussed on the message and many struggled with this. Also, we loved to see that a lot of the team featured in the film and it was really professionally shot,” explained Lisa. The fate of their prize money is still yet to be decided, although Richard believes that it will probably be put towards a trip for the team. “The last time we won we spent the prize money on a themed treasure hunt through London, which was amazing,” he said.

THE TEAM...

Jessica Hart-Shea, Michael Marks, Richard Conian, Chris Morrison, Jack Tomlinson, Charlotte Hinshelwood, Bethany Cooper, Robin Wood, Ryan Collier, Edward Mula and Ben Casey.

12 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013

Stills from Hemel Hempstead’s 50s-inspired winning film


E

N

CUP

PULSE CUP

Coffee is a GO! Testing the coffee

Retail Manager, Gordon MacDonald has confirmed Costa is out and CUP is coming in. But what is the next stage, and what do the teams need to know? Richard Conian, GM at Hemel Hempstead finds out.

T

he origins of our coffee adventure can be traced back to a conversation in June when Gordon declared that the company were looking to move away from Costa, and thus the seed (or in this case, bean) was planted! Initially, my mindset was one of trepidation as it didn’t feel very “safe” to move away from such a well-known brand. However, as history has proved time and time again, true innovators do not earn their reputation by ‘playing it safe’ and having now completed half the journey, any doubts I had have been well and truly roasted! … I am pleased to report that our coffee is definitely one for coffee lovers - working really well in all the milk based drinks and tasting really rather delicious! Also, given that this is our own brand, it allows us so much more scope to craft something that really compliments the rest of our range of retail products. The first task was to create an original and memorable name. A fairly straightforward task, you might think, but instead we encountered one obstacle after another. Despite two long lists of possible suggestions coming from Hemel and head office alone, the problem was that most vaguely coffee related names are already trademarked to other coffee companies. As you know, (because hopefully you have read the last edition of Pulse!), the final decision was CUP Coffee. Fast forward a few months to August and I received another phone call from Gordon asking if I was free to travel up to our chosen coffee roasters to help select the types of filter coffee we could use. The roasters, a company called Lincoln & York, are based

near Scunthorpe. You may have not heard of Lincoln and York as they are a ‘Private Label roaster’ which means they are a business that supports well-known brands by sourcing and roasting beans to certain recipes, these based on the tastes and values each client want to supply to their customers. We spent the day with Coffee Buyer/Taster, Sean Fowler whose job is to test and taste any potential beans that the owners select. The coffee generally comes from South America or Africa. Sean referred to quite a few shipments of beans from El Salvador which are held in high regard by a lot of people as they can be used as a good base for various blends. Over the course of the day, we were educated on the different flavour profiles each region is famous for and how they came up with our own CUP blend. Our blend is a combination of two different types of bean, Arabica and Robusta (for the coffee geeks out there, there is a bean profile opposite!). The flavours of the coffee are further derived from the level of roasting it receives. Darker roasts intensify the deep caramel flavours whilst the lighter roasts are zingier. Our roast is more medium on the way to dark. It is, apparently, very comparable to a typical Southern Italian style espresso roast. Having tasted the coffee, Gordon asked me to have a think about what sort of menu we should offer. Given that aspirations for the brand are that it could potentially open as a high street brand, my feelings were that, aside from the standard Latte, Cappuccino, etc., we should try to offer some signature drinks: something different to the other high street brands. As a result, you may now see something called a Café Miel and a Red Eye appear

on the menu. These will be alongside staples such as Flat Whites, Mochas, Lattes etc. Which brings us back to the present... A machine manufacturer, La Cimbali, was selected and we visited their showroom in Coventry to go through the settings required on the new machines in order to make our range of drinks. La Cimbali was founded in 1912 by a man called Giuseppe Cimbali in Milano, Italy. Today they build and supply top-line traditional barista and automatic machines to cafes, restaurants and cinemas around the world. The machines Empire has selected are semi-automatic, which means that we can keep some of the theatre of the Barista operation, but also offer a consistently high quality and rapidly prepared cup of coffee. There’s still plenty to do to get the brand ready but it’s hurtling along at quite a pace so expect to see it in your cinema sooner…. or latte!

Out with the old and in with the new

SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 13


PULSE sent undercover coffee testers into rival cinema branches to taste and rate their coffee brands. Read below to find out how they scored... Vue Bolton Service – Score 2

Polite, wasn’t rude but wasn’t engaging with us or other customers, didn’t advise us where the milk or sugar was, etc.

Coffee packaging – Score 3

Functional and practical cup, quite dull in colour, quilted cup, doesn’t stand out.

Taste – Score 1

Very strong, bitter taste.

Smell – Score 1

Not much smell, first one dispensed had less of a smell than the last, very inconsistent within the 4 coffees.

Overall Coffee Experience – Score 2

Average experience both service and coffee, no price list for hot drinks.

4 regular white coffees – £2.50 each

A coffee cup from our rivals

Odeon Trafford Centre Service - Score 1

Not much interaction between us and manager that served us, didn’t advise where we could find sugar, etc,

Coffee packaging - Score 5

Separate milk containers, good presentation, and ceramic coffee mugs

Taste – Score 4

Very strong coffee, very rich but not bitter taste

Smell – Score 4

Strong coffee smell, pleasant aroma, roasted coffee smell

Overall coffee experience – Score 4

Good quality coffee let down by poor service Costa cup from our rivals

Image: SXC.HU

14 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013

4 regular white coffees - £7.80


PULSE CUP

What’s the difference between these coffee beans? Arabica

Robusta

Usually considered higher quality than Robusta as they are more difficult to grow and more expensive.

Robusta is used in blends to strengthen the “coffee taste” and boost the volume of “Crema”

Grows best between 3000-6000 ft

Grows best between 650 - 3000ft

Ideal temperature for growth: 15-24OC

Ideal temperature for growth: 1836OC

Average caffeine content: 1.2% Average caffeine content: 2.2% Arabica beans contain more sugar than Robusta

Robusta beans are smaller than Arabica

SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 15


R E V L I S EA THE

rewarded for re a es ye lo p em ire p Em t It is always important tha Silver E Awards are a way to make e all of their hard work. Th and shared throughout Empire. d sure that this is recognise

rd fo rt o t S s p o h is B Amy Mitchell

H

aving worked at Empire for just over a year, 25-year-old parttime Supervisor Amy Mitchell has been striving to provide customers with excellent customer service. This resulted in a Silver E nomination from General Manager Adam Root - something that came as a surprise to her. “Adam gave me a letter and I was slightly nervous as to what it could be. When reading it I realised that he had nominated me and I was shocked. I knew I had received a couple of emails from customers about my good customer

service but I never thought that I would be nominated for a Silver E,” explained Amy. “I felt a great sense of pride that I had not only been recognized by our customers, but also by my manager.” Amy received the award from National Operations Manager Andy Bush in Empire Bishops Stortford’s foyer. As part of her prize, she hopes to attend the premiere of Zac Efron’s latest film, The Paperboy, where she will be taking her best friend, Lucy. “I’d love to meet Zac at the premiere or if not it would be great to meet someone like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling or Emily Blunt!” she exclaimed.

e u in t n o c o t e m s “It encourage rs e m o t s u c e h t g in s a helping and ple our doors” who pass through Matt Brown - Wigan Jenny Maguire

E

mpire Wigan’s Supervisor, 21-yearold Matt Brown, was thrilled to be awarded with a Silver E after nearly three years of hard work. He received the prize after being nominated by General Manager Nicola Wood and several colleagues for constantly going above and beyond the expectations of all customers and staff alike whilst consistently delivering on the Big E at all levels. “I am really thankful for being recognised by my peers. I will wear my Silver E badge with pride!” he said. “It is great that Empire Cinemas recognise staff in such a way and incentivise a good and

consistent performance from everyone.” Matt attended the premiere of Django Unchained as part of his Silver E Award, taking his mother as his guest as he sat amongst stars such as ex-Pussycat Doll and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here runner-up Ashley Roberts and X Factor winner James Arthur. He chose the film as he was impressed by the trailer and the strong cast, which included Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington. “The premiere was brilliant, as was the film! For anyone who hasn’t seen it, I would recommend it,” praised Matt.

16 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013


PULSE SILVER E AWARDS

S D R AWA e b m o c y W h ig H Emma Taylor

F

ull-time team member Emma Taylor recently received her Silver E Award after four years of hard work and dedication. The 26-yearold was nominated by General Manager Paul Damms due to positive customer comments and her enthusiastic attitude, always identifying opportunities to go that extra mile. “I really enjoy working at Empire so am thrilled to get a Silver E,” Emma said. “One thing I enjoy about working here is that they encourage you to put your personality into the service, and

I’ve especially enjoyed being able to build a rapport with all of our regular customers over the years.” After receiving her award from National Operations Manager Andy Bush, she also praised the Silver E system, saying: “It’s great that the work put in by floor staff is recognised, and at High Wycombe there is a great team atmosphere that allows everyone to give their best every shift.” Emma is due to attend the premiere of A Good Day to Die Hard as part of her award, although she is unsure who to take with her to enjoy the experience.

Nicola Wood - Wigan

G

eneral Manager Nicola Wood completes the trio of Empire Wigan’s latest Silver E’s, highlighting the cinema’s commitment to providing their customer’s with the best service they can. It was Nicola’s passion for her job and for Empire that lead to three of the team writing to Customer Experience Manager Lisa Rowland, nominating Nicola for a Silver E. “Anyone who knows me wouldn’t believe that for once I was lost for words when I was awarded the Silver E at the GM meeting last December,” she said. “I

had just picked up the prize on behalf of Wigan winning the pamphlet category in the 2013 Big E In Action competition when Paul Baxter said he would like me to remain standing, then awarded me with the Silver E.” “I was shocked – I had no idea that any of the team had nominated me and was thoroughly thrilled. It means so much so I’ll be wearing my pin with pride every shift.” As part of her prize, Nicola hopes to attend the premiere of Iron Man 3. When asked why she simply exclaimed, “Robert Downey Jr. Say no more!”

Jenny Maguire - Wigan

E

mpire Wigan’s Acting Operations Assistant, 24-year-old Jenny Maguire, was extremely proud to receive her Silver E Award after her positive attitude was recognised by management. Jenny has worked at Empire for five years, during which she has always tried to maintain excellent customer service. “I enjoy making those customers who are not always happy when they enter the cinema leave with a smile,” she said. Despite her happiness at receiving the award, she was shocked to discover she had been nominated. “I received a phone call from my General Manager, Nicola Wood, and thought that it must have been about a rota change. Instead,

she informed me I was getting a Silver E!” “I am so happy to be recognised. It is a great award and encourages me to continue helping and pleasing the customers who pass through our doors each day,” she added. Jenny was lucky enough to attend the premiere of Oscar nominated Les Miserables, which she described as “one of the best experiences of my life!” She took her mother with her to celebrate what is surely a once in a lifetime experience. “It’s not every day I get to walk the red carpet and then later be stood in a foyer next to Hugh Jackman! It was a magical, surreal experience and the film was sensational,” she acclaimed.

SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 17


BUILDING

BUZZ: EMPIRE THE

Arts

CINEMAS

Building the Buzz is an important aspect of enhancing the customer experience. At Empire we like to guarantee that every customer is catered for, with an understanding that the cinema experience is no longer just about watching films.

Crowds in the cinema

P

aul Damms from Empire High Wycombe talks us through the ‘buzz’ and the Empire Arts Shows: “Whilst everyone knows that working in a cinema is traditionally all about films, no one can deny the growing importance and success of other ‘alternative content’. Much of this falls under the umbrella of Empire Arts and it is an area of the business that we continue to excel in here at High Wycombe. Creating that special feeling and buzz comes from plenty of hard work and excellent communication with our customers. It was clear when doing our first Empire Operas that they had huge potential, but we were severely hampered by the content that was available as it was inconsistent and irregular. From the outset, we began setting up a database of our customers as a means of ensuring we could regularly communicate with them to inform them about upcoming Empire Arts performances. My Supervisor, Ben Turner, produces regular newsletters keeping everyone updated on what’s coming up so we can stay in the loop. As for the performances themselves, we

try to make these shows extra special and create an atmosphere that emulates the real opera or theatre experience. Ben dresses in a tuxedo and makes sure that the programmes are given out and that he is on hand to answer any queries. This really helps to deliver a rapport and a sense of familiarity with the customers. Dedicated ushers ensure everyone is seated and are on hand to do trolley sales inside the screen, both at the start and during the interval. We regularly encourage feedback after every show so that we can look at ways of improving our service. In the future we hope to roll out the red carpet to make the experience even more exceptional. To date, we have produced some fantastic results and are regularly the number one cinema, both on the Empire circuit and in the country for many operas (apart from the

18 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013

time we were narrowly beaten by Sutton Coldfield, but we won’t talk about that!) We will continue to bug the booking department for more Empire Arts shows!” A word from Bishops Stortford Kelvin Clarke from Empire Bishops Stortford agrees that the atmosphere is paramount. He says: “It is brilliant, with every show selling out. Customers often say how they enjoy it more than actually being at the theatre, with a better view and better atmosphere.” What about making the events unique? “We like to make them more than your everyday trip to the cinema so we try to ensure that the same person is there at the start of the show handing out programmes and then again at the end to bid them farewell. Continuity is important.”

“WE TRY TO CREATE AN ATMOSPHERE THAT EMULATES THE REAL OPERA OR THEATRE EXPERIENCE” -PAUL DAMMS


ma

PULSE EMPIRE ARTS

TOP TIPS FOR BUILDING THE

BUZZ

of communication with the > Develop a strong line k as to get as much feedbac customer and always try possible ‘event’ n to make the shows an > Do everything you ca n to h other films where you ca > Try to avoid clashes wit le, and ssib po as ly ents as smooth ensure you can run the ev l! watch out for the interva and e of Opera and Theatre > Build up your knowledg rly ula liaise with your booker reg

Paul Damms talks us through the ‘buzz’.

SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 19


Basildon I would like to pay one of your staff at the above venue a compliment. I booked to see Les Miserables last week. When my friends and I arrived we were told that the screen was unsuitable for a wheelchair. Stacey Clarke was the young lady who came to the rescue, advising us of the screens that were wheelchair friendly. She then booked us into cinema 12 and then made sure that we were happy. I think Stacey is a very customer caring person and certainly made our visit pleasant and we will be returning. In fact she told me to email her when we wanted to book again and she would help us. A very happy customer.

This quarter has seen a record number of compliment letters so here are just a few of my favourites. They’re a great example of us helping customers in different ways, ensuring the cinema experience is as stressfree and enjoyable as possible. Thank you everyone for delivering such great experiences; I’ve highlighted a few of the key words/phrases mentioned by customers which are a great reminder of what we strive to do everyday.

Roz xx

Anne Chislett

High Wycombe Empire Great Park It is most refreshing to receive such prompt and caring service. For your information there are cinemas nearer by but we always come to Great Park - we love the large comfy seats and the facility in general. Once again, thank you. Margaret Burke (Mrs).

20 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013

Just want to say thank you and a big well done. Came to your senior screening today for the first time. What good value and your staff were so courteous and welcoming and explained cheerfully how it works. So nice to have a good service. Please say thank you to your staff - they deserve to be congratulated. Will definitely be back!! Kind regards. Lyn Watts


PULSE FEEDBACK Birmingham Great Park I would like to comment on the helpfulness and professionalism of the staff at Great Park. A problem developed with the coffee machine after we had paid, the member of staff offered to bring us a coffee to us in our seats during the film if the machine was mended which was a much appreciated offer. Then, following a mistake on my part made during the online booking process, a member of staff called ‘Melanie’ was incredibly kind and helpful, resolving the problem. I felt compelled to comment on the excellent customer service I received, following such a positive experience. Great Park is not my closest cinema but will now become my regular cinema as a result of this experience. Claire Ashforth

Empire Gate

Birmingham I attended the cinema to view a showing of Great expectations with my husband. Upon arrival I was greeted by two lovely young ladies, I think they’re names were Steph and Kelly. I would just like to credit them for their helpfulness and enthusiasm, they seemed more than happy to have a chat with me and make me feel comfortable. They are a credit to the company and I will definitely be returning to this cinema again soon. Thankyou, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and the film was also brilliant. Pat Rickman.

Leicester Square

I wanted to pass my thanks on to Sandra - supervisor who was on evening shift at the Empire Gate cinema. Whilst watching a film my friend became unwell. Sandra stepped in and very calmly and professionally helped by providing a cold drink and later a cup of tea as well as lots of reassurance. She stayed with us until a friend was able to pick us up. Sandra escorted us to the door and made us feel that nothing was a problem to her, constantly showing my friend concern as well as giving gentle advice. In my opinion she is a credit to your company.

I am writing to say a big thank you to the cinema for accommodating and assisting me in making my son’s birthday. Many thanks to Benjamin who has done a lot to assist me. He was really great to have decorated and organised some games for them. The party went on very well and everyone enjoyed it. Thank you once again.

Wendy

Mrs Helen Boyd.

SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 21


D N I H E B HE T

S E N

SCE

22 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013


PULSE BEHINDTHESCENES

Ever wondered who provides Empire Cinemas with some of the tools to share the magic of film?

Y

ou may have heard of Brand Electioneering, but may not know who they are or what they do. Matt Brown, Empire Wigan’s Silver E Supervisor, was fortunate enough to meet the team and see what goes on backstage at the Central London headquarters. Here are his views on the experience: “Brand Electioneering have worked directly with Empire Cinemas since 2006. In that time they have produced over 11,000 pieces of artwork, which have been proudly displayed within all sixteen of our cinemas. They continue to provide Empire with the dazzling pieces of artwork which are not only recognizable to our audiences but also provide a decorative backdrop to help us deliver on our customer experience. Brand Electioneering is responsible for the creation of the Empire Cinemas style that has

become synonymous with our brand. This is in the form of our T&P posters, translites and leaflets that our customers see each time they visit one of our venues. Achieving the highest levels of quality takes time. The team of Emily, Adam and Lee, with the help of cinema managers, thoroughly proofread each design before sending to print each week. The team keeps in contact with the printers at Kinkajou to monitor the printing process as weekly deadlines draw closer before they are finally delivered to each of our cinemas. Social networking is now at the forefront of our everyday lives and Brand Electioneering is responsible for the delivery of an interactive social networking program, one which not only represents our brand but also engages with our customers in a whole new way. With the help of each cinema management

team, Brand Electioneering provide sixteen Facebook pages - one for each of our cinemas - that deliver both nationwide and localized content to our customers. Visitors to the pages can see what’s happening in their local communities, in the world of Empire Cinemas and the wider world of film with a quick scroll down their news feed. Facebook posts are planned meticulously each week and range from polls and images, to trailers and industry movie news. The “reach” of all Facebook posts is analyzed to see which types of content are most effective in appealing to our customers. From their colourful offices comes a vibrant wealth of marketing ideas and designs, which light up each and every one of our cinemas to keep our customers smiling. That’s Brand Electioneering.”

SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 23


YOUR GALLERY your winter in pictures...

tina, Hannah, Joe, Craig, Kev, Chris Nikki and Laura at Poole’s Christmas Party

Staff watching the band play at Poole’s Christmas Party

Lydia and her partner, Andy, Dave, James, Chrissy and Emily at Poole’s Christmas Party 24 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013


PULSE YOUR GALLERY

David and Mark as Bane and Batman at Poole’s Christmas Party

Fans lining the red carpet for the premiere of Les Miserables in Leicester Square

Empire Leicester Square on the night of the Les Miserables premiere

the Staff at Leicester Square on wn Da premiere of Twilight: Breaking

Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen at the premiere of The Hobbit in Leicester Square

Graham McTavish signs autographs at the premiere of The Hobbit in Leicester Square SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 25


: S U C O F N I M TEA E

mpire Sutton was my very first cinema experience as a customer back in 1993. I still remember the first time I walked into the foyer to watch Aladdin, the smell of salted popcorn and the sound of John Williams’ music really completed my very first cinema experience. Before arriving at Empire Sutton as General Manager in Mach 2012, I began my career in cinema at the beginning of 2005 with ODEON in Epsom. Since then I have worked in eight different cinemas. I knew Empire Sutton was going to be a challenge, but the Head Office team, fellow General Managers and the Sutton team welcomed me to share my goals straight away. Here at Sutton I enforced my goal of taking our audience on a unique journey and giving them a memorable experience. We want to be able to take our customers away from their stresses of busy, everyday lives by combining happy faces, a friendly atmosphere and HD

sound and picture. Empire Sutton went through some amazing changes in 2012. We have updated and altered the way the cinema foyer looks; adapted to fit customers needs and we introduced special screenings. We have broken our record weeks and days since first becoming an Empire cinema in 2007. This was the 26th of October with a total of 16,138 customers through the door during week 44. Our busiest day was on Tuesday 30th of October with 3382 customers. This was due to the success of Skyfall in which our whole team suited up in true Bond style. We also went in for the SP Insight competition, gave out YOMs and achieved the highest returns in responses in Group 3 for a second time in 2012. Empire Sutton is a perfect place for hosting a range of different events, as we did in 2012. Two customer marriage proposals took place, one of which hit the newspapers. We also hosted our first Independent film premiere, which enhanced our relationship with the

Sutton Film Makers group. The featured film will be going in for the 2013 Independent film awards. On Christmas Eve we had fun in the foyer and became the ‘Empire Elves’ to raise money for ‘Help For Heroes’. Thanks to the great assistance from the Empire marketing team, we were able to provide our customers with face painting, colouring in, and pin the nose on Rudolph to win exclusive Disney Wreck-ItRalph and Tinkerbell prizes. Both the Empire Sutton team and myself love being a part of events to help bring our customers a friendly atmosphere and show them our passion and enthusiasm for film. We still have a way to go however, with the aim of increasing our YOM results each year, higher audit scores and we’d like to become fully digital in 2013. As well as this, we’d like more Facebook likes every week, increased RPG and more community involvement. We’d like to further increase admissions, which throughout 2012 has made us the busiest group 3 cinema. We are looking forward to a great 2013!

“ the Sutton team welcomed me to share my goals straight away ” 26 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013


PULSE SUTTON IN FOCUS

N O T T SU Empire Sutton was my very first cinema experience as a customer back in 1993. I still remember the first time I walked into the foyer to watch Aladdin, the smell of salted popcorn and the sound of John Williams’ music really completed my very first cinema experience.

ADAM WATTS SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 27


PULSE REVIEWS

OBL I V I O N

O

blivion is the amazing new science-fiction thriller based on the original Radical Comics graphic novel, written by Joseph Kosinki and Arvid Nelson. Now Kosinki returns to direct and co-produce this exciting new screen release following the success of his previous film, Tron: Legacy. With an all-star cast including the likes of Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman and Zoë Bell, and a director committed to keeping the spirit of the novel alive, Oblivion is going to be a sure-fire box office smash. Universal Studios cites it as being “one of the most beautiful scripts we’ve ever come across”. High praise indeed. Jack Harper (Cruise) is one of only a few remaining drone repairmen left on Earth. It is the year 2073 and Jack’s mission as one piece of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with the enemy alien Scavs is nearly complete. Based in the skies, thousands of feet above ground, Jack lives in and patrols the towns, repairing broken drones that keep watch for enemy

April 2013 aliens. However, his soaring existence is brought crashing down one day when he rescues a pretty stranger (Olga Kurylenko) from a faulty spacecraft – one containing items that make him question everything he believed about the war. The mysterious woman’s presence creates a chain of events that force Jack to contemplate that the fate of mankind may lie in his hands. The film has a dreamy, surreal quality to it and it’s evident that the storyline relies heavily on incredible visuals to create atmosphere. These dreamlike qualities will undoubtedly draw the audience into the story. With a lot of intense action and impressive looking gadgets, Oblivion will surely have audiences gripping their seats. One person who should surely be remaining calm however is actress Zoe Ball. No stranger to intense action scenes, Ball’s impressive repertoire includes stunt doubling for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill and Lucy Lawless in Xena: Warrior Princess. Oblivion is one of the most anticipated releases of the year, hitting UK cinemas April 12th.

28| PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Sci-fi/Action Director: Joseph Kosinki Starring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko Movie Recommendations: Dredd 3D, Looper, Minority Report FANTASTIC FACTS The Oblivion project originated as an 8-page treatment written by Joseph Kosinski, which was pitched in 2007 to Barry Levine and Jesse Berger at Radical Publishing as a graphic novel. The project was subsequently developed into an illustrated novella and is being held for release to coincide with the film release.  Diane Kruger, Hayley Atwell and Kate Beckinsale were considered for the role of Victoria. Filming was done using Sony’s newly-developed CineAlta F65 camera. 


THE

I

CROODS

f you’ve ever wondered what Nicholas Cage would look like as an animated caveman, this year you’re in luck. From DreamWorks Animations, and following on from 2012’s Rise Of The Guardians, The Croods is a new animated comedy starring Nicholas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone. Set in a prehistoric volcanic world, a well meaning yet perhaps slightly old fashioned caveman named Grug (Cage) gets the shock of his life. Waking up to find that a huge earthquake has destroyed his family cave, Grug makes the decision to leave behind everything he has ever known and journey across the land in search of a new place to call home. Collecting up his family and trying to maintain his position as “Leader of the Hunt,” they venture out into the big wide world. The family travel across spectacular landscapes, discovering a world filled with new and previously unknown fantastical creatures. Things soon become tricky when Grug’s daughter Eep (Stone), a cavegirl filled with curiosity and a desire for adventure, falls for a quirky, ingenious nomad called Guy (Reynolds). Guy’s life philosophies contradict with Grug’s reliance on old traditions, but despite this, the wonderful new things they’ve seen leave everyone’s outlook on the world changed forever.

PULSE REVIEWS

March 2013

The Croods is directed by Kirk DeMicco, who both wrote and co-produced 2005’s hit animated comedy Racing Stripes, and Chris Sanders, who has worked across a huge number of animated films including Lilo & Stitch, How To Train Your Dragon and Disney favourites Aladdin, The Lion King and Mulan. With this team behind it, the film is sure to be a huge hit with young and old alike. Expect lots of laughs on behalf of this stellar cast: Emma Stone is known for her irreverent sense of humour, best evidenced in 2010’s smash hit Easy A, while Ryan Reynolds has had lead roles in comedy films The Proposal, Adventureland and The Change-Up. Nicolas Cage seems to be able to try his hand at anything as he enters the world of animation for the first time in this feature. The Croods premieres in UK cinemas on the 22nd of March, featuring the very latest in cutting edge animation technology. Shot all in amazing 3D, this visually astounding family comedy is showcased perfectly.

FANTASTIC FACTS

The film was originally being made by Aardman Animations as stop motion film, under the working title Crood Awakening A video game based on the film, titled The Croods: Prehistoric Party!, is under development by Torus Games. It is set for release on Wii U, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS on March 19, 2013, enabling players to take the members of the Croods family on an adventure through 30 party-style mini-games.

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Adventure/Comedy Director: Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders Starring: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds Movie Recommendations: How To Train Your Dragon, Ice Age, Brave

SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 29


PULSE REVIEWS

iron man April 2013 he third instalment of the Iron Man franchise is here, with Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle returning to help save the world one more time. After the staggering box office success of Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 is looking to be just as remarkable. Fans of the first two films can expect some changes. With Shane Black taking over from previous director Jon Favreau, this third release should be a fresh take on the Marvel tale. Black also directed the sharp 2005 comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which was voted “Overlooked Film of the Year” by 2005 Phoenix Film Society and earned him great critical acclaim. This should be a perfect window into the mind of the man responsible for writing the likes of Lethal Weapon; the movie that made Mel Gibson a household name. Iron Man 3 sees Robert Downey Jr. return to his rightful place as our favourite billionaire playboy and CEO of Stark Enterprises. But this time he must pit his wits against an enemy who sees no confines to his destruction. When Stark arrives home to find his world demolished, he is

T

determined to bring down the culprit responsible. He embarks on an intense and harrowing journey for vengeance. Left to fend for himself, Stark has no choice but to rely solely on his instincts to protect himself and his friends, with a little help from a certain iron suit too. The film also introduces Guy Pearce (Prometheus, Lawless) and Rebecca Hall (The Prestige, Vicky Christina Barcelona), who work together as the creators of the Extremis virus - a storyline adapted from the original comic of the same name, which is widely acknowledged as one of the best Iron Man stories. Expect a massive, adrenalin filled ride with copious amounts of explosions and edge-of-yourseat action sequences, all accompanied by an epic score by Brian Tyler, the composer responsible for soundtracks to Transformers and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Most EMPIRE regulars should be excited for this latest superhero blockbuster. This instalment is sure to leave everyone holding their breath as they wait to discover whether good can conquer even the most challenging of evils. Iron Man 3 is due out in UK cinemas on the 26th of April.

30 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013

3

KNOW YOUR STUFF

Genre: Action/Adventure Director: Shane Black Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow Movie Recommendations: The Dark Knight, The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor FANTASTIC FACTS One scene was shot inside Epic Games, a video game development company known for the Gears of War franchise.   The Iron Patriot in this film is a new set of Iron Man armour that bears Captain America’s colour scheme. In the comics, it was an identity used by Spider-Man’s nemesis, the Green Goblin Norman Osborn.    This will mark the first time Samuel L. Jackson does not appear in an “Iron Man” related movie as Nick Fury. 


chimpanzee

PULSE REVIEWS

w

hen people think of Disney, the last thing they think of is reality. With all of their fairy tales and fantastic adventures, it may come as a shock that Disney is one of the world’s most prolific nature documentary producers. Since forming in 2008, Disneynature has been creating independent nature documentaries on a variety of subjects. In their latest offering, Disneynature heads to Africa for heartwarming doc Chimpanzee. Oscar is your average, carefree chimpanzee. Living in the jungles of the Ivory Coast, three year-old Oscar’s life is tragically thrown upside down after a confrontation with a rival gang of chimpanzees leaves his mother missing – probably the victim of a nocturnal leopard attack. After this world-shaking event, he struggles to fit in with the other chimps and survive on his own in this vicious landscape. His trials thankfully end when the alpha-male of his group miraculously adopts him. Chimpanzee was filmed on location in the Ivory Coast’s Taï National Park. Production took over four years due to the difficulties of filming during the wet season and the fact that the common chimpanzee, Oscar’s species, are notorriously reclusive in the face of human activity. Directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield possess the

May 2013 perfect pedigree for such a project. Fothergill has been creating nature documentaries for the BBC for over 25 years. His credits include the groundbreaking series Blue Planet and Frozen Planet, featuring the legendary David Attenborough. Mark Linfield’s CV is also just as impressive. He has produced a number of episodes of the BBC’s flagship nature program Natural World and 2007’s Earth, which he co-directed with Fothergill. The American version of Earth was one of the first films distributed by Disneynature the US in 2009 and took in over $100 million at the box office. Veteran comedian and actor Tim Allen is on hand for Chimpanzee’s narration duties. Moviegoers will be more familiar with Allen’s comedic roles, although he is a Disney veteran too, having lent his voice to Buzz Lightyear in the fantastic Toy Story films. Chimpanzee takes a hands-off approach and lets nature take its course. By filming these creatures in their natural habitat we are given a rare insight to our biological cousins’ day-to-day goings on while managing to retain the onscreen emotional hook needed to really enagage with audiences. Any cinema-lover with an inquisitive mind will enjoy this eye-opening look into the world of chimpanzees. This one’s a must for all nature fans.

FANTASTIC FACTS The documentary itself was supposed to just be about Oscar’s life as a young chimpanzee with his mother. But when a leopard killed his mother, Isha, this necessarily had to change. During its opening weekend, a portion of all proceeds was donated to the “See Chimpanzee, Save Chimpanzees” charity, which was started by famed chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall. The charity helps build habitats, educates children and helps orphaned chimpanzees. Alastair Fothergrill was Head of BBC Television’s Natural History Unit from 1992 to June 1998.

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Documentary Director: Andrew Fothergill and Mark Linfield Starring: Tim Allen Movie Recommendations: Earth, African Cats, March of the Penguins SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 31


PULSE REVIEWS

epic e

Ever since they struck gold with Ica Age in 2002, 20th Century Fox Animation has been regarded as a top animation studio. From Robots in 2005 through 2008’s Horton Hears A Who and 2011’s Rio, the studio has been gaining critical and box office success. Ambitiously titled Epic is the latest in the company’s animated adventures.

May 2013 Mary Katherine. Asides from starring in smash hit musicals, Seyfried will best be known for her roles in Sci-fi thriller In Time and fantasy flick Red Riding Hood. Colin Farrell and Josh Hutcherson are voicing a pair of Leafman warriors called Ronin, a seasoned hunter, and Nod, a rooky soldier. Beyoncé pops up too, voicing the Mother Nature-esque queen of the forest, Queen Tara. American comedian Jason Sudekis voices Professor Bomba, Mary Katherine’s father, while Irish comedy actor and star of the I.T. Crowd, Chris O’Dowd, is also involved, voicing a snail called Grub.

Based on American writer William Joyce’s children’s book The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs, Epic is a fantastical adventure. A young girl, Mary Katherine, finds herself transported to a deep forest, where forces of good, the diminutive Leafmen, and the evil Boggans are clashing in battle. Mary Voicing the leader of the evil Boggans is Katherine must band together with a rag-tag bunch Austrian actor Christoph Waltz. Waltz has had of allies to win the war and save the world. an impressive career rise in recent years, with an astonishing role as Nazi Officer Hans Landa in Though it is based on Joyce’s book and shares some Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. and is in similarities, the plot has been changed significantly. the running for more awards this year for his role Feeling that Joyce’s story was a little too quaint for in Django Unchained the big screen, the makers have blown up the plot to be fitting of the title. 20th Century Animation has had a successful track record in the past, and with the impressive 20th Century Fox Animation regular Chris Wedge voice acting involved, Epic looks like it’s going is the man directing Epic. Wedge has previously to continue the trend. Families will love the helmed Ice Age and Robots and has assembled an sumptuous visuals that promise to immerse impressive cast. viewers deep in Epic’s enchanted forest. With a great story line, and a fantastic look, Epic will be a Amanda Seyfried, star of the recent adaptation film to get lost in this spring. Les Misérables and Mamma Mia!, voices heroine

32 | PULSE MAGAZINE | SPRING 2013

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Animation/Fantasy Adventure Director: Chris Wedge Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Colin Farrel Movie Recommendations: Ice Age, The Secret of Kells, Tangled FANTASTIC FACTS The heroine Mary Katherine is named after the late daughter of author William Joyce, whose book “The Leaf Men” was the basis for this movie. This is the second Blue Sky Studios film to be based on a story by William Joyce. The first was Robots. Director Chris Wedge won the Academy Award for Best Short Film in 1998 for his animated film Bunny.


PULSE REVIEWS

THE GREAT

GATSBY

May 2013 . Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby often crops up in lists of the greatest literary works of all time. Through his expert use of language and metaphor, Fitzgerald captured perfectly the highs and lows of America’s boom in the roaring twenties. As such the book has found itself on the big screen many times, but with this new version director Baz Luhrmann hopes to give a fresh twist to the timeless tale. Set at the height of The Jazz Age, The Great Gatsby is, on the surface, a tale of unrequited love, yet also doubles as an examination of the extravagant excess sweeping across the United States at the time. The story follows Nick Carraway, a bond salesman, as he is caught up in the glitzy and glamorous lifestyle of his notoriously rich neighbour, Jay Gatsby, in Long Island, New York. Nick is drawn into Gatsby’s world, where he finds that things aren’t as they seem and money doesn’t buy you everything. The key to any successful literary adaptation, especially when the text is as renowned and well loved as The Great Gatsby, is getting the characters correct. This screen adaptation should have no such trouble as Luhrmann has assembled a suitably impressive cast. Mild-mannered mid-Westerner Nick Carraway acts as a surrogate for the audience as he finds himself swept up into American high society. Portraying him in the 2013 version is Tobey Maguire. Known more for spandex and spider webs than cocktails and tuxedos, Maguire will be most familiar to movie goers as Peter Parker in the original Spider-Man trilogy. His mixture of naïveté and wholesomeness should carry over perfectly from his superhero adventures and fit Carraway’s character to a T. Taking centre stage as Jay Gatsby is Leonard DiCaprio who, despite being nominated several times, is surprisingly yet to win an Academy

F

FANTASTIC FACTS Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson were considered to play Daisy Buchanan. Though the film is set in Long Island, New York, it was actually shot in Sydney, Australia. Mulligan was so overjoyed at her winning the part that she burst into tears after learning of her casting via a phone call from Luhrmann, who informed her of his decision while she was on the red carpet at an event in New York.

Award for Best Actor. The role of Gatsby is one that an actor of his stature can really get their teeth into; one that blends love, anger, jealousy and madness into a complex and interesting persona. Perhaps this will be the role that finally nets DiCaprio a little golden statuette of his own. Appearing as the subject of Gatsby’s unrequited love is British actress Carey Mulligan. Mulligan burst onto the big-time with her award winning performance as Jenny in An Education and remained there with supporting roles in Drive and Shame. Mulligan plays Daisy Buchanan, a socialite that Gatsby fell for before serving in the First World War. A combination of beauty and fragility, Daisy is a powerful reminder that money isn’t all that is needed to lead a happy and successful life. Baz Luhrmann is best known for his directorial success with the modern retelling of Romeo + Juliet and hit musical Moulin Rouge! He is undoubtedly a perfect candidate to bring the opulence and splendour of The Jazz Age to life. With its glamorous style and fabulous costumes, The Great Gatsby is set to continue Luhrmann’s track record for Hollywood cinema with an extravagant twist.

KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Period Drama Director: Baz Luhrmann Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carrey Mulligan Movie Recommendations: Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, Pride and Prejudice

SPRING 2013 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 33


Enjoy the puzzles and enter our competition below to win a years supply of a Cadbury’s chocolate of your choice! Well done to MIKE LYTHGOE from Empire Wigan who was last issues winner.

Who am I?

Answers for WINTER 2012 Edition: 1. BAD SANTA 2. ELF 3. GREMLINS 4. GRINCH 5. HOME ALONE 6. JINGLE ALL THE WAY 7. LOVE ACTUALLY 8. SCROOGE 9. THE POLAR EXPRESS 10. THE SANTA CLAUS 11. THE SNOWMAN 12. WHITE CHRISTMAS

28| 16| 34|PULSE PULSEMAGAZINE MAGAZINE||SUMMER SPRING 2013 2012

corner

Competition


PULSE COMPETITION CORNER

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

Can you spot the seven differences?

2012 27 SUMMER SPRING 2013 2012||PULSE PULSEMAGAZINE MAGAZINE||35 29


LL A G F N I AF T

LS L A

C

THE NEXT EMPIRE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT HAS BEEN CONFIRMED VENUE: WEMBLEY STADIUM

DATE: THURSDAY 25TH APRIL

Last years winners Slough are look

ing to defend their title

The pitches are ready and waiting

PULSE magazine - Spring edition 2013  

Spring Edition of PULSE Magazine produced by Magazine Journalism students from Southampton Solent University for the staff of Empire Cinemas

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