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British Independent Film Companies - Warp Films
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  • 1. Warp Films is an independent film production company based in Sheffield& London, UK, with a further affiliated company ‘Warp X’ Australia based inMelbourne, Australia.This is EnglandFour LionsDead Man’s ShoesTrash HumpersExhibit AGrow Your OwnParadise LostThe company also own at least four drama and comedy series ontelevision.Hollywood film companies will often spend months or even a yearjust filming one specific film, whereas in many cases smallindependent companies have produced a film in one month. This isevident with ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’, which was shot in just 22 days fora project to encourage independent film makers to get there work outthere.
  • 2. ‘This is England’: Shane Meadowso Produced with Film 4 What makes it different from Hollywood films?o Particular genre to base upon – Social realismo Cheaper to make than Hollywood films – they focus on special effects, CGI,HD, 3D etc.o The importance of cultural reference points: clothes, dialect, music – onlya specific viewer with a cultural familiarity would recognise.o Warp films cannot rely on a big studio to finance their films and cannot actas a distributor.o TIE was distributed by optimum releasing.Box OfficeBudget:£1,500,000 (estimated)Opening Weekend:$18,430 (USA) (27 July 2007)Gross:$327,919 (USA) (16 November 2007)
  • 3. Question:‘What are the issues raised by media ownership in cotemporary practice?’Warp Films was initially created with funding help from NESTADead Man’s Shoes: Shot in 22 days on a tight budget, and produced fromWarp Films’ Sheffield office (at that time a shed in Herbert’s garden)Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010 and wasreleased in the UK during March 2011 by Optimum Releasing It wasdistributed in the US by The Weinstein Company.Warp X (Australian) Focuses on really low budget films (£400,000-£800,000)Focuses on genre based films, specialised storylines ‘social realism’ – attractsa smaller, particular target audience (Cheaper than Hollywood films).Innovative, uncompromising films.Good for audiences and society because British indie companies gives wayto new talent, fresh storylines and keeps film industry thriving. StopsHollywood companies gaining a monopoly/oligopoly over the film industry.Work with Film 4 and BBC to secure extra funding for their films – also helpswith distribution.
  • 4. With the ‘Big 6’ and large conglomerates in Hollywood owning alarge proportion of the film industry, it leads to a number ofproblems for smaller independent film producers and also theaudience:Lack of choice regarding filmsEndless sequels, e.g. Shrek 1,2,3 and 4.Does not give way to new talentSame actors seen in lots of filmsLack of creativity (Same people working on all of the films)Small British companies working with large Hollywood companiesmeans:The British producer may be tied down into producing a‘mainstream’ film and is unable to show off their talent Potentially destroys his creationWarp Films is a lot smaller as a British Indie company compared toWorking Title, because they work with Universal, giving them aconglomerate backing.
  • 5. Synergy: Two or more companies working together to distribute and promote arelated product, E.g. the film, soundtrack, video game, dressing up costumesConvergence: The process by which a range of media platforms are integrated withina single piece of media technology. E.g. An iphone is a camera, music player, socialnetworking access, communication.Convergence - TIE was distributed by Optimum Releasing who are closely involved inthe development process and distribute the films theatrically and on DVD in the UK.This relationship therefore benefits themselves and Warp Films because they areoperating in a competitive market. The film was produced as a result of collaborationbetween 7+ companies. It was distributed by 6 organisations.Synergy – Web 2.0: Four Lions’ website contains aspects of sharing links of trailers tosocial networking sites. Live twitter feed streamed - encourages interaction and buzz about the film. Download posters. Interactive software. Hyperlinks to online multimedia interviews/web content/production companywebsites. Link to it takes you directly to the booking page of that cinema venue.
  • 6. The emergence of digital, computerised or networked information andcommunications technology in the later part of the 20th century.‘New Media’ = Digital. A quicker, more efficient, smaller andcompressed form of data storage when compared with older methods.Old media technologies – Films were shot on big cameras and wouldbe recorded onto big reels. The editor would then literally have to cutand paste the film together frame by frame. Special effects wereprimitive and often looked extremely unrealistic.Digital Cinematography: The footage can now be recorded onto tape,hard disk or memory stick. There has been a huge emergence in HDand 3D films in the last 10 years.New media technologies has meant that independent film makers nowfind it a lot easier to produce films because technology is moreadvanced, cheaper, faster and of a higher quality. You do not need ahuge amount of money in order to produce a film.
  • 7. The spread and proliferation of technology has meant:That piracy is decreased because there can be a simultaneous global releaseof a film – Puts an end to the ‘time gap’ between film releases in differentcountries and therefore the exploitation of pirates.Distribution is cheaper because technology is more accessibleIt’s quicker to produce, promote and distribute filmsNew films or products can be promoted on social networking sites as it is freeDigital technology has made production a lot easier for low budget filmmakers.However, piracy becomes slightly easier because camera qualities areimproving so filming in cinemas is easier, it can be easily uploaded to theinternet and spread virally through ‘Youtube’ or social networking sites. The UKFilm Council reported a film theft in 2008 with only Germany and Austriahaving a larger percentage of film piracy.The increase in digital technology means that it offers the potential to increaseprofits, but also dangers in equal measure.
  • 8. Technological convergence completely changes the viewersexperience. Incredible ease of access to infinite libraries of film,anytime, anywhere. E.g. Downloading films on your smartphone, ordownloading films onto ‘Netflix’/’Love Film’ using an xbox or computer.Warp Films have minimal convergences, however they do havetheir own website warp.net/films which allows online promotion fordistribution and sales to the public viewers. This is England is apopular trend on their website and has lots of information regardingthe film with extra acknowledgements - able to watch the trailer onyour smartphone and then click straight through to the cinema venuewebsite to order/book tickets for the film.There’s equal access to both niche/alternative and mainstream films– This is highly beneficial for Warp Films.The spread of viral marketing creates huge opportunities for filmproducers.If Warp Films were to release one of their films onto Itunes to buy,then it could increase their sales as technological convergence hasmeant that people use Ipads, Iphones and Ipods for viewing anddownloading media.
  • 9. British indie companies target smaller niche audiences - they dont have thebudget for special effects or big budgets to attract the mainstreamaudiences. The smaller niche audiences are usually based on a certainage or gender.Warp X: They only produce films which qualify as British. They wouldstrongly prefer producers to shoot in Yorkshire or some other northernregion of England, but "if there is a compelling creative need to shootelsewhere, then we will put the needs of the film first.“Unlike the Hollywood film companies whose main aim and objective is tomake a huge profit from sales, Warp X’s objectives include: Providing new opportunities to increase participation of groups currentlyunder-represented in the UK film industry such as writers, directors,producers and actors who are disabled, women and/or from black andminority ethnic groups. To encourage filmmakers to explore social issues of disability,cultural/ethnic diversity and social exclusion through the content and rangeof individual film projects. To create much-needed progression routes into the UK film industry foridentified filmmaking talent, who may have experienced some successthrough their first feature film or through short filmmaking, but who needfurther infrastructural and other support to make their next film/s a
  • 10. Big Hollywood conglomerate companies have begun to target Britishaudiences ore than ever now as a way to get rid of competition. Bytargeting these audiences, they are deteriorating the British Filmindustry and gaining a monopoly over film institutes. As big filmcompanies become more popular, they are making the journey tobecome a successful British independent film producer ever harder.Smaller independent companies must try and distribute their films areeffectively and efficiently as possible by using convergence; WarpFilms will usually work with at least 7 other different companies in orderto produce, distribute and exhibit their films.For larger independent companies this is not so difficult however, WarpFilms do not have it as easy as Working Title. This is because WorkingTitle is owned by Hollywood conglomerate Universal Studios and sothey get help with distributing their films.
  • 11. My media consumption has changed drastically in the last 10years. In the past, I would watch films on a VHS or go to thecinema regularly, then DVD’s started to become morepopular so you could watch films easier by being able topause, fast forward and rewind easily and by choice.However, as technology has developed and advanced thereare now infinite ways of producing, watching anddownloading media.My viewing experience has become more diverse, I am ableto download films on Netflix and instantly watch themthrough the TV or Xbox, I can easily watch trailers forupcoming films on ‘Youtube’ and through social networkingsites such as ‘Twitter’, I am kept updated with the latest newson the films such as the Hunger Games, e.g. I was madeaware and alerted when the trailer and teasers for theupcoming ‘Catching Fire’ were released. It is now a lot moreaccessible, easier and cheaper to consume the largesources of media that are everywhere around us.
  • 12. Warp Films- An independent company Base their budget from low to medium as they are not as popular as aconglomerate film, and don’t have a huge amount of money to work with.Their low budgets affects the type of genre they are able to base their films around. Get their funding from NESTA; a big company within the filming business.Working title - Part of a conglomerate company. Conglomerates are a high budgetfilm, they usually produce Hollywood blockbusters and include a higher standardquality i.e. special effects; more famous actors/actresses Etc. Produce medium budget films up to $35m Love Actually and Four Weddings. Get their funding from Universal Studios, which is the parent company of WorkingTitle. They also get a big sum of money from previous films that they have produced.
  • 13. Will assess:Your understanding of how media institutions currently operateYour ability to explore ideas about how audiences use mediaYour understanding of the relationship between audiences andinstitutions (film companies)Need to acquire a sense of how rapidly institutions and audiencesare being transformed by digital technology.
  • 14.  Jan ‘09:Discuss the ways in which media products are produced and distributedto audiences, within a media area you have studied (film) June ‘09:How important is technological convergence for institutions andaudiences within a media area you have studied (film) Jan ‘10:‘Media production is dominated by global institutions which sell theirproducts and services to national audiences’ To what extent do you agreewith this statement?
  • 15. Pre-production: Ideas, planning Casting etc.Production: Production (principal photography) Editing Use of technology etc.Distribution Refers to the marketing: and circulation of movies in cinemas: Licensing Advertising & prints Marketing LogisticsExhibition: Independent cinema Mainstream cinema DVD/Blu Ray
  • 16. Camera IMAX MKIII, Hasselblad LensesComparing the Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL, Panavisionproduction processes C-, E-Series and Super High Speed Lensesand technical Panavision Panaflex Platinum, Panavision C-,specifications E-Series and Super High Speed Lenses Laboratory Astro Color Lab, Chicago (IL), USA (processing) Consolidated Film Industries (CFI), Hollywood Technicolor, Hollywood (CA), USA (also prints)Laboratory Technicolor, London, UK (processing)DeLuxe, UK Cinematographic processCinematographic process Digital Intermediate (master format) (someDigital Intermediate (master scenes: IMAX prints)format) IMAX (source format) (some scenes)Super 16 (source format) Panavision (anamorphic) (source format)Printed film format Printed film format35 mm (blow-up) 35 mm (Kodak Vision 2383) 70 mm (horizontal) (IMAX DMR blow-up) (Kodak Vision 2383) D-Cinema