Institutions and Audiences - The 7 KeyConcept Areas Listed and ExplainedAS Media Studies
Institutions and Audiences - The 7 KeyConcept Areas Listed and Explained• .
Section B: Institutions and AudiencesFrom OCR spec• Candidates should be prepared tounderstand and discuss the processes ofproduction, distribution, marketing andexchange as they relate to contemporarymedia institutions, as well as the nature ofaudience consumption and the relationshipsbetween audiences and institutions.
In addition, candidatesshould be familiar with:• •the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;• • the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distributionand marketing;• • the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels ofproduction, distribution, marketing and exchange;• • the signiﬁcance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions andaudiences;• • the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;• • the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (speciﬁcally,British) by international or global institutions;• • the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumptionillustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.
Section B: Institutions and AudiencesFrom OCR specThis unit should be approached through contemporary examples in the formof case studies based upon one of the specified media areas.Examples may include the following:FilmA study of a specific studio or production company within a contemporaryfilm industry that targets a British audience (eg Hollywood, Bollywood, UKfilm), including its patterns of production, distribution, exhibition andconsumption by audiences. This should be accompanied by study ofcontemporary film distribution practices (digital cinemas, DVD, HD-DVD,downloads, etc) and their impact upon production, marketing andconsumption.
1.The issues raised by media ownership in contemporary(current) media practice• You need to discuss the depth and range of ownership across a range of mediaand the consequences of this ownership for audiences in terms of the genresand budgets for ﬁlms.• How for instance, can Big Talk Pictures / Film4 survive in the British marketplace against the high concept, big-budget ﬁlms made by Sony, Disney, Universal,etc.?• What kinds of niche audiences are left for Big Talk Pics / Film4 to attract?• Are mass audiences out of reach given the genres of ﬁlms these companies havethe budgets to make? How successful have they been in reaching massaudiences with their ﬁlms?• How healthy is it that just a few mega media groups can own such a range ofmedia and can decide what the public may see, and, perhaps, shape audiencestastes?
• 2. The importance of cross media convergence andsynergy in production, distribution and marketingYou need to discuss how digital technology is enabling various media toconverge in hubs, platforms and devices.For instance, mobiles phones do a lot more than act as hand held telephones:you can download and watch films and TV programmes, play music on them,take photos and short films, text, go online, use GPS functions, a range of apps,and a whole lot more. How does that affect the way we view films and theproduction / distribution and exhibition of films?New HD TVs, Playstations, X-Boxes, I-Pads, Notebooks, MacBooks, etc. arealso examples of hubs which in which a variety of media technologies canconverge for convenience for users.Media convergence is having an enormous impact on the film industry becauseof the ways in which institutions can produce and market for audiences/userson a widening range of platforms, capable of receiving their films.
Synergy• Synergies can come out of an organisations size• Smaller media organisations such as Big TalkPictures can-cross promote their films, etc. but thescale of cross-media promotion is nowhere near asgreat as that which can be gained by massivemedia organisations.• Big Talk Pictures / Film4 is therefore unable topromote their lower budget films on a level playingfield.
3. The technologies that have been introduced inrecent years at the levels of production, distribution,marketing and exchangeThe audiences ability to interact with films by, for instance, using digital technology to putextracts on You Tube and overlay new sound tracks on them, etc. and make answeringvideos has been greatly enhanced by Web 2.0;Film studios can make films using CGI, greenscreen and other special effects that wereimpossible to make only a few years ago. The ways of filming and editing films have changed,too, with the introduction of digital film and film cameras, editing software, laptops, digitalprojectors, etc.Distributors market films using the latest software for designing high-concept film posters andtrailers. They can use phone apps., online marketing, Face Book, etc.File-sharing and piracy are growing issues because the software exists to take the protectiveencryption of DVDs, etc and WEB 2.0 enables people to make and share copies of films easily.One way in which film companies are trying to get around this is by releasing films soon aftertheatrical release by selling them on video-on-demand, premium TV channels and downloads.US and UK cinemas chains are not happy about this, especially after all the investment somehave made on digital equipment, projectors, etc. which unfortunately quickly goes very quicklyout of date!
3. The technologies that have been introduced inrecent years at the levels of production, distribution,marketing and exchange• Distributors market films using the latest software for designinghigh-concept film posters and trailers. They can use phone apps.,online marketing, Face Book, etc.File-sharing and piracy are growing issues because the software existsto take the protective encryption of DVDs, etc and WEB 2.0 enablespeople to make and share copies of films easily. One way in which filmcompanies are trying to get around this is by releasing films soon aftertheatrical release by selling them on video-on-demand, premium TVchannels and downloads.US and UK cinemas chains are not happy about this, especially after allthe investment some have made on digital equipment, projectors, etc.which unfortunately quickly goes very quickly out of date!
4. The significance of proliferation inhardware and content for institutions andaudiencesThis means the rapid increase of something: i.e. digitalcameras, software, CGI, 3D films, film genres, etc.which are part of current trends;How significant is this for Big Talk Pictures or Film4? Or arethey still able to be successful without it by making filmswith genres that do not need the latest breakthroughs indigital technology?How did Big Talk Pictures use cameras, special effects,software, posters, digital distribution of films, etc.
5. The importance of technologicalconvergence for institutions and audiencesThis is about how technology is coming together in hubs like laptops, eg. themobile phone in your pocket is a great example of technological convergence: itcan do so much more than a simple phone call; think how this is affecting filmmaking at the production, marketing and exhibition stages?The Internet is acting as a hub for many aspects of film: you will find film posters, YouTube videos on films, interviews, trailers, official film and blog websites, etc. on it.Audiences can also remake their own films by creating extracts and running newscores over them and then posting them on You Tube.This often leads to answering videos, never mind the comments, etc. that peoplemake on such sites. The internet, film and videos games seems to be converging inso many ways. People can watch films in a range of ways, using an astonishingrange of hardware and software. They can also find audiences of their own. Thisamounts to free publicity for film institutions for their films and "A Long Tail" sales intothe future through endless exchange.
6. The issues raised in the targeting of nationaland local audiences (speciﬁcally, British) byinternational or global institutions"Attack the Block" was originally aimed at British audiences andalso at Nick Frost fans.British film makers often make social realism films and aim them at localand regional audiences whereas this would never be enough for themajor media players who tend to make high budget, high concept filmsdistributed to a mass international audience.‘Attack’ had an acquisistion company who sold the film to Screen Gemswho distributed this film - releasing the film to select cinemas probablyin New York and Los Angeles only - the cream of intellectual Americansociety.
7. The ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of mediaconsumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audiencebehaviour• How you consume ﬁlms whether it is as a social activityafter visiting a shopping centre or on an MP4 player orPlaystation, is what is at issue here.• Visit Pearl and Dean to see how multiplex cinemas areadapting the experience of cinema-going to gain audiences.• In an age of falling DVD sales, stagnant home cinema ﬁguresand an increase in downloading for both music and ﬁlmaudiences are changing in how they want to consume ﬁlm.Identify trends and consider where the audience trends aregoing in the near future.