3 What should a distributor consider? Distributors should consider a film which appears to be fresh, original and outstanding. Another factor which would be important for them to consider is: is the film a local product? For example: British audiences like to watch British films whereas people of different cultures like to watch films which are based around their cultures. Distributors should consider how marketable the product is which means how can the product become appealing to the target audience? They should consider: Who is the audience? This could be considered one of the highest things to consider as to advertise the film you have to know who you are addressing and things which will appeal to them. Do the story, characters and situation meet the needs of the target audience? As previously said the target audience need something they can relate too, something they find interesting this could be to do with culture or to be about the local area etc. Does the film deliver and would meet the needs of the cost and theatrical release costs? If the distributor does not believe the film delivers well enough they are less likely to take it on. They have to believe it will make money and attract the right sort of audience.
4 Contract Once the distributor has agreed the film is suitable they have to sign a formal contract which specifies the rights which they hold in respect to the title, this is done with either the sales agent, studio or the producer of the media product. What does the contract hold? Usually, the contract holds the rights to release it into the cinema and to advertise the product before, during and after the release. This can extend to the ancillary markets including the further right to license film to UK broadcasters. Not all distributors handle their contracts this way. The theatrical aspect to distribution is a highly competitive business. Some distributors may release 1 or 2 films a year, but more successful ones could release up to 30 titles a year. Considering the amount of distributors who intend for the films they are releasing to get media space, and audience interest, the pressure for time and interest is extremley competitive.
5 Planning a release Once the distributors have estimated the approximate income of the film, they can then start to plan the release of the media product into theatrical production Distributors should meet the needs of their target audience Knowing the target audience is a key element to media success. The distributor Should try and extend the addressing of the target audience as far as possible. Some films may cater for a more wider audience range such as family films or comedies but some may cater for a more selected audience such as special interest films e.g. History films or horror films. It is the distributors job to try and extend the audience research as far as possible. However, it is very important to not lose focus on the film’s core target audience.
6 Target audience To ensure a good profit from theatrical production distributors should think about the most likely target audience. Over 50% of people who go to the cinema fairy often ( more than once a month) are teenagers; 15-24 year olds. Only 25% of the population go to the cinema that often. A significant percentage of the people who go to the cinema on a fairly regular basis extends to those who are 35 years and older. Trying to address as many areas of a target audience is extremely difficult. Market research can help this, test screenings where they invite members of the public of different ages and genders to watch the film and give feedback as well as questionnaires all have an impact of what the audience enjoy watching.
7 Competition Each year a few films become hit films, having more of an income from theatrical productions and being played for longer than expected. But there is only room for a few of these, there is not any guarantee that a similar film or a sequel to the hit film or ‘sleeper’ film will be as popular. Distributors should consider competition, Is there space in the market for their product? Is there currently a lot of competition within the genre or target audience? Is there space in the market for something different? Is there any star power among the cast? Having well known stars who are successful and attract a large audience will help to bring in the income. Is the film made by a well known producer or director? Is it a film for a holiday period? E.g. Summer, christmas, easter etc. Could the film beat other films on the market by being predicted to be up for awards? The film slum dog millionaire won several awards and is highly recognised for this. Is the film a sequel? Is there already an ongoing buzz about the plot or the star power within the film? Distributors have to consider this wide variety of aspects of the film and more.
8 Film marketing To help enable a films success there are stages distributors go through to help gain recognition Screenings for national critics Set visits Awards given- the more awards a media product gets the more recognition and news about it is going to be spread. Promotional partnerships- These enable customers to interact with the film characters and entering competitions e.g. To meet the star, or to a premiere in a different country, depending on the success of the film Merchandising- For example; Soundtracks, trivia games, posters, clothing, jewellery. This helps to generate the excitement of the film. Premieres and preview screenings- Premieres are expensive but very well known for gaining publicity- pictures and reports in newspapers and magazines etc. Preview screenings are way to get the audience excited and tell their friends and family about the experience aswell as the film.
9 Film marketing continued Inspiring young audiences- If a film has been properly marketed- young people will understand more about the processes needed to make a film successful. E.g. Interviews and DVD extras. Film distributors may also contribute to a charity named Film Education to help create a study source for budding film makers/distributors etc.