FilmdistributionLearning Outcome:-understand key terms-to know what distributionis-how it occurs/works
Key terms Distribution Legal rights (to be shown) Box office British cinema Hollywood Ownership Vertical integration Horizontal integration Conglomerate Parent company Subsidiary company Marketing Above the line / below the line Premieres/screenings etc Synergy Local distribution Exhibition Cinema release Release dates
What is distribution? Film distribution describes everything that happens in between production (making the film) and exhibition (people watching the film in cinema, DVD, television, via the internet, a plane or anywhere else!) Distribution involves all the deals done to get the film shown including the promotion.Involves: Acquiring legal rights to show a film (+ownership) Distribution is about releasing and sustaining films in the market place Marketing and releasing the film Making and distribution of prints/files to cinemas Making and distribution of DVD/blue ray to stores
Film distributers Thekey players in film distribution are the big companies which controls much of the industry, control the distribution of their own products, and of others Films are loaned out to cinemas for a set amount of time release dates are secured a set number of screens and screen times
OWNERSHIPVertical/horizontal integration Vertical Integration Horizontal Integration The three stages are seen as part of the Distribution is a collaborative process, same larger process, under the control of ( not conglomerate = multiple one company (conglomerate – 1 large companies) requiring the materials and institution) rights of the producer and the cooperation of the exhibitor to promote *control over ALL stages of production, and show the film distribution, exhibition *only control over some stages of production and/or distribution and/or exhibition The parent company owns multiple The parent company owns multiple companies across different stages of the companies at the same stage of the film film industry. industry. A smaller company, owned by the parent is a subsidiary.
Vertical/horizontal integration Horizontal Owned by parent company Production Production Production Vertical Distribution Owned by subsidiary company Exhibition Example of parent company: _____________________ _ Example of subsidiary company: ____________________
Types of distribution MAJOR US STUDIO INDEPENDENT PRODUCERGenerally have their own By contrast, they have to selldistribution offices in all the their films to differentmajor territories distributors in each territory
Film distributors in the UK 5 major distributors dominate the UK film industry: United International Pictures Warner Brothers Buena Vista Twentieth Century Fox Sony Roughly 9/10 films seen in the UK are distributed by the above companies *This does change from every few years…..
Local distribution‘Local’ distribution – one country – not 90+ territories -Cinema, DVD, TV rightsA local distributor will conventionally share profits equally withthe producer for the theatrical leg, pay back higher royaltiesfor broadcast rights, and lower for video/DVDDifferent films made my different companies aredistributed differently: -different parts of world (global vs local) -different levels of distribution/exhibition (ex. Some not go to cinema)
British film vs. American film Advantages of American film/studios compared with British film. American films has the same advantage with the language. American studios have an enormous capital (money/profit) at their disposal American film companies can afford to take a risk- 1 in 9 films fail at the box office Why can they afford eight films to fail?
American film diet for British British film producers periodically experience boom periods What do you think about now? What are successful British films? (Why? Although the British film industry attract a large global audience, in Britain we experience a large film diet of American films Why? Due to the popularity of Hollywood films in the UK, the distribution of films into cinemas and DVDs into our shops in dominated by US companies, who are clearly going to put their money into their own products
Cinema release and legalrights Film distribution has its own unique procedures Success or failure of a cinema release determines how the DVD and TV releases will be handled subsequently In the international film business, the rights to screen a film are sold in respect of distinct ‘territories’ (such as the UK)
British film in America What do you think the advantage of British films going to America and across the world?(Compare this with just being distributed in Europe) America is geographically huge Americans and a number of countries around the world speak English The size of the audience for a film is potentially huge
Film distributors (small companies) What are the issues for smaller distribution companies? They have to compete with the larger distributors for the bigger films Being in digital age (new processes/equipment is £££) Every film shown in a cinema is a separate ‘print’ of the film projected via a reel The major companies can afford to produce far more prints than the smaller companies, knowing the expensive costs will be will be worth it in relation to box office returns Small companies often support smaller films which might aim to educate (not make lots of money but to enlighten audiences) A small company (producing a less commercial product) can not afford to produce a lot of prints, so people who want to see more alternative films often have to wait until their local independent cinema has a print often little choice of where and when you see it!
Film distributors IN most cases these distributors have direct links to Hollywood production companies that make the films. They deal with exhibitors who are no longer (they used to be) owned by the same Hollywood companies, but they (for reasons of profit) prioritise Hollywood films over theirs Usually the blockbuster films we are familiar with are distributed via ‘blanket release’, so even if a small UK independent company manages to get its product into cinemas it is usually competing for attention with one or more films that take on the status of an ‘event’ One of the outcomes of the distribution arrangement outlined above is that half of the films released in Britain do not reach the whole country
Release datesThings to consider Answer What is the aim of most films?Who releases them?When is it the best time to releasefilms?How do they do it?
Release datesThings to consider Answer To make the highest amount of What is the aim of most films? money from the largest audience (at box office)Who releases them? Distribtors Film Distributors Association – oversee process 10 releases a weekWhen is it the best time to release Fridays/weekends (when people go out)films for optimum success? Seasons (valentines, Halloween, Christmas) In relation to other released Near (before) OscarsHow do they do it? Marketing/promotional campaigns (most expensive part!)
Marketing/promotion Why is this important to the film industry? To make return (money back which was invested for production) To make return on distribution costs (prints) A Hollywood blockbuster is released ‘wide’ with one or more prints sent to each multiplex. Typically 400-500 prints, each costing £1000. So, a significant investment To make more income (profit) at box office and from merchandise The wide release of a film depends on a blanket of promotional and advertising coverage for the first weekend (or more) to create a ‘buzz’ about the film. Some big films are advertised months before release…..
Marketing Think of all the ways films are marketed (a way to get people to consume/buy): *consider above the line/below the line….
Above/below the line marketing/advertising ‘Above the line’ advertising which will be funded as part of the project Trailers billboards various other spin offs e.g. McDonalds happy meal toys and in house promotion of the film. ‘Below the line’ publicity which is not paid for but generates mutual interest an interview with a magazine or newspaper or reviews (any positive reviews will obviously help the promotion of the film although any bad publicity will obviously have an impact on the film
Marketing (advertising) Posters Adverts in……… newspapers, magazines, billboards, poster outside on telephone boxes, buses, taxi etc……intunes/netflix etc) Trailers (often free to TV & radio stations) TV (commercials) Radio Online Pop ups YouTube Social Media: facebook, twitter etc Films (in cinema) Films (beginning of DVD) Preview of part of film (like first 8 minutes online) Non traditional promotion Viral videos………….competitions/games/voting etc (usually through social media) Film premieres (stars turn up….hold interviews, sign autographs etc) Advance public screenings (sometimes competitions) A distributor will consider the use of advance public screenings to create word-of-mouth and advance buzz around a film. Interviews with big stars and directors (as they are often setting points of big films) Award ceremonies (film festivals etc) Film website Pre-orders (on iTunes) Synergies Products with other companies (etc Mobile phone (James Bond)…..burger king (Transformers)….) With TV shows (X-factor will film/show the films premiere) Preview screenings for journalists/critics (able to write/talk about them = passes down…..) Pre release campaigns (Many independent distributors in particular do not have press departments, and will consequently hire a press agency to run a pre-release campaign) Which are Above the Line/Below the Line?
Life of marketingRemember that marketing isn’t just BEFORE the film is released To sell DVD To sell downloads Often the selling points of these is the success in cinemas! Re-release (Example – titanic) To sell on iTunes (sales such as .99p ……or part of packages) Reason to buy netflix/lovefilm etc. Of course to sell merchandise too…..clothing…..toys…….video games etc.
Prints It is called ‘film’ because this used to be shot on FILM Cameras have film reels Prints were made to show in cinemas Just recently, the industry has moved to digital distribution and digital projection/exhibition However, prints still exist To show in smaller towns/cities that don’t have digital capabilities To show in traditional cinemas that still believe in and celebrate the old tradition of classic filmmaking Financially, only massive films with massive budgets can afford to create prints (and digital) MAKE 35mm (the size of the actual film reel) COST £1000.00 per print HOW SHOWN Hired by exhibitor
Disadvantages of prints Disadvantages Expensive to make Expensive to store (very big) Expensive and difficult to transport Makes showing time longer (if only make 100 prints, only 100 cinemas can show it) Very fragile, easily damagedWear and tear = get damage the more used/watched Wasteful (get thrown away to view)
Digital distribution & projection It is likely the film is firstly shot on digital cameras and therefore editing in digital software programs (production) Digital projection, especially when married to the increasing use digital formats in production, can now replicate - if not surpass - the image quality of conventional 35mm cinema presentation The compressed and encrypted files sent directly to cinemas to be downloaded, de-encrypted (unlocked) and opened as files for screening with digital projection equipment.
Digital distribution & projection ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGESCheaper (no prints)Instant transportation as the Piracyfiles are sent electronically(not long like transferringprints)Able to make money faster Films are likely to be more commercial/mainstream (preventing the promotion of independent cinema)The shortened first-run periodwill allow distributors torelease on DVD earlier
Digital Screen Network DSN sites supports new facilities in 211 screens across the country (out of a total of just over 3,300) small but important step change towards full digital cinema
The Exhibitors (cinema chains) in 2004: Cinema Chain Number of screens Odeon/ UCI 930 Cine UK and UGC 780 Vue 580 Showcase 250 Others 1000 Only Showcase remains in American hands, but all the other chains are deeply committed to distributing American films.
Film distribution Consider what the following quote means: If you break it down and look at it as a business then the audience has the greatest power. It’s the audience who likes a particular superstar, then Hollywood is forced to use the superstar and that star then becomes extremely powerful. What does this mean?
Film distribution Consider the next quote: In a world where money spent in the budget of a film often sees 50% going on promotion as opposed to what you actually see on the screen, the idea that we have a world where the consumer can exercise authority is absurd. This industry is like any other. Of course it has to see things but it doesn’t rely on waiting, listening , responding to an audiences want and then delivering that to them. It relies on knowing which parts of the world and the media need its products and will pay for them. What does this mean?
Questions about quotes Which person is right? Does market forces give the consumer more power and choice and thus influence what we want is what is being made for us to buy? Or does it actually convince us that what we want is being made for us? Do millions of people go and see Pirates of the Caribbean 2 in the first week of release because, A) its expected to be as good if not better than the previous film, B) because it has had good marketing? C) or both?
RED YELLOW GREENKey terms Distribution Legal rights (to be shown) Box office British cinema Hollywood Ownership Vertical integration Horizontal integration Conglomerate Parent company Subsidiary company Marketing Above the line / below the line Premieres/screenings etc Synergy Local distribution Exhibition Cinema release Release dates
Homework – Due next Thur 1) Researching the life of a film (partner task) ……..(instructions on paper) 2) Revise slides (&key terms) from Thur/Fri