The Exam 1 hr 30mins 4 Questions to answer 2 Questions on the theory behind Action Adventure Films. 2 Questions based on your own Pitch.
The Brief 4 weeks before your exam you will get a brief from the exam board and this will hint at the content of the exam For those 4 weeks we will only be able to give you guidance and not teach you from then on.
2 Questions on Theory? These are hinted at through the Brief. It could be something based on the issues of: Film Classification Why Action Adventure appeals to people Attracting a Female audience Racism in Action Adventure Sexism in Action Adventure Cost of Action Adventure
2 Questions on My Pitch? These questions will ask you to do two very clear things: Describe your Action Adventure film Outline a marketing tool for your Film (you will have a choice of two tasks) This may include:
Possible Marketing Tasks Storyboard a Trailer DVD Cover Film Poster Bus Poster Website Opening Sequence Radio Advert Interview with a Director Microsite Podcast All of these things you will have the opportunity to practise in class.
Let’s Revise... Before you turn this page, test yourself to write down as many of the codes and conventions of Action Adventure Films that you can remember. Hint: There are 15!
Exotic Locations Sword/Fist fights Spectacular Crashes Daring saves at the last minute
Overcoming Adversity Villain who has to be defeated by the hero.
So... What does that matter to me? You will need to form your idea around these codes and conventions. Your idea for a film will need to have all of these elements covered in there somewhere. These are what we will base our work on!
Main Character on a Quest With this in mind it is VITAL that you need to think about your characters before you plan your idea. Characters make or break a film If you don’t like the characters you won’t watch the film With this in mind...think Propp!!!
Propp’s Characters the villain, who struggles with the hero the donor, who prepares and/or provides hero with magical agent the helper, who assists, rescues, solves and/or transfigures the hero the Princess, a sought-for person (and/or her father), who exists as a goal and often recognizes and marries hero and/or punishes villain the dispatcher, who sends the hero off the hero, who departs on a search (seeker-hero), reacts to the donor and weds at end the false hero (or antihero or usurper), who claims to be the hero, often seeking and reacting like a real hero (ie by trying to marry the princess)
Now Design your own The reason for designing your character first ensures that they are flexible. Last year the exam board gave the class a title for their project which changed all of their ideas. If you have a stable idea of characters you can put them in any situation.
Now for the Theory bit! When looking at the hero and villain it is clear that there are opposites. This is called: Binary Opposition In media texts the narrative and characters are based on this e.g Good/Evil, Male/Female
What about the Girls? When we first look at some of the titles for Action Adventure we immediately think of men fighting over treasure or women and the woman in question being very weak. So what can we do to change this?
Females in AA Allowed to be tough, but still wear revealing clothes and are, for the most part, controlled by or need rescuing by men.
Think Keira Throughout the franchise of Pirates of the Caribbean Elizabeth Swann has become a strong female.
Men! 80s super macho men Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Barbarian and Commando Sylvester Stallone in Rambo
More ‘metrosexual’ heroes Jack Sparrow – slightly camp and very goofy Spiderman – he cries Legolas (Orlando Bloom in Lord of the Rings) Bromance with Aragorn?
AVOID STEREOTYPES!!!! The exam board want you to be original and POLITICALLY CORRECT! Action Adventure is unfortunately renowned for being unfair to certain demographics when designing their villains.
Ability/Disability Villains are often disfigured or depicted as insane. Heroes are beautiful, graceful and gallant. ‘Jaws/ZbigniewKrycsiwiki’ in the Bond films The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979) : YouTube - James Bond vs Jaws (Round 2) Jaws is meant to be Polish. BloefeldYouTube - Bond Villian Ernst StavroBlofeld Nick Nack in The Man with the Golden Gun Rotten Tomatoes: Top 5 Bond Villains
Albinos The Twins in Matrix Re-loaded Silas in The Da Vinci Code
Bald Bond - Bloefeld Robin Hood - Sir Godfrey Damodar in Dungeons and Dragons Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End – Sao Feng (with facial scar also) The Mummy Returns - High Priest Imhotep
Race Villains are often non-white or ‘foreigners’ in Hollywood Action Adventures. The Mummy - Egyptians The Goonies – the Fratellis (Italian) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – Indians and Raiders of the Lost Ark - Germans
Race Asian (Chinese, Japanese etc) characters are often wise or skilled in martial arts (Karate Kid, Jackie Chan/Jet Li/ Bruce Lee films).
The cowardly/incompetent black side kick Chris Tucker as Ruby Rap in The Fifth Element
Snails in Dungeons and Dragons (Marlon Wayans)
More recent improvements Samual L Jackson Denzel Washington Wesley Snipes Will Smith
Location is Key The setting for your AA film is very important, if we think of the ones that we have looked at the location isn’t just a pretty background...it is also a character in itself. E.G. Egypt’s Valley of the Kings in Indiana Jones
Significance of The Valley of the Kings The Egyptian desert is full of Mystery and Death. There are tales of cursed tombs and powerful kings who were buried with their wealth. It is also very hot and abandoned. Perfect for putting your hero in danger and of course plenty of natural enemies such as snakes and scorpions.
Why in the Past? Unknown to the audience Past is always full of folk tales and rumours which a film producer can play on Think Sherlock Holmes Can recreate famous events to make them more dramatic by adding fictional characters. Makes Evil Kings/Queens more believable
Why Sci-Fi/Fantasy? Possibilities are endless in these locations. As long as your reasons for being there are plausible you can do pretty much anything Weapons can be anything Death can be cheated Violence is restricted and cannot be copied by young children and so it can be given a lower classification.
Ordinary Places made extraordinary This may seem strange but your Location doesn’t necessarily need to be very unusual at first sight. Films that have done this include: North By Northwest The Towering Inferno 28 Days Later
Choose your Location Think very carefully about the location you will choose. How will your Hero cope there? How will the Villain occupy the area? What will the setting add to your characters? What will be the importance of the setting?
Conventions of The Swashbuckler Historical Setting Sword Fights Villain is in a position of power (King etc...) Injustice to paupers The Hero’s actions are sometimes questionable but always for the greater good
Conventions of The Disaster AA Villain is uncontrollable as it is often Nature The blame for the disaster lies with the incompetent human leader The hero is an average person who seeks to help others Sometimes based on true stories Somebody important dies to show the danger
Conventions of the Fantasy AA Villain sets out to destroy ALL opposed to them (Star Wars/Harry Potter) Villain is the idea itself (B2TF Time Travel and Jurassic Park the idea of recreating dinosaurs) Not a very likely situation Hero is generally very young Has a group of helpers to aid the quest Violence suits the world i.e spells/lasers
Conventions of Quest AA Older Hero Mythical element including curses and problems to solve Female character holds the key to the clues Search for Treasure is central Villain is out to use the treasure to cause havoc on the world whilst the hero wants it for a good cause i.e. Education.
Conventions of Thriller/Suspense Lone Hero out to seek revenge for wrong doing (generally) Mystery or puzzle to solve Villain is not always clear straight away Either very on the side of the law or dead against it. If hero is against the law then the law in the film world is corrupt.
Choose your own Hybrid Now that you have your own characters and location, what hybrid do you fit into? You need to now think about the narrative and how this fits in to what you wish to happen in your film.
Classification Suitable for all A U film should be suitable for audiences aged 4 years and over Positive moral framework Offer reassuring counterbalances to any violence, threat or horror No potentially dangerous behaviour which young children could copy No emphasis on weapons Scary sequences mild, brief and unlikely to cause undue anxiety to young children
Classification General Viewing Some scenes may be unsuitable for young children Unaccompanied children of any age may watch A PG film should not disturb children aged 8 or older Parents should consider whether the film could upset younger or more sensitive children Frightening sequences should not be prolonged or intense No detail of potentially dangerous behaviour which young children are likely to copy No glamorisation of weapons Moderate violence without detail may be allowed if justified by its content.
Suitable for 12 years and over May upset children under 12, or parents might feel they are unsuitable for under 12s Children under 12 can see 12A films at the cinema if accompanied by an adult Responsibility for allowing the child to view the film likes with the adult Moderate physical and psychological threat, not frequent or sustained Dangerous behaviour should not dwell on detail or appear pain or harm free. Moderate violence, should not dwell on detail. No emphasis on injuries or blood.
Suitable only for 15 years and over No one younger than 15 may see a 15 film at the cinema or rent or buy a 15 video Strong threat and menace permitted unless sadistic or sexualised Dangerous behaviour should not dwell on detail that could be copied Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury.
Suitable for adults No one younger than 18 may see an 18 film at the cinema or rent or buy an 18 video Overriding principle is that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment, but with exceptions: Material in breach of criminal law, or created through a criminal offence Material that risks harm to groups or individuals Explicit sexual activity not justified by the context
The fact of the matter There are more 12 certificate films in the Action Adventure genre than any other certificate. Why is this?
Why 12? Wider Audiences More appealing to adults Youngish children can go with their parents to see the film encouraging both demographics to see the film
Think Audience If an AA had a PG certificate, outline the type of audience you think it would be targeted at? Who would you suggest in the casting for a film that the producers intend to be a 12a? What types of action sequences would be appropriate for a 12A film compared to a PG?
Film Budgeting Refers to the process by which a line producer, unit production manager or filmmaker prepares a budget for a film production. This document, which could be over 150 pages long, is used to secure financing for the film and lead to pre-production and production of the film. Multiple drafts of the budget may be required to whittle down costs.
Above and Below the Line Costs These two elements of production are the most crucial when looking at the marketing of the film Above the Line costs: Creative talent Below the Line costs: Direct production costs
Above the Line Costs An A-list actor can ask for anything from $10 million to $30 million, plus $3 million in perks (trailer, entourage, etc.) and 10-20% of the gross profits. The rest of the cast, by comparison, can often come out much worse with many being paid the Screen Actors Guild minimum (as low as $100/day on an Ultra-Low Budget film). Sometimes an actor will accept a minimal fee in exchange for a more lucrative share of the profits. Union extras are paid around $130 per day (plus extra for overtime or if they provide their own wardrobe) but on a low-budget film non-union extras are paid less, sometimes nothing at all.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life Cast: $17.25 million Angelina Jolie: $12 million Extras: $250,000 Other (inc. Angelina's perks): $5 million
Female Stars per film per film per film £3-4 million £5 million $9 million
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Cast: $35 million Arnold Schwarzenegger: $29.25 million + 20% gross profits Arnold's perks: $1.5 million Rest of principal cast: $3.85 million Extras: $450,000
Male Stars $20 million $5 Million $4 million $38 Million
Below the Line Costs This refers to the Direct Production costs which includes: Story Rights Screenplay Producers Director The cost of actually shooting the film including sets, wardrobe, location filming, hotels and transportation
Story rights and screenplay: $4 million Producers: $4 million Director (Jan de Bont): $5 million Production costs: $67 million Set design and construction: $17.8 million Visual Effects: $13 million Music: $3.3 million Editing: $3 million Post Production costs: $1.5 million Total: $118 million
Story rights (Carolco and Gale Anne Hurd): $19.5 million Screenplay: $5.2 million John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris: $1 million Director (Jonathan Mostow): $5 million Producers: $10 million Production costs: $58 million Post-production costs: $4 million Visual effects: $20 million Music: $2 million Other costs: $33.6 million Total: $187.3 million
Avatar Day 21st August 2009. On this day the trailer for the film was released in all theatrical formats. The official game trailer and toy line of the film were also unveiled on this day.
October 2009 Empire Magazine released exclusive images from the film
The teaser trailer became one of the most viewed trailers in the history of film marketing, reaching the first place of all trailers viewed on apple.com with 4 million views.
The coca-cola company collaborated with Twentieth Century Fox to launch a worldwide marketing campaign to promote the film. The highlight of the campaign was the website avtr.com. Specially marked bottles and cans of Coke Zero, when held in front of a webcam, enabled users to interact with the website’s 3D features
McDonald’s produced a card to be used with an Avatar-branded website. When held in front of a webcam it enabled users to interact with a 3D animation. McDonalds offered online experiences such as ‘McD Vision’ (revealing scenes and characters from the movie) and ‘PandoraROV’ (take your first steps into Pandora)
Books, Toys and Games Books: Avatar: A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social History of Pandora, a 224 page book in the form of a field guide to the film’s fictional setting of the planer of Pandora. Video Game released on December 1st Toys: Mattel Toys announced in December 2009 that it would be introducing a line of action figures.
Designing a Trailer You need to make sure that you think about the following things: Institution of your Film Length of your trailer Types of Edits Actors/characters you will include Elements of the narrative you will include
Examples Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 Pirates of the Caribbean
Poster Name of the film Main Star or Logo Location Very careful choice of colour Date the film is released Billing Block Name of Studio